Wildlife Conservation:A General View
By Dr. Kuladeep Roy (Asst. Manager & Project Leader, Dibang Valley conservation project Wildlife Trust of India, Arunachal Pradesh)
India, as one of seventeen mega-diversity country in the world support two-third of its biological resources and by ten bio-geographical realms, India covers almost 2.4% of world’s flora and 7.3% of world’s terrestrial vertebrates. In general, conservation of the wildlife resources in India requires a special attention and programme for its vast biological diversity. However, conservation, an applied science has its own characteristics with specific criteria. But in most of the cases, while the wildlife conservation is considered, it is practiced generally to overcome the visible and measurable problems only. In other words, the biological part has been remained separated when the immediate needs of conservation, socio-economic causes, community involvement and many other associated factors have become associated. India, being a bio-sensitive country requires details knowledge on ecology, habitats and community as well as its biodiversity management, policy making and better understanding of livelihood.
Wildlife conservation can be understood mainly in four broad-lined aspects to perform; ecological importance, economic evaluation, aesthetic value and right of living. The first one, itself signifies its importance by name. Considering food chain, inter-specific interaction and symbiotic presence of co-existing species build up the health of ecosystem in certain biome. Different anthropogenic influences like development, encroachment, deforestation etc cause serious threats over these ecological parameters, so the sense of the importance of wildlife conservation can be practiced in any level of human society. It should be understandable that although nature and natural resources can’t be manageable by human as a whole, the human activities can be manageable to control their benefits and ultimate harm. Similarly, the usage of wildlife product in a scientific and controlled way can help it users to understand the economic value of those items. The addiction of consumerism ultimately destroys the wildlife and inspires several illegal activities. So, we have to understand ultimately that money is not the ultimate thing to live! Last two considerations, the aesthetic value and right of living are the emotional sensibility of conservation practices. Human can’t just ignore the right of living of wildlife and its eternal beauty and aesthetic value for sake of anything, because there are some respects for their viability, needs and importance in the environment. It is true that enforcement and jurisdiction are not the solution for wildlife conservation; the real sensation and feelings will emerge from the involvement and designing the real conservation works.
In the tropical country like India, considering the biodiversity issues and conservation of biological hot-spots, the true application of designed research is very much essential considering many obvious factors. However, the way of understanding the conservation practice in India also has many opinions like, involving community and local stockholders, betterment of the livelihood, sustainable resource utilization and side by side wildlife protection, management and related issues. In association, there are many acts for the protection of wildlife and construction of governmental rules and regulation for the protected area network like declaring national parks, sanctuaries and many species specific reserve areas in India, although, there are many important wildlife resources outside the protected area network also. The concept of community reserve and conservation reserve are well-practiced nowadays with a long term vision of conservation in some important areas. Besides, the studies of different taxa which are ecologically sensitive are also important to focus in wildlife conservation. However, in research, there are many aspects in wildlife conservation issues which can be discussed under wildlife threats, management issues, importance of charismatic species, in-situ or ex-situ conservation practices, human-animal conflict and mitigation, habitat restoration (including aquatic and land) and many more. In all cases, the real objectives must lead to the qualification and quantification of its overall result in such a way which should be helpful for the conservation planning and design.