- The Rajasthan government’s recent declaration of three areas as conservation reserves has brought a ray of hope for wildlife conservation efforts and ecotourism in the state.
- As the state government declared three areas — Sorsan in Baran, Khichan in Jodhpur and Hamirgarh in Bhilwara — as conservation reserves.
- The new reserves are expected to protect rare and endangered species and provide a safe haven for migratory birds.
- On Earth Day 2023, the Forest Department of Rajasthan announced three new conservation reserves that will protect the rare and endangered wildlife of Rajasthan.
- Till now there were 26 Wildlife Conservation Reserves in Rajasthan.
- When areas are marked as conservation areas, it becomes mandatory for any developmental project to obtain clearance from the National Board for Wildlife and State Wildlife Boards as per the Forest Conservation Act, 1990.
- The Sorsan grassland in Baran will be a safe home for the Great Indian Bustard, a species that is on the verge of extinction.
- As per reports, there are only 200 of these critically endangered birds left in the world.
- Sorsan will not only protect the Great Indian Bustard, but also the black buck, the state animal of Rajasthan, whose numbers have fallen sharply due to excessive hunting, habitat loss and largescale deforestation.
- Every year, Khichan in Jodhpur plays host to thousands of migratory Demoiselle Crane. Now with the tag of Conservation Reserve, Khichan will be a safe home for these birds coming in winter to this part of the country. Khichan is also India’s first conservation reserve for the Demoiselle Crane.
Purpose of Conservation Reserves:-
- Conservation reserves play a crucial role in protecting endangered species and preserving their natural habitats.
- The Forest Conservation Act of 1990 mandates that all development projects in conservation areas must get approval from the National Board for Wildlife and the State Board of Wildlife.
- This helps in maintaining a balance between development and conservation efforts.