Endangered Species in India and Recent Efforts

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India CSR News Netowrk

NEW DELHI: The Government has established a Protected Area (PA) Network (730 PAs including 103 National Parks, 535 Wildlife Sanctuaries, 26 Community Reserves, and 66 Conservation Reserves in different biogeographic regions) towards conservation of threatened (including endangered and vulnerable) species, which primarily covers habitats of threatened megafauna, such as tiger, rhino, elephant, etc.

Biological Diversity Act, 2002, was inter-alia enacted to ensure protection of threatened species and their habitats. Under the provisions of Section 38 of the National Biodiversity Act, 2002, the species which are on the verge of extinction or likely to become extinct in near future as threatened species, are notified. Ministry has already issued notifications for 14 states to this effect.

The Centrally Sponsored Scheme ‘Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats’ has been modified in 2008-09 by including a new component namely ‘Recovery of Endangered Species’ and 17 species have been identified for recovery viz. Snow Leopard, Bustard (including Floricans), River Dolphin, Hangul, Nilgiri Tahr, Marine Turtles, Dugong & Coral reefs, Edible Nest Swiftlet, Asian Wild Buffalo, Nicobar Megapode, Manipur Brow-antlered Deer, Vultures, Malabar Civet, Indian Rhinoceros, Asiatic Lion, Swamp Deer and Jerdon’s Courser.

The periodic assessments carried out in respect of identified species, rhinoceros, Manipur Brow-antlered deer, Edible-nest Swiftlets and lion, have indicated improvement in their population status.

The Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 has been enacted for protection of wild animals, birds and plants against hunting and commercial exploitation. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has been empowered under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 to apprehend and prosecute wildlife offenders. The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau has been set up for control of poaching and illegal trade in wildlife and its products.

The Assistance to Botanic Gardens scheme of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change is also mandated for conservation of endemic/ threatened plant species of the country; through this scheme the MoEF&CC has supported many botanic gardens for conservation of threatened plants in various institutions.

Botanical Survey of India has brought a number of threatened plants under cultivation in its Acharya Jagdish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden in Howrah, Botanic Garden Indian Republic, Noida and other associated botanic gardens of its regional centres for their ex-situ conservation, thereby complementing the in-situ conservation of such species in protected areas established in different bio-geographical regions of the country.

Concurrent to India’s Presidency (2012-2014) of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Indian Companies have come together to address the critical issue of biodiversity loss under a national initiative. The India Business & Biodiversity Initiative (IBBI) serves as a national platform for businesses and its stakeholders for dialogue sharing and learning, ultimately leading to mainstreaming sustainable management of biological diversity into businesses.

This information was given by Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Anil Madhav Dave, in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.

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