By: Priyanka Saurabh
There was a time when wildlife used to come out of the forests in the early morning in our rural areas, on the roads, and in other places, but today we have to go to the sanctuaries and forests to see the wildlife. It is to be noted that in the present Kalpa, in the pursuit of making cities smart cities and renewing public places, are we destroying forests somewhere? In today’s world, humans are getting closer to human technology and are getting away from nature and wildlife. World Wildlife Fund i.e. WWF has released the Living Planet Report 2022. According to this report, there has been a huge decline of 69 percent in the monitored wildlife population around the world between 1970 and 2018. 83 percent of the population of freshwater living organisms is no longer alive. 70% of the Earth’s biodiversity and 50% of freshwater are at risk.
Talking of India, 12 percent of mammalian wildlife is on the verge of extinction. 40 % of bees have been extinct in the last 25 years. 17 species of freshwater turtles have become extinct. The area of 137 sq km of Sundarbans has ended in comparison to 1985. A major part of it is in India. These figures are worrying. Therefore, in this issue today, we will talk about the crisis looming over the existence of wildlife. We will try to understand every aspect of the Living Planet report, including why is it happening if the population of wildlife is decreasing. We have always seen that special people give the cause of environmental degradation to modernity. But it is far from reality. We cannot attribute modernity to environmental degradation, but it is the lack of human order that we are not able to understand. The environment is necessary for human existence and with all the facts related to these environments either wild life or wild animals, everyone must walk on the earth so that the balance in the environment is maintained. Today the time has come that we should take both environment and modernity along and we are also capable of this. But due to the ignorance of the government, it is not possible now, but it is also expected to be possible in the future.
But as the condition of forests and wildlife is visible today, it seems that human beings have done deforestation work to fulfill their selfish interests and human beings are forgetting forests and wildlife conservation under the guise of modernization. According to an estimate, most of the wildlife is being hunted for their meat and forests are being cut to make their doors and furniture, and household items, due to which forests are being cut and wildlife is decreasing. Due to the cutting of forests, this situation is being created that our wildlife does not even have a proper habitat system which can provide them suitable protection for them, so our priority should be suitable habitat system for wildlife and forest and wildlife protection because this is our priority. Health is essential for the creation of an environment in life.
Industrialization and modernization have destroyed forests. Forests are the shelter of various types of birds and animals and when humans have occupied their homes and made their homes, they will come to our homes to ask for their share. Human-wildlife conflict is a major threat to the conservation of wildlife in India. Deforestation, loss of habitat, lack of hunting (food), and illegal roads passing through the forest are some of the major causes of human-wildlife conflict. Due to the roads passing through the protected areas, it has become easy for humans to reach even the inaccessible forests. Due to this, hunters easily make wildlife their prey.
Hardly a day goes by nowadays when the news of conflict between humans and wildlife is not heard. At some place, some violent animal has come to the settlement and attacked the people, and then somewhere people surround such an animal and kill it. The conflict between humans and wildlife has increased a lot over the years. In such a situation, along with their prevention, there is a great need to look into the reasons for the attacks on wildlife and effective prevention measures. This problem can be curbed to some extent by making people aware of wildlife and making technical information available to the people through mock drills along with the forest department. The incidents of forest fires in mountainous areas also cause wildlife to move to human settlements and are killed. It is important to stop the attack of wildlife and forest fire under a special strategy. As long as forests continue to be cut, instead of avoiding human-wildlife conflict, it will be possible to take preventive measures. In such a situation, the best option to avoid conflict is environment-friendly development, that is, there is a need to make such policies so that both humans and wildlife are safe.
The parts of predatory creatures of this wildlife get their exorbitant price in the international market. The cost of killing an elephant in the international market ranges from twenty-five to sixty thousand, a tiger from eight and a half thousand to fifty thousand, and a leopard from fifteen to thirty-five thousand dollars. It is unfortunate that hunting for a hobby i.e. trophy hunting has been recognized by many countries of the world including America. American hunters are at the forefront of trophy hunting. In the past decade, 11,000 tigers have been hunted around the world, of which fifty percent have been killed by American poachers. Unfortunately, the International Union for Conservation is arguing that trophy hunting, if legal, would help in the conservation of wildlife and control the animal population. Along with this, the local people will also get financial benefits. But this argument is not correct. The biggest truth is that this will reduce the number of wildlife and the existence of already extinct animals will disappear. (The author is a Research Scholar in Political Science, poet, freelance journalist, and columnist)