How You Can Help Save India’s Endangered Wildlife

© Oleksii G/Shutterstock
© Oleksii G/Shutterstock

India’s wildlife is in grave danger and it seems like the government’s initiatives are not yet sufficiently developed to make a real difference when it comes to keeping endangered species safe. The lives of these animals are essentially in the hands of non-government organisations (NGOs), as well as other individuals trying to lend a helping hand where possible. The more people come together, the more can be done to look after these species, so here are six ways you can help save India’s most vulnerable animal populations.

Donate your time

Volunteering can be one of the most important ways of changing the status quo for endangered species. There are establishments like the Center for Wildlife Studies in Bangalore, where you can train to be a volunteer. Another place that accepts volunteers with open arms is Agumbe Rainforest Research Station (ARRS), the only permanent rainforest research center in India. Simply sign up and enrol to participate in their research programs.

Volunteering at animal shelters and reserves can be a very rewarding experience | © Mila Supinskaya Glashchenko / Shutterstock

Do your homework

Read more about wildlife, and about the current issues surrounding endangered species in different regions. The killing of tigers, elephants or even bees can be a huge risk to our ecological system and it’s sad that schools do not emphasise that enough. Make sure you’re in the know when it comes to facts and figures. Only once you’re aware of the problems will you feel the urgency to work towards change.

Reading facts and figures about wildlife populations is the first step towards making a change | © Matt Wildbore / Unsplash

Buy responsibly

Apparently, a lizard’s genitals are an exact, albeit fraudulent, replacement for an in-demand plant called hatha jodi, found in India and Nepal. The root has become popular due to the fact that it looks like two hands entwined as if in prayer, and is now a sought-after good-luck charm. Subsequently, traders are hunting these reptiles left, right and center, and e-commerce companies such as Snapdeal have even reportedly been selling the product online. If you’re into online shopping, make sure that you’re responsible about it, and know where your money is going. Every e-commerce platform must display details about the seller. It’s best to read the fine print about the company and then make a choice.

Lizard genitals are being sold online as a plant’s root | © Aksa2011 / pixabay

Be environmentally conscientious

A simpler way to protect the environment is to ‘do your bit’ and start at home. Use plastic more carefully and celebrate festivals more responsibly. Events such as the visarjan ceremony often lead to the water bodies where idols are placed becoming very polluted, with a devastating outcome for the ecosystem. Bringing home environmentally friendly idols for worship and cleaning beaches and streets can make a big difference.

A Ganesh idol sits disintegrated on a beach | © Husena MV / Flickr

Speak up

The current Environment Minister of India, Prakash Javadekar, cleared 240 projects in three months back in 2014. Although he said none of those projects compromised the protection of the environment, he additionally sanctioned the felling of 325 hectares of forest for building a dam and a railway line through the Kanha and Pench Tiger Reserves. If you object to the way things are being handled by governments or other organizations, speak up. Start a campaign, one on paper or social media—it doesn’t matter. Make yourself heard and raise awareness.

Make yourself heard and raise awareness | © Tim Gouw / Unsplash

Donate money

There are many NGOs trying their best to work towards preserving wildlife in India, and they’re always in need of donations to fund their projects and research. Alternatively, why not visit a nature reserve or conservation center on your next holiday? It’s a win-win; you get to travel and contribute toward saving lives at the same time. If you’re feeling inspired, why not book your trip with Intrepid Travel?

Each time you buy tickets to a zoo, a National Park or a wildlife reserve, you contribute towards saving endangered lives | © Thomas Hafeneth / Unsplash

Ready to experience a different way to travel, one that gets you closer to local people, places and wildlife in a more sustainable way? Check out Intrepid Travel’s range of responsible trips to India now.

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