Wildlife means all the flora and fauna, which are not domesticated by humans. It includes animals, plants and microorganisms. Wildlife tours in India is your chance to explore some of the well known tiger reserves and national parks sprinkled across different parts of the country. Last few decades have seen emergence of human encroachment to an extent that has never been seen. This is one of the greatest threat to India's wildlife. In order to overcome the result of human encroachment many national parks as well as protected areas have been established so far and the first came in 1935. Also in 1972, to protect the tiger and wildlife in India, the Wildlife Protection Act and Project Tiger to safeguard were enacted.
More Wildlife Conservation Projects and Programs
To promote wildlife awareness among the people, the Indian government has started various natural projects and programs such as Project Tiger, Nature Camps and Jungle Lodges. These projects not only help to preserve our natural heritage, but encourage eco-tourism as well. Project Tiger was formed in 1972 and launched on the 1st April 1973 at Corbett National Park. Till date, the project has been the most successful one in preserving the tiger population at Tiger Reserves in Bandhavgarh, Corbett, Pench, Ranthambhore, Kanha, Bandipur, Panna, Dudhwa, Sunderbans, Manas and Sariska. All these reserves act as Conservation Centers for tigers in India.
Besides, there is the Gir National Park, the only habitat for Asiatic lions in India. The Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary is Assam is renowned for protecting the endangered one-horned Rhinoceros. There's also Dachigam National Park, which conserves the Hangul or Kashmiri Stag. Project Elephant, a centrally sponsored scheme, was launched in February 1992 to provide financial and technical support to major elephant bearing states in India for protection of elephants, their habitats and corridors. The Project, involving 25 Elephant Reserves across the country, is being implemented in 13 States and Union Territories in India, namely, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
The NGOs - There are also various NGOs working on wildlife conservation in India such as Wildlife Society of Orissa (Orissa), Rhino Foundation for Nature (Assam), Friends of Forests (Maharashtra), North Eastern Society for Preservation of Nature and Wildlife (West Bengal), Nature's Beckon (Assam), Nature Conservation Society Amravati (Maharashtra), The Friends of the Doon (Uttaranchal) and Bali Nature and Wild Life Conservation Society (West Bengal).
- Gir National Park, Gujarat- Asiatic Lion that is close to extinction is found in the GIr National Park, Gujarat.
- Kaziranga Sanctuary in Assam - Kaziranga Sanctuary in Assam has been established to protect the endangered Rhinoceros.
- Periyar in Kerala - At Periyar, Kerala Wild elephants are preserved.
- Dachigam National Park- Efforts are made to save Kashmiri Stag
Wildlife Sanctuaries in India
3.29 million sq. km of area comes under the wildlife conservations efforts in India and it is becoming a very popular wildlife holiday destinations both for Indian as well as International tourists. At present there are more than 500 wildlife sanctuaries in India and seventeen Biosphere Reserves.
Popular Wildlife Sanctuaries in India
- Bandhavgarh National Park in Madhya Pradesh
- Corbett National Park in Uttar Pradesh
- Gir National Park & Sanctuary in Gujarat
- Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh
- Kaziranga National Park in Assam
- Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala
- Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary in Rajasthan
- Sunderbans National Park in West Bengal
Government of India has initiated an effort to conserve wildlife, both flora and fauna including human communities living under Biosphere Reserves. Biosphere Reserves are actually the areas defined by the Government of India for protecting the above said in their natural habitat. There are seventeen Biosphere Reserves in India at present. Achanakmar-Amarkantak, Agasthyamalai, Dibru Saikhowa, Dihang Dibang, Great Nicobar, Gulf of Mannar, Kachchh ,Kangchenjunga, Manas, Nanda Devi, The Nilgiris, Nokrek, Pachmarhi, Simlipal, Sundarbans, Cold desert, seshachalam hills
Wildlife in India
India is a home to rich and diverse wildlife tours because of her wide range of climate, soil, weather and other such factors. Owing to such diversity, equal number of rare as well as threatened animals and plants are found that need to be protected. This leads to the need of much greater wildlife conservation efforts in India. As per the survey India is a home to about 60-70% of the total biodiversity found across the world and about 33% of plant species are endemic. There are 172, or 2.9%, of IUCN-designated threatened species in India. Under this comes the Asiatic Lion, the Indian white-rumped vultures and the Bengal Tiger. This further enforces the need of right wildlife conservation efforts in India.
Importance of Wildlife Conservation
Due to the growing impact of deforestation, continuous efforts are being made by some anxious animal lovers to protect the endangered species of wildlife as well as those that are on the verge of extinction and thus save the world from running out its green heritage. Wildlife is important for four main reasons:
- Beauty: By their unique way of existence, wild creatures exaggerate the natural beauty of the earth.
- Economic value: The financial value of wild species is important to the economies of several nations, as it provides many valuable substances like wood and other plant products, fibers, meat and other foods, and skins and furs.
- Scientific value: By studying wildlife, scientists have gained valuable knowledge about various life processes and discovered important medical products
- Survival value: Wildlife helps in maintaining the balanced living systems of earth, which consequently ensures survival of life.
National Parks of India
First national park of India was established in 1935 under the name of Hailey National Park that is now known as Jim Corbett National Park. Till 1970 there were only five national parks in India but the number rose to 96 by April 2007.