Wildlife Matters


“I am participating in the Save the Species contest for the book “Capturing Wildlife Moments in India” in association with Saevus Wildlife India,  read the reviews for the book ‘Capturing Wildlife Moments in India’ here

Wildlife species, such as bears, mountain goats, wolves, elk, and deer are one of the best wonders of the world. Most people think that there is an abundance of wildlife species in the world, but the truth is, their numbers are dwindling and if nothing is done about it, these species might become endangered and extinct. One can learn a lot from animals which can benefit the human race. For instance, a lot of medicines have been derived from the chemicals produced by animals which are used to help cure various health conditions, such as heart diseases and disorders. Wildlife protection is essential because if the animal is gone, it will be impossible to study and learn from them. Unfortunately, a lot of wildlife has disappeared from earth due to human activities, such as the Bali tiger, Mexican grizzly bear, and the Japanese wolf. Conservation of natural habitats will also be beneficial for humans since it helps keep the essential watersheds intact and ensuring clean, fresh water. When we conserve and protect the natural habitat of wildlife species, we enrich our planet. To do so, we must keep the animals in their natural place.

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Blackbuck is the only representative of genus antilope found in India. It is one of the most graceful animals and used to be seen in thousands at the beginning of this century all throughout the plains of India. Due to extensive poaching and habitat loss, blackbuck populations have been reduced considerably. Blackbuck requires open grass lands with irregular tall grass or bushes for delivery, fawn nursing and to seek protection against predators, rain and wind. Their capability to run at speeds of 70kmph makes them the fastest surviving species on the subcontinent and protects them against most predators alive today. Due to decrease and disintegration of habitat all over the place, the pressure on existing blackbucks is quite high. The decline in blackbuck is an indicator to the environmental degradation around us. This indicates the forests are losing its basic habitat requirements for wildlife. The pressure on their habitat reflects the pressure that is building up on our own locale. If we improve their habitat, it will improve our chances of survival on earth too.

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Gharial also known as fish-eating crocodile is a species of reptile found in fresh water. Gharials are survivors from great reptilian age and are ecologically important organisms. They are recognized as keystone species in their environment which maintain structure and organization of the community. The exceedingly disjointed distribution, weakening status and strong stress from human activities makes Gharial as one of the highly threatened animal species on the planet. The Gharial came incredibly close to extinction in 1970s but a long term captive breeding programme was instrumental in improving the species status in the wild. The decline has been linked to a demur in fish catches as predatory fish of no interest to the fishermen, form a major part of the Gharial diet. The population of Gharials has shrunk to serious extent due to habitat loss, hunting, fishing, turtle poaching, river water pollution, egg collection for consumption, killing for aboriginal medicines and killing by fishermen. It is the need of the hour to save the Gharials for the maintenance of biological diversity and ecological stability of the river ecosystem by putting complete ban on fishing in the areas inhabited by Gharials, ensuring the availability of sufficient foods in the habitats of Gharials and checking the river water pollution.

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The Lion-tailed macaque ranks among the rarest and most threatened species of primates. Lion-tailed macaques are hunted for meat and medicinal use. Their range has become increasingly isolated and fragmented by the spread of agriculture and tea, coffee, teak, cinchona and eucalyptus plantations, construction of water reservoirs for irrigation and power generation and human settlements to hold up such activities. Lion-tailed macaques do not live, feed or travel through plantations. Obliteration of their habitat and their evasion of human nearness has led to the radical reduction in their population and as a result they are standing on verge of extinction. Therefore conservation of this rare primate species is the need of the hour to sustain our bio-wealth and also for the maintenance of ecological stability.

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