Last Updated 29 Mar 2021

Wildlife-Conservation and Importance (India)

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Conservation is the act of using and protecting resources properly. Catching animals, throwing garbage, and using and harnessing the different resources should all adhere to the proper way of conservation. Wildlife includes all non-domesticated plants, animals and other organisms. Domesticating wild plant and animal species for human benefit has occurred many times all over the planet, and has a major impact on the environment, both positive and negative. Wildlife can be found in all ecosystems. Deserts, rain forests, plains, and other areas including the most developed urban sites

Importance for Wildlife Conservation

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  • Maintains ecological balance & the organisms have their unique positions in food chains, food webs which keep ecological balance.
  • Wild life contributes to the maintenance of material cycles such as carbon and nitrogen cycles.
  • For improvement and progress in agriculture, animal husbandry and fisheries the genes from wild life preserved as gene bank are utilised in breeding programmes.
  • Wild life provides a number of useful products like food, medicine, honey, lac, wax, resin, etc.
  • Colourful birds, insects, beautiful flowers, trees make environment beautiful. Nature... (Indescribable)
  • Food, pets, traditional medicines

Anthropologists believe that the Stone Age peoples and hunter-gatherers relied on wildlife, both plant and animal, for their food. In fact, some species may have been hunted to extinction by early human hunters. Today, hunting, fishing, or gathering wildlife is still a significant food source in some parts of the world. In other areas, hunting and non-commercial fishing are mainly seen as a sport or recreation, Many Amazon species, including peccaries, agoutis, turtles, turtle eggs, anacondas, armadillos, etc. are sold primarily as food. Others in these informal markets, such as monkeys and parrots, are destined for the pet trade, often smuggled into the United States. Still other Amazon species are popular ingredients in traditional medicines sold in local markets. The medicinal value of animal parts is based largely on superstition. Religion Many wildlife species have spiritual significance In different cultures around the world, and they and their products may be used as sacred objects in religious rituals.

For example, eagles, hawks and their feathers have great cultural and spiritual value to Habitat destruction and fragmentation Farms sprawl across the landscape with paddocks. Media Wildlife has long been a common subject for educational television shows. National Geographic specials appeared on CBS beginning in 1965, The BBC natural history unit in the UK was a similar pioneer, the first wildlife series LOOK presented by Sir Peter Scott, was a studio-based show, with filmed inserts There are many magazines which cover wildlife including National Wildlife Magazine, Birds & Blooms, Birding (magazine), and Ranger Rick (for children).


Fuelled by media coverage and inclusion of conservation education in early school curriculum, Wildlife tourism & Ecotourism has fast become a popular industry generating substantial income for developing nations with rich wildlife specially, Africa and India. Destruction The rate of extinctions of entire species of plants and animals across the planet has been so high in the last few hundred years it is widely considered that we are in the sixth great extinction event on this planet; the Holocene Mass Extinction. The four most general reasons that lead to destruction of wildlife include Overkill.

Overkill occurs whenever hunting occurs at rates greater than the reproductive capacity of the population is being exploited. Hunting, fishing and so on, has lowered the competition between members of a population. However, if this hunting continues at rate greater than the rate at which new members of the population can reach breeding age and produce more young, the population will begin to decrease in numbers. Habitat destruction and fragmentation The habitat of any given species is considered its preferred area or territory.

Many processes associated human habitation of an area cause loss of this area and decrease the carrying capacity of the land for that species. Examples of habitat destruction include grazing of bush land by farmed animals, changes to natural fire regimes, forest clearing for timber production and wetland draining for city expansion. Impact of introduced species The vast majority of species exposed to a new habitat do not reproduce successfully. Occasionally, however, some populations do take hold and after a period of acclimation can increase in numbers significantly, having destructive effects on many elements of the native environment.

The Rattus

Rattus is native to India, but it has spread to almost everywhere in the world. This rat has directly caused, or contributed to, the extinction of multiple wildlife species including a variety of birds, plants and other small mammals. They’re blamed for the incredible decline in seabirds on several islands, including many Hawaiian species Some introduced species (such as most of our food crops and pets) are beneficial. However, others are very damaging. People have moved species around the world for millenia, sometimes by accident, but often with considerable enthusiasm.

English garden birds in New Zealand are merely quaint curiosities introduced by settlers wanting the familiar species of their former homes. Some introductions have been devastating — goats or rabbits on various islands, for example. Other introductions, such as those of genetically engineered organisms, present potential problems yet to be considered in any detail. Chains of extinction This final group is one of secondary effects. Large herbivorous animals such as the hippopotamus have populations of insectivorous birds that feed off the many parasitic insects that grow on the hippo.

Should the hippo die out, so too will these groups of birds, leading to further destruction as other species dependent on the birds are affected. Also referred to as a Domino effect Wildlife of India The wildlife of India is a mix of species of diverse origins. According to one study, India along with 17 mega diverse countries is home to about 60-70% of the world's biodiversity. India's wildlife is both rich and varied. More than 4% of India's land is under forest cover- there are at least 90 national parks and 482 wildlife sanctuaries. The country is one of the 12 mega diversity areas in the world, in terms of animal.

Many Indian species are descendants of taxa originating in Gondwana, to which India originally belonged. Peninsular India's subsequent movement towards, and collision with, the Laurasian landmass set off a mass exchange of species. Fauna the political boundaries of India encompass a wide range of ecozones—desert, high mountains, highlands, tropical and temperate forests, swamplands, plains, grasslands, areas surrounding rivers, as well as island archipelago. It hosts three biodiversity hotspots: the Western Ghats, the Eastern Himalayas, and the hilly ranges that straddle the India-Myanmar border.

The region is also heavily influenced by summer monsoons that cause major seasonal changes in vegetation and habitat. India is home to several well known large mammals including the Asian Elephant, Bengal Tiger, Asiatic Lion, Leopard and Indian Rhinoceros. Some of these animals are engrained in culture, often being associated with deities. These large mammals are important for wildlife tourism in India and several national parks and wildlife sanctuaries cater to these needs. The need for conservation of wildlife in India is often questioned because of the apparently incorrect priority in the face of direct poverty of the people.

Skins of various animals including the tiger in Kashmir However Article 48 of the Constitution of India specifies that, "The state shall endeavor to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country" and Article 51-A states that "it shall be the duty of every citizen of India to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers, and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures. Recent extinctions Exploitation of land and forest resources by humans along with hunting and trapping for food and sport has led to the extinction of many species in India in recent times.

These species include mammals such as the Indian /Asiatic Cheetah, Javan Rhinoceros and Sumatran Rhinoceros Many species have not been seen since their description. The Bengal Tigers in India, although they are threatened to extinction. Some species of birds have gone extinct in recent times, including the Duck and the Himalayan Quail Flora The Flora of India is one of the richest of the world due to a wide range of climate, topology and environments in the country. With about 47000 species of plant species, it occupies tenth place in the world.

It is thought there are over 15000 species of flowers in India, which account for 6 percent of the total plant species in the world  and probably many more species. Since ancient times, use of plants as a source of medicines has been the inherent part of life in India. There are more than 3000 officially documented plants in India that holds great medicinal potential. India comprises of seven percent of world's flora. India is divided into main eight floristic regions namely - Western Himalayas, Eastern Himalayas, Assam, Indus plain, Ganga plain, the Deccan, the Malabar and the Andamans.

The classification and ranking of plants varies. Recent extinctions Kerala Legume Tree(1870, India) Arunchal Hopea Tree(1996, India)Nilgiri Holly –(1859, India)Karnataka Sapota(1900, India)Meghalaya Sterculia (1877, India)Courtallum Wendlandia(1997, India) Avi-faunas In India India is blessed with over 2000 species and sub-species of birds. The diverse birdlife of the forests includes large hornbills, serpent eagles and fishing owls, as well as the elegant national bird, the peacock. Waterbirds, such as herons, ibises, storks, cranes, pelicans and others, are seen not only in parks but at numerous special waterbird sanctuaries.

These sanctuaries contain large breeding colonies, and are of great importance for the countless numbers of migrating birds which visit India annually. Reptiles In India Among the other wildlife are over 500 species of reptiles and amphibians, including magnificent king cobras, pythons, crocodiles, large freshwater tortoises and monitor lizards. A huge number of snake varieties, lizards and crocodiles account for the reptile count. Snakes include the deadly King cobras to the equally poisonous Kraits. Scorpions and insects are a plenty in this country. Major threats to wildlife Major threats to wildlife can be categorized as below:

  • Habitat Loss: Fewer natural wildlife habitat areas remain each year. Moreover, the habitat that remains has often been degraded to bear little resemblance to the natural wild areas which existed in the past.
  • Climate Change: Because many types of plants and animals have specific habitat requirements, climate change could cause disastrous loss of wildlife species. A slight drop or rise in average rainfall will translate into large seasonal changes. Hibernating mammals, reptiles, amphibians and insects are harmed and disturbed.
  • Plants and wildlife are sensitive to moisture change so, they will be harmed by any change in the moisture level.
  • Pesticides & Toxic Chemicals: Pesticides are deliberately spread to make the environment toxic to certain plants, insects, and rodents, so it should not be surprising that other plants and wildlife are deliberately harmed at the same time. In addition many chemical pollutants are toxic to wildlife, such as PCBs, mercury, petroleum by-products, solvents, antifreeze, etc.
  • Hunting and Poaching: Unregulated hunting and poaching causes a major threat to wildlife. Along with this, mismanagement of forest department and forest guards triggers this problem.
  • Natural Phenomenon: Floods, earthquakes, volcanoes, lightning, forest fires

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Wildlife-Conservation and Importance (India). (2017, Apr 12). Retrieved from

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