Geography

Wildlife of India – Important Sites for Conservation of Wildlife

Wildlife of India

Other Important Sites for Conservation of Wildlife

A. RAMSAR Wetland Sites 

    • The convention on wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971) called ‘Ramsar Convention’ is an intergovernmental treaty that embodies the commitment of its member countries to maintain ecological character of their wetlands of international importance and to plan for the sustainable use.
    • Some of the Major obligations of countries which are party to the Convention are:
    • Designate wetlands for inclusion in the List of Wetlands of International Importance.
        • Promote, as far as possible, the wise use of wetlands in their territory.
        • Promote international cooperation especially with regard to trans-boundary wetlands, shared water systems, and shared species.
        • Create wetland reserves.
    • In other word, the Ramsar Convention is an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable utilisation of wetlands, recognising the fundamental ecological functions of wetlands and their economic, cultural, scientific, and recreational value.

RAMSAR Wetland Sites, Important conservation sites for wildlife

    • A wetland is a place where the land is covered by water. Marshes, ponds, the edge of a lake/ocean, the delta at the mouth of a river, low-lying areas that frequently flood — all of these are wetlands. Wetlands of international importance are also known as Ramsar sites.
    • Wetlands are areas where water is the primary factor controlling the environment and the associated plant and animal life. They occur where the water table is at or near the surface of the land, or where the land is covered by water. Once treated as transitional habitats or seral stages in succession from open water to land, the wetlands are now considered to be distinct ecosystems with specific ecological characteristics, functions and values.
    • Under the “three pillars” of the Convention, the Contracting Parties commit to:
    • Work towards the wise use of all their wetlands;
    • Designate suitable wetlands for the list of Wetlands of International Importance (the “Ramsar List”) and ensure their effective management;
    • Cooperate internationally on trans-boundary wetlands, shared wetland systems and shared species.

Objectives

    • Ramsar Convention has two fold objectives viz. Conservation and sustainable utilisation of wetlands; and stop the encroachment and loss of wetlands.
    • This treaty is not a legal binding treaty and is not a part of UN & UNESCO conventions.
    • The scheme was initiated with the following objectives:-
    • To lay down policy guidelines for conservation and management of wetlands in the country;
    • To undertake intensive conservation measures in priority wetlands;
    • To monitor implementation of the programme; and
    • To prepare an inventory of Indian wetlands.

Wetlands in India

    • In India, the scheme on conservation and management of wetlands was initiated in 1987.
    • On the recommendation of National Wetlands Committee 115 wetlands have been identified for conservation under this programme.
    • The main wetlands of International importance have been listed below –

List of wetlands of International Importance under Ramsar Convention

 

S. No.

 

State/UT

 

S.No.

 

Name of Ramsar Site

 

1

 

Andhra Pradesh

 

1.    

 

Kolleru

 

2

 

Assam          

 

2.    

 

Deepar Beel

 

3

 

Gujarat

 

3.    

 

Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary

 

 

 

4

 

Himachal Pradesh

 

 

4.    

 

Pongdam

 

5.    

 

Renuka

 

6.    

 

Chandratal

 

 

 

5

 

Jammu & Kashmir

 

7.    

 

Wullar

 

8.    

 

Tso Morari

 

9.    

 

Hokersar

 

10. 

 

Mansar & Surinsar

6

 

Kerala          

 

 

11. 

 

Ashtamudi

 

12. 

 

Sasthamkotta

 

13. 

 

Vembanad kol

 

7

 

Madhya Pradesh

 

14. 

 

Bhoj

 

8

 

Manipur

 

15. 

 

Loktak

 

 9

 

Orissa

 

16. 

 

Chilika

 

17. 

 

Bhtarkanika

 

 

 

10

 

Punjab

 

18. 

 

Harike

 

19. 

 

Kanjli

 

20. 

 

Ropar

 

 

11

 

Rajasthan

 

21. 

 

Sambhar

 

22. 

 

Keoladeo NP

 

12

 

Tamil Nadu 

 

23. 

 

Point Calimere

 

13

 

Tripura

 

24. 

 

Rudra Sagar

 

14

 

Uttar Pradesh

 

25. 

 

Upper Ganga

 

15

 

West Bengal

 

26. 

 

East Kolkata wetland

 

 

 

Total

 

 

 

26 sites

 

B. UNESCO World Heritage Sites

    • A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area which is selected by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as having cultural, historical, scientific or other form of significance, and is legally protected by international treaties. The sites are judged important to the collective interests of humanity.
    • The sites are intended for practical conservation for posterity, which otherwise would be subject to risk from human or animal trespassing, unmonitored/uncontrolled/unrestricted access, or threat from local administrative negligence. Sites are demarcated by UNESCO as protected zones.
    • The programme catalogues, names, and conserves sites of outstanding cultural or natural importance to the common culture and heritage of humanity.
    • Under certain conditions, listed sites can obtain funds from the World Heritage Fund.
    • The program began with the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World’s Cultural and Natural Heritage, which was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on 16 November 1972.
    • Since then, 193 state parties have ratified the convention, making it one of the most widely recognized international agreements and the world’s most popular cultural program.
    • Some of the Addition from India includes –
        • Kaziranga National Park, Assam
        • Manas Wildlife Sanctuary, Assam
        • Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, Rajasthan
        • Sundarbans National Park, West Bengal
        • Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks, Chamoli District, Uttarakhand
        • Western Ghats – Agasthyamalai Sub-Cluster, Periyar Sub-Cluster, Annamalai Sub-Cluster, Nilgiri Sub-Cluster, Talakaveri Sub-Cluster, Kudremukh Sub-Cluster, Sahyadri Sub-Cluster, In the state of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu
        • Great Himalayan National Park, Himachal Pradesh
        • Khangchendzonga National Park, Sikkim

UNESCO world heritage sites in India, Indian wildlife protection, Studywrap.com, Notes on Indian Geography

C. Marine Protected Areas

    • Marine protected areas (MPA) are protected areas of seas, oceans, estuaries or large lakes.
    • It is a clearly defined geographical space, recognized, dedicated and managed, through legal or other effective means, to achieve the long-term conservation of nature with associated ecosystem services and cultural values.
    • MPAs restrict human activity for a conservation purpose, typically to protect natural or cultural resources. Such marine resources are protected by local, state, territorial, native, regional, national, or international authorities and differ substantially among and between nations.
    • This variation includes different limitations on development, fishing practices, fishing seasons and catch limits, moorings and bans on removing or disrupting marine life.
    • MPA is an umbrella term to describe a wide range of protected areas for marine conservation around the world.

Marine Protected Area in India

    • India has a coastline of 8,118 km, with an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of 2.02 million sq km and a continental shelf area of 372,424 km², spread across 9 maritime States and seven Union Territories, including the islands of Andaman and Nicobar, and Lakshadweep.
    • The important species found in the Indian waters include, Dugongs, Whales, Dolphins, Olive Ridley Turtles, a variety of fishes including the Whale Sharks & other sharks, Giant Groupers, Sea cucumbers, horseshoe crabs, sea shells, soft & hard corals, etc.
    • India has at present following designated Marine Protected Areas:

Marine Protected Areas in peninsular India

S. No.

 

Name of MPA

 

State

 

Category

 

Area

(In Km2)

 

Year of establishment

 

1

 

Coringa

 

Andhra Pradesh

 

Sanctuary

 

235.7

 

1978

 

2

 

Krishna

 

Andhra Pradesh

 

Sanctuary

 

194.81

 

1989

 

3

 

Pulicat Lake

 

Andhra Pradesh

 

Sanctuary

 

500

 

1980

 

4

 

Dadra & Nagar Haveli

 

Dadra & Nagar Haveli

 

Sanctuary

 

92.16

 

2000

 

5

 

Fudam

 

Daman & Diu

 

Sanctuary

 

2.18

 

1991

 

6

 

Chorao Island

 

Goa

 

Sanctuary

 

1.78

 

1988

 

7

 

Marine (Gulf of Kachchh)

 

Gujarat

 

National Park

 

162.89

 

1995

 

8

 

Khijadia

 

Gujarat

 

Sanctuary

 

6.05

 

1981

 

9

 

Marine (Gulf of Kachchh)

 

Gujarat

 

Sanctuary

 

295.03

 

1980

 

10

 

Kadalundi Vallikkunnu Com R

 

Kerala

 

Community Reserve

 

1.50

 

2007

 

11

 

Malvan Marine

 

Maharashtra

 

Sanctuary

 

29.12

 

1987

 

12

 

Thane Creek Flamingo

 

Maharashtra

 

Sanctuary

 

16.905

 

2015

 

13

 

Bhitarkanika

 

Odisha

 

National Park

 

145

 

1998

 

14

 

Bhitarkanika

 

Odisha

 

Sanctuary

 

672

 

1975

 

15

 

Chilka (Nalaban)

 

Odisha

 

Sanctuary

 

15.53

 

1987

 

16

 

Gahirmatha

 

Odisha

 

Sanctuary

 

1435

 

1997

 

17

 

Balukhand Konark

 

Odisha

 

Sanctuary

 

71.72

 

1984

 

18

 

Gulf of Mannar Marine

 

Tamil Nadu

 

National Park

 

6.23

 

1980

 

19

 

Point Calimere

 

Tamil Nadu

 

Sanctuary

 

172.6

 

1967

 

20

 

Pulicat Lake

 

Tamil Nadu

 

Sanctuary

 

153.67

 

1980

 

21

 

Sundarbans

 

West Bengal

 

National Park

 

1330.1

 

1984

 

22

 

West Sundarbans

 

West Bengal

 

Sanctuary

 

556.45

 

2013

 

23

 

Haliday Island

 

West Bengal

 

Sanctuary

 

5.95

 

1976

 

24

 

Sajnakhali

 

West Bengal

 

Sanctuary

 

2091.12

 

1976

 

25

 

Lothian Island

 

West Bengal

 

Sanctuary

 

38

 

1976

 

    • Besides these, there are many Marine Protected Areas in Islands of India i.e. Andaman and Nicobar Island and Lakshadweep.
    • In India, all marine protected areas fall under the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF). It is the nodal agency at the central level and responsible for:
        • Planning,
        • Promotion,
        • Co-ordination and
        • Overseeing the implementation of environmental and forestry programmes (Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project, 2012).
    • At the state level the Department of Forests (under the Ministry of Environment and Forests) acts as the nodal agency for the same.
    • Departments of Fisheries are responsible for managing the fisheries resources in their particular state.
    • The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) deals with the science and technology research of exploitation of ocean resources (living and non-living).

Bird Sanctuaries, Marine parks of India, Wildlife protection

D. Important Bird Areas or Sanctuaries

    • An Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) is an area identified using an internationally agreed set of criteria as being globally important for the conservation of bird populations.
    • The IBA Programme of Birdlife International aims to identify, monitor and protect a global network of IBAs for conservation of the world’s birds and associated biodiversity.
    • The IBAs serve as conservation areas for protection of birds at the global, regional or sub-regional level.
    • According to Birdlife International, designation of IBAs is based on standardized criteria, namely
        • hold significant numbers of one or more globally threatened bird species,
        • be one of a set of sites that together hold a suite of restricted-range species or biome-restricted species and
        • Have exceptionally large numbers of migratory or congregator birds.
    • The IBAs contain a range of habitats, such as wetlands, mudflats, microhabitats in biodiversity hotspots, grasslands and scrublands, making them excellent indicators of biodiversity richness.
    • The Bombay Natural History Society and Birdlife International have identified 467 IBAs in India (Islam and Rahmani, 2004).
    • Forty percent of these IBAs fall outside the Protected Areas network and thus form an important tool for landscape-level conservation planning.
    • The Bombay Natural History Society has also prepared a list of 96 new/potential sites which can be designated as IBAs in the future.

 

Role of Communities in Conservation of Wildlife 

Communities have played a vital role in the conservation and protection of wildlife in India. E.g.

    • Sariska Tiger Reserve: In Sariska tiger reserve Rajasthan villagers have fought against mining by citing the wildlife protection act. In many areas, villagers themselves are protecting habitats and explicitly rejecting government involvement.
    • Bhairodev Dakav Sonchuri: The inhabitants of five villages in the Alwar district of Rajasthan have declared 1200 hectares of forests as the Bhairodev Dakav Sonchuri declaring their own set of riles and regulation which do not allow hunting, and are protecting the wildlife against any outside encroachments.
    • Bishnoi villages: In and around Bishnoi villages in Rajasthan, herds of blackbuck, Nilgai and peacocks can be seen as an integral part of the community and nobody harms them.

Measures for Conservation of Wildlife 

The following measures can prove effective tools for conservation of wildlife –

    • Ban on hunting should be strictly implemented.
    • Poachers and Herdsmen should not be allowed to enter the forest.
    • More national parks and wildlife sanctuaries should be further developed and more amenities should be provided to them.
    • Captive breeding of wildlife should be encouraged.
    • Adequate medical facilities should be provided in national parks and sanctuaries for the wildlife so that their health is improved.
    • Proper conditions should be created for living and breeding wild fauna in national parks and sanctuaries.
    • Seminars, workshops, etc. should be arranged in national parks and sanctuaries to improve wildlife awareness among the peoples.

So, this was all about some other conservation sites in India for wildlife.

From the next post (Click here), we will study about some specialised projects for wildlife conservation.

Show More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker