Describe how communities have conserved and protected forests and wildlife in India?


(i) Conservation is not a new phenomenon but has been prevalent among the village communities since ancient times.
(ii) Many tribal communities and other government officials have raised their voice towards protection of forests and wildlife in the name of certain beliefs.
(iii) For example, the inhabitants of five villages in Alwar district in Rajasthan have announced 1200 hectares of land as the Bhairodev Dakav ‘Sonchuri’ as protection of wildlife from hunting by anyone and outside encroachments.
(iv) Some trees and animals were considered sacred by certain communities which helped in the species preservation of forests and wildlife.
(v) For example, The Mundas and Santhals of Chhota Nagpur worship mahua and kadamba trees. The tribals of Orissa and Bihar worship tamarind, mango trees during weddings.
(vi) Other trees like tulsi, neem and peepal are also considered sacred. Certain animals like macaques and langurs are found in some temples.
(vii) The Bishnoitribesof Rajasthan significantly played an important role towards preservation of black buck, nilgai and peacocks. Thus, conservation was considered as an essential part of the community and any damage caused to the trees and animals had serious repercussions.