Social Forestry
Social Forestry
The concept of social forestry, which has now been recognised and accepted by the Government and is being implemented on a massive scale.
It aims at not only providing adequate quantities of fuelwood, fodder and other forest produce, but also meet the requirements of ecological balance through large-scale afforestation on community tends and waste lands in the country.
The farm forestry, which has been largely practiced in the country so far, aims at growing of trees on private lands, on the farm boundaries and private plantations.
Social Forestry Programme
The social forestry programme, on the other hand, mainly comprises of three schemes. viz,

  1. mixed plantation on wastelands
  2. reafforestation of degraded forests
  3. raising of shelter belts

Thus, social forestry involves creating potentials of forest raw material resources on degraded forest areas, waste lands, panchayat lands and on the sides of roads, canals and railway lines.
Wildlife in India
In spite of the high density of population and the consequent onslaughts of human habitation to the remotest corners of India.
The country can still boast of a large variety of wildlife comprising over 350 species of animals, 12,000 species of birds and 30,000 species of insects, fishes and reptiles.
Much of the wildlife in India is peculiar to this sub-continent arid not found anywhere else in the world.
The swamp deer is only found in India.
The four-horned antelope (chausingha), the Kashmir stag and the nilgai exist only in India and Pakistan.
Animals in India
The spotted chital, perhaps the most beautiful of all deer has its home only in India.
The black-buck is found nowhere else except in India and Pakistan.
The great Indian one-horned rhinoceros is unique to India and Nepal.
The Indian lion, which is the only lion to be found outside Africa, is a native of India and not imported from Africa.
The Indian 'bison' is not a bison at all, it isjiaur which is a specie of wild ox peculiar to India.
National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries
The Concept of Wildlife
The concept of wildlife as a 'thing of beauty' and a 'gift of nature' which need to be preserved rather than a 'game' to be hunted, grew largely with the birth of independent India In 1947.
When many of the former game reserves were redesignated as 'Wildlife Sanctuaries', where all the wild animals and birds were sought to be fully protected so that they will not become extinct.
Project Tiger was also launched with the object of preserving and increasing tiger population by safeguarding the tiger, animals of its prey and its habitat in selected areas of the country.
The Wildlife (Protection) Act. 1972 governs the conservation and protection of endangered species both inside and outside the forest areas.
Government's Stand
As of February 2014, the country has 104 national parks, 515 wildlife sanctuaries including 43 Tiger Reserves governed by Project tiger.
Where through the efforts of the Central and the State Governments and by cooperation of the voluntary agencies, wildlife is sought to be carefully protected and preserved.
No wonder that these wildlife parks reserves and sanctuaries have now become places of Interest for the tourists from the world over.
Project Tiger
There were about 40,000 tigers during 1909-10 in India. This number was reduced to 2500 by the year 1972.
The scheme Project Tiger was launched on 1st April, 1973 to ensure maintenance of viable population of the tigers in India for scientific, economic, aesthetic, cultural and ecological values.
Starting from 9 Reserves in 1973-74 the number is grown up to 43. A total area of 65,178.68 is covered by these project tiger areas.
The tiger population in the country is estimated at 1706 in 2010 as against 1,411 in 2006.
The main threat to the tiger is due to poaching. Project Tiger is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme.
Project Elephant
The elephant habitat has shrunken over the years and poaching for elephant tusks has endangered the species.
Project Elephant was launched in February 1992 to assist States having wild elephants to ensure long term survival of identified viable populations of elephants in their natural habitat.
In India, elephants are mainly found in rain forests of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala; West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Central and Western region, Foothills of Himalaya in north-east & Uttar Pradesh.
Elephant population in 2007 was estimated to be in the range from 27,657 to 27,682 whereas in 2012 the population was estimated to be between 27,785 and 31,368.
Out of a total area of 69,5 82.80 covered under Elephant Reserve area 18,732 is particularly reserved as protected Area in Elephant Reserve.
Gir Lion Project
The Gir forest in the Saurashtra peninsula of Gujarat is the only surviving habitat of the Asian lion, panthera leon persica.
At present in whole of Asia, this Lion is found only in Gir Forest.
Clearing of forest for agriculture, excessive cattle grazing and other factors Sed to decline in the lion population.
The Gir National Park has a total area of 258.71 sq. km.
A total of 411 Lions is estimated in 2010 an increase of 52 compared to 2005.
Crocodile Breeding Project
The project started from a proposal for development of a crocodile farming industry in India.
Crocodile husbandry work was undertaken with a view to develop sanctuary.
A total of 16 crocodile rearing centres have been developed in the country in eight States.
Eleven sanctuaries have been declared under the project.
Rhino Conservation
The centrally sponsored scheme conservation of Rhinos in Assam was introduced in 1987 and was continued for effective and intensive management of rhino habitat.
The number of rhinos has increased from 1591 in the year 1989 to 1855 in 1992.
A total of 3,000 Rhinos is estimated in India of which 2000 is estimated in Assam alone in 2009.
Snow Leopard & Chiru Conservation
This project is being undertaken to create 12 Snow-Leopard Reserves throughout the Himalayas.
The concern about Chiru mainly started in 1992 when George Schaller, a wildlife expert, claimed that the Chiru was shot and then fleeced, to make Shahtoosh shawls.
This shawl is as soft as a baby's skin. it can be passed through a ring and is too warm.
Biosphere Reserves
Conservation of Flora and Fauna
One of the latest developments in the field of conservation of flora and fauna has been the project of Biosphere Reserves.
These are the areas that are maintained in their natural state so that the natural ecosystem in these areas can be kept least disturbed.
The total floral and faunal diversity in the biosphere reserves is protected.
Biosphere Reserves are created through enactment of statutes by the Parliament. There are 18 notified biosphere reserves in the country.
Various Biospheres
Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve was the first among these, the others being Nanda Devi, Nokrek, Great Nicobar, Gulf of Mannar, Manas, Sundcrbans, Simlipal, Dibru Saikhowa, Dehong Debang, Pachmarhi, Kanchcnjanga, Agasthyamalai, Kacheh Biosphere Reserve, Achanakmar Amarkantak, Cold Desert, Sheshachalam Hills and Panna Biosphere Reserve.
Out of these 18 biosphere reserves; 9 including biosphere reserves of Nilgiri, Sundarbans and Gulf of Mannar have been recognized on World Network of Biosphere Reserves by UNESCO.
To make the wildlife conservation programmes dynamic keeping in view the changing requirements and priorities the Wildlife Institute of India was established in 1982 at Dehradun.
This institute looks after the policy formulation and scientific studies in the field of wildlife conservation and protection.