Major Wildlife Conservation Projects of India:
India is one of the world's major biodiversity countries, the 7th largest geographically located in South Asia and the second largest country in terms of population. Diversity is found in the ecological and geographical conditions of India. Due to this diversity, many types of animals are also found here. Of the 15,0000000 known species of animals in the whole world, about 81,000 species are found in India. There are 2500 species of fresh and sea water fishes in the country.
1200 species of birds and 900 subspecies are found in India. For the conservation of these creatures, more than 120 national parks, 515 wildlife sanctuaries, 26 wetlands and 18 biosphere reserves have been created in India. Apart from this, many projects are being run by the Government of India for the conservation of wildlife. In this chapter, you will know which major projects have been started by the Government of India for the protection of wildlife, when and where:-
Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: In the year 1972, the Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 was passed by the Government of India with the objective of preventing illegal hunting of wildlife and its trade in flesh and skin. It has been amended in the year 2003 and was named Indian Wildlife Protection (Amendment) Act 2002, under which the punishment and fine have been made stricter.
This act provides protection to wild animals, birds and plants. This act applies to the whole of India except Jammu and Kashmir, as Jammu and Kashmir has its own wildlife law. It has a total of 6 schedules which provide protection to wildlife in different ways.
- Part II of Schedule-I and Schedule-II provide complete protection to wildlife. The highest punishment is prescribed for offenses under these.
- Schedule-3 and Schedule-4 are also providing protection but the penalties are very less.
- Schedule-5 includes animals that may be preyed upon.
- Cultivation and planting of plants included in the Sixth Schedule is prohibited.
Offenses and Punishment: Wild animals (or their body parts) fall under List I or Part II of List II of this Act. The Act provides for a fine of not less than Rs 10,000 and imprisonment of not less than 3 years (imprisonment) which may extend to a term of 7 years. For the second time such offense shall be punishable with imprisonment of not less than 3 years which may extend to 7 years and with fine which shall not be less than Rs.25,000/-.
Major Wildlife Conservation Projects of India:
- Musk Deer Project, 1970: Musk deer are a group of hoofed mammals with even hoofs. It is a member of the Moshidae family. There are four species of musk deer, all of which are very similar. The musk deer is more primitive than the common deer. A gland located in the back of the male musk deer produces a substance called musk, which is one of the world's most expensive animal products. Due to which the musk deer was hunted on a large scale by the people, as a result the species of musk deer reached the verge of extinction.
- Therefore, in the year 1970, the Government of India, in collaboration with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), started the Musk Deer Project in Kedarnath Sanctuary in Uttarakhand.
- Project Hangul, 1970: Hangul is a breed of red deer of the European reindeer species. Its habitat in India is the Kashmir Valley and Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh. In Kashmir, it is mainly found in Dachigam National Park. It is the state animal of Jammu and Kashmir. The scientific name of hangul is "Cervus elaphus hanglu". The Hangul Project was started by the Government of India in 1970 for the conservation of Hangul.
- Gir Singh Project, 1972: The Gir Forest National Park and Sanctuary is spread over an area of about 1424 square kilometers in the state of Gujarat, India, which is world famous for Asiatic lions. It is the only place in the world after South Africa where lions can be seen in their natural habitat. The Gir forest was made a wildlife sanctuary in the year 1969, while it was established as a national park in 1972. Due to the efforts made by the government, now the number of lions is increasing here.
- Project Tiger, 1973: Project Tiger was started by the Government of India in the year 1973 for the conservation of the national animal tiger. Under this, 9 tiger sanctuaries were created initially, whose number has increased to 50 today, which are spread over 18 different states. According to a figure, tiger reserves are located on about 2.21% of the total geographical area of India.
- The Tiger Project aims to ensure the maintenance of the tiger population for scientific, economic, artistic, cultural and ecological values and to protect it at all times as a national heritage in view of its biological importance for the benefit, education and recreation of the people. Is.
- Turtle Conservation Project, 1975: Olive Ridley turtles are found in the coastal areas of Odisha, which are of South American species. Olive Ridley turtles are on the verge of extinction in India. Therefore, in the year 1975, the Government of Odisha started a scheme for their conservation in the Bhitarkanika Sanctuary in Cuttack district.
- Crocodile breeding project, 1975: In view of the declining number of alligators, in the year 1975, with the help of United Nations Development Program, the Government of India started the Gharial Breeding Scheme from Tikarpada place in Odisha.
- Manipur Thomin Project, 1977: This project was started in the year 1977 for the conservation of this rare mammal of the world found in the south-eastern part of Loktak Lake.
- Project Rhinoceros, 1987: The one-horned rhinoceros is found in some protected areas in the lowlands of Assam and Nepal in northeastern India, where their numbers are limited to forested areas along rivers in the foothills of the Himalayas. The horn of the one-horned rhinoceros is highly valued in the international market as aphrodisiacs are made from it.
- Due to this, these rhinos are hunted illegally, as a result their numbers have reduced significantly. Therefore, the Government of India started the Rhinoceros Project in the year 1987.
- Project Elephant, 1992: The Elephant Project was started by the Government of India in the year 1992 as a centrally sponsored scheme. Its purpose was to protect elephants, their habitat, to solve the problems of human-animal conflict and to promote the welfare of domesticated elephants. This project is mainly being implemented in 13 states namely Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
- Financial and technical assistance is being provided to these states. Apart from this, small assistance is also being provided to Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh under the Elephant Project.
- Red Panda Project, 1996: It is found in the eastern Himachal region at an altitude of 1500-4000 m. It is known as Cat Bear in Arunachal Pradesh. Due to their decreasing population, in the year 1996 World Nature With the help of Vidhi, the Lal Panda project of Padmajanaidu Himalayan Animal Park was started.
- Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE), 2003: The MIKE program was initiated in 2003 by the International Convention on Endangered Species of Wildlife and Flora. The primary objective of this program is to monitor the levels of illegal killing of African and Asian elephants. In India, MIC programs are being run in the states of Assam, West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Odisha, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand and Kerala.
- Vulture Protection Project, 2006: For the conservation of vultures, an agreement was signed between the Haryana Forest Department and the Mumbai Natural History Society in 2006, under which the Vulture Conservation Project was started. Under this project, the country's first vulture breeding center has been opened in Dharampur, Assam.
- Snow Leopard Project, 2009: The snow leopard is a beautiful, but extremely rare creature. This creature is found in treeless places in the high mountain ranges of the Himalayas. This agile wildlife is hunted for its bones, leather and nails etc. In view of the declining number of snow leopards, the Snow Leopard Project was started in 2009 for its conservation. Under this project, Snow Leopard Conservation Center has been opened in Darjeeling, West Bengal.
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