India has a 5,000 year old history of practicing nature conservation. Wildlife has been represented in the culture of the sub-continent from the dawn of civilization, as evident from the presence of One-horned Rhinoceros and Asiatic Lion in Mohan Jodaro, and the Black Buck antelope in a village called Palam (today’s international airport in New Delhi). Animals have figured in mythology as companions of Gods and in children’s tales. There are references to Sacred Groves in the desert and to the significance of the miracle herb like Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum). India is a living museum of remarkable wildlife. The tradition to respect nature, forests, animals and five elements of nature (earth, air, water, sky and fire) can be witnessed all over the country to this day.
It is a country of huge diversity, India stands among the top ten nations in the world for richness in bio-diversity. It has about 7% of the world’s flora and 6.5% of the world’s fauna, recording 614 species of amphibians and reptiles, 1,225 species of birds, and 350 species of mammals. Of these, 173 species of mammals, 78 species of birds and 15 species of reptiles are considered threatened.
Several species, presumably, have still not been named by science and there is scant research on many others. Hence, greater action is required from Governments, conservation bodies and individual experts to improve and safeguard eco-systems and threatened habitats. Nature conservation can help to improve the quality of life for people and combat climate change. Let us : “think globally and act locally”, and follow the example of The Indian Birding Fair.