Safeguarding Rajasthan’s Wildlife: Introducing Three New Reserves
On Earth Day 2023, Rajasthan’s Forest Department declared the establishment of three new conservation reserves that will safeguard rare and endangered wildlife in Rajasthan. The three new wildlife conservation reserves are located in Sorsan in Baran, Khichan in Jodhpur, and Hamirgarh in Bhilwara. These additions have set a high standard for conservation efforts in the state.
Sorsan in Baran will offer protection to the Great Indian Bustard, a Critically Endangered species on the brink of extinction. With only 200 of these birds left in the world, the grasslands of Sorsan will become a safe haven for the species. Sorsan will also protect blackbucks, the state animal of Rajasthan, whose numbers have declined drastically due to excessive hunting, habitat loss, and deforestation.
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Khichan in Jodhpur is a winter home to thousands of migratory Demoiselle cranes each year. With the tag of conservation reserve, Khichan will be a safe haven for these birds, making it India’s first conservation reserve for Demoiselle cranes.
Once marked as conservation areas, developmental projects must obtain clearance as per the Forest Conservation Act, 1990. Any developmental projects within the conservation area must be approved by the National Board for Wildlife and State Board of Wildlife.
Rajasthan now has 26 wildlife conservation reserves, including Bisalpur Conservation Reserve in Tonk, Jodbeed Gadhwala Bikaner Conservation Reserve in Bikaner, Khetri Bansyal Conservation Reserve in Jhunjhunu, and Jawai Bandh Leopard Conservation Reserve in Pali.