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INDIA'S record of protecting its wildlife
species is none too bright, says a report
prepared by a committee appointed
by the Delhi High Court and headed
by inspector genera I of forests,
M F Ahmed. Recent surveys of premier
Project Tiger reserves, national parks
and sanctuaries have revealed "an
alarming and depressing scenario of
general apathy and lack of motivation,
interest and competence among the
staff at different levels ......
The country has 441 wildlife
sanctuaries and 80 national parks.
But, there are 1,336 threatened plant
species, and on the threatened
animals list there are 53 mammals,
69 birds (the fourth highest threat
rate in the world), 23 reptiles (the
second highest rate), three amphibians
and 22 invertebrates.
Despite stringent laws, strong
vested interests manage - to put a
dampener on the wildlife protection
programme. Says Ashish Kothari of
the Indian Institute of Public
Administration, cwhile keeping conservation in view, rights and livelihood
of the local people must also be kept