Biology Meeku Telusa

Wild Life Management in India

What is Wildlife Management? 
Management is the first step in conservation. Presently both the ‘wildlife conservation’ and ‘wildlife management’ are used as synonymous terms. Many scientists now prefer to use ‘wildlife management’. Leopold (1933, quoted by Shaw 1985) was one of the earliest to define wildlife management. He used the term ‘game’ instead of ‘wildlife’. As per Leopold -“Game management is the art of making land produce sustained annual crops of wild game for recreational use”. According to Olson (1980) wildlife conservation (management) is “The science and art of making decisions and taking actions to manipulate the structure, dynamics, and relations of wild animal populations, habitats, and people to achieve specific human benefits from the wildlife resource.” A more simple definition is given by White (2004) ( which reads-“Wildlife management is the science and art of managing wildlife, their habitats, and ecosystems for long term human benefits.”

Aims of wildlife management. 
a. To lessen the loss of biodiversity
b. To preserve and improve habitats
c. To balance the needs of wildlife with those of people
d. To maintain wildlife population at sustainable level.

Wildlife research in India got much needed fillip with the establishment of Wildlife Institute of India in 1982. The Institute was subsequently granted autonomous status under the MoEF in 1986. One of the notable contributions of WII has been the bio-geographical classification of the country into ten zones.
Another important work relates to conservation status of the biota across the country and identification of gaps in PA network.

Institutionalization of wildlife research was ushered in 1883 with the establishment of Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) by a group of seven residents of Bombay. The first scientific journal by this organization was published in 1886, which is considered as the foremost journal on oriental flora and fauna today.

The Sàlim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON) also has made significant contribution in the area of birds and their habitat, especially, in the wetlands. Other organizations contributing in various areas of wildlife research include WWF-India, Centre for Environmental Education (CEE), Ahmedabad, GEER, Gandhinagar, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment (ATREE) and Wildlife Trust of India (WTI). The Indian Institute of Science (IISC), Bangalore has developed valuable information particularly on elephants. Apart from these institutions, a large number of universities have contributed in their own way in wildlife research in recent times. Notable among them are – Saurashtra (large cates, ornithology, marine ecology), AMU (ornithology, carnivores and ungulates), Jiwaji (reptiles), Sagar (plant ecology), Maharaja Sayaji (animal ecology and behaviour), Jodhpur (primates and desert flora and fauna), Garhwal (high altitude pheasants and ungulates), Calicut (birds), Osmania (ornithology and ungulates), Madurai Kamraj (behavioral ecology), Sambalpur (crocodilians), Guwahati (ornithology, wetlands, primates, rhino), and Amrawati (flora, wildlife techniques, prey-predator relationships).

The outcome of this workshop in the form of a publication “The Development of International Principles and Practices of Wildlife Research and Management: Asian and American Application” continues to be a landmark contribution in the field of wildlife research in the country. Other notable achievements include ecological studies on snow leopard and formulation of conservation plan for trans-Himalayan biogeographic zone. Telemetry studies on lions and tigers have given new insights in ranging patterns and behavior of these species. Today WII is occupying a place of eminence in the field of wildlife research and training in the world. The institute in association with the NTCA is currently engaged in population estimation of tigers, co-predators, prey base and habitat mapping in 17 states of the country. The work once completed shall provide a dynamic monitoring tool for evolving policy options on conservation of tiger and its habitat in the country.

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