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Conservation of Forests and Wildlife in India

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Conservation of Forests and Wildlife in India - Lesson Summary

Conservation of plants and animals ensures the quality of air, water and soil on which we depend for our survival. Conservation of plants species is essential to maintain their genetic diversity which is extremely beneficial for our agricultural produce.

Conservation of animal species is equally important for their breeding and maintenance of food chains.
Conservation efforts in India resulted in Indian Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.

The salient features of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act of 1972:
  • Making provisions for habitat protection,
  • Publishing a list of protected species,
  • Imposing legal restrictions on hunting, poaching and trade in wildlife, and
  • Setting up of national parks and sanctuaries in different parts of India by giving legal protection to the habitat.
  • Announcing conservation projects for some specific endangered animals

Conservation efforts in India are expanding their scope to include even insects and plants in the list of protected species along with large animals.

Hundreds of species of butterflies, moths, beetles and one species of dragonfly were included in the list of protected species through the Wildlife Act of 1980 and 1986. Six species of plants also found their way into this list in 1991.

One conservation project in India’s wildlife conservation effort is dedicated to the Royal Bengal Tiger called Project Tiger. India and Nepal are home to about two-thirds of the tiger population in the world.

The tiger population in India has decreased from 55,000 in 1900 to 1,827 in 1973. The main reason for such drastic decline in the tiger population is poaching for lucrative trade in tiger skin, claws and bones, and other body parts used in traditional medicines.

The results of Project Tiger have been mixed. There are 29 tiger reserves in India. Some of the main tiger reserves are:
  • The Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand,
  • The Sunderbans National Park in West Bengal,
  • The Bandhavgarh National Park in Madhya Pradesh,
  • The Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary in Rajasthan,
  • The Manas Tiger Reserve in Assam and
  • The Periyar Tiger Reserve in Kerala.

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