The large scale poaching (killing) of wild animals residing in the forests by man is a serious threat to the survival of many animal and bird species. This also disturbs the food chains in which these animals occur resulting in undesirable consequences for the whole ecosystem. This point will become more clear from the following example. Snake is a wild animal.
The skin of snakes is in great demand for making fancy leather goods, so the snake skin sells at a high price in the market. Now, to make some easy money, some people kill the snakes indiscriminately in large numbers to obtain their skin.
This large scale killing of snakes disrupts the food chains in which snakes occur and creates an imbalance in nature. For example, snake is a friend of the farmer in the sense that it eats vermin’s like rats and mice which are pests and damage the crops.
Now, when the snakes are killed in large numbers to obtain their skin, the population of snakes is reduced greatly. Now, due to the lesser number of ‘predator’ snakes, the population of pests like rats and mice in crop-fields increases. The increased number of rats and mice in the fields damages the standing crops leading to loss in the production of food-grains.
It is very important to conserve wildlife to maintain the ecological balance in nature and to preserve the gene pool. Some of the measures (or steps) to be taken for the conservation of wildlife are given below:
1. Laws should be made to impose a total ban on poaching (killing) or capturing of any animal or bird belonging to an endangered species. The poaching of an endangered species of animals and birds should be made a punishable offence. Such laws should not remain on paper only, they should be enforced strictly.
2. Even if some type of wild animals and birds are in abundance today, their indiscriminate killing should not be allowed by the forest authorities.
3. The natural habitats of wild animals and birds should be preserved by establishing National Parks and Sanctuaries throughout the country.
4. The Government Department connected with the conservation of wildlife should conduct a periodic survey in all the forests, National Parks and Sanctuaries to have knowledge of the population of all species of wild animals and birds, so that these animals can be helped in the times of distress like floods and famines.
5. Special attention should be paid to the conservation of endangered species of wild animals and birds to prevent their extinction altogether.
6. The unauthorised felling (cutting) of forest trees for timber trade and fuel-wood should be curbed (stopped) immediately. This is because depletion of forests destroys the natural habitat of wild animals and birds, and exposes them to the cruelty of man as well as nature.
7. In the case of Government authorised felling of forest trees, for every acre of forest cut down, an equal area of land should be planted with saplings of trees to make up for the loss in the long run.