India is one of the 17 mega biodiverse countries, occupying only 2.5 % of the world’s geographical area and 1.8 % of the its forest area but supporting 16 % of the world’s human population and 17 % of its livestock population. Biotic pressure on the country’s protected areas is tremendous and managers of these areas face an uphill task in balancing divergent needs of different stakeholders of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. The job of managing such areas is highly challenging because of the many difficult issues such as human–wildlife conflicts, encroachments, overgrazing, tourists’ pressure (including pilgrimages into the forests), poaching, and an ever–increasing demand for diversion of protected areasfor development purposes. In the present article we discuss some of these issues with reference to India and emphasise the danger of losing ecosystem services (mostly of an intangible or regulating kind of nature) emanating out of
these protected areas.
Protected area, Biodiversity conservation, Ecosystem services, Human–wildlife conflict, Ecotourism, Tiger Reserve
Reception date: 21 VIII 17 | Acceptation date: 25 VII 18 | Publication date: 23 XI 18
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