The growing awareness for nature and wild life conservation has made zoos a popular institution. Estimates indicate that 10% of the world's human population visit zoos every year. There are about 350 animal collections in India, which are visited by more than 50 million people annually. Most zoos until the last two decades were set up mainly for entertainment and recre-ation, with the result the scientific management of wild animals in captivity has evolved slowly.
The need for making conservation as one of the main objectives of management of zoos was realised by Government of India soon after independence. Indian Board of wild life made important recommendation in this regard. Today wildlife habitats are under severe pressure and a large number of species of wild fauna have become endangered. The zoos apart from sustaining their own populations have to augment the depleting popula-tions of endangered species in the wild. As zoos are visited by a large number of visitors, they are potent tools for educating people about the important of wild life management as it remain a life supporting processe of nature.
The main objective of the zoos shall be the conservation of the rich biodiversity of the country, particularly the wild fauna. This objective can be achieved through the following methods.
1. Supporting the conservation of endangered species, which have no chance of survival in wild.
2. To inspire amongst zoo visitors empathy for wild animals, an understanding and awareness about the need for conservation of natural resources and for maintaining the ecological balance.
3. Providing opportunities for scientific studies useful for conservation.
1. Indira Gandhi Zoological park, Visakha patnam, A. P.
2. Nehru Zoological park, Hydrabad, A. P.
3. Assam state Zoo-Botanical Garden, Guwahati, Assam.
4. Sanjay Gandhi Biological park, Patna, Bihar.
5. National Zoological park, Delhi.
6. Kamla Nehru Zoological Garden, Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
7. Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Garden, Mysore.
8. Nandankanan Biological park, Orissa
9. Mahendra Chaudhury Zoological park, Punjab.
10. Arignar Anna Zoological park, Vandalur, Tamil Nadu.
11. Kanpur Zoological park, Kanour, U. P.
12. Zoological Garden, Calcutta.
The animals contributing to our economy and welfare are known as beneficial animals. Many animals provide us with nutritious food like meat andmilk, clothing materials like silk and wool and the luxurious items like pearls and corals. The silk worms, the honey bees, the lac insects, fowls, fishes, prawns and crabs belong to this category.
Since time immemorial, human beings have used animals for food and other purposes. While some animals are very useful to mankind certain others cause loss to the economy of man. Though every organisms has its own im-portance in nature, some of them such as a few mammals, birds, fishes, prawns and insects have become valuable. Some pests are competitors of human be-ings for natural resources and food. Thus a study of economically important animals will always be useful.