Wildlife sanctuaries’ financial status demands more visitors
India is a home to many wildlife sanctuaries. These wildlife sanctuaries make the country a paradise for a nature lover. There are about 515 wildlife sanctuaries in India among which 43 are declared as the tiger reserves under the Project Tiger. Some of the wildlife sanctuaries are distinctively named as bird-sanctuary as they are conserving the endangered species of birds. Wildlife sanctuaries have their national significance as they safeguard the rare wildlife species.
Wildlife sanctuaries in India have rich and diversified flora and fauna. They showcase a variety of captivating scenery, all kinds of shrubs, herbs, trees, grasslands and prominently some of the rarest endangered animal and bird species. The wildlife sanctuaries are a suitable place for the ornithologists, researchers, wildlife photographers and essentially the animal and plant lovers.
The financial condition of wildlife sanctuaries in India:
Financial condition of wildlife sanctuaries is getting worse every year. There is a shortage of money for the maintenance and smooth running of these wildlife sanctuaries. The main reason behind this shortage is the decreasing number of tourists. The revenue collected from the tickets is so low that it is getting harder for the sanctuary management to maintain these sanctuaries. Although the 43 tiger reserves in India are the exceptions as they get gigantic amount of ₨ 165 crore per month from the Government of India while the other wildlife sanctuaries get a monthly amount of ₨ 75 crore. This implies that each one of them get allowance worth ₨ 1 lac per month. These wildlife sanctuaries are home to many rarely found / endangered species like Great Indian Bustard, Snowy Leopard and Manipur Deer and there is a need of saving these wildlife sanctuaries from the shortage of money. There is an issue due to the act of giving priority to the tiger reserves and this causes negligence of the other wildlife sanctuaries. Planning Commission of India had promised to double the allocation to ₨ 24 lac per year, but still these sanctuaries are getting ₨ 12 lac per year only. This sum is used to manage the protected areas, and to take up wildlife conservation programs of the endangered species.
India has 4.9 percent of its total area under the protected network. These protected regions have around 102 national parks and 515 wildlife sanctuaries. There is a meeting of the National Board for Wildlife held every year and the decisions and plans regarding these wildlife sanctuaries are made at this summit. In this meeting, Prime Minister of India- Mr. Manmohan Singh discussed that there is a need for focusing on the conservation of the species other than the tiger as well.
These facts and figures show that the financial situation of these wildlife sanctuaries is not good and they are in a need of money to protect the few / remaining habitats of country’s most critically endangered species. The number of tourists arriving in these wildlife sanctuaries is very less. The reason in decrease can be given as the maintenance of these sanctuaries is not good. These Indian wildlife sanctuaries need more and more visitors in order to increase the revenue so as to maintain and smoothly run the conservation programs. Government needs to do the proper planning to attract the visitors towards these wildlife sanctuaries by making the conditions better. Tourists should also take interest in these sanctuaries as they are the places that make you come close to the nature and experience the thrill of watching some of the rarest wildlife species.
Jessica Frei is a wildlife enthusiast and a blogger too, she likes to travel different national parks and wildlife sanctuaries all over the globe. She is currently in India on her wildlife tour.