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Biodiversity & Environment

Extension of Krishna Wildlife Sanctuary

  • 13 Aug 2019
  • 5 min read

Recently, the Forest Department identified around 300 hectares of revenue land for inclusion in the Krishna Wildlife Sanctuary (KWS),

Krishna Wildlife Sanctuary

  • Krishna Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Andhra Pradesh, India.
  • The sanctuary is a part of the mangrove wetland in Andhra Pradesh and is located in the coastal plain of Krishna delta, spread across Krishna and Guntur districts of Andhra Pradesh.
  • The estuary of the Krishna River passes through the sanctuary.
  • It is believed that this region potentially holds one of the most significant populations of fishing cats in the world.

Fishing Cats

  • The fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) is a medium-sized wild cat of South and Southeast Asia.
  • Fishing cat populations are threatened by the destruction of wetlands and have declined severely over the last decade.
  • The fishing cat is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List.
  • The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) lists the fishing cat on Appendix II part of Article IV of CITES.
  • In India, the fishing cat is included in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and thereby protected from hunting.

Protected Areas

  • Broadly, there are three types of protected areas: Wildlife Sanctuary, National Park, and Biosphere reserve.
    • Wildlife sanctuaries refer to an area which provides protection and favourable living conditions to the wild animals.
    • National Park implies an area that is exclusively designated by the government for the conservation of wildlife and biodiversity due to its natural, cultural and historical significance

National Parks & Wildlife Sanctuaries

  • National parks are highly restricted areas, which are not open to all the people, whereas wildlife sanctuaries have lesser restrictions than national parks.
    • For example: To visit national parks, official permission is to be taken from the requisite authorities. In contrast, no official permission is to be taken to visit a wildlife sanctuary.
    • Human activities are allowed to a limited extent in the wildlife sanctuaries, but in the case of national parks, they are strictly prohibited.
  • Boundaries of wildlife sanctuaries are not sacrosanct. However, the national parks have clearly marked boundaries (fixed by legislation).
  • The International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has declared National Parks in Category II of the protected areas. whereas wildlife sanctuaries are grouped in Category IV of protected areas.
  • However, most of the national parks were initially wildlife sanctuaries, which were then upgraded to national parks. Also, tourism is allowed in both of them.

Biosphere Reserves

  • Biosphere reserves are protected areas, which tend to conserve the genetic diversity of the plants, animals, birds, etc.
    • It comprising terrestrial, marine and coastal ecosystems.
    • Each reserve promotes solutions reconciling the conservation of biodiversity with its sustainable use.
    • Biosphere reserves are nominated by national governments and remain under the sovereign jurisdiction of the states where they are located. Their status is internationally recognized.
    • There are 701 biosphere reserves in 124 countries.
  • A biosphere reserve is divided into three zones: Core zone, Buffer zone, Transition zone.
    • This categorization gained international prominence through UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme in 1971.
      • The core area(s) comprises a strictly protected ecosystem that contributes to the conservation of landscapes, ecosystems, species and genetic variation.
      • The buffer zone surrounds or adjoins the core areas, and is used for activities compatible with sound ecological practices that can reinforce scientific research, monitoring, training and education.
      • The transition area is the part of the reserve where the greatest activity is allowed, fostering economic and human development that is socio-culturally and ecologically sustainable.


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