India there are large varieties of rare species of flora and fauna which have
now become endangered. Endangered species are defined as a population of an
organism that is on the verge of becoming extinct because of several reasons.
The research project involves the critical analysis of Wild Life
Protection Act, 1972 to solve the problem of conflict between human and animal
specifically the Narrow- Headed Soft Shell Turtles. The reason to select these
narrow headed soft shell turtles as the focus study of this project is that the Indian narrow-headed turtle (Chitra indica) are extensively hunted throughout its
range at such higher pace that they have been regarded as critically endangered
by IUCN (International Union for Conservation of
Nature) and Government despite its effort have failed
to a large extent to ameliorate their condition.
Critically endangered is the top most risk
category assigned by the IUCN which is called the Red List to wild species.
There are five quantitative criteria to decide if a taxon is endangered. A taxon is critically threatened when the
evidences available shows any of the following criteria:
1. Populations have declined or will decrease, by greater than 80% over the
last 10 years or three generations.
2. Have a restricted geographical range.
3. Small population size of less than 250 individuals and continuing
decline at 25% in 3 years or one generation.
4. Very small or restricted population of fewer than 50 mature individuals.
5. High probability of extinction in the wild
Despite high reproduction rates, they have been
listed in the IUCN Red List and in the Schedule II of the Indian Wildlife Act
of 1972 as Endangered. This status is more so due to extensive human predation
and exploitation, as well as the continued deprivation and encroachment of their
habitat. The government of India has launched several conservation projects on
the Ganga river system as an effort to protect them. Both the animals
themselves as well as their settling grounds have to an extent been protected
from exploitation. However greater monitoring and control on the illegal trade
of this species is required to further protect them. Upgrading the species to
Schedule I of the Indian wildlife act would help the conservation efforts of
Chitra indica. Since, these species are difficult to maintain in captivity,
their conservation efforts should focus on hatch-and-release programs and at
reducing mortality in them.
The first chapter of this project would, deal with Geographic range,
Habitat, a brief about its ecosystem role and positive as well as their negative
economic importance to humans. Then the project would throw light on what has
become a threat to their survival, the conflict between human and these
species. It would also discuss the conservation measure taken by the Government
and how far these have been successful in bettering the situation of these
species. Lastly, what other steps or efforts Government ought to take in this
regard would be suggested.