About Wildlife India

Unfortunately, many misconceptions still persist. Some believe that wildlife primarily means tigers and lions; then there are those who think a national park is like a zoo or a public garden, or that it is surrounded by a high wall or a fence designed to control the movements of wild animals. You will also meet people who labour under the illusion that wild animals can survive on their own in these wilderness areas as indeed they have done since time immemorial and that, therefore, such areas need no systematic, scientific management inputs. Only a few know that wildlife management is a specialized field with intricacies of its own, and fewer still can appreciate even the basic hard work that goes into making a success of wildlife conservation in a national park or wildlife sanctuary.

There are several reasons for this state of affairs, but the two most important are: first, the lack of awareness about wildlife conservation at the school level, which is primarily due to the lack of opportunities for students to visit wilderness areas; and second, the maddening pace of life with our unflinching single-mindedness in pursuing materialistic goals, all of which has dulled our ability for quiet musings and appreciation of nature.
 

What Is Wildlife

What exactly is wildlife? There is no precise and universally accepted definition of the term. Its meaning varies from country to country, depending upon the legal framework that exists in each country for nature conservation in any given period of time. Generally, however, the term implies all living beings outside direct human control; in other words, all those plants and animals that are usually not cultivated or domesticated. In its widest connotation wildlife includes insects, fungi, frogs and wild flowers, as well as wild shrubs and trees, reptiles, birds and mammals.
 

Wildlife Management

Wildlife management is the art as well as the science of changing the characteristics of, and interactions among habitats, wild animal populations and human beings so as to achieve specific human goals by means of the wildlife resources. In the context of our country, these goals may be ecological, economic or aesthetic, or their combinations. Wildlife management is not a basic science, nor is it pure technology. It draws upon several disciplines including zoology, botany, ecology and even mathematics. Despite its clear links with the natural sciences, wildlife management also employs principles of the arts. In other words, it integrates a wide range of disciplines in logical, imaginative and pragmatic ways and, therefore, can be regarded as both a science and an art, whose practice is not very different from that of medicine or law. Each is a profession requiring rigorous application of skill, knowledge and imagination.
 

Wildlife Conservation

India has a rich natural heritage and a long tradition of conservation. The ashram (hermitages) of the great sages, which were the seats of learning in ancient times, was almost always located in sylvan surroundings that symbolized the conservation ethics of the day. Indian mythology is replete with references to people's regard and love for wild animals. Different animals and birds were associated with different gods as their servants and vehicles. These animals and birds, therefore, were held sacred by various communities, which ensured their protection. Kautilya in his Arthashastra promulgated the first recorded game laws in the third century Be. In the year 252 Be, Emperor Ashoka passed laws for the protection of many types of animals and forests. These laws created what may well be the earliest instances of protected areas as we call them today.

Though love and respect for nature is an integral part of India's culture, the country today confronts the sad paradox of fast disappearing wildlife. A typical developing country, modern India struggles with the stiff challenge of finding solutions to development problems. But some solutions that have been worked out pose serious threats to the country's wildlife. Human population pressure, widespread industrialization, hunger for land and the crushing pressure exerted on the forests by livestock and by people's needs for firewood and small timber are the main causes of the present plight of wildlife. The result is there for everyone to see: our prime forests and wildlife reduced to a shadow of their former self. India has already lost several species of mammals, reptiles, birds, and other life forms. As so little is known about the actual biological diversity of the country, we may not even be fully cognizant of the true extent of the loss and can only mourn the few well-known examples of the tragic extinction of wild animals and birds such as the Indian Cheetah, the Mountain Quail, or the Pink-headed Duck.
 

The population of the tiger which was believed to be around 40,000 by some experts only a century ago was down to only 1,827 animals by 1972! The Asiatic lion, which adorns the country's national emblem, is today confined to a small pocket in the Gir forests of Gujarat. A number of deer species like the hangul of Kashmir, the barasingha of Madhya Pradesh, the brow-antlered deer of Manipur, and antelope like the Himalayan - all adorn the list of endangered species. In fact, the brow-antlered deer whose number in the wild was estimated to be only 18 in 1977 has the dubious distinction of being the most endangered deer in the world. Blackbuck, the graceful antelope of the Indian plains, was found in its thousands barely 50 years ago. It is now confined to small pockets where it survives only under strict protection. The Great Indian Bustard and the White-winged Wood Duck have dwindled to precarious numbers. The beautiful Siberian Crane is a winter visitor to the Bharatpur Sanctuary in Rajasthan. Its visit to this sanctuary dwindled to just 41 birds, as reported, in the winter of 1978-79. The Gangetic gharial, the marsh mugger and the estuarine crocodile have all been hunted down to near extinction. These are only a few examples; there are many more species of wild animals and birds that are on the verge of extinction. If we are complacent towards conservation many of these beautiful creatures will be wiped out in the near future.

It was only in the early 1970s that the first actions were taken to arrest the declining trend in wildlife, and concern for nature conservation was reflected to a certain extent in the planning and development processes. Many significant initiatives in wildlife conservation have been taken since then. These include:
 T
he enactment of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and, subsequently, the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 ,the inclusion of wildlife conservation in the Concurrent List of the Constitution, the enlargement of the network of national parks and sanctuaries.
T
he launch of Project Tiger in 1973.
The Crocodile Breeding Project, 1975;

Project Elephant, early 1991;

Project Hangul, 1970;

Manipur Brow-antlered Deer Conservation Project, 1973, regulation of wildlife trade and commerce, the strengthening of education and training facilities, which culminated in the establishment of the Wildlife Institute of India; and various efforts to increase general awareness about nature conservation.
 

Protected Area Network
Under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 state governments are empowered to declare any area of their states as a sanctuary or a national park to protect, propagate or develop the wildlife in it or the environment of the area. Today the network of wildlife protected areas such as national parks, sanctuaries, biosphere reserves and community reserves covers representative samples of most of the wildlife ecosystems of the country, with good geographical distribution. All these areas are endowed with remarkable ecological, floral, faunal or geomorphologic significance. At present, there are around 90 national parks and 500 sanctuaries in India. The area under national parks and sanctuaries is around 1.561akh (.156 million) sq km. Despite this, out of the 10 identified bio-geographic zones of the country, some are still deficient in protected area coverage. An expert committee constituted by the Government of India had recommended that a minimum of 4% of the country's geographical area should be set apart as national parks or sanctuaries.
 

All national parks and sanctuaries, however, are not alike. Some have been created specifically to protect rare and endangered species, while some are famous for the richness and variety of their wildlife. The inestimable value of these protected areas - in safeguarding varied ecosystems and, in the process, protecting the soil from erosion, recycling wastes and preserving genetic material which is vital for sustaining agricultural crops - has been universally recognized.
 

Project Tiger

The famous naturalist E P Gee once opined that there were around 40,000 tigers in India in the beginning of the 20th century. Though many wildlife conservationists and naturalists disagree with him on this figure no one can deny that the population of the tiger had dwindled alarmingly by late 1960s. This perilous decline was attributed to a combination of factors including poaching, degradation of tiger habitats and loss of its prey base.
 

Against this backdrop, sincere efforts as well as emotional pleas were made by many people at the national and international levels. In its 10th General Assembly held at New Delhi in December 1969, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) called for a moratorium on the hunting of the Indian tiger and several other wildlife species. Taking cognizance of these recommendations, the Indian Board for Wildlife (IBWL) instructed all the states to ban the hunting of tigers for at least five years. In July 1970, tiger hunting was permanently banned throughout India.

In April 1972 a Task Force was constituted by the IBWL to study the problems relating to tiger conservation in the country and to prepare a plan to save the super predator from extinction.
 

An all-India tiger census was conducted in May, 1972 that estimated the total tiger population of the country at a mere 1,827. There was now no room for any doubt that the chances of the Indian tiger's survival were bleak - unless some urgent and positive conservation initiatives were taken. The same year, the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 was promulgated, which provided additional, legal impetus to the protection of wildlife and habitats, particularly of endangered species, in special conservation areas.
 

The Task Force comprising stalwarts of conservation made concerted efforts and, by November 1972, formulated a plan that was suitable for Indian conditions. This novel venture was named "Project Tiger". It was formally launched in 1973 when 9 tiger reserves were set up in the country. Today there are 28 tiger reserves which cover all the important tiger habitats of the country.
 

Why Preserve Wildlife

 The following are some of the reasons why wildlife should be protected.
 Wildlife has a right to exist on this planet.
Wildlife has been accorded a significant place in every important religion.
Wildlife is an important constituent of biological diversity which supports the most important human activities such as agriculture, industry, rural livelihood and so on.
Wild areas stabilize the hydrological cycle.
Wild areas moderate the climate in the surrounding areas.
Wild areas help in soil and water conservation.
Wild areas protect our genetic resources.
Wild areas maintain environmental balance.
 Wild areas provide recreational facilities.
Wildlife promotes tourism.
Wildlife provides employment opportunities.
Wildlife reinforces regional identities and has immense heritage value.
Wildlife is important for preserving cultural values.

 
Wildlife provides scope for scientific research

 
Wildlife Tour Packages  
 
 
    Golden Triangle with Tiger Tour
Duration : 06 Nights / 07 Days
Destinations Covered:
 Delhi - Agra - Ranthambore -
Jaipur -Delhi
  Rajasthan Wildlife Tour
Duration :  07 Nights / 08 Days
Destinations Covered:  
Delhi - Jaipur - Puskkar - Ranthambore - Agra - Delhi
       
   India Tiger Trail Tour
Duration: 09 Nights / 10 Days
Destinations Covered:
Delhi Ranthambore Kanha Bandhavgarh Delhi
  Discover Wildlife India Tour
Duration :  16 Nights / 17 Days
Destinations Covered:  
Delhi Nagpur - Pench - Kanha Bandhavgarh Panna - Khajuraho Orcha Agra Ranthambore Jaipur - Delhi
       
  Taj Mahal with Kanha National Park Tour
Duration :  08 Nights / 09 Days
Destinations Covered:  Delhi - Jaipur Bharatpur Agra Kanha - Delhi
  Indian Tiger with Khajuraho & Agra Tour
Duration :  12 Nights / 13 Days
Destinations Covered:  Delhi Ranthambore Kanha Bandhavgarh Panna Khajuraho Gwaliar Agra Delhi.
       
  Agra-Jaipur with Tiger Parks & Khajuraho Tour
Duration :  14 Nights / 15 Days
Destinations Covered:  Delhi - Jaipur Bharatpur Agra Kanha Bandhavgarh Panna Khajuraho Delhi
  Taj Mahal  with Tiger Parks & Khajuraho - Varanasi
Duration :  15 Nights / 16 Days
Destinations Covered:  Delhi - Jaipur Bharatpur Agra Kanha Bandhavgarh Panna Khajuraho varanasi - Delhi
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