Wildlife management involves the application of scientific knowledge and technical skills for protection, conservation, and management of wildlife and their habitat. It is an interdisciplinary subject as it includes biological, technological, social, economical, and legal aspects. Wildlife includes all non-domesticated species of wild plants, wild animals, and other organisms. Management of wildlife encompasses the conservation of endangered, threatened, and non-threatened species and their natural habitats. It also includes implementation of certain laws and acts related to wildlife. In fact, the laws are implemented to protect the existing natural habitats.
Wildlife managers use ecological knowledge in order to bring about a balance between the needs of wildlife and the needs of people. Basically, this management has two forms - manipulative and custodial. Manipulative management acts on wildlife population either directly or indirectly and balances the population densities. Custodial management acts indirectly in conserving wildlife population and its habitat by minimizing the external factors that are detrimental to their existence and growth, such as hunting and animal cruelty.
Successful management of wildlife depends on certain elements and their coordination. Public support and awareness is necessary to protect wildlife and their habitats.
It is necessary to make local people realize and accept the importance and idea of wildlife protection. Public interaction can help in making local people responsible and cooperative towards enforcement of wildlife management laws and regulations. Public discussions should be held in order to understand the concepts of the people on management programs. Their feedback should also be taken for effective functioning and management.
People should understand the concept of conservation of natural resources and protected areas. The managers and other responsible persons should hold public discussions, shows, and talks, and should also take help of other media like newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and so on, to make people aware about the basic concepts behind wildlife management. This can stop people from exploiting resources, which is the major threat to wildlife and their habitats.
The role of education in public awareness programs is very important. There should be environmental subjects based on wildlife conservation. The well-educated and trained specialists in environmental and forest issues should participate in public training, and interact with people and solve their queries to make them more responsible towards their duties.
Nature Interpretation Centers
Nature interpretation centers may include setting up of educational camps or exhibitions in nearby regions of protected areas such as zoological gardens, parks, and wildlife sanctuaries. It is usually taken up by the concerned forest departments. It should be made compulsory for all tourists to spare some time in the interpretation centers before entering parks or sanctuaries. These centers should be handled by qualified and trained staff, in order to explain and motivate the concepts of wildlife management to the tourists and people of the nearby-protected areas.
This management is operated at four basic levels - local, state, national, and international. Government agencies plan the policies of protecting, conserving, and managing wildlife. All the levels participate in passing the management tools and many a times, conflicts arise. Thus, proper understanding and coordination between all the levels within the departments is an important element for management of wildlife.
The major protected sites developed for this purpose include national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, and biosphere reserves. In the course of time, many animal species have become extinct either due to natural, unavoidable reasons or human interference. The main objective of creating protected areas under wildlife management is to protect the wild flora and fauna, and allow them to live in their habitat under natural or protected conditions.