Did you know?
- There has been a 69% drop in global wildlife population since 1970?
- More than 40% of the honeybees in India have disappeared in the past 25 years?
- As per the International Union for Conservation of Nature, there are more than 1000 species in India that are on the red list, of which 81 are critically endangered?
- Wild cats like Bengal tigers, Asiatic lions and snow leopards are down to 4-digit numbers in existence?
Since our childhood, we have visited zoos, with our families or via school trips, but how many of us have actually paid to attention to anything beyond? Have we ever paid attention to the condition of these animals in the zoos or in the wild? We are so occupied in our own lives that we pay little to no attention to the condition of the wildlife or the notion of saving wild animals; what we don’t realise is that the present generation might at least be able to go to a zoo to see these animals, but the next generations might have to see them only in pictures!
There is a need for protection of wildlife in India
There would be those who would snuff the conversation about wildlife conservation, because they feel that animals are not all that important. However, those in the know would tell you that animals are just as important to human existence as air, water and food. Here are just some reasons why we need to ensure that the wildlife is protected.
- Every living creature – plant, animal and humans – have evolved and adapted over time, and their adaptations have come as an interaction with the environment. None can truly survive in the absence of the others; if evolution were to stop, if there were not enough diversity, life as we know it will end.
- The food chain depends heavily on the preservation of wildlife; if the ecosystem has to be kept in check and balanced, protection of wildlife in India is imperative. If there are not enough carnivores, herbivores will thrive and multiply in an unprecedented rate and that will lead to a reduction of the green cover, leaving less for everyone else.
- Even the food that we eat is directly connected to the animal kingdom – have you ever though about how food grows? The act of pollination requires animals and insects; bees carry pollen from one, animals carry spiky seeds on their fur from one location to another, seeds can be transported through faeces! As a matter of fact, several native varieties of plants, herbs and flowers still thrive only because of the animal kingdom!
- And then there is the fact that animals can even help generate employment – when a sanctuary or a forest reserve is demarcated, there is a need for people to protect it and ensure that it runs smoothly.
There has to be a genuine effort on the part of not only governments and other governing bodies, but also individuals. There have to be stronger laws protecting wildlife and steps need to be taken to ensure that they are protected. Demarcation of wildlife reserves and sanctuaries is a good step and efforts should be directed towards maintaining the natural habitats of the animals, birds and such. Industries near such areas or any other source of constant pollution has to be restricted; allowing the wildlife to thrive.
Here is to the guardians of the wild!
But it is not all bad news! There are NGOs to protect animals and conserve wildlife and they are striving day and night to ensure that not only is the ecological balance maintained, but also that these animals get the chance to survive and thrive! Here are the main NGOs that are working in the domain of wildlife conservation:
- The Corbett Foundation:
The Jim Corbett National Park is perhaps renowned the world over as being one of the places where you can still see several wild animals in their natural habitats including the majestic national animal of India, the Bengal Tiger! While the national park is one aspect, the foundation, which works within and around the park is involved in protection of several other wildlife species and that too in several other parts of the country. With presence in states like Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, Assam and Madhya Pradesh, they have created an awareness and helped reduce conflict between humans and animals.
- Wildlife Protection Society of India:
Founded in 1994, WPS is a formidable wildlife NGO in India, with its work extending to a large range of animals including big cats like tigers and leopards as well as elephants. The organisation brings in the local communities to create more sustainable conservation strategies and aims at knowledge building as the first step. They even work with government agencies to offer training to locals and volunteers, to better address the problems and find effective solutions for the same. Presently, they work in areas like Sundarbans, Bandhavgarh, Kanha, Rajaji Tiger Reserve and Pench to name a few.
- Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra:
While there are several wildlife NGOs that are working for the bigger animals, SNM is working with a range of other species and slightly smaller animals that might get neglected. For instance, they are trying to protect the Indian Pangolin, which is perhaps one of the most highly trafficked animals in the world. They have taken up the task to protect freshwater turtles and have protected more than 800 nests and helped with the release of more than 35000 hatchlings. They are working to protect vultures, and through their training programs, they are also working to protect honey bees.
- Nature Conservation Foundation:
It is through research that is innovative and methods that are practical and sustainable that NCF has been working since its inception in the year 1996. From trying to protect and preserve the coral reefs to maintaining rainforests, there is a lot that this organisation is doing. They have also made efforts to increase awareness regarding the loss of animal habitats and poaching. Their teams are striving to increase the population of snow leopards, an endangered species and are also working towards gaining a better understanding of the interlinking between society as a whole and nature.
- Wildlife Trust of India:
This is another one of the wildlife NGOs in India that is working towards protecting the natural habitats of the animals. Through their programs, which are present in 23 states of the country, they have been able to save the lives of close to 50,000 animals and have even managed to recover 3 species that were on the threatened list. Their volunteers have saved more than 2000 elephants from train collisions and through their training programs, they have prepared more than 18000 forest guards. Perhaps their biggest triumph has to be the fact that they have been able to reach out to more than 24,00,000 children, making them aware of the need for conservation of forests and animals.
- Centre for Wildlife Studies:
Although their focus is on the big cats, their programs are wide spread – they spend a lot of time educating the people who live around the forests, including school children and those who venture into the forests for their livelihood. They are constantly collecting data through modern methods, allowing them to not only allowing them to keep track of the animals and the habitat, but also giving them an opportunity to share the same with government bodies. Their efforts are also spread out into agro-forestry and they also offer educational programs for those who wish to work in this field.
- Wildlife SOS:
This is yet another animal NGO in India that is working towards protecting the wildlife, but their focus lies more on the rescue and rehabilitation of animals that might be captured, trapped or being used for entertainment purposes. In their several years of existence, they have rescued several big cats, bears and elephants. Their 12 wildlife rescue centres are spread all over the country and they also serve the purpose of being research and training centres. The efforts of this NGO are directed towards conservation, stopping poaching, illegal animal trade and maintaining a healthy balance in the ecological system of the country.
Give Discover works with one single mission – to make giving bigger and better and it is with that intention that we are constantly trying to bring more and more trusted NGOs under our umbrella. Our list of NGOs working for wildlife in India is already large and it will keep growing, because we too understand the need for saving wild animals and maintaining the very fragile ecological balance of the planet. After all, we need to leave a beautiful, lush planet that is full of life, for our children!