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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

What is wildlife and how to protect it?

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Life existing in the wild is wildlife. In this sense, the word relates to all the plants, animals and microorganisms- not at all and never domesticated by human being.Since wild life contains different gene pools that may be considered as Nature’s property; and its existence is important to keep running the natural processes, protection and preservation of wildlife is essential in the human interest. And yes, in the ethical interest too!
All the organisms existing in the wild may truly be called as Wildlife. In this sense the world wildlife relates to all the plants, animals and micro-organisms of the natural environment. In specific cases wildlife relates to wild animals only. Wildlife form important links in the transfer of food and energy .Hence, protection of wildlife is very important to maintain the ecological balance in the nature and also to preserve the gene pool. What is gene pool? The total number of genes or the amount of genetic information that is possessed by all the reproductive members of a population of sexually reproducing organisms is called as the Gene Pool.
 
We have already studied that conservation and protection of wildlife done in two ways –Ex-situ and In-situ .Ex-situ conservation is the conservation outside the original habitat of organisms whereas In-situ conservation means conservation in the original surrounding. The protection and conservation of wildlife in National Parks, Sanctuaries, Nature Reserves, Cultural landscapes, Biosphere Reserves is called as In-situ protection and conservation. Development of wildlife populations in genetic resource centres, Zoos, botanical gardens, culture collections etc. is called as Ex-situ conservation.
 
Protection of Wild Animals    
•    Laws made to impose ban on poaching or capturing of nay animal should be enforced strictly.
•    Indiscriminate killing of birds and animals should not be allowed to anyone even if these organisms are found in abundance.
•    Natural habitats if wildlife should be preserved under law.
•    Periodic surveys and counting of wildlife (birds, animals, plants)  
•    Felling of trees for trade or other purposes must be controlled under law.
•    If cutting of trees comes to be unavoidable, equal no of saplings should be planted in the same area to compensate the loss.
 
It is due to human activities of hunting, poaching, habitat destruction etc. that species of wild animals are vanishing fast. Some of them are facing threat of their extinction (endangered species), whereas, some are already Threatened. Some of the species have remained very less in number (rare species). According to the Red List of IUCN some endangered species of wild animals are- Swamp deer (Cervus duvauceli), Assam Rabbit (Caprolagus hispidus), Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus), Lion tailed Macaque (Macaca silensis), Tiger (Panthera tigris), Great Indian Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) etc.




Lion tailed Macaque
    
Stopping Cruelty to Animals
 
Love and care of animals is deeply rooted in Indian culture. Hindus worship different animals as vahanas (live means of transport) of many Gods & Goddesses. The concept of protection and compassion towards animals, along with other components of nature, has deeply been enshrined in the Indian Constitution. Article 51-A (g) of Indian constitution reads –
 
It shall be the fundamental duty of every citizen of India to protect and improve the Natural Environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife, and to have compassion for all living creatures.
In spite of all the ethical and constitutional bindings many people have cruel behaviour towards animals. Cruelty can be defined as: an abnormal behaviour of some human beings that causes pains and suffering to others. In our day to day life we come across a number of different incidents and observe that some normal people have cruel behaviour towards animals. Cruelty to animals is seen in many forms. Here are some examples-
 
-    Causing pain and suffering to animals by overloading, kicking and beating,
-    Employing a sick animal for hard works and beating him on poor performance,
-    Keeping animals in cages in uncomfortable conditions,
-    Killing, animal or cutting parts of its body for trade,
-    Abandoning or killing a milch animal when it becomes unproductive,
-    Castrating, dogs, without giving anesthesia,
-    Training and exhibition of animals,
-    Packing of poultry in suffocating conditions and their transport to distant places under the same conditions, and hanging poultry upside down.
-    Killing of stray dogs in view of avoiding accidents on roads and checking rabies, a viral disease which often spreads due to the bite of dogs and some other animals.

Key Words: wildlife, gene pool, in-situ, ex-situ,cruelty

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