The Wire

Wildlife: Our Treasure in Danger


Dehradun: Dehradun-based MAATY Organization is observing the Wildlife Week by organizing various online competitions. Besides it, the organization is also taking out special issues on wildlife. On the 4th day of Wildlife Week, Research Fellow Pratiksha Mahar and Sr. Scientist Dr. Ved Prakash Kumar writes on the endangered wildlife species.

Ms.Pratiksha Mahar & Dr.Ved Prakash Kumar 

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animal are treated”- Mahatma Gandhi

India is one of the world’s megadiverse nations regarding biodiversity it has two of the world’s 25 biodiversity hotspots because of its endemic species abundance which has threatened status. India has 6.5% of the world’s wildlife species of which roughly 7.6% are mammals and 12.6% are aves. In recent times, the exploitation of wildlife continuously going on. Because of different reasons, wild species are under danger, many of which have wiped out, and mostly they are threatened. Human exercises are broadly responsible for the declining number of wild fauna. Population shrinking, wildlife poaching, human-wildlife dispute, territory destruction and urbanization, are a danger to our natural life.

As per IUCN, India positioned second as far as the number of threatened mammals and 6th in the most threatened aves species. Worldwide 89% of thraten aves species, 83% of mammals, and 91% of all threatened plants are influenced by habitatet loss, which is also one of the primary reason for wildlife extinction in India. Wildlife crime is also one of the prime reason which is threatening the species and pushing the numbers toward extinction. It includes poaching of animals for their skin, fur, tusk, horn, meat, illegal trade to meet illicit demand, slaughtering of species for superstitious beliefs.
In India, some of the endangered species are the one-horned Rhino, Asiatic Lion, Tiger, Vultures, Black Buck, Gaur, Red Panda, Red deer, turtles and Pangolin. Not only the large mammals but small species as mollusks, sea horses, tortoise and otter are also in the endangered category. Big cats such as Tiger, Snow Leopard, Lions, wildcat and Leopard are poached and illegally trafficked majorly for their skin, one-horned Rhino is poached to meet the illegal demand for its horn, similarly an elephant for the tusk. Tortoises, pangolin are killed for illegal consumption and body parts such as scales. The population of wild species is in jeopardy due to wildlife crime.

The eradication of wildlife from their habitat will not be immediately obvious, it affects our existence and increased strained in daily life. There is an urgent need to conserve the wildlife species to stop all illegal wildlife trade that has threatened and even pushed many species towards extinction. In India, Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 is legislation established for the protection and conservation of wildlife. While steps taken to protect and conserve wildlife at an individual level will make a huge difference in saving the diverse threatened fauna of the country. 

Well said by Midori Paxton, UNDP Head of Biodiversity, “One million animals and plant species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. If we’ve to achieve sustainable development goals, we must reverse this trend now and put nature at the heart of development.”

Ms.Pratiksha Mahar is a Research Fellow & Dr.Ved Prakash Kumar is a Scientist at Maaty Organization, Dehradun

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