Wildlife preservation needs more govt care
The Bangladesh government in last few decades have taken several significant steps to protect the country’s wildlife, but a snail’s pace in implementation of the initiatives has made it clear that the execution of the steps should be more speedy, practical and detailed.
About 50 percent of the wild animals have gone extinct since the beginning of life on earth, with the rest being left at the mercy of humans who are the only hope of the wildlife, researchers have revealed.
With nearly 100 different species on the verge of extinction and many more are being threatened every day around the world due to rapid urbanisation and development activities, the fate of the remaining wild animals are in the hands of the humans, according to recent studies.
This very idea of greater responsibilities that humans owe their wild friends has prompted this year’s slogan for World Wildlife Day: ‘The future of wildlife is in our hands’.
World Wildlife Day was globally observed on 3 March. Bangladesh observed the day on 12 March with the same slogan to raise awareness to protect wildlife in the country.
The wildlife scenario in Bangladesh is not satisfactory as recent surveys pointed out that animals like tigers, elephants, vultures, dolphins, porcupines are seeing sharp fall in their numbers.
Conservator of Forest (wildlife circle) Asit Ranjan Pal said once Bangladesh was blessed with numerous plants and animals. In last few decades, single horn Rhinoceros, para deer, large-sized vulture, pink headed duck, freshwater crocodiles and hawksbill turtle have gone extinct.
Apart from poaching, activists are blaming the destruction of natural habitats for the decline in the populations of these animals. The list of extinct animals in Bangladesh includes: bantengs, wild buffalos, swap deer, blackbucks, blue bulls, wolves, striped hyenas, Malayan sun bears, rhinoceros, and gaurs.
Experts believe the lack of government willingness and absence of planned actions are worsening the wildlife preservation projects which have only been taken in principles and thus implementations are not in sight.
‘The 38 wildlife sanctuaries that the Bangladesh government announced are still not in effect. So it can be said that animals are not safe even in the sanctuaries,’ zoologist Anisuzzaman Khan said pointing at the government’s indifference towards the protection of endangered animals in the country.
Anisuzzaman, however, is seeing light at the other end of the tunnel as people are becoming more concerned about the preservation of environment and animal life than they used to be earlier. He thanked the media and online social platforms for such change in people’s attitude.
‘...people too are now demanding protection of the environment and wildlife. Their (people’s) spontaneous participation in the protest against building Rampal Power Plant in Sundarbans area is an evidence of their increased awareness about our wildlife,’ the zoologist said optimistically.