New Delhi, Feb 19 (UNI) The Ministry of Environment and Forests admitted that the National Wildlife Action Plan had not made much difference to the conservation of the endangered species.
The candid admission came just as the national tiger census revealed that the number of the endangered animal had dwindled by half, to near 1500, during the last five years.
The Ministry expressed concern over the fact that 40 to 42 per cent of the protected areas for wildlife in the states were yet to be notified, mostly due to some legal cases involved.
At a meeting of national forest and wildlife officials held here last week, it has told the states to take measures to strengthen the protected areas and come out with a management plan as without that any exercise to secure protected areas and make them habitable for wildlife would be fruitless.
Among the main causes of the loss of tiger population, the All India Tiger Census, carried out by the Wildlife Institute of India(WII), Dehradun, has noted the degradation of their habitat as one of them.
Pointing out that at present only less than half of the states were having any wildlife management action plan, the Ministry told them that from the next year financial year it would be made mandatory for states to put in place a management plan for their protected areas to get financial assistance.
Those states which had such plans were suggested to form a committee to review their working.
The states were also asked to supply needed information to the Wildlife Crime Control.
They were also requested to send their staff on deputation to the regional and national bureaus and coordinate with them wherever needed.
Several states told the Ministry officials that they were quite short of forest staff, especially of forest guards, and the existing ones were ageing as fresh recruitment to the posts had not been made for a long time.
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