gyanunlimited Buraeu, NEW DELHI
One can hardly notice a region in the world where flora and fauna are not present. Even Antarctica, a fragile zone in the world biome, has animals like Penguins, seals and whales. The Amazon basin in South America, has earned the distinction of having the largest wildlife diversity in the world. More than one- third of all the species in the world live in the Amazon—giant tropical forest.
Survival of Wildlife
The survival of wildlife depends mainly on rainfall and temperature so it’s profusion. However, human interference has become an obstacle in survival and its continuance. The number and density of green region, right from equatorial to desert region has decreased drastically. Even the driest region of Sahara desert and the coldest region of Siberia have not been free from human meddling. Wildlife has its own importance and role in the maintenance of the ecological balance of the region and the world as a whole.
Ubiquitous in Nature
On this planet, there is hardly any region that can match the variety of flora and fauna of India. It has also a competitive edge in terms of its climate, vegetation and wildlife. The wildlife of India is both varied and rich. Some species of animals are indigenous and are not found anywhere in the world—Slotha bear, Buck bear, Chausingha and Nilgai. It has unique and diverse variety of flora and fauna spread all over from north to south and from east to west.
Wildlife Diversity in India
With two per cent of the world’s land, India has about 5 per cent of living resources. It has, therefore, been designated as one of the 12th mega diversity states in the world. Much of India’s wildlife assets are found in the forests. Whereas, India has about 46,000 species of plants which come to about 7 per cent of the world’s total vegetation. India has about 81,000 animal species representing about 6.5 per cent of world fauna. India boasts of over 2,000 species of birds, over five hundred species of mammals and several hundred species of reptiles and amphibians.
India encompasses some of the world’s most biodiverse and hotspots regions—Western Ghat, the Eastern Himalayas and Indo-Burma. More than 4 per cent of India’s land is covered with forest with abundance of wildlife. For the protection of this nature’s gift, the Government has made ninenty National Parks and 482 sanctuaries across the country. Some of the important National parks of India include Ranthambore in Rajasthan,Sunderband in West Bengal, Kaziranga and Manas in Assam, Corbett in Uttranchal and Kanha in Madhya Pradesh. Bharatpur, Periyar and Sariska too are world famous sanctuaries. The Sunderban delta is famous for its Bengal tigers, Gir forest is world famed for Asiatic lion and Bharatpur has the distinction of hosting the biggest number of migratory birds in winter from different places of the world, especially Siberian crane from Siberia. Kaziranga is unique for its one-horned rhinoceros and Manas for elephants.
Tourism and Eco-tourism
The diversity of Indian flora and fauna is one of the factors that attract tourist from all over the world to India. Wildlife tourism and eco-tourism are fast becoming a popular industry, generating substantial income for nations like Africa and India that have rich wildlife resources. This ever- growing industry is providing much needed incentive for poor nations to conserve their rich wildlife heritage and its habitat.The Indian wildlife heritage has a unique status worldwide and, therfore, become a good destination for visitors from all round the world. India’s parks and reserves offer a stunning array of wildlife for ‘soft tourism’ and, thus, garner heavy revenue for the country. Eco-tourism and tourism, apart from being a source of revenue generation, are also a means to generate employment to a big chunk of population.
Threats to Wildlife
Wildlife, throughout world is exposed to a number of threats such as habitat destruction, deforestation, poaching, forest fire and pollution. The damage to the fragile ecosystem causes extinction of species, reduces vegetation, which result in non-availability of food for the fauna, and causes climatic changes, which ultimately affect the planet and the people as a whole. The fast dwindling forest cover in India has adversely affected wildlife in the country. This is a very serious matter since will disturb the ecological balance. A number of plants and animals are on the verge of extinction due to large-scale human interference and lack of awareness toward wildlife and biosphere conservation. India stands out as one of the few countries with high human populations as well as a high number of threatened species.
Wildlife Rules and Acts
Since, a large number of species fall under threat category, the Government of India has enacted some laws and rules to protect the rare breeds. The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, is a comprehensive law to control trade and traffic of wild animals. Similarly, Project Tiger (1973), was enacted as a conservation effort by the government in preserving the tigers. Because of this project, the country now has 28 tiger reserves in 17 states. The main objective of Project Tiger is to ensure a viable population of tigers in India for scientific, economic and ecological purposes. India has about 25,000 elephants while the total population of elephants in the world is around 40,000. The elephant habitat in India has shrunk over the years, and poaching of elephants for their tusks is rampant. This has endangered the species, especially in southern states. Project Elephant has been launched is to assist states in having of viable population of elephants in their natural habitats
The Discovery and National Geographic Channels are doing their job in spreading awareness regarding the fragile ecosystem and threatened species of the world.Wildlife-A Beautiful Gift of Nature