Haritima : The Environmental Society Of Hansraj College


Habitat Loss

  • Due to unsustainable resources use, productive lands like the forest, savannah, rainforest, etc. are degrading at a higher pace.
  • This is the most important cause which is driving animals and plants to extinction.
  • An example of habitat loss comes from Tropical Rain Forests. At one time they were covering more than 14% of the earth’s land surface, these rain forests now cover no more than 6%.
  • The Amazon rain forest (often called thelungs of the planet) sustaining probably millions of species, is being slashed and cleared for cultivating soya beans or for conversion to grasslands for raising beef cattle.
  • Pollution also threatens the survival of many species.
  • When large habitats are broken up into small fragments because of various human activities, mammals and birds requiring large territories and other animals with migratory habits are badly affected, leading to population declines.
  • Scientists have estimated that human activities are likely to eliminate approximately 10 million species by 2050.
  • The rate of extinction is very high, nearly 25%.
  • Converting agricultural and Biodiversity land into industrial land is highly lethal to current Biodiversity in that area.

For example:-

Converting land near Yamuna River in Delhi into Okhla Industrial area has already eradicated many thousands of species. Few species are still under threat to it.


  • Hunting is an ancient “hobby” practiced dating back to the Persian community.
  • Killing Wild animals for fun as well as for commercial business is indeed a uproarious practice.
  • Even after implementing multiple strict laws, the activity continues to be practiced.
  • Skins and bones of Tiger, Ivory bones of Elephant and Rhinoceros, Deer horns, etc. are extensively traded.
  • A variety of plants with medicinal properties are harvested at a faster rate.

For example:-

Rauvolfia, Nux Vomica, are plants that are highly exploited.

Man-Wildlife Conflict

  • Habitat fragmentation and contraction of habitats.
  • Increasing disturbancedue to collection of fuelwood, fodder, water, etc. from the forests has also increased the incidences of Man-Wildlife conflict people have to go deeper and deeper, year by year for fetching firewood
  • Decreased prey base for animals.

What is the impact of man wildlife conflict?

  • Injury or loss of human lives as well as animals.
  • Crop damage, livestock depredation.
  • Damage to human property and destruction of habitat.

What can be done to reduce this conflict?

  • Capacity building of forest guards.
  • Increased vigilance and protection of identified locations using technological surveillance tools like sensors for knowing Animal movements.
  • Construction of highways/railways bypassing wildlife-rich areas like Savannah region and national parks.
  • Expansion of protected reserves: in-situ and ex-situ habitat conservation measures will help in securing animals their survival and reduced conflict with humans
  • Safe animal zones creation: re-locating of animal habitats away from residential and commercial centres will serve to minimize animal-man conflict for an illegal and self-interested motive.
  • Community rehabilitation measures: making the community responsible for resolutions of the eccentric conflict will aid in a decentralized approach of governance for wildlife preservation.
  • Partnering with WWF which provides a sustainable approach to man wildlife conflict with community and species in consideration
  • Adequate compensation after rehabilitation – Baiga tribe in Kanha tiger reserve were relocated without proper compensation.

Biological Invasion

  • When alien species (unknown to the biodiversity) are introduced unintentionally or deliberately, some of them turn invasive and hazardous causing the decline or extinction of indigenous species.

For example:- The Nile perch introduced into Lake Victoria, Africa eventually led to the extinction of an ecologically unique ecosystem of more than 200 species of cichlid fish in the lake.

  • One should be familiar with the environmental damage caused and the threat posed to our native species by invasive and unique weed species like carrot grass (Parthenium), Lantana camara, and Water hyacinth (Eichhornia).
  • Few years ago the illegal introduction of the African catfish Clarias gariepinus for aquaculture and pisciculture poses a threat to the indigenous catfishes.
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