Wildlife Conservation projects aim to preserve and use natural resources in a sustainable manner. This is done to ensure that future generations can benefit from these resources. Wildlife is an essential element of nature, so it must be protected.
Conservation programs are designed to bridge the gap between evolutionary theory and environmental realities. This assists in forecasting how wildlife will respond to current and future environmental changes. It was designed to ensure their survival because global warming, farming, population increase, pollution, and hunting pose significant threats to them.
Today many animal species are threatened by developmental activities, such as deforestation pollution, and by illegal poaching activities. Various efforts have been initiated to address this issue by creating of a network of wildlife sanctuaries and national parks.
A national park is a large area of several ecosystems where plant and animal species, geomorphological sites and habitats for special scientific education and recreation are preserved. A wildlife sanctuary is dedicated to protecting wildlife and concerned species.
On the other hand biosphere reserves are created to conserve the biological diversity and genetic integrity of plants, animals and micro-organisms in their totality. Today in India there are 89 National parks and 482 wildlife sanctuaries, with a total area of 4.06 million hectares and 11.54 million hectares respectively.
Various Wildlife Conservation Projects
- Project Tiger,
- project Elephant,
- crocodile project,
- brow Antler deer project,
- Rhinoceros project,
- Gir Lion project,
- Project Snow Leopard,
- Project Hangul,
- Indian Rhino Vision 2020,
- Crocodile Conservation Initiative,
- UNDP Sea Turtle Project.
Various Species-Specific Enforcement Operations
- Operation Save Kurma: To focus on the poaching, transportation and illegal trade of live turtles and tortoises.
- Operation Turtshield: It was taken up to tackle the illegal trade of live turtles.
- Operation Lesknow: To gain the attention of enforcement agencies towards the illegal wildlife trade in lesser-known species of wildlife.
- Operation Clean Art: To drag the attention of enforcement agencies towards illegal wildlife trade in Mongoose hair brushes.
- Operation Softgold: To tackle Shahtoosh Shawl (made from Chiru wool) illegal trade and to spread awareness among the weavers and traders engaged in this trade.
- Operation Birbil: To curb illegal trade in wild cat and wild bird species.
- Operation Wildnet: It was aimed to draw the attention of the enforcement agencies within the country to focus their attention on the ever-increasing illegal wildlife trade over the internet using social media platforms.
- Operation Freefly: To check the illegal trade of live birds.
- Operation Wetmark: To ensure the prohibition of the sale of meat of wild animals in wet markets across the country.
India’s Domestic Legal Framework for Wildlife Conservation
- Constitutional Provisions for Wildlife:
- The 42nd Amendment Act, 1976, Forests and Protection of Wild Animals and Birds was transferred from State to Concurrent List.
- Article 51 A (g) of the Constitution states that it shall be the fundamental duty of every citizen to protect and improve the natural environment including forests and Wildlife.
- Article 48 A in the Directive Principles of State policy, mandates that the State shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country.
- Legal Framework:
- Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972
- Environment Protection Act, 1986
- The Biological Diversity Act, 2002