Forest Fires Threaten Wildlife Survival

Forest Fires Threaten Wildlife Survival

27 November 2007

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Srinagar, Kashmir, India — Widespread forest fires over the past months could not only pose a serious threat to wildlife in the valley, but could also bring several species to the point extinction.

Uncontrolled forest fires raging in the valley for several months now have devoured thousands of young green trees besides consuming precious herbs and other plant species.

Moreover, the fires now pose a threat to wild animals living in the forests, and if the blaze continues, many could be wiped out.

Though there have been no reports of wild animals dying in the fires so far, the forests cover is shrinking because of the continuing conflagration, impinging on the very survival of wildlife.

When contacted, the chief wildlife warden, A. K. Srivastava admitted that fires pose a danger to the wildlife, but said that animals flee from the area on fire and take shelter in safer tracts.

“But smaller animals that cannot move swiftly can be consumed by the flames,” he said.

“And when the fire takes place all around, bigger animals also are not safe,” he added.

The chief wildlife warden, however, said that his department was keeping a sharp eye on the situation.

According to the officer, the government of India was implementing a forest protection scheme in collaboration with the state government, and the plans would be ready soon.

“The plans will ensure the safety of wildlife in the state, particularly in the valley,” he said.

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