The ubiquitous plastic has been proven to be a menace to both man and animal and is choking life on earth rapidly and steadily. Yet, we continue to bury our heads under the sand and refuse to ban plastic from our lives. 

The rusty-spotted cat (Prionailurus rubiginosus) is one of the cat family’s smallest members, of which historical records are known only from India and Sri Lanka In 2012,its wild population is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List as it is fragmented and affected by loss and destruction of prime habitat, deciduous forests.

Plastic pollution is the accumulation of plastic objects and particles (e.g. plastic bottles, bags and micro beads) in the Earth’s environment that adversely affects wildlife, wildlife habitat, and humans.Plastics that act as pollutants are categorized into micro-, meso-, or macro debris, based on size. Plastics are inexpensive and durable, and as a result levels of plastic production by humans are high.However, the chemical structure of most plastics renders them resistant to many natural processes of degradation and as a result they are slow to degrade. Together, these two factors have led to a high prominence of plastic pollution in the environment.

As of 2018, about 380 million tons of plastic is produced worldwide each year. From the 1950 s up to 2018, an estimated 6.3 billion tons of plastic has been produced worldwide, of which an estimated 9% has been recycled and another 12% has been incinerated.This large amount of plastic waste enters the environment, with studies suggesting that the bodies of 90% of seabirds contain plastic debris. In some areas there have been significant efforts to reduce the prominence of free range plastic pollution, through reducing plastic consumption, litter cleanup, and promoting plastic recycling.

During our observation we found a lot of plastic waste that was thrown out by tourists. Due to this negligence of Samaritans, such non-degradable waste lies scattered around the sanctuary area. In many instances, we found plastic waste being dumped out of the vehicles on the roads around the sanctuary. All these are harmful for the environment as well as the wildlife. So, these pictures are evidentiary of the same. Citizen of this country should take responsibility to save wildlife and environment by curbing such acts of plastic waste.

The images taken inside the Gir Sanctuary area throw light on how plastic pollution can interfere with wildlife in one of the most protected and famous sanctuaries in the country.


About the Author /

Dr.Devendra Chauhan is an avid naturalist and photographer; largely interested in studying natural history and behavior of wild animals and birds. He has been involved in many nature conservation and awareness activities in the Saurashtra region. Lately, he has developed keen interest the diversity documentation of reptiles and amphibians as well.

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