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Indira Gandhi Zoological Park’s Wildlife Conservation Efforts

Context:

Recently, the Indira Gandhi Zoological Park (IGZP) in Visakhapatnam has been at the forefront of wildlife conservation in India, particularly in the successful breeding and nurturing of Striped hyenas and Asiatic wild dogs (Dhole).

Relevance:

GS III- Environmental Pollution & Degradation, Conservation

Dimensions of this article:

  1. Key Points About Indira Gandhi Zoological Park (IGZP)
  2. About Dholes
  3. Striped Hyenas

Key Points About Indira Gandhi Zoological Park (IGZP)

Establishment and Location:

  • Established in 1977.
  • Located amidst Seethakonda Reserve Forest in the Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh.

Geographical Surroundings:

  • Surrounded by the Eastern Ghats on three sides and the Bay of Bengal on the fourth side.

Recognition:

  • Recognized as a large category zoo by the Central Zoo Authority.

Proximity to Wildlife Sanctuary:

  • Close to Kambalakonda Wildlife Sanctuary, making it home to many free-ranging animals and birds.

IGZP has successfully bred several species including:

  • Striped hyenas
  • Wild dogs
  • Indian grey wolves
  • Ring-tailed lemurs
  • Indian bison
  • Blue and gold macaws
  • Jungle cats
  • Eclectus parrots

About Dholes

  • It is a wild carnivorous animal and is a member of the family Canidae and the class Mammalia.
  • They are also known as Asian wild dogs.
  • Historically, dholes purportedly occurred throughout southern Russia, all across central Asia, south Asia and southeast Asia.
  • According to recent research and current distribution maps, they are restricted to south and southeast Asia, with the northernmost populations in China.
  • In India, they are found in three clusters across India namely the Western and Eastern Ghats, central Indian landscape and North East India.
  • Karnataka, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh rank high in the conservation of the endangered dhole in India, according to a study (2020).
  • Dholes play an important role as apex predators in forest ecosystems.

Conservation Status

  • IUCN List of Threatened Species: Endangered
  • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES): Appendix II
  • Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 : Schedule II

Reasons for their Population Decreasing

  • Due to deforestation and fragmentation of forest corridors.
  • Ungulates are the main prey of dholes whose population is rapidly decreasing due to excessive hunting and habitat loss.
  • Persecution due to livestock predation and disease transfer from domestic and feral dogs.

Striped Hyenas

About

  • Species: Striped hyenas (Hyaena hyaena) are one of the three hyena species.
  • Other Hyena Species: Includes Brown hyenas and Spotted hyenas (the largest).
  • Characteristics: Striped hyenas are smaller and less social compared to the more well-known Spotted hyena.

Challenges to Conservation

  • Habitat Loss: Reduction in natural habitats due to human activities.
  • Human-Wildlife Conflict: Encounters with humans leading to conflicts.
  • Poaching: Illegal hunting for body parts and other purposes.
  • Illegal Wildlife Trade: Trade of hyenas or their parts in black markets.

Protection Status

  • IUCN Status: Near Threatened.
  • Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Listed under Schedule I.

-Source: The Hindu


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