Habitat loss due to human activities and climate change is synergistically posing serious threats to the global biodiversity leading to irreversible extinction of several species. In wake of recent extinction, several forests are declared as protected areas where no more human activities are allowed. However, the scope of these protected areas got broadened from mere conservation to poverty alleviation and sustainable development during the past decades. Though these protected areas seem to be supportive of the biodiversity conservation, several challenges and gaps have emerged that need to be addressed for effective conservation and sustainable management in these protected areas. Therefore, the present chapter aims to address the roles, challenges, and approaches for conservation, and sustainable management in protected areas of India. Based on the published literature, we have found that protected areas proved to be a successful strategy for the conservation of wild animals and plants. However, management of poaching, man-wildlife conflicts, funding, extensive resource use, and tourism is still a challenge for some national parks of the country. Although governmental policies have addressed some of these challenges, only limited success has been achieved so far. Therefore, further studies need to assess the efficiency of protected areas for biodiversity conservation and devise the mechanisms for effective sustainable management of these protected areas.
Part of the book: Advances in Forest Management under Global Change