Man versus wild

I find that whenever experts bemoan our shrinking forest cover and depleting biodiversity, there is a tendency to focus on national parks and tiger reserves. However, travelling in Uttar Pradesh, much of which was densely forested merely decades ago, I’ve found that the prognosis for lesser-known wild areas is way more alarming.

Poaching, deforestation, quarrying and human encroachments have caused these areas to decline precipitously. For example, last month, I was in Drammandganj forest range in Mirzapur. Locals recall that even 20 years ago, this used to be a lush jungle teeming …

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