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 in mind".
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