There have been various studies which do suggest several instances showing wildlife population being reduced to quite an extent across the globe. While there is no fool proof for this drop, urbanization, use of pesticides and habitat destruction could be some causes.
India has also seen a steep drop in wildlife in the past few years but because of no data available on the current wildlife outside protected reserves and national parks, it is hard to know what was and what is left. In fact, even in the protected areas, it is mainly tigers that we have figures of.
With traditional fuels being wood, charcoal and coal, forests were the one bearing the brunt. Even after Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change being set up, the exploitation of forests continued.
As per the report by Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), there has been a drop of 60 percent in wildlife populations, and it excludes hunting as one of the causes. Thus, pesticides, urbanisation and agriculture can be blamed in some parts but there are areas which are free from these, however, they remain poor in biodiversity.
Forest fires, which are mostly human induced, have a damaging effect on butterflies, insects, shrubs, bushes, birds and animals. In the summer of 2016, there were 20,000 fires that were reported, which proves that forest fires are a big threat to the biodiversity in India. Thus, you will find forests in hundreds of km burnt completely.
In fact, these fires caused devastation to birds and insects, along with animals. The omnivores, to be specific rhesus macaques and wild boars, figured out how to endure and survive by moving their nourishing base to village crops. However, as the Wildlife (Protection) Act termed jail for killing these without permission, it was impossible to protect crops, resulting in the suffrage of farmers and villages which were there for centuries.
Now, the challenge is to plant forests again, and while everyone talks about it, not even one forest has been planted until no more plantation was required there.
To be able to restore the Indian ecosystems, forests should be left to grow on their own, they need to be protected more than being planted.
Even after the large human population, we can guarantee a sustainable biodiversity within a reasonable time-frame. It is just some effort and proper management that is needed. Once forests support original plants and animals, crop bugs like the boars and macaques will have another thing to feed on other than rural produce, groundwater will be revived, bushes and hedges will re-develop, insects will recuperate, the nutrient cycles will be restored and the biodiversity crisis will move toward becoming history.
The facts confirm that with a tremendous human population, an expansive piece of the land will be utilized by people for people, however there is an exceptionally significant region that isn't developed, which can surely be come back to being healthy.
Image Credit: corbett-national-park.com