A protected area is defined as a geographical area that is protected against exploitation of any of its natural resources. According to IUCN (International Union of Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources), a protected area is a clearly defined geographical space that is recognized, dedicated and managed through legal or other effective means to achieve the long term conservation of nature with associated ecosystem services and cultural values (IUCN, 2008). In other words, these are those clearly demarcated geographical regions where conservation and management are outlined by law. Depending upon the level of protection, any protected area can be classified into six internationally recognized categories Ia. Strict Nature Reserve Ib. Wilderness AreaII National ParkIII Natural Monument or FeatureIV Habitat/Species Management AreaV Protected Landscape/SeascapeVI Protected area with sustainable use of natural resources(Table 1) (Dudley and Stolten, 2008). However, the classification system varies a little from the above mentioned in India. Under Wildlife protection Act (1972), the protected areas can be classified into four major categories i. e. National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries, Conservation Reserves and Community Reserves, in India. Protected Area Categories (India): All the four categories of protected areas in India arestriclty aimed toconserve the ecology and wildlife of the area therein. In national parks, various activities that may harm the wildlife residing in the region are not permitted. It includes forestry, poaching, hunting and grazing of livestock. Even private ownership is not allowed. The constitution of a national park emphasizes mainly on maintaining the ecological significance of the area and strictly reserving it for biodiversity and wildlife. Hence, any national park has its boundaries well defined and no alternation of the boundaries of the national can be made except on a resolution passed by Legislative Assembly of the State Government whereas such an alteration maybe done by the orders of state government in a wildlife sanctuary. A wildlife sanctuary is that protected area that is mainly dedicated to protect the wildlife and conserve the animal species. Restricted human activities are permitted inside the sanctuary but killing, shooting, hunting or capturing wildlife is prohibited except at the direction of higher authorities. Private ownership rights and forestry operations are permissible to an extent that do not affect wildlife adversely in a wildlife sanctuary. To improve the protection in and around existing or proposed national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, two new categories of protected areas, conservation reserves and community reserves, were introduced in the amendment to the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 in, 2002). These protected areas are actually the migration corridors or connectors between the national parks and sanctuaries. Conservation reserves are uninhabited regions that are completely owned by Government of India but can be used by communities for their subsistence in case a part of the land is privately owned.
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