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Endangered Animals - A greed of Mankind

India a home of various species and living organisms is one of the most suitable and protective biosphere of the world. It provides habitat for wild animals like Bengal tigers, deer, wolves, pythons, Indian lions, bears, snakes, monkeys, many types of bison, Asian elephants, and antelope species. India is one among the seventeen mega biodiverse countries in the world. These seventeen mega biodiverse countries including India are the habitants of around 60-70% of the world’s biodiversity. The Western Ghats, Eastern Himalayas and the indo Burma are the three bio diversity hotspots out of total 34 in the whole world. However the biodiversity in India is declining rapidly at a faster rate.High level of pollution, deforestation, reducing forest cover and climate change is declining the species diversity at a much faster rate. Most of our animals became a prey to IUCN red list. Lion tailed macaque, Nilgiri tahr, brown palm civet, Nilgiri pipit, Nilgiri blue robin are some of the endemic species in India that are in the threat of extinction. If this continues in 2050 there is a chance of transformation of India into a desert without animal species. Some administrative reforms and steps needed to be taken to protect these animal species.

Endangered animals:
The endangered animals are animals that are in the threat of disappearing forever. If they disappear they can’t be made available for the future. However if immediate steps are taken to protect these animals the can be protected from the threat of extinction. Here are some of endangered species in India that are in the threat of extinction.

# Bengal tiger
The Bengal tiger is the national animal of both India and Bangladesh. The tigers coat is yellow to light orange, with stripes ranging from dark brown to black. The number of tigers has reduced dramatically in the past few years due to poaching and human tiger conflict. Can be spotted at Tadoba national park, Ranthambore national park, Sundarbans national park, Sariska tiger reserve, Jim Corbett national park, Bandhavgarh national park.

# Asiatic lion
Asiatic lion or the Indian lion is a lion subspecies which is endangered. It differs from the African lion by less inflated auditory bullae, a larger tail tuft and a less developed mane. It can be spotted at Gir forest national park, Gujarat.

# Snow leopard
The snow leopard is a large cat native to the mountain ranges in central and south Asia. Snow leopards have long thick fur, and their base colour varies from smoky grey to yellowish tan, with whitish under parts. It can be spotted at Hemis national park, Ladakh, Nanda Devi national park, Uttarkhand,Dibang wildlife Sanctuary, Arunachal Pradesh, Kibber wildlife sanctuary, Lahul Spiti, Himachal Pradesh,great Himalayan national park, kullu, Himachal pradesh.

# Blackbuck
The black buck is an ungulate species of antelope and it is near threatened. The main threat to this species is poaching, habitat destruction, over grazing, inbreeding and sanctuary visitors. Can be spotted at Guindy national park, Tamil Nadu, Rollapadu, Andhra Pradesh, chilka, Orissa.

# Red panda
Red panda is also known as lesser panda or red cat-bear. It is an arboreal mammal native to the eastern Himalayas. Red panda’s population is on a decrease given to habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching, and inbreeding depression. Can be spotted at Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and west Bengal’s khangchendzonga and Namdapha National Park.

# One Horned Rhinoceros
The One-horned rhino is a large mammal, found in Assam. Excessive hunting has reduced number of this species. These rhinos are killed to saw off their horn, which are sold at high value. Can be spotted at Kaziranga national park, dudhwa tiger reserve, pobitora wildlife sanctuary.

# The Nilgiri Tahr
The Nilgiri tahr is an ungulate, endemic to the nilgiri hills. Nilgiri tahrs are stocky goats with short, coarse fur and a bristly mane. Can be spotted at Eravikulam National park, Nilgiri Hills, Anaimalai Hills, Periyar National Park, and palani Hills.

# Kashmir Red Stag (Hangul)
The Kashmir stag also known as Hangeul is a critically endangered species. This deer has a light rump patch without including the tail. Each of its antlers consists of 5 lines. Can be spotted at Dachigam National park, Rajparian Wildlife Sanctuary, Overa Aru, Sind Valley, and in the forests of kishtwar and bhaderwah, all of which are a part of Jammu and Kashmir.

# Lion Tailed Macaque
The lion-tailed macaque is a old world monkey, endemic to the western Ghats of South India. Its outstanding characteristic is the silver –white mane which surrounds the head from the cheeks down to chin. Can be spotted silent valley national park, Kerala, papanasam part of the lalakkad mundanthurai tiger reserve, Tamil nadu and sirsi –honnavara rainforests of North-Western Ghats in Karnataka

# Indian Bison (gaur)
Indian Bison is the largest extant bovine, native to south Asia and south East Asia. The bison’s are highly threatened by poaching for trade to supply international markets. Can be spotted at Aringnar Anna zoological park, Chennai and chinnar wildlife sanctuary, Kerala.

Reasons For Endangerment:
# One of the primary reasons for endangerment of species is loss of habitat. Natural landscape and resources is mostly destructed by human intervention and other environment affecting activities. Trees which provide food and shelter for innumerable number of species, mining and agriculture are removed by the humans through deforestation.
# Another main reason for their endangerment is over hunting and poaching, which causes destructive and catastrophic effect on animals and fishes all over the world.
# The next considerable effect which leads to their endangerment is pollution. Air pollution, water pollution, waste pollution especially in the form of plastics plays a major role in the endangerment. Polluted air and water causes various health hazards to animals which is one of the main reasons for their endangerment.
# The unbalance in the food chain of predators and prey animals in other reasons for their endangerment. Prey animals which are already nearing its life and at a threat of their extinction is eaten by some predators which causes the prey animals to complete extinction of their species.
# Climate change is another cause for their endangerment. The increase in global warming which causes increase in heating of earth makes the animals unsuitable to live in their habitat. This causes destruction of their habitat which leads to their endangerment.

Steps Taken By Government For Wildlife Protection:

·Steps taken by MOEFCC
There are 909 entries of taxa (including species, genus, orders and classes) of animals, birds and plants in the various schedules of wild life (protection) act, 1972. Various steps have been taken by union ministry of environment, forest and climate change to protect these species.
# The names of protected species of animals, birds and plants have been mentioned at schedule 1 of wildlife (protection) act, 1972.
# The union government has established a country wide protected area network for protection of these species and their habitats of threatened flora and fauna under wildlife (protection) act, 1972.
# The network includes 730 protected areas including 103 national parks, 535 wildlife sanctuaries, 26 community reserves and 66 conservation reserves in different bio-geographic regions.
# Legal protection has been provided to wild animals under the provisions of the wild life (protection) act, 1972 against hunting and commercial exploitation.
# Special programmes like project elephant’ and project tiger’ have been launched for conservation these endangered species and their habitats.
# In centrally sponsored scheme(csc) of ‘Integrated development of wildlife habitats’ a specific component of “Recovery Programmes for saving critically endangered habitats and species” is provided for focused conservation action on selected critically endangered species.
# Financial and technical assistance is provided to the state/UTs under the CSCs for providing better protection including endangered species and improvement of its habitat.
# Under the wildlife protection act 1972, the central bureau of investigation has been empowered to apprehend and prosecute wildlife offenders.
# The wildlife crime control bureau (WCCB) has been set up to ensure co-ordination among various officers and state governments for the enforcement of law for control of poaching and illegal trade in wildlife and its products.
# National biological diversity act (NBA) 2002 has been enacted to ensure protection of threatened spices and their habitats.
# Under section 38 of NBA 2002 the species which are on the verge of extinction or likely to become extinct in near future as threatened species and their habitats.
# Botanical survey of India (BSI) has brought a number of endemic/threatened plants under cultivation in its and associated botanic gardens.

Project Tiger:
One of the most successful wildlife conservation ventures ‘project tiger’ which was started in 1972, not only contributed to the conservation of tigers but also to the whole ego system. The project tiger is sponsored by ministry of environmental forest and climate change. 17 regions including Corbett national park and ranthambore national park consist of about 47 tiger reserves are part of this project which conducts survey on number of tigers, their habitat, hunting habits under the supervision of tiger task force. The project tiger has been a great success in the recovery of the habitat and leads to increase in the population of gradual number of tigers in the reserve areas, from a scanty 268 in 9 reserves in 1972 to above 1000 in 28 reserves in 2006 to2000+ tigers in 2016.

Project Elephant:
The project elephant was initiated in 1992 by the government of India. This project mainly aims at conserving elephant and their habitant and improving migratory routes by developing plant and scientific management measures. The domestic elephants are also considered under this project. Certain issues like mitigation of human elephant’s conflicts are also taken care of under these projects. The project’s main aim is to take measures for the protection of elephants against poaching and unnatural death.

Crocodile Conservation Project:
The Indian crocodiles that were once at a verge of extinction were protected by this project. It also contributes to the conservation of plethora of related fields. It aims to protect the remaining population of crocodiles and their natural habitat by establishing sanctuaries; to promote captive breeding; to improve management; and to involve local people in the project intimately. It is worth noticing that with the initiation of crocodile conservation project, 4000 garial/alligator, 1800 mugger/crocodile and 1500 salt water crocodiles could be restocked.

UNDP Sea Turtle Project:
The wildlife institute of India, Dehradun implemented UNDP sea turtle project on November 1999, as an objective to conserve the olive Ridley turtles. The project is for 10 coastal state in India especially Odisha where it has contributed towards the preparation of a map of breeding sites of sea turtles; identification of breeding places and habitat along the coastal line, and migratory routes taken by sea turtles. It also helped in the development of guidelines to safeguard the turtle morality rate and for tourism in sea turtle areas. Amongst the major achievements of the project is the demonstration of use of satellite telemetry to locate the migratory route of sea turtles in the sea.

Important Environment And Biodiversity Acts Passed By Indian Government

# Indian forests Act 1927
# Mining and mineral development regulation act 1957
# Prevention of cruelty to animals 1960
# Wildlife protection act 1972
# Forest conservation act 1980
# Environment protection act 1986
# Biological diversity act 2002
# Scheduled tribes and other traditional forest dwellers (recognition of rights) act 2006.

Rather than this acts India has signed numerous international schemes and projects and drafted with neighbouring countries like Nepal and Bangladesh related to illegal wildlife species and trade and conservation of tigers and leopards.

The central government with the objective to regulate the use of forest land for non forest purposes enacted the forest conservation act in 1980. Implementation of the forest conservation act has successfully reduced the average annual rate of diversion. Although there are several acts and polices and various wildlife sanctuaries established by the state and central government, the current situation of the endangered species is yet to reach the critical stage due to unfair climate change, pollution, deforestation, lack of food and shelter, if this practise continues we could not be able to see our national animal also, so as a student and a citizen of India everyone should take effort to protect the endangered animals in India.

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