India is a beautiful land embellished by different hues of natural marvels, out of which wildlife is one of the most splendid colors. With about 8 per cent of the world’s biodiversity, India is counted among the 12 mega diverse countries of the globe. Be it a beautiful bird, or a furious mammal, an exotic amphibian or a unique fish, India has them all. It is the geographical riches and favorable climatic conditions that allow wildlife to flourish in this nation.
Irrespective of all this, there are various endangered species in India and many of them are on the edge of extinction. Yes, it is a bitter truth that can neither be declined nor denied.
Endangered species list
• Jerdon’s Courser
• White-bellied Heron
• White-backed Vulture
• Slender-billed Vulture
• Long-billed Vulture
• Pygmy Hog
• One horned Rhinoceros
• Leatherback Turtle
• Malabar Civet
These are some names mentioned in the Critically Endangered Animal Species of India, Zoological Survey of India, 2011. This survey was done by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India.
Reasons for the extinction of the wild species or as to why animals are being endangered
There are several reasons behind the fauna being endangered and extinct. The major ones are stated as follows:
Loss of habitat
How would you feel if someone with no good purpose breaks into your home; destroys everything and makes you literally homeless? The mere imagination is quite disturbing and annoying, isn’t it? This is what the animals also feel; it’s just that they can’t express it. If we humans go homeless, it is comparatively easy for us to relocate. However, the animals are not that lucky.
Sometimes knowingly and sometimes unknowingly, we intervene into the abode of wild beings. Being the superior one, it is quite easy for humans to conquer the world of the wilds and we give valid reasons behind this man and animal conflict. In the name of industrialization, we snatch away their home, and with no place to reside it becomes hard for the animals to survive.
The rising illicit trade of the wildlife
Unfortunately, we are living in a world where the value of a wild being is realized only after its death.
Over the years illegal trade of wildlife in India has seen an upward graph. Right from the whiskers of tigers to the tusk of elephants, the skin of lion to the horn of rhinos, there are people who wish to buy and sell all. Yet again, people have reasons even behind this illicit act. It is believed that horn of the Rhinos possesses medicinal properties (Traditional Chinese Medicine), so it’s good to poach rhinoceros, isn’t it? Further, the elephant tusk is best suited to design some of the best ivory jewelries and the aristocrats have a birth right to flaunt off such exotic jewelry pieces. So poachers are killing endangered species for some noble reason.
The more we are heading towards industrialization, the more we are degrading the earth. However, we hardly see the hidden effects or better if we say the hidden bad effects. The dangerous gases emitted by the factory chimneys are very harmful for the wild animals. Though it’s not good for humans either, but we know how to protect ourselves. Unfortunately the innocent animals don’t know. Further many of factories dispose their waste in the river, without thinking about the marine life. Perhaps, in this way we are enhancing our world but certainly destroying the world of the wilds.
How to save the endangered species
It is not hard to save the endangered species, as all we need to do is – “behave like humans”. Yes, so far we have been inhuman with wildlife; we took their home; sold and bought them for money and stature. Now it is high time to save them. Mentioned below are some of the points that can help in protecting the endangered wildlife species.
Proper implementation of laws
The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 is a law made and enforced for shielding both flora and fauna from hunters, poachers and other human-made threats. This covers the entire India except for the state of Jammu & Kashmir (as the state has its own laws). Further, there are six schedules in this act that provide different degree of protection and anyone who offends the law is liable to high fine and punishment. However, the only problem is that the laws are not being implemented strictly. Loopholes in the level of implementation are leading to a great threat to wildlife. Thus, we as responsible citizens and the respective authorities should make sure that the act is not offended.
Spreading awareness about the importance of wildlife
People generally treat wildlife as a commodity to buy and sell; however, there is more to it than meets the eye. Wildlife plays a very vital role in maintaining an ecological balance and folks need to know this. Apart from being a main part of the ecological system, the wild beings are a major contributor in the tourism sector. People from far and wide visit India only for getting a glimpse of the exotic flora and fauna existing here.
Authorities working for the welfare of wildlife should organize programs to educate people. They should try their best in promoting the importance of wildlife through plays or seminars. The more the folk gets educated, the more it will become sensible towards wildlife.
Proper maintenance of the natural habitat of wildlife
India is a home to more than 90 national parks, 450 wildlife sanctuaries and 40 tiger reserves. These are some of the protected areas wherein several species of flora and fauna dwell. However, it has been seen that inadequate maintenance of these habitats has lead to great loss of wildlife. Thus, these habitats need improvement so as to ensure safety of the wild beings.
Every lock has a key
The above content has provided both problem and solution. There is no second thought to the fact that yes there are a few things that pose a threat to wildlife, but there also exist solutions to save and protect the endangered species. Just a few wise steps can change the whole scenario.