Nature has always helped mankind flourish. But it is not just what immense bounties nature has given to us. It is what we as a human beings give back in return. An important question to ask ourselves is, are we concerned about nature. Does saving the wildlife and taking necessary actions for those on the brink of extinction mean something to us? If it does, then come and join hands with Indian wildlife organisations to help save mother earth.
The nature projects and programmes started by the Indian government like the Project Tiger, Nature Camps and Jungle Lodges have been started to promote wildlife awareness among the common man. The projects besides preserving our natural heritage also encourage eco-tourism. Significance of Wildlife Conservation The wild creatures are a nature’s gifts which help embellish the natural beauty by their unique ways of existence. But due to growing deforestation and negligence, there is a threat to the wildlife and it will require special attention to save the world from loosing its green heritage.
Some of the government initiatives carried out to preserve this natural heritage include Project Tiger, one of the most successful efforts in preserving and protecting the Tiger population. Gir National Park in Gujarat is the only existing habitat for the nearly extinct Asiatic Lions in India. The Kaziranga Sanctuary in Assam is a prime example of an effort to save the endangered Rhinoceros. Likewise, Periyar in Kerala is doing appreciable work to preserve the wild Elephants while Dachigam National Park is fast at work to save the Hangul or Kashmiri Stag.
Project Tiger At the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) General Assembly meeting in Delhi in 1969, serious concern was voiced about the threat to several species of wildlife and the shrinkage of wilderness in the India. In 1970, a national ban on tiger hunting was imposed and in 1972 the Wildlife Protection Act came into force. The framework was then set up to formulate a project for tiger conservation with an ecological approach. Project Tiger started in 1972 is a major effort to conserve the tiger and its habitats.
Launched on April 1, 1973, Project Tiger has become one of the most successful conservation ventures in modern history. The project aims at tiger conservation in specially constituted ‘tiger reserves’ which are representative of various bio-geographical regions falling within India. It strives to maintain a viable tiger population in their natural environment. Initially just 9 reserves were brought under the project, a number which was increased to 27 in the year 2003. Today, there are 39 Project Tiger wildlife reserves in India covering an area more than of 37,761 km?.
Some of the main aims of Project Tiger are as follows. •Elimination of all kinds of human activity in the core zones and minimisation of activity in the buffer zone. •Assessing the damage done to the eco-system by human activity and efforts to recover it to its original form. •Monitoring the changes taking place and studying the reasons for the same. Recently a few more sites have been added to the list. Plans are in progress to develop wireless communication systems to curb the problem of poaching.
Steps like the shifting of villages outside the core area, control of livestock grazing in tiger reserves and researching data about environmental changes have also shown positive impact. At the turn of the 20th century, one estimate of the tiger population in India placed the figure at 40,000, yet an Indian tiger census conducted in 2008 revealed the existence of only 1411 tigers. Various pressures in the later part of the 20th century led to the progressive decline of wilderness resulting in the disturbance of viable tiger habitats.