Wildlife Sanctuaries – Importance of Wildlife Sanctuaries Class 12 Biology
In this Biology note, we will discuss on Wildlife Sanctuaries, Importance of Wildlife Sanctuaries, and list of wildlife sanctuaries in India
from the unit – 10 of Biology Class 12
A wildlife sanctuary is a geographic territory, a protected area that aims to conserve (preserve) the wildlife. It is a kind of wildlife refuge (a shelter for wild animals and birds). It aims to provide protection for wildlife species from hunting, predation, competition or poaching. In a sanctuary, comfortable living is provided to the wildlife.
The dense forests, large rivers, and high mountains beautify these areas. Wildlife Sanctuaries of India has a unique status around the globe, it has the second-largest base of biodiversity in the world. These calm and peaceful wildlife sanctuaries are the home for a variety of rare animals and rare species of birds.
Wildlife sanctuaries of India are classified by International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as Category IV protected areas. Between 1936 and 2016, 543 wildlife sanctuaries were there in the country that covered 118,918 km2 as of 2017. Among these, the 50 tiger reserves are governed by Project Tiger, with special significance for the conservation of the Bengal tiger.
Given below is the list of some wildlife sanctuaries in India :
i. Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala
ii. Govind Wildlife Sanctuary, Uttarakhand
iii. Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, Gujarat
iv. Kaundinya Wildlife Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh
v. Chandka Elephant Sanctuary, Odisha
vi.Sariska Bird Sanctuary, Rajasthan
vii. Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary, Tamil Nadu
viii. Sundarbans West Wildlife Sanctuary, West Bengal
Rann of Kutch, in Gujrat, also known as the Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary is the largest wildlife sanctuary in India. It was established in1972. It is spread over an area of 4954 km².
“Bor Tiger reserve” is the smallest wildlife sanctuary in India and in the world. It was established in 1970 near “Hingani in Wardha District” in Maharashtra. The total area covered by Bor tiger reserve sanctuary is 121.1 km2.
Importance of Wildlife Sanctuaries
There is great significance for establishing wildlife sanctuaries in India and around the world. A most important aim is the conservation of wildlife. The conservation of many species of animals and birds is done as explained below:
i. The wildlife sanctuaries are set up in order to protect the endangered species. In these areas, the home animals and birds are in the lap of nature. They are not caged or restricted to limited space.
ii. To protect the wildlife in their natural environment is of great advantage.
iii. In these areas, the endangered species are specially monitored and protected so that they can multiply. Their specimens can be used for breeding in the conservation parks for their survival.
iv. Scientific activities and researches are legalized in the wildlife sanctuaries so that more information is gathered about the wildlife thriving there.
v. A few sanctuaries take care of the injured and abandoned animals and rehabilitate them to health before releasing them in the forest.
vi. Wildlife sanctuaries preserve the endangered species and protect them from humans and predators. Many species of plants and animals are on the threshold of extinction. Such creatures are conserved in the wildlife sanctuaries.
The landowners of a wildlife sanctuary are involved in several activities like, production and distribution of electricity, organic horticulture, grazing and farming enterprises, wine production, ecotourism (many sanctuaries are involved in ecotourism in which they offer accommodation, tour guides, nature walks, etc. to the tourists). Wildlife sanctuaries are also an important means of education and learning.
The government has taken many steps in order to protect and maintain Indian wildlife. They are:
1. The Indian Wildlife Act was passed by the government in 1972 for the protection of plants and animal species.
2. This Act banned hunting and poaching of animals and also provided legal protection to their habitats.
3. The central and state governments have established many wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in order to protect forests and wildlife.
4. Various projects regarding the conservation of endangered species such as tiger and one-horned rhino have been initiated by the government.
5. The government has introduced a joint management program. This has involved local communities in the management of forests.
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