Conservation Of Wildlife
India has long history of Wildlife.Many communities of forest dwellers and fisher people follow traditional practices of maintaining closed seasons,when no hunting or fishing is allowed, so that the natural wildlife population can recoup its number.
Traditionally hunting spoils were also shared within a community. Many species have been conserved through the centuries because of religion and social customs.These include animals like the king cobra and langur monkey.
In feudal times,kings and rulers maintained private hunting preserves.They maintain several forests and waterbodies so that they could hunt for tigers,sambhar,partridge,quail,duck and other species.
The forests of Gir(Gujarat),Ranthambore(Rajasthan),Bandipur(Karnataka), and the water bodies created by the rulers of Bharatpur had their origin in hunting preserves.But the purpose was entertainment not conservation,and anything that interfered with this end was removed.So,old trees with the nesting holes of woodpeckers and horn bills,for instance used to be cut down.
The British realized the value of timber from the forests. Some forests were reserved for commercial use,so that the timber could be send overseas to buils ships and to be used in ammunition factories.
Some forests were protected for the sake of soil conservation and maintainning the climate but both in feudal and colonial times,the local people were kept out of the wild areas, and they could not understand why the areas that they had taken care of centuries should be set apart to benefit others.
In recent times Natioal Parks,sancturies and tiger reserves have been established on the principal that the conservation of large mammals and species at the top of a food web such as the elephant, rhinoceros,tiger an crocodile,will help to maintain the entire web of living beings in the habitat.
You will perhaps be surprised to know that India has a large percentage of such protected areas equal to ths sizeof the United States(excluding Alaska and Hawaii).These protected areas have been successful in increasing the number of certain species,notably the tiger and the Indian rhinoceros which have been saved from the position of near extinction.But smaller animals and plants have been virtually overlooked.The other problem is that these protected areas have become tourist resorts,but the local people,who were once the guardians of the forests and whose daily lives depend on forest resources,have been kept out.
Biosphere reserves is one of the steps taken for the protection and conservation of the great biological diversity of our land.
Every plant and animal species would be protected so that this natural heritage can be transmitted to the future generation in all its natural vigor and glory.
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