Wild Life Conservation
The main causes of extinction of wild lives are poaching, enumerable animals and birds are hunted for meat, skin, ivory, horns etc. ruthlessly. Hence, National Wildlife Action Plan has been adopted in 1983 for wildlife conservation. Many sanctuaries and National Parks have been established for the protection of dwindling wildlife. Wildlife Sanctuaries and National Parks: Wildlife Sanctuaries are places where the killing and capturing of any animal is prohibited except under order of the authorities concerned.
National parks are set up for preserving flora, fauna, landscapes and historic objects of an area. At present, protected area network comprises 398 sanctuaries and 69 national parks covering four per cent of the total geographic area of the country. It is proposed to be increased to 4. 6 per cent (1% National Parks and 3. 6% sanctuaries) by setting up more sanctuaries and parks. A list of some well known wildlife sancturies and national parks of is given in the table. List of some well known Wildlife Sancturies and National Parks in India SI.
It is one of the world’s most successful projects for conservation of tigers. Presently there are 45,334 of tigers surviving in 18 tiger reserves in 13 States, covering over 28, 017 sq. kms. Various steps have been initiated to protect tigers. A tiger cell has been set up to collect data. Hunting is strictly prohibited and eco-development programmes have been initiated to increase tiger population. Along with tigers, the flora, fauna or the biodiversity as a whole is able to be conserved. Hence Project Tiger has set an example for environmental conservation.
The ‘Project Elephant’ is an outcome of the success story of the ‘Project Tiger’. Project Elephant: The Asian elephant, which has shared a special bond with men since time immemorial, is now facing an uncertain future. Hence “Project Elephant” has been formulated in 1992 by the Ministry of Environment and Forests to protect the elephants in India. It covers in principles the entire elephant population of the country. However, eleven elephant reserves have been identified us priority areas for special attention and financial assistance under this project.
At present, India holds the largest number of Asian elephants with 20,000 to 24,000 in wild and nearly 3,000 in captivity. Fisheries: Fisheries in India are comprised either inland or marine. The rivers and their tributaries, canals, ponds, lakes and reservoirs are the main sources for the inland fisheries. The rivers extend over about 17,000 miles and to these subsidiary water channels comprise 70,000 miles. The Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean are responsible for total marine resources.
Indian fish production has a steady increase from 7. 52 lakh tones in 1950-51 to 41. 57 lakh tonnes in 1991-92. But this production is far from adequate. It is only 9 per cent of the total supply of fish in Asia whereas Japan alone contributes to the extent of 43 per cent and China coming next, to about 18 per cent. We have the vast fishery resources of 6,500 km. coastline and about 2. 12 million lives in 2,408 villages draw their livelihood. The numbers of fishermen engaged in direct fishing are 4. 7 lakhs.
So the resources are vast, but we cannot be able to exploit it properly. Hence during the sixth plan, the fisheries programme is given special attention to family based business. Much emphasis has been given on inland and brackish water fisheries and improving the harvesting from seas by stimulating the growth of country boats, mechanized boats and deep sea trawlers. Development of Fisheries: Fisheries play an important role in the economy of the country. Increase in foreign exchange earning, generating employment, augmenting food supply and aising international value by adding proteins to the food are the important contributions of fisheries. Hence the Government of India has embarked on various programmes for mechanization and modernization of the fishing industry, considering the imperative task of improving the socio-economic conditions of nearly two million fisher folks. The emphasis has been shifted from heavy infrastructure and industry to more comprehensive programmes, aimed at providing basic services to the fishing community and achieving better income distribution within these.
In terms of projects design, much attention was given in all the sectors, both traditional and new, to income distribution and employment, development of local resources and institutions, training of personnel and R & D efforts. Inland Fisheries: Inland fisheries is an important rural economic activity, catering to the domestic market and giving gainful employment for over 1. 75 million persons. Projections of domestic demand of fish form 12. 5 million tonnes to 20 million tones by the turn of the century have been made.
But a lot of constraints have been observed during last two’ decades that bring stagnation and a steady decline in fisheries. The degradation of fish habitat, the excessive flow of industrial, urban and agricultural wastes into the river water and the consequent deterioration in quality and overfishing are the important ones. Hence drastic steps are to be taken to rectify the situation. During the fifth plan, the Govt. of India sponsored Fish Farmers Development Agencies (FFDA) to popularize fish farming in tanks and ponds.