From 47 to 73

By Mahie JK

The Great Indian Bustard, Baer’s Pochard  Sociable Lapwing, Red headed Vulture, the White Rumped Vulture, Indian Vulture and Slender billed Vulture are some of species found endangered in India. Around 73 species include nine species of Mammals, 18 Birds, 26 Reptiles, and 20 Amphibians and The Great Indian Bustard is among 18 critically endangered species in India.

According to the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) which monitors the health and biodiversity declares some species as endangered when it is considered to be facing high risk of extinction . These species include 9 of Mammals, 18 Birds, 26 Reptiles, and 20 Amphibians . In the past 50 years our planet earth has experienced rapid growth of  population, urbanization and development due to which acres of  forests  have been deforested resulting in loss of  more habitats day by day.

The Union Environment ministry also recently  informed Rajiya Sabha about these endangered species. Congress MP Mukul Wasnik asked the government if the government has any plans for the protection and conservation of the critically endangered species.

To this,  Minister of State and Environment Choubey said that out of the nine species of mammals considered critically endangered, eight are endemic, which means that their habitat is limited to a small geographic

area within India.  These include the Kashmir Stag/Hangul, Malabar Large-spotted Civet, Andaman Shrew, Jenkin’s Shrew, Nicobar Shrew, Namdhapa Flying Squirrel, Large Rock Rat and Leafletted Leafnosed Bat.

According to International Union Conservation of Nature  in 2011  47 species were critically endangered  which was very much less as compared to today’s report. The critically endangered species in India are considered under the Schedule-I of Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, to provide the highest level of protection, minister of state, environment, Ashwini Kumar Choubey told the Rajya Sabha on Thursday in response to a question by Congress MP Mukul Wasnik

The 18 critically endangered bird species include Baer’s Pochard, Great Indian Bustard, Sociable Lapwing, Red headed Vulture, the White Rumped Vulture, Indian Vulture and Slender billed Vulture. Out of 26 reptile species five are endemic to India including Island Pit Viper whose habitat is limited to a single location in the Car Nicobar Island. Among amphibians, several species are limited to habitats in the Western Ghats, the northeast, and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. MoEFCC has also proposed that endangered species be included in various appendices of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) to curb trafficking.

Secretary of Central Zoo Authority,   India has been trying its best to conserve 73 endangered species. While talking in Mysuru, he also told the audience that India has successfully managed to conserve mouse-deer. International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has placed 132 species of plants and animals under the category of critically endangered.

Highlighting the role of the zoo in conservation efforts,  if one wishes to see the efforts of Central Zoo Authority in conservation efforts, all that person has to do is check the exemplary record of CZA. He also said that if the zoos are not meeting the standards set by CZA, the authority terminates the licence immediately.