PART-V: Wild species face extinction threat
According to an estimate, between 1990 and 2020, species extinction caused primarily by deforestation may eliminate between 5 and 15 per cent of the world’s species, a potential loss of 15,000 to 50,000 species a year. The forest area is considerably decreasing day by day. The satellite imageries study of National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA) revealed that forest area in 1972-75 was 55.5 mha only, which reduced to just 46.3 mha in 1980-82, indicating an average rate of depletion of forest area of about 1.3 mha per year. As per
In order to overcome this problem, Government of India formulated National Development Wastelands Boards in 1985 and its objective was to launch intensive plantation programmes by involving local people to bring more and more degraded land under plantation cover. In order to check rapid rate of extinction of bio-diversity concerted efforts are being made by various agencies.
They are on the job to protect areas in the form of biospheres, national parks, sanctuaries and tiger reserves in terrestrial eco-system, mangroves and coral reefs in marine eco-system and wetlands in fresh water ecosystem. Sources further added that a network of 14 bio-spheres, 83 national parks and 447 sanctuaries cover about 18 mha area in the country. The situation is worsening and more and more agencies are being involved for the task in coming days.
The impact of deforestation is visible in urban areas too. Besides the mushrooming of hotels and residential places around some of the lakes, silt washed from the mountains during the rains is described as the main reason for shrinking of the lakes. While water bodies are shrinking, some have just vanished. For instance, the
Another outcome of the unchecked deforestation in
During the past two years, 75 people were reported to have been killed and 330 others injured in wild animal attacks in
This reporter’s series alert
JAMMU, AUG 21:
Reports reaching this office in the late Friday evening said that a team of Forest officials have seized 47 kandels of timber consisting of 40, 18, 14 and 10 feet slippers in Chiralla Forest Range of Bhaderwah Forest Division which is at-lest 35 kilometers from road. The team of forest officials comprising of Forest Beat Guards Mohammed Lateef and Jaswant Singh seized 47 kandels of Deodar. The forest officials also caught one Hoshiari Lal S/o Jia Lal R/o Zila-da-Pani red handed from the spot where 2 fully green trees were shortened to ground by him for timber smuggling.
Talking to this reporter, Forest Beat Guard Jaswant Singh while confirming the seizure admitted that the forests in
He added that “Chiralla is very is far-flung area, though I am moving to perform my duties honestly to save my job but as the area is very vast and widespread so the a post of Forest Protection Force (FPF) is required to protect the forest from further damage.
He, however, mentioned that if the Range Office starts functioning from
When contacted, Range Officer (Ranger) Forest Range Chiralla, Mohammed Haroon, held militancy the reason responsible for deforestation. He mentioned that due to the militancy Field Staff was unable to visit the area during the past few years and also the people used militants as shield to scare forest staff and go for fearless deforestation.
The officer added that the
The officer admitted that in Compartment No-1 of
When asked about the deforestation and encroachments in the Compartment Nos-2,3,4,5,6,7,8 and 9 of
Relevant to mention here that some months back Minister for Forest, Ecology and Environment, Mian Altaf Ahmed while addressing the officials of Wildlife, Forest and Forest Protection Force (FPF) had called upon Wildlife Department to take concrete steps to contain increasing man–animal conflicts, but the question rises here that authorities concerned have never tried to identify the root cause which lies in the unchecked deforestation.
The minister had described the problem of man-animal conflict as a major challenge faced by the department adding that there was a greater need to take extra caution for maintaining the perfect balance.
No doubt the minister had expressed concern over the increasing biotic pressure on natural resources in the State and had also warned that the shrinking of the State’s rich biodiversity would have direct affect on the life of the people.
However, Mian Altaf had assured that the State Government will make all out efforts to strengthen the department through additional manpower, equipment, mobility, communication facilities, veterinary care and compensation package for effective control of wildlife crimes and handling of human-wild animal conflict situations but on grounds nothing concrete is visible.
Worthwhile to mention here that the forests and landscapes not only regulate the climate of the region but these are also main attractions for the tourists visiting Jammu and Kashmir so it the authorities concerned and the state Government have to think positively into the problem and came out with a practical policy to save green gold and the species which are on the verge on extension. Otherwise the day will not be far-behind when we will read about these species in books only decorated in the libraries.