The wildlife conservation efforts of the government have helped in increasing the population of the endangered fauna, yet they have failed in addressing the habitat loss. Discuss the issues arising out of this anomaly.

Published: February 19, 2018

Various conservation projects like Project Tiger, Project Elephant are undertaken by the government to address the issue of dwindling numbers of wild animals. These efforts are bearing fruits as it is observed with Project tiger where India is able to increase their numbers.
But the conservation effort has failed to address the issue of habitat loss. As a result the habitats are faced with issues like

  • Fragmentation of Habitat: The habitat is getting fragmentated. This is leading to isolation of habitats due to various developmental activities. Ex: The elephant corridor is fragmented in the Western Ghats leading to increased animal human conflicts.
  • Recurring droughts: Droughts adversely affect the water and food availability in the forests. In the absence of food and water, the animals are forced to enter the human habitats.
  • Encroachments of forest have limited their access leading to increased animal human conflicts in different parts of the country.
  • Submergence due to dams is damaging the wild life habitats. Ex: The Ken Betwa river link project will cause portion of Panna to submerge.
  • Forest fires are causing the loss of biodiversity, adversely affecting the food chain.
  • Afforestation often leading to monoculture is adversely impacting the food chains.

As a result of these the wildlife habitat is deteriorating continuously. Deteriorating habitat there has led to an increasing man-animal conflict. Therefore the ambit of wildlife conservation needs to widen its definition to include the maintaining the quality of the habitat.

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