India is among 12 mega diverse countries and is the habitat of over 13 percent of the world’s birds. However the scenario is gradually changing and many species of birds are at the brink of extinction, owing to various human activities. Birds are being hugely impacted by trash and plastic wastes.
While various acts and policies for wildlife conservation are full-fledged, protection of birds have always taken a backseat in India. In light of this growing concern and to help conserve the birds and their habitat, the Indian government has proposed a 10 year plan.
The ministry of environment, forest and climate change has put the draft in the public domain on February 3 to seek comments from all the stake holders.
What does the draft propose?
- The draft proposes a range of short, medium and long term plans to protect the endangered species of birds.
- It also seeks to start species recovery programmes of the critically endangered ones and adopt approaches to control their declining numbers.
- Furthermore, the plan proposes to protect birds in the urban areas and protect their habitats from turning into wastelands.
- Conserve wetlands and coastal areas that are homes to thousands of birds.
- Scientific interventions to minimise the impact of human activities on avifauna.
Out of over 10,000 species of birds found worldwide, around 1300 inhabits India. However, a recent study by the International Union for Conservation of Nature revealed that about 100 such species of birds are “threatened” and 270 species fall in the “rare” category. The move by the government, if implemented successfully, will undoubtedly help restore the population of the endangered birds while protecting the rare birds against any anthropogenic activities.
The increasing human activities seem to have a domino effect – for instance, the decline in the vulture population has led to a sharp increase in the number of stray dogs especially in the urban areas which in turn resulted in growing cases of rabies in those regions. Therefore, the draft envisages various programmes and activities that would be implemented over short term (2020-24), medium term (2024-27) and long term (2027-30).