India has some of the toughest and promising wildlife laws in the world that have been the cornerstone of species and habitat preservation. There are historical evidences of wildlife conservation in the country. However several of independent India’s pioneering and new generation wildlife acts and policies were enacted under the patronage of Indira Gandhi during the formative years (70s and 80s) of modern wildlife preservation. The significant of them was The Wildlife Protection Act that primarily provided protection against hunting which was the biggest cause of concern at that time. Even our national animal, the tiger, could be hunted and ‘shikar safaris’ were a main attraction for Europeans to visit India. There were even rewards for ‘eradication’ of tiger, wild dog, Himalayan black bear, jackal and others.
|Hunting remains as one of primary causes of unnatural deaths of wildlife|
In Kaziranga National Park, Assam several animals are killed by vehicles during monsoons when the Bramhaputra floods force animals to higher elevations. During their pursuit of crossing NH-37 high mortalities of wildlife occur. Linked to this is the spurt in rhino poaching when they move out of the safe zones of the national park during the monsoons. Both these examples depict temporal peaks in unnatural deaths.
|An injured leopard hit by a vehicle lies on the road while onlookers curiously watch|