Various kinds of wild animals roam the forests of India. Ever since the primitive days, the wild animals have enjoyed a close relationship with mankind.
The major wild animals which live in the dense forests of our country are tiger, lion, elephant, bear, rhino etc. However, in the recent decades, the number of these wild animals is on the decline. The reasons for the same are wide-scale poaching by man.
Variety of Wild Animals:
The West Bengal Sunderbans region is the home to the famous Royal Bengal tigers. Similarly, the Gir forests of Gujarat are famous for lions and the dense and marshy forests of north Bengal, Tripura and Assam are home to the rhinoceros. Tigers and Elephants are found in the forests of Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Karnataka and the Chotanagpur plateau. Other wild animals which throng the forests of India are deer, antelopes, panthers, wolves, bisons etc. Kashmir is famous for a kind of wild goat with long fur known as the Ibex. Near the borders of India and Nepal, yaks and musk deer can be found. The forests of India are also home to different species of venomous snakes like the Cobra, Python etc.
Decline in the Number of Wild Animals:
The national animal of our country is the Tiger. However, the number of tigers in the country today is on a sharp decline. Same is the case for elephants. Elephants are being hunted in huge numbers for their tusks and skin. The greed of man knows no bounds. It is ironical that the same man, who has been entrusted with the task of protecting wild animals, is killing them. In a span of two decades, there has been a drastic fall in the number of different wild animals.
Steps for Preservation of Wild Animals:
The Government of our country has banned the hunting and killing of wild animals and birds. The same has been made punishable under the laws of the country as the number of wildlife has drastically fallen beyond expectations in various national parks in the country. There are at present 20 national parks and 190 wildlife sanctuaries in different States of India for preservation of wildlife. In 1972 the Indian Wildlife Board launched a national scheme called the “Project Tiger” to protect the tiger population.
The aforementioned project ensures protection of tigers in seven tiger reserves namely Similipal (Orissa), Palamau (Bihar), Manipur (Karnataka), the Corbett National Park (U.P.), Manas (Assam), Melghat (Maharashtra), and Sundarbans (West Bengal). The diminishing number of rhinos and lions are also under serious preservation schemes by the Government. The Candace Forests in Orissa have been declared as Elephant Reserve and Chilika Lake as the Bird Sanctuary. There are crocodile sanctuaries at Satkosia of Tikarpada and Bhitar Kanika.
It is high time that the wild animals of our country be saved from the wrath of man. The wild animals which glorify the aesthetic beauty of our forests are now a vulnerable number rarely found. Effective measures must be taken by the Government and the same should be implemented for protecting our wild animals.