Rs 800 cr wildlife habitat improvement scheme on anvil

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New Delhi, Mar 27 (UNI) A Rs 800 Crore scheme for integrated development of the wildlife habitat which are critical to the conservation of threatened species is on the anvil.

The Ministry of Environment and Forests has finalised the plan called Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitat, including those outside the protected areas.

''The scheme has been cleared and the proposal would go to the Cabinet soon,'' a source in the Ministry told UNI.

The deterioration in the wildlife habitat is one of the most important factors in the extinction or sharp decline of populaton of many species including tiger etc.The scheme would take care of the habitat in addition to those identified as critical tiger habitats.

Besides giving support to the protected areas like national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and conservation reserves, the scheme also provides for improvement of wildlife outside protected areas.

A recovery programme for critically endangered species also forms an important component of the scheme.

There are 95 National Parks (area 3.80 million ha), 500 Wildlife Sanctuaries (11.79 m ha) and two Conservation Resrves (4,228 ha) covering a total of 15.60 m ha, wich is 4.74 per cent of the country's geographical area.

A large number of threatened wildlife species inhabit areas outside these protected regions.

UNI NAZ VD HS1417

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