The Indian subcontinent boasts of serving as the natural habitat of a large and varied wildlife. The sub-continent with it’s varied geographical spread from the Himalayas in the north to the Cauvery basin in the south and the Kutch region in the west to the plains of Assam in East present a diverse range of environmental conditions for some of the most magnificent as well as the rarest wildlife species of the world in India to exist. The beauty and variety we see in the jungles of India is difficult to be expressed in words and I bring together the breadth through pictures in this project. However, the past few decades have seen the greed and negligence of human beings working to the detriment of this rich wildlife. Large-scale poaching, habitat destruction and conflict with humans have resulted in a rapid decline in the population of most of the wild animals and birds. Some animals like the Indian cheetah due to this are now extinct.
Conservation of Indian wildlife was not given the requisite importance for a long time. However, the government as well as the people slowly and gradually understood their responsibility in this context. Today, efforts are being made towards wildlife conservation in India, to preserve this natural wealth. Numerous wildlife conservation projects have been undertaken in India, both at the government as well as the individual level, to protect the rich wildlife of the subcontinent. The private sector has also started stepping in as part of their corporate social responsibility to bring about this change and increase people’s awareness, e.g. The “Save the Tiger” campaign by Aircel.
Importance of wildlife conservation
Due to the growing impact of deforestation, continuous efforts are being made by some anxious animal lovers to protect the endangered species of wildlife as well as those that are on the verge of extinction and thus save the world from running out its green heritage. Wildlife is important for four main reasons:
• Beauty: Wild life provides aesthetic value to man. By their unique way of existence, wild creatures exaggerate the natural beauty of the earth. • Economic value: The financial value of wild species is important to the economies of several nations, as it provides many valuable substances like wood and other plant products, fibers, meat and other foods, and skins and furs. Many wild plants provide useful substances like timber, paper, gums etc. And they also have wide applications in Ayurveda and other branches of medicine. • Scientific value: Most important contribution of wild life for human progress is availability of large gene pool for the scientists to carry breeding programmes in agriculture, animal husbandry and fishery. By studying wildlife, scientists have gained valuable knowledge about various life processes and discovered important medical products • Survival value: To maintain ecological 'balance of nature' and maintain food chain and nature cycles. Wildlife helps in maintaining the balanced living systems of earth, which consequently ensures survival of life. • Wild life of a country is its cultural asset.
National Parks of India
The topography of Indian subcontinent is so varied that it supports a wide variety of wildlife. There is a huge population of animals as well as birds living in the wild regions of the country. However, the threat of poaching, along with habitat loss, has led to a rapid decline in the population of wild animals. To reverse this trend, numerous national parks as well as wildlife sanctuaries have been set up in India. These parks and sanctuaries are serving as the natural abode of the majority of wildlife and helping in the augmentation of their population. In the following lines, I have covered some of the famous Indian national park and wildlife sanctuary in India and provided a list at the bottom of the others covering...