Ministry of Environment and Forests30-April, 2013 15:23 IST
Conservation of Wildlife in the Country
India represents just 2.4% world’s geographical area. As per State Forest Report 2011 published by Forest Survey of India, the forest and tree cover in India is 78.29 m ha which is 23.81% of the geographical area of the country.

As per report by Botanical Survey of India, India is having about 298,000 plant species. The Indian Flora accounts for 11.4% of the total recorded plant species of the world and about 28% of the plant species are endemic to India. This was stated by Shrimati Jayanthi Natarajan Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Environment and Forests, in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today

The Minister further stated that as per report by Zoological Survey of India, India is known to have over 7.50% of the species of animals that the world holds and this percentage accounts nearly for 92,037 species so far known, of which insects alone include 61,375 species. It is estimated that about two times that number of species still remains to be discovered in India.

The Government has taken following steps for protection of endangered species of wild animals in the country:

i. Protected Areas, viz., National Parks, Sanctuaries, Conservation Reserves and Community Reserves covering important wildlife habitats have been created all over the country under the provisions of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 to conserve wild animals and their habitats.

ii. ‘Project Tiger’ and ‘Project Elephant’ are focused Centrally Sponsored Schemes on conservation of endangered species namely tiger and elephant. A specific component of “Recovery programmes for saving critically endangered species and habitats’ is provided in the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of ‘Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats’ for focused conservation action on selected critically endangered species.

iii. Legal protection has been provided to wild animals against hunting and commercial exploitation under the provisions of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.

iv. In addition to provision of stringent punishment for the offenders, the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 also provides for forfeiture of any equipment, vehicle or weapon that is used for committing wildlife offence(s).

v. Protected Areas, viz., National Parks, Sanctuaries, Conservation Reserves and Community Reserves covering important wildlife habitats have been created all over the country under the provisions of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 to conserve wild animals and their habitats.

vi. ‘Project Tiger’ and ‘Project Elephant’ are focused Centrally Sponsored Schemes on conservation of endangered species namely tiger and elephant. A specific component of “Recovery programmes for saving critically endangered species and habitats’ is provided in the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of ‘Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats’ for focused conservation action on selected critically endangered species.

vii. Financial and technical assistance is provided to the State/ Union Territory Governments under the Centrally Sponsored Schemes for providing better protection to wildlife including endangered species and improvement of its habitat.

viii. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has been empowered under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 to apprehend and prosecute wildlife offenders.

ix. The State/Union Territory Governments have been requested to strengthen the field formations and intensify patrolling in and around the Protected Areas.

x. The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau has been set up to ensure co-ordination among various officers and State Governments in connection with the enforcement of law for control of poaching and illegal trade in wildlife and its products.

xi. Strict vigil is maintained by the officials of State Departments of Forests and Wildlife.

RM/RS- USQ3727 - RS
(Release ID :95322)