The land and the natural resources are limited but the numbers of mouths to feed are going up and up. Under such circumstances, it is really very difficult task to protect, propagate and strive for place to the wildlife. Thus, realizing the conditions of various sectors of our country particularly socio-economic life, the wildlife must be managed and guided by the efficient and intensive land-use concept. We should propagate the wildlife through the concept of various ways by educating and motivating the public taking economical benefits from the wildlife, the renewable natural resources, for the common mass.
This is possible through the concept of multiple-use of the land. Hence, multiple-use concept means that the resources not only keeping in only one use, should be utilized or used in multiple uses or directions so that maximum productions or benefits may be taken from it.
The soil is the most important resource of this earth. We cannot imagine life without it. If soil is used only for agriculture, horticulture and forestry, there will be only one type of production at a time; but if it is utilized for multiple-uses, we will get more than one production at a time. For example, if in the lands suited for agricultural crops, the fast growing trees forest crops are planted on bunds which remain vacant then we will get fuel food, fodder for livestock, wood for agricultural implements, poles etc.
It along with this tree planting on bunds, some game birds like quails, partridge, and jungle fowl etc. In this way; from agricultural fields, in addition to agricultural crops, benefits may be taken as fuel wood, fodder, wood timber, hunting etc.
The land is classified on the basis of the fertility and texture of the soil. On this very basis, the land is divided and distributed into various sectors such as agriculture, horticulture, forestry and so on for its proper utilization.
Applying modern wildlife management techniques on such land, we can get benefits through tourism; trade in general and scientific field etc. Thus, it will serve the purposes of conservation of rare and threatened species, soil and water conservation, and enhancement of our economy up to a certain extent. Since wildlife is also a kind of land-use as a renewable crop; soil, water, air etc. If this land-use is also kept separate like other land-uses agriculture, horticulture etc.
The lands which are not suitable for agriculture and horticulture, they are lastly used for forestry and wildlife.
Under such circumstances; seeing the importance of wildlife, it may be linked with other land-uses in such a way that the revenue from the main land-use may be meeting and simultaneously the wildlife may also be conserved and propagated imparting benefits to the mankind.
Developed countries have already taken steps in this direction and wildlife is viewed as a land-use and most of the wildlife in these countries are seen in the individual farms, trade centres, national parks, sanctuaries and zoos. It shows the outlook of developed countries towards the wildlife. Similar sectors of economic activities in India can be identified in each area of the country depending upon land-use pattern. The selection also depends upon the potential and type of wild fauna present in that particular area.
For instance, breeding of suitable birds should be encouraged in certain area which should be closed for a certain period and then opened up so that people may be allowed hunting, if necessary, and government may get revenue.
Similarly, trade may be dealt in silk, lac, feathers, wool, fats and oils, wild meat etc. Along with main land-uses like the agriculture and forestry, wildlife as land-use may be linked as follows: First of all; the forest should be divided as per the objectives such as protected forest, production forest, less productive and in the form of rivers and nallahs.
Therefore, the forest area which is not so important from timber production point of view is very much important from wildlife management point of view and should be the main objective for wildlife in such area.
The forest area which is important for timber production point of view, wildlife management may be less important. But this area may also be managed which can meet the demands of wildlife propagation without hampering forest production. In villages, there are some barren and degraded lands, village roads, rivers and nallahs which are not suitable for agricultural crops.
In such areas, management should be done in such a way that it may suit for certain wildlife. Bushes may be grown in degraded and barren lands. These will help as shelter for small wild animals, birds etc. In such areas, game birds like partridge, quails, jungle fowls etc.
Apart from this, pisciculture may also be developed in ponds of the villages to get handsome revenue. Hence, in our country, there is ample chance to link wildlife as land-use with the other land-uses on the basis of the multiple-use concept by understanding wildlife as important land-use for nature, environment, eco-balance and ultimately human-life. It involves a challenging task of wildlife resource mobilization, efficient land-use and integration of wildlife economics with the basic planning objectives.
This prospective should form a part of our overall developmental strategy so that we can save, preserve, conserve and propagate our remaining national valuable wildlife heritage up to the mark.
In nutshell, it can be said that we must divide the land into several categories depending upon the quality of land and its uses for various purposes such as agriculture, horticulture, forestry etc. The land; which is unfertile, degraded and where the land cannot be used otherwise for any other purpose should be exclusively utilized for wildlife. By applying modern management techniques, we can get economical profit from such kinds of lands by promoting tourism, scientific trade and other related business.
It will serve the twin purposes like conservation of rare and threatened species as well as conservation of soil and water, and thus dragging our economy towards-prosperity. Food is the most important basic requirement to get energy and subsequently for proper growth, breeding, propagation and other metabolic-activities. The green plants manufacture their food by own by the process of photosynthesis and, thus, called as autotrophs.
The animal-communities do not have such type of mechanism and, thus, have to depend upon others called as heterotrophs. In this respect, the consumers like herbivorous animals depend upon plants producers deriving food-energy from them and, in turn, carnivores ultimately trap their food and energy from them, in this way, food-chain and food-web have been formed and ecological-balance is maintained.
Though, each animal requires nutritive elements but the food requirements of all the animals are not alike. The different species are differently adopted for their food as per their environment or habitat and, thus, have different kinds of food-habits to suit in a particular environment. A particular food may be edible for a particular species whereas it may be non-edible for others. Therefore, quality and quantity of food available in the habitat affects a lotto the number and status of the wild animals.
Hence, the assessment of characteristics, quality, quantity and status of the vegetation available in the habitat and its improvement is an important and primary stage of wildlife management. Some animals fulfill their required nutrients by eating the plants itself; while in some animals, like ruminants, it is synthesized by certain bacteria etc. In some special period, such as in pregnancy and milking period, the females require more food or some special food than the normal period for proper growth of the fetus and young ones.
As per food-habit, there is adaptation in the digestive system of the species and they prefer the food in that manner.
For example, herbivores become instinct towards vegetarian food while carnivores towards non-vegetarian food. Deer become tempted to see grasses whereas tigers will not. For the sustenance of life, the animals consume different types of food in the variable seasons and in this way their food-choice may be said as primary, secondary and so on. After preferred-food, the staple-food comes in the series.
Generally, this food is important for the living of the animal being available for long time. When there is scarcity of staple food, the species depends upon certain food which is neither so tasteful nor nutritive and called as emergency-food.
Such food cannot sustain the animal for a long period because it induces malnutrition. The food which is totally non-nutritive and is consumed by the animal only to fulfill its stomach is called stuffing-food. Such food is taken in by the animals when there is no alternative. Sometimes, certain animals take unusual food which is not in their habit.
For example, sometimes bark eaten by sambhar and cheetal, grass by tiger as found in its pellet sometimes etc. The period in which the food is not sufficiently available and causes trouble to the animal, is called pinch-period. This period may be for other basic requirements also such as water etc. The period varies as per the habitat, climate, country etc. The management part is very essential and plays important role for such period.
The selection of food by the animal depends upon the season and period of the habitat, it depends upon the fact that in which season or period, which type of food is available, and how much labour is to be done to procure it by the animal; because season is responsible for the availability and quantity of the food in a particular habitat.
Hence; the food, which is easily and sufficiently found in a season, is consumed in enough quantity by the animal. It can be said that plenty of food is directly related with its consumption. Palatability of food for animal is related with its taste, easy availability and digestibility etc.
Since its evolution and habit, the animal selects its food accordingly as it is capable of digestion as well as has habitual instinct for such food. Hence; by considering all these situations, it can be said that the quantity and quality of food serve a lot in the survival and propagation of the animals.
For their survival, different kinds of animals take different kinds of food as per their adapted habit and habitat. For example; some species survive by eating seeds of the plants which is very nutritive while some are living on grasses and leaves of the trees, some are habituated on dry grasses and leaves, some take tender leaves and grass while some prefer hard grasses and so on.
Some are grazers whereas some are browsers. All these depend upon the condition of the habitat and adaptations of the animals. Climate, soil and other natural as well as biotic-factors are responsible for outcome of the condition of the habitat to which the animal adapts it accordingly. The aquatic animals have developed various adaptations morphologically as well as physiologically, terrestrial animals have also modified and adapted themselves to suit their living environment and the desert animals have likewise adaptations in all means to conserves water and reducing the loss of water less and less for their survival.
In each and every type of environment and habitat, the animals are having adaptations to be suited and survive nicely. Selection of food, its quality and quantity, palatability etc. Water is another basic requirement of the wild animals. Since water is essential for metabolic activities, it is required up to a certain extent by the animals for their survival, growth and propagation.
All animals preserve metabolic water. The desert animals conserve water to exist indefinitely on metabolic water and for this they have various adaptations in their morphology as well as physiology. Water conservation is also provided for by habits; such as the nocturnal or burrowing habit that escapes from diurnal heat and low humidity by the adaptations like possession of chitin, scales as the morphological protection and excretion of dry faeces as physiological adaptations.
Thus, the necessity of water is different in different types of animals. The size of the waterholes is not so important for wildlife rather its proper distribution in the entire habitat throughout the year is very important.
Its spatial-distribution and availability with sufficient numbers have great importance for the survival and propagation of the animals. If the number of waterholes is very few, there will be crowd and pressure of the animals around it and hard competition will arise for the survival and will not be utilized properly by them.
On the other hand, if it is properly distributed throughout the area, it will sustain the total animals as per the carrying-capacity. Therefore, management of water sources or waterholes plays an important role in the field of wildlife management.
The place or area which gives protection and serves other biological needs of the species is known as shelter. Covers are those vegetation or plants which save the animals from causal-factors and provide safety, resting, shade as well as protecting from adverse environmental-effects.
Where, the wild animals escape themselves to protect from predators or hunters. Its shape and size depends upon the size of the animals. Here the birds hide themselves for breeding, laying and nursing the eggs. Likewise, the larger animals also require such cover to deliver the litters. Its size and shape also depend upon the size and requirements of the animals. It is that cover which protects the animals from the problematic season etc. It may be bushes or the trees in accordance with the size of the animals.
The cover under which, shade the animals take rest after taking the food and use as perch. This may be bush, tree or cave. There should be sufficient space for living of the animals. Therefore, space is the important characteristic of the habitat. Without it, the animals cannot survive. It is not only horizontal, but also includes vertical dimension. The horizontal dimension requires sufficient space as per the need of the animals like home-range, territory etc. In vertical dimension in any field, the wild animals are living in six-seven levels such as at the peak height vulture etc.
In lack of sufficient space, the animals come under stress and there is crowd in the habitat and ultimately leading towards the diseases, casualty, hampering in courtship and mating, improper supply of food, water and so on. Hence, proper management of the habitat is to provide proper and sufficient basic requirements of the animals food, water and shelter as per the carrying-capacity is the most essential and important primary objective of wildlife management.
The ecosystem is the outcome of two components viz. Therefore, the ecological factors are falling under two categories such as biotic or living factors and abiotic or physical factors. It includes living organisms such as plants and animals as well as other forms of life. These factors are the resultant of the interactions and interrelations of the same species intraspecific or different-species interspecific because, in the ecosystem, all organisms are interlinked and interdependent on each other and none can live alone or in isolation for getting their basic needs like food, water and shelter and protection.
Not only this, but the animals of one species are related or dependent upon the animals of the same species and vice-versa. Such interdependency exists without considering kind and size, such as big animals or plants are associated with small insects or parasites. Such association is intraspecific between same species and interspecific between different species. Broadly, the physical factors which has affected and affecting the fauna and flora of an ecosystem can be divided into two parts viz.
Mainly there are six media where animals and plants live which soil, light, temperature, water, air and parasite are living in or on the body of other organism host. The soil, which is formed by weathering of rocks associated with organic matter and the living organisms, is the most essential medium for the survival of plants and animals. It contains various types of nutrients, minerals, water and gases and support for the plants producers. Thus, it is essential for the sustenance of any form of life.
The dead part of the organism is decayed and transformed by the decomposers dwelling in the soil and contribute also in the soil- formation particularly humus and continue the energy-nutrient-cycle also. The vigour and hygiene of health of the wild animal depends upon the presence and absence of the minerals in the soil.
The mineral-rich soil supports more wildlife than poorly aerated and acidic soil. The animal develops in the particular soil containing materials needed for it; for example, snails are found in the soil which is enriched in calcium required for their shell formation.
The soil which is slightly acidic or neutral is generally well-suited for most of the plants and animals. Therefore, status and kinds of wildlife has direct relationship with the soil-condition of an area or habitat. On good soil, vegetation is luxuriant and nutritious resulting good size and number of the herbivores and subsequently optimum number of carnivores are found there establishing dynamic and viable ecosystem maintaining proper food-chain.
Any deterioration, naturally or artificially, changes the characteristics of the soil leading the change in food, shelter and status of wildlife in reverse direction. Light is also an important factor in influencing growth, behaviour and distribution of flora and fauna. The most important work in this field is the phenomenon of photosynthesis. The amount of light received by an organism depends upon the intensity and duration of light.
The duration of light to which an organism is exposed to receive, is called as photoperiodism. The intensity of light effects the metabolic rate of the animals resulting the phenomenon like hibernation, aestivation and diapause in certain species like amphibians, reptiles, insects etc.
Since there is relation between metabolism and growth, the light influences the growth of the animal as per the rate of the metabolic activities. For the growth of plants, light is very essential while certain animals may die or survive in presence or absence of light.
In certain animals, especially birds and mammals, gonads and ultimately reproduction are stimulated by light. To the, intensity or illumination of light, different kinds of animals response in different ways.
Sexual activities, migration etc. Likewise, plants are also effected by the relative length of day light. The length of day and night light affects reproduction, behaviour, migration, hibernation, and aestivation etc. Hence, photoperiodism influences the various activities of the animals.
Perhaps, the sense organs are stimulated by the photoperiodism and required physiological changes occur in the animals to response to the desired performance.
Light is also responsible for changing the colour of the skin of certain animals. Mimicry is the example of that which is a kind of protective measure to suit in the environment. Eyes of certain deep water aquatic animals are enlarged while nocturnal animals, as in owls, have enlarged eyes to see in night.
In certain lower animals, locomotion is influenced by light known as photokinesis. Butterflies move in day period while moths in the night.
Temperature is also one of the important factors controlling distribution and behaviour of the animals. Like light, it also controls the various activities of the animals like reproduction, embryonic development, migration, diapause and other metabolic activities. The temperature at which the body activities, physiological and metabolic, are at maximum is called as Optimum-temperature.
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