Wildlife is a precious resource that must be conserved and respected. Every species in the world has its own special place and purpose in our ecosystems. It’s extremely important that they’re protected against poaching, habitat destruction, and other dangers they face. Recently, more and more governments have taken it upon themselves to pass laws, regulations, and initiatives to conserve wildlife and their habitats. So, what steps has the government taken to protect wildlife and animals? Read on to find out!
Table of Contents
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Steps Taken by the Government to Protect Wildlife
- 2.1 Steps Taken by the Indian Government to Protect Wildlife
- 2.2 Steps Taken by the US Government to Protect Wildlife
- 2.3 Steps Taken by the Australian Government to Protect Wildlife
- 2.4 Steps Taken by the Canadian Government to Protect Wildlife
- 3 Conclusion
Wild animals play vital roles in our ecosystems and their extinction can lead to a decline in biodiversity. Aside from that, wild animals and their habitats also provide economic benefits through tourism and natural resources. Animals can provide valuable insights for medical and scientific research, however, there are also ethical considerations surrounding their protection. Thus, governments need to protect wild animals considering their enormous impact on our lives. Let’s look at the steps taken by the government to protect wildlife globally.
Steps Taken by the Government to Protect Wildlife
Measures taken by the Government to protect wildlife include:
- Protecting wildlife areas.
- Regulating hunting and trade in wildlife.
- Regulating human activities near or within wildlife habitats.
Furthermore, they may aim to raise public awareness of the importance of wildlife conservation. Let’s take a closer look at them.
Steps Taken by the Indian Government to Protect Wildlife
In India, there are 870 protected areas covering 5.06% of the country’s total geographical area. These protected areas include 551 wildlife sanctuaries, 104 national parks, 131 marine protected areas, 127 community reserves, 88 conservation reserves, and 18 biosphere reserves. The country holds a significant portion of the world’s biodiversity, making it one of 17 mega-diverse nations.
India’s national parks and wildlife reserves are home to approximately 400 mammals and over 1300 bird species, including rare and unique species such as barasingha (swamp deer), the Indian sloth bear, and the Chausinga (antelope with four horns). India proudly stands as the only country where both lions and tigers can be found and have the highest populations of deer and tigers in the entire world. Some of the most notable parks include Sunderban National Park, Corbett National Park, and Ranthambore National Park.
Also Read: Animal Welfare Organizations in India.
National Projects and Initiatives
In response to recent human encroachments, the Indian government has implemented various initiatives to conserve wildlife in the country. Some of these initiatives include Project Tiger, which was created to protect tigers from extinction, the Crocodile Conservation Project, and Project Elephant.
Wildlife Protection Act of 1972
The Wild Life (Protection) Act of 1972 is a law passed by the Indian Parliament to protect plant and animal species. Before this law was enacted, India had only five designated national parks. And since its enactment, the Act protects wild animals, birds, and plants and has six schedules or divisions, that offer varying levels of protection.
Steps Taken by the US Government to Protect Wildlife
Over the years, the United States government has taken several significant steps to protect wild animals. The following are a few examples:
The Endangered Species Act (ESA)
The Endangered Species Act protects plants, fish, mammals, and birds that are listed as threatened or endangered in the United States and other regions. The law includes guidelines that federal agencies must follow concerning listed species and penalties for violations, both criminal and civil. It is mainly enforced by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service.
Also Read: Endangered Species Day: History, and Events.
Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA)
The Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) was passed on October 21, 1972, to prevent marine mammal species and population stocks from becoming extinct. The act established a national policy to keep these animals from declining to the point that they would no longer be an essential part of the ecosystems they are in. The responsibility of implementing the MMPA is shared by three federal organizations:
- NOAA Fisheries, which is responsible for the protection of dolphins, sea lions, whales, porpoises, and seals.
- US. Fish and Wildlife Service, which is responsible for the protection of walruses, sea otters, manatees, and polar bears.
- Marine Mammal Commission which provides science-based oversight or monitoring of domestic and international policies and federal agencies actions that address the impact of humans on marine mammals and their ecosystems.
Steps Taken by the Australian Government to Protect Wildlife
Australia is home to an incredible diversity of wildlife, from iconic marsupials like kangaroos and koalas to unique birds like the emu and the kookaburra. In addition, there is a wide variety of reptiles, fish, and other mammals. Many of these species are found nowhere else in the world and play a vital role in the health and functioning of Australia’s ecosystems.
And to protect this unique diversity, Australia has taken various measures:
- The National Parks and Wildlife Act of 1974 (NSW) is a law that establishes the protection and management of national parks, reserves, and other protected areas, as well as the conservation of native plants and animals in the state of New South Wales, Australia.
- The Wildlife Trade Management Plan establishes a structure for managing international trade in wildlife and wildlife products, to guarantee the preservation and sustainable use of wild animals and plants.
- The Kangaroo Management Plan sets up a framework for managing kangaroo populations and using kangaroo products sustainably.
- The Cane Toad Management Plan establishes a structure for managing cane toad populations and their effects on native species and ecosystems.
- The Fox and Rabbit Control Program provides financial support for controlling foxes and rabbits, which are considered pests in Australia and have a significant impact on native wildlife.
Also Read: Animal Welfare Organizations Around the World.
Steps Taken by the Canadian Government to Protect Wildlife
Just like Australia, Canada is home to a wide variety of wildlife, from majestic mammals to colorful birds such as the Canadian national symbol, the maple leaf-adorned Canada goose, and many other species of fish, reptiles, and insects. However, many of these species are now facing threats such as habitat destruction, hunting, and climate change.
Some of the steps taken by the Canadian Government include:
- The Canadian Wildlife Act of 1973 gives the federal government authority to protect wildlife species, their habitats, and the management of wildlife.
- The Species at Risk Act (SARA) of 2002 is a law that offers legal protection to endangered and threatened species and their vital habitats, and also establishes recovery plans and action plans for these species.
- The Migratory Birds Convention Act of 1994, implements Canada’s international obligations under the Migratory Birds Convention and regulates the hunting, possession, and trade of migratory birds and their eggs, nests, and feathers.
- The Parks Canada Agency is in charge of safeguarding and showcasing important natural and cultural heritage, including endangered and threatened species and their habitats in Canada’s national parks and marine conservation areas.
- The Canadian Wildlife Service, a division of Environment and Climate Change Canada, provides scientific and technical support for the preservation and management of wildlife in Canada.
- The Committee On the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) examines the status of wild species, subspecies, varieties, and distinct populations and decides if they should be added to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk.
Also Read: Importance of Animals to Humans and Environment.
Throughout the years, the government has taken significant steps to protect wildlife and animals, both locally and globally. A few of these measures include establishing national parks, preserving natural habitats, regulating the trade in animal products, and banning certain hunting practices. Although these efforts are commendable, much more needs to be done to truly ensure the welfare of all animals. As responsible citizens, we must support these initiatives by encouraging sustainable development, reducing human-animal conflicts, and raising awareness of conservation issues. As a result of our collective action, future generations can enjoy a diverse and vibrant natural environment for many years to come.