CONSERVATION: FORESTS AND WILDLIFE

Protection and conservation of forests and wildlife are essential to maintain the earth’s health and environment. The earth is the only known living planet and it is because of its special environment and ecology which are life-supporting. Forests are part and parcel of our environment. They are one of the most valuable resources and gifts of nature. They play a key role in the maintenance of climate, rain-patterns, water and soil conservation. They are the natural home of many types of animals, birds, reptiles, insects tic. They supply timber, fuel, medicines, wood for paper pulp and raw materials for many industries. The increasing depletion and destruction of wildlife is a sauce of great concern. On out of every seven persons of the world live in India. India has 16 per cent of the world’s population with only 2.4 per cent of its land area.

India is very rich both in flora and fauna but many plant and animal species are already extinct and many other are on the road to extinction. In spite of various acts and rules-regulations against exploitation of wildlife, the real conservation has still a long way to cover. India is a huge country and one of the major wildlife producer countries of the world and yet there is a skeleton staff to safeguard the interest of wildlife. Poachers are on the prowl even in sanctuaries and protected forest areas. They have become fertile influential people and traders in animal-skins, horns, etc.

Protection and conservation of forests and wildlife are essential to maintain the earth’s health and environment. The earth is the only known living planet and it is because of its special environment and ecology which are life-supporting. Forests are part and parcel of our environment.They are one of the most valuable resources and gifts of nature. They play a key role in the maintenance climate, rain-patterns, water and soil conservation.They are the natural home of much type- of animals, birds, reptiles, insects etc. They supply timber, fuel, medicines, and wood for peeper-pulp and raw materials for many industries. The increasing depletion and destruction of wildlife is a source of great concern. One out of every seven persons of the world live in India.

India has 16 per cent of the world’s population with only 2.4 percent of its land area. There is much pressure on our natural resources including forests. In these times of increasing consumerism and nature- hostile activities, the forest-cover is depleting and deteriorating very fast.The conservation of wildlife which includes native plants and animals, depends on protection of forests. Wildlife is the direct product of the land resources and habitat conditions. The neglect of forests moans the destruction of the wild animals.Wildlife, like we human beings, need food, water, and shelter. Destruction of forests, wetlands, marshes, points, grasslands etc. eliminates their sources of food, water and habitat. The National wildlife action Plan launched in 1983 provides the framework of strategy as well as programme for conservation of wildlife.

India is very rich both in flora and fauna but many plant and animal species are already extinct and many other are on the road to extinction. In spite of various acts and rules- regulations against exploitation of wildlife, the real conservation has one of the major wildlife producer counties of the world and yet there is a skeleton staff to safeguard the interests of wildlife. Poachers are on the prowl even in sanctuaries and protected forest areas.They have become fertile hunting grounds for illegal hunting and killing of animals. The rich and influential people and traders in, animal-skins, horns, etc. have been indulging in hunting, killing and trading of wildlife with impunity. They carry telescopic rifles and other weapons, use traps and poison food and kill the animals. As a result of ecological imbalances and depleting forest-cover, the wild animals come out at night in search of food in the villages and attack human beings and domestic animals and fowls. In some parts of Uttar Pradesh the hyena and wolf-menace was very much in the news. Many children were killed by the wolves and hyenas.Similarly, in Pauri Garwal district of UP some leopards turned into man-eaters. Faced with the scarcity of animals for prey in the forest and continuing attacks from poachers, they become man- eaters. And once a man-eater is always a man- eater because man is the softest target.On many an occasion, the villagers injure more animals then they kill and so the injured animals turn into man-eaters and attack villages at night for food. When a human kill takes place, every leopard or tiger is regarded as man-eater and there is indiscriminate killing consequently, the number of these felines is decreasing fast.Thousands of snails, frog, rats, earthworms, cockroaches and other animals are killed for dissection in schools, colleges and laboratories for experiments. Snakes are also killed indiscriminately out of ignorance as greed. This destroys and disturbs the fragile ecological balance. Tigers are subjected to utmost brutality by man, the most intelligent and evolved animal on the earth.

Conservation of forests and wildlife is also important from aesthete point of view. They make life beautiful and colourful. Without them human life will lose much of its beauty, charm and meaning. Their proper protection and conservation also means a continuous and adequate supply of food, fodder, medicines, timber etc. Forests and wildlife and renewable resources which need to be diligently protected, preserved and increased in a planned way. There is a need to spread the awareness about forest and wildlife conservation. Social forestry can be taught in schools as a subject.More and more trees should be planted, protected and seen growing and maturing. There should be a ban on mobile zoos and animal rights activists should come forward to wage a war on behalf of the mute and innocent animals.