Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Which is true Conservation: A Species Protection or Habitat Protection?

From the time when I started to work with wildlife, I’m thinking about true conservation activity. Many of you might think these both methods are true conservation and should apply simultaneously to protect the nature… Am I right?

In some situations I’m also agree with your thoughts, but sometimes some situations divert me to think in different manner or at other side.

A Species Protection, It’s a widely used and talked method. In every country many conservation organizations are working to protect unique species. I’m not against this method but sometimes because of this method other species suffer negligence. Most of the monetary funds diverted to protect specific species and because of this, other species do not get the same treatment. Many times I’ve seen in respect of hyper awareness program to protect specific species majority common people think about to protect that species and do not give much importance to other species.

A big example is the ‘Project Tiger’ program in India to protect tigers & its habitat. Many tiger reserves created under this program. Idea was nice but after many years of implication of this program, still tigers do not feel safe and protected in India.

Whereas other species like Asiatic lion, Kashmir Stag, Red Panda, Golden langur, Nilgiri tahr, Wild buffalo etc. are some endangered species of India but there are no special protection programs to save these animals like ‘Project Tiger’. I’ll say they all are comes under neglected species. There are many other endangered species also, but no one talks about it and many are becoming extinct.

Today majority tiger reserves in India found stuffed with lots of local as well as foreign tourists, because of ‘Project Tiger’ programme. I consider this type of hype is not good for wild animals, and sometimes it responsible for the changes in behaviour pattern of wild animals. Due to heavy safari traffic in these reserves now tigers do not feel threaten or shy from human presence. This is the same case with Asiatic Lions in Gir NP and African Safaris also. I believe poachers gets success because of this type of changes in behaviour of these animals. Animal can’t differentiate between tourist and hunter.

Habitat Protection, I’m firm believer in habitat protection, because of its resourceful conservation approach. I would like to add an example, how dangerous is to make changes in habitat.

A famous example is Mauritius Island for its extinction of rare bird like DODO. This is Extinct between 1681-1790 from different islands because of excessive hunting and introduction of new animals by human to their habitat. Other hardly affected habitats are Antarctica, Arctic, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Madagascar, Amazon Rain Forest and Galapagos Islands etc., which have unique habitat & species to preserve.

In India there are some unique habitats also, like Trans Himalayan, Eastern Rain Forest, Nilgiri biosphere, Western Ghats etc. In each habitat there are unique animals, birds and other creatures found, some are no where found except these habitats.

We have some good examples of successful habitat and species conservation also. I consider Asiatic Lion is one of the best success stories. It reaches the figure of 359 (Apr. 2005) from only 20 during last 80-100 years, but need not to be happy because this majestic animal still under big threats of extinction because of interbreeding, poaching and disease of different viruses from domestic animals and anthrax.

I’m a big supporter of this method. Not only habitat protection saves different types of ecosystems but also saves all the creatures which are dependent on a particular habitat. Other important aspect of this method is every creature gets equal chance to improve their survival opportunity.

We need not to worry about each and every species of creatures to protect. This is nature’s task. Let’s the nature do its work. What we need to do is to protect the nature & different habitats only, Nature will save all the creatures. Every creature has an ability to adapt the prevailing conditions. The evolution is still continuing but this is a very slow process compare to our destruction of the nature. We are so quick in damaging the nature that nature can’t compete to protect itself. So this is now our responsibility to save, protect and increase the different natural habitats and give chance to other creatures to live their life happily, safely and in correct pace.

If every creature gets a safe, protected and natural habitat with proper food chain than they will increase their population as well as this improves formation & preservation of the soil, trees, plants, water & other natural resources. If everything goes in correct ways the jungle area increases naturally. To make it possible we must save and protect our jungles and different habitats effectively.

This is the right time to give importance to habitat protection instead species protection. Habitat protection has wide conservation criteria and it protects all the species & natural resources instead specific species.

I hope you’ll also agree with my thoughts and provide your support to protect different habitats.

“Save the Jungles to Save the Nature”


  1. wildlife artist SuJanuary 24, 2008 at 8:07 PM

    I quite agree Rahul. Very true!

  2. Thank you very much for your comment on my 'are we saving the tiger?' post. I agree with what you are saying here, habitat protection is absolutely vital. I fear greatly for the worlds wildlife. Human beings are far too self obsessed and with the population expected to grow to 9 billion by 2050, I fear we have neither the will nor the wisdom to protect our environment. The fate of the worlds wildlife is all but sealed.


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