Started in: It is a tiger conservation programme launched in 1973 by the Government of India during Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s tenure.
Objective: The Project Tiger aims to foster an exclusive tiger agenda in the core areas of tiger reserves, with an inclusive people-oriented agenda in the buffer.
- It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme of the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
- It is administered by the National Tiger Conservation Authority.
- The government has set up a Tiger Protection Force under PT to combat poachers.
- PT funds relocation of villagers to minimize human-tiger conflicts.
The Tiger Reserves are constituted on a ‘core-buffer strategy’
The core area is kept free of biotic disturbances and forestry operations, where collection of minor forest produce, grazing, human disturbances are not allowed within.
These areas are required to be kept for the purposes of tiger conservation, without affecting the rights of the Scheduled Tribes or such other forest dwellers.
These areas are notified by the State Government in consultation with an Expert Committee (constituted for that purpose).
The Act defines buffer zone as the area peripheral to the critical tiger habitat or core area providing supplementary habitat for dispersing tigers, besides offering scope for co-existence of human activity (tribals).
The limits of such areas are determined with the concerned Gram Sabha and an Expert Committee constituted for the purpose.
Tiger Task Force
The implementation of Project Tiger over the years has highlighted the need for a statutory authority with legal backing to ensure tiger conservation.
On the basis of the recommendations of National Board for Wild Life, a Task Force was set up to look into the problems of tiger conservation in the country.
The recommendations of the Task Force include strengthening of Project Tiger by giving it statutory and administrative powers.
Started in: It was launched in 1992 by the Government of India Ministry of Environment and Forests
Objective: To provide financial and technical support of wildlife management efforts by states for their free ranging populations of wild Asian Elephants.
The project aims to ensure the long-term survival of viable conservation reliant populations of elephants in their natural habitats by protecting the elephants, their habitats, and migration corridors.
Other goals of Project Elephant are supporting research of the ecology and management of elephants, creating conservation awareness among local people, providing improved veterinary care for captive elephants.
Main activities under the Project are as follows:
- Ecological restoration of existing natural habitats and migratory routes of elephants
- Development of scientific and planned management for conservation of elephant habitats and viable population of Wild Asiatic elephants in India
- Promotion of measures for mitigation of man elephant conflict in crucial habitats and moderating pressures of human and domestic stock activities in crucial elephant habitats;
- Strengthening of measures for protection of Wild elephants from poachers and unnatural causes of death
- Research on Elephant management related issues
- Public education and awareness programmes
- Veterinary care
- Elephant Rehabilitation/Rescue Centers
Indian Rhino Vision 2020
Started in: Phase 1 of IRV 2020 was conducted from 2005 to 2008.
Objective: Its goal is to have a wild population of at least 3,000 Greater one-horned rhinos in the Indian state of Assam – spread over seven protected areas – by the year 2020.
Its main initiatives include:
- Improving the protection and security of rhinos in all rhino areas in Assam.
- Expanding the distribution of rhinos over seven protected areas to reduce the risks associated with having a whole population in one area.
- Translocating rhinos from two source populations (Kaziranga and Pabitora) into five target protected areas (Manas, Laokhowa, Buracharpori-Kochmora, Dibrusaikhowa and Orang)
- The project also aims to reduce the rhino population pressures in any single habitat by ensuring a better distribution of the rhino population over suitable ranges.
- In addition, the project concentrates on integrating the local communities into the conservation effort. It aims to provide jobs for people living around the national parks (in conservation or tourism), to help to protect crops from being raided and to implement further educational methods.
Project Snow Leopard
Started in: This project was launched in 2009
Objective: To safeguard and conserve India’s unique natural heritage of high-altitude wildlife populations and their habitats by promoting conservation through participatory policies and actions.
- It is an initiative for strengthening wildlife conservation in the Himalayan high altitudes, covering Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim.
- It aims at promoting a knowledge-based and adaptive conservation framework that fully involves the local communities, who share the snow leopard’s range, in conservation efforts.
- The project is facilitating a landscape-level approach to wildlife conservation by developing scientific frameworks for comprehensive surveys, rationalising the existing protected area network and improving protected area management.
- It has developed a framework for wildlife conservation outside protected areas and promote ecologically responsible development.
Sea Turtle Project
Started in: MoEF initiated the Sea Turtle Conservation Project in collaboration of UNDP in 1999 with Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun as the Implementing Agency.
Objective: The objective of conservation of olive ridley turtles and other endangered marine turtles.
- The project is being implemented in 10 coastal States of the country with special emphasis in State of Orissa.
- The project has helped in preparation of inventory map of breeding sites of Sea Turtles, identification of nesting and breeding habitats along the shore line, and migratory routes taken by Sea Turtles, development of guidelines to safeguard and minimize turtle mortality.
- One of the important achievements have been demonstration of use of Satellite Telemetry to locate the migratory route of Olive Ridley Turtles in the sea and sensitizing the fishermen and State Government for the use of Turtle Exclusion Device (TED) in fishing trawlers to check turtle mortality in fishing net.
Indian Crocodile Conservation Project
Started in: Project Crocodile began in 1975 under the auspices of the Government of India with the aid of the United Nations Development Fund and Food and Agriculture Organization.
The broad objectives of activities under crocodile project were
- to protect the remaining population of crocodilians in their natural habitat by creating sanctuaries;
- to rebuild natural population quickly through `grow and release’ or `rear and release’ technique
- to promote captive breeding;
- to take-up research to improve management; and
- to involve the local people in the project intimately.
Key Facts: The project included an intensive captive breeding and rearing program intended to restock habitats with low numbers of gharials.
Started in: ‘Hangul’ (Kashmiri stag) is the only surviving species of the red deer family in Kashmir. The rare animal’s strength fell from 5,000 in the beginning of last century to 900 in 1980s, when militancy broke out in the border state.
With the help of World Wildlife Fund’s ‘Project Hangul’ started in the 70’s, their population had gone to 340 by the 80’s. But it was short lived.
Objective: To conserve ‘Hangul’ (Kashmiri Stag) in its natural habitat.
Key Facts: Later the project was rechristened as “Save Kashmir’s Red Deer Hangul” in 2009. Another attempt to save the Hangul was to breed it in captivity. Funds were sanctioned for captive breeding.
Under the Species Recovery Programme, conservation breeding centers are opened at Sikargah Tral, Pulwama District and Kangan. But there not much progress on increasing the numbers.
Started in: The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) has chalked out a project to develop a conservation action plan for the Gangetic River Dolphin to save the national aquatic animal from extinction. (in 2016)
Objective: The project is aimed at ensuring a recovery plan of the Gangetic River Dolphin and their habitat in the country and engage stakeholders in conservation of river ecosystems
- The project would develop monitoring protocols for River Dolphins and river fauna, quality assessment of river habitat and assessment of invasive species and involve stakeholders in River Dolphin and associated aquatic animal conservation.
- The project with a duration of five years would be carried out in partnership with respective state forest departments, national and state academic institutions and NGOs