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Conservation of Forest and Wildlife

Last Updated : 07 Mar, 2024
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Conservation of Forests and Wildlife is important as humans have vastly altered the Earth’s flora and fauna. Wildlife contributes significantly to the stability of our environment by being directly or indirectly involved in natural processes. Each living organism is equally important in the food chain and all are interconnected and rely on one another for survival.

Forests provide resources, regulate global temperatures, prevent soil erosion, and shelter more than 80% of animal species and terrestrial biodiversity. This is why the conservation of forests is vital. In this article, we will study the conservation of forests and wildlife and the need to conserve them.

Forest Conservation 

Forests cover nearly 31% of the world’s land surface. According to a 2015 report, the forest region covers 23% of India’s land cover. Forest trees and plants are an essential part of the ecosystem.

  • Forest conservation is the practise of planting more trees and maintaining forested areas for future generations’ sustainability. 
  • Deforestation is the permanent destruction or loss of forests for the purpose of expanding lands for agriculture, livestock, and other uses. Shifting cultivation refers to the process of destroying forests in order to expand agricultural land.
  • Forest fires are another source of deforestation. Forest fire prevention measures must be implemented.
  • Lightning can cause old woods to catch fire, so they must be removed. Forest fire suppression planning and execution
  • Forest product exploitation must be halted. Strict rules and regulations must be imposed on people who exploit forest wealth.
  • Forest management departments should ensure that forests grow sustainably and that hunting and poaching are prohibited.
  • Forests can be protected by preserving biosphere reserves, wildlife refuges, national parks, zoological parks, and botanical gardens.

Steps to conserve forests

  • Forest conservation requires the prevention of exploitation of forestry and forest products.
  • Slash and burn agriculture, for example, is particularly harmful to the environment and forests and should be banned.
  • Many tribal communities live in forests. These communities have a very organic relationship with the forests, and the majority of their livelihoods rely on them as well. As a result, it is critical to enlist their help in forest conservation.
  • It is important to avoid cutting young trees as far as possible. Commercial deforestation should be monitored as well. Forest management practises such as selective cutting and planned harvesting can be used to maximise the benefits of a forest.
  • Spraying chemicals, antibiotics, or the development of pest-resistant tree strains should be used to protect existing forests from disease.

National Parks

  • National parks are large and diverse reserves that help to protect various ecosystems. These can protect flora, fauna, and a variety of other ecosystem components.
  • Snow leopards, clouded leopards, marbled cats, pandas, black bears, blue sheep, wild asses, toucans, musk deer, and other endangered species are being protected.
  • Some of India’s national parks include Corbett National Park, Kanha National Park, Sanjay National Park, Periyar National Park, and Bannughatta National Park.

Biosphere Reserve

  • They are vast swaths of land designated for biodiversity conservation and protecting large areas of natural habitat.
  • Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve are two examples.
  • Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve, for example, includes the Satpura National Park as well as the Bori and Pachmarhi Wildlife Sanctuaries.

Wildlife Sanctuaries

  • Wildlife sanctuaries are areas that aid in the preservation of wild plant and animal species.
  • Wildlife sanctuaries are areas where it is illegal to kill animals or cut down trees.
  • Here, endangered wild animals such as the black buck, white-eyed buck, elephant, python, rhinoceros, marsh crocodile, and golden cat are preserved.

Wildlife Conservation 

  • Wildlife conservation refers to the protection of various wildlife in the forest. Wildlife refers to animals and birds that live in the woods and have not been domesticated by humans.
  • Their natural habitat is forests, and the destruction of forests causes these animals to become homeless. As these animals do not have a specific place to live, they wander to the villages and feed on the crops.
  • The world’s biodiversity is currently threatened due to species extinction. There are thirty-five hotspots around the world that support 43% of endemic birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.
  • The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has compiled a list of species and classified them as extinct, critically endangered, less endangered, vulnerable, near threatened, or least concerned. 
  • According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the population of birds, animals, marine and freshwater creatures has decreased by nearly one-third.
  • There was a time when human needs were minimal and wildlife had little interference. There is no denying that wildlife is rapidly disappearing from the planet as a result of urbanisation, pollution, and human intervention.

Steps to Conserve Wildlife 

First and foremost, humans require control over their needs. We must prevent people from felling trees unnecessarily. If trees are felled, they should be replanted.

  • Wildlife Sanctuaries: should be established to protect ecologically significant areas. The Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 establishes various provisions for wildlife habitat protection, including the establishment of national parks and sanctuaries. These parks and sanctuaries ensure the preservation of endangered species.
  • Pollution: is one of the major factors contributing to the extinction of animal species. Pollution of the environment, such as air pollution, water pollution, and soil pollution, has a negative impact on the entire ecosystem. Controlling pollution in the environment has become critical.
  • Migration: refers to the seasonal movement of birds from harsh cold climates to warm regions (where food is abundant and breeding is easier). Every year, birds take the same flight path example Siberian cranes, flamingos, and pelicans visit India. To protect water bodies and areas where these birds migrate, the government has established bird sanctuaries. Ranganthittu Bird Sanctuary, Pulicat Lake Reserve, and so on.
  • Zoo: also provide animal protection, but the animals are usually brought from other countries or areas. They are given artificial enclosures and food. Zoos have begun to implement breeding programmes in order to increase the population of wildlife.
  • The Red Data Book: It is a source that contains vital information about endangered species. It records information about these animals. Plants and animals have different Red Data Books.

Also Read: Conservation of Forest and Wildlife in India

Why do we Need to Conserve Forest and Wildlife

We need to conserve forests and wildlife as:

  • Forests prevent soil erosion by tightly holding onto the upper layer of soil with their root.
  • Every organism in the food chain is important for the proper functioning of the ecosystem
  • Forests provides with resources including raw materials, textiles, medicines etc
  • Forests play a crucial role in rainfall.

Why is Wildlife Important for Us?

  • Although plants are the primary source of medications, some animals are also required in the manufacturing process. For example, cobra venom is an important ingredient in leprosy medications, and lobsters can be used as antifungals.
  • Wildlife microorganisms participate in nitrogen fixation, resulting in an increase in soil fertility.
  • Conservation of wildlife entails the preservation of heritage and traditional culture. Some areas are known for their flora and fauna in relation to native practises and ways of life, which means that if the environment is not conserved, they will lose their land and native heritage.
  • Conserving fauna and flora promotes global ecological stability and balance. Plants, for example, help to maintain a healthy ecosystem by balancing carbon dioxide and oxygen levels in the environment.
  • Future generations will not be able to see some of the wild animals that exist today unless conservation measures are implemented.
  • Many wild animals are becoming extinct as a result of human activity, including the Amur leopard, Cross River gorilla, Black and Javan rhinoceros, Hawksbill turtle, South China tiger, pangolin, and Sumatran elephant.

Why is Forest Important for Us?

  • Millions of people are employed by forest products such as medicinal plants, fabrics, and raw materials. Without the woods, all of these people will lose their jobs and be unable to earn a living.
  • A diverse range of animals find refuge in forests. If the trees are destroyed, these animals will perish because they will be deprived of their natural habitat. Many endangered plant and animal species become extinct as a result of this destruction.
  • The primary reason for preserving forests and wildlife is to ensure that we have enough oxygen to breathe. Without trees, oxygen cannot be produced, and carbon dioxide may accumulate in the environment.
  • Forests can absorb the majority of the water during a flood, preventing soil erosion and saving us from natural disasters.
  • Converting forest zones into tourist destinations and viewing wildlife firsthand can generate significant economic benefits.
  • Forests contribute to the carbon cycle by absorbing CO2 from animals.

Conclusion – Conservation of Forest and Wildlife

Conservation of Forest and Wildlife is crucial for our planet’s health and biodiversity. By conserving forests, enforcing laws against poaching, and promoting sustainable practices, we can protect the diverse ecosystems that support countless species. Conservation strategies like reforestation, and wildlife protection measures, can safeguard our precious ecosystem for future generations. By the conservation of forest and wildlife, we ensure a healthy environment for all living beings, including plants, animal, and humans.

FAQs – Conservation of Forest and Wildlife

How can we Conserve Wildlife?

We can conserve wildlife by – establishing national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, ban felling of trees in forests, and endangered, vulnerable species can be kept in captivity and bred in places like zoos to increase their population.

What is the Significance of Wildlife Sanctuaries?

Wildlife sanctuaries are set up to protect endangered species as it is difficult to relocate animals from their natural habitat for protection hence protecting them in their natural environment is beneficial. Here, they are closely monitored.

What are the Most Important Steps in Forest Conservation?

Afforestation, preventing forest fire, banning illegal felling of trees are the most important steps in forest conservation.

What are the Indian Government’s Conservation Efforts?

The Red Data Book is a government-maintained document that identifies endangered organisms in each state of India. Animals, birds, and plants all have their own books. It aids in the identification of conservation, protection, and breeding programmes for these species.

Why is Forest Conservation Beneficial?

Forest conservation is beneficial because they provide us with a variety of resources, including wood, timber, and other raw materials for both domestic and commercial use. They absorb harmful carbon dioxide gas and help to keep the earth’s temperature stable.

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