Question: What is Himalayan Yew? Why is it under great threat at present?
Answer: The Himalayan Yew is a medicinal plant which is found in various parts of Himachal Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh.
- It is under great threat due to over-exploitation.
- A chemical compound called ‘taxol’ is extracted from the bark, needles, twigs and roots of this tree.
- So, it is now biggest selling anti-cancer drug in the world.
Question: What is biodiversity? Why is biodiversity important for human lives?
Answer Biodiversity is the degree of variation of life forms within a given ecosystem, or on an entire planet. There are millions of living organisms on planet earth. All these living organisms, including man, are interdependent on each other.
Question: How have human activities affected the depletion of flora and fauna? Explain.
Answer Cutting down of forests for agricultural expansion, large scale developmental projects, grazing and fuel wood collection and for urbanization has led to the depletion of flora and fauna.
Question: Describe how communities have conserved and protected forests and wildlife in India?
Answer In India many traditional communities still live in the forests and depend on their livelihood for forest produce. These communities are working hand in hand with the government to conserve forests.
In Sariska Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan, villagers fought against mining activities. In Alwar district of Rajasthan, local communities belonging to five villages have set their own rules and regulations in 1,200 hectares of forest land. They have named it as the Bhairodev Dakav ‘Sonchuri’. Hunting is not allowed in these lands and outside encroachments are prohibited.
The famous Chipko movement was started in the Himalayan region to stop deforestation. People belonging to the local community took to afforestation in a big way. Indigenous species were cultivated and protected.
Involving local communities in protecting the environment, and stopping degradation of forests has reaped many benefits.
Question: Write a note on good practices towards conserving forest and wildlife.
Answer In 1972, the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act was implemented. It made protecting specific habitats a law. A list of wildlife species that had to be protected was published and hunting these animals was against the law.
National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries were set up in many states to protect endangered species.
Under the Wildlife Act of 1980 and 1986, several insects have also been included in the list of protected species. Butterflies, moths, beetles, dragonflies and even certain plants are included in the protected list.
“Project Tiger” was initiated in 1973 by the government of India to protect tigers. It is one of the most well publicized wildlife campaigns in the world.
Question: “Conservation of rapid decline in wildlife population and forestry has become essential.” Explain.
Why do we need to conserve our forests and wildlife resources? Explain any two steps taken by the communities to protect our forest and wildlife resources.
Why is conservation of forests and wildlife necessary? In what way have conservation projects changed in the recent years?
Assess the need for the conservation of forests and wildlife in India.
- Loss of cultural diversity: The loss of forest and wildlife is not just a biological issue but it is also correlated with cultural diversity. There are many forests-dependent communities, which directly depend on various components of the forests and wildlife for food, drinks, medicines, etc. Many of tribal communities like Muria Gonds, Dhurwas, Bhatras etc. have lost their habitat because of the destruction of forests.
- Complex web of living organisms: We humans along with all living organisms form a complex web ecological system in which we are only a part and very much dependent on this system for our own existence. For example, the plants, animals and micro-organisms recreate the quality of the air we breathe, the water we drink and the soil that produce our food without which we cannot survive.
- Large scale destruction of forests: Between 1951 and 1980, according to the Forest Survey of India, over 26,200 sq. km of forest areas were converted into agricultural lands all over India.
Question: Describe the different types of plant and animal species found in India.
Explain any five different categories of existing plants and animal species based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources with examples.
- Normal species: These include those whose population levels are considered to be normal for their survival, such as cattle, sal, pine, rodents etc.
- Endangered species: These include those species which are in danger of extinction. The several of such species is difficult if the negative factors that have led to a decline in their population continue to operate. For example, black buck, crocodile, Indian wild ass, etc.
- Vulnerable species: These include the species whose population has declined to levels from where it is likely to move into the endangered category in the near future if the negative factors continue to operate. For example, blue sheep, gangetic dolphin etc.
- Rare species: They may move into the endangered or vulnerable category for example, blue bear, wild Asiatic buffalo.
- Endemic species: These are found in some particular areas usually isolated by natural or geographical barriers. For example, Andaman teal, Nicobar prigo.
Question: What steps have been taken by the government for the conservation of forest and wildlife in India? Explain.
Write any three effective practices towards conserving forests and wildlife.
Explain any three measures taken by the Indian Government to protect wildlife.
- National parks, biosphere and wildlife sanctuaries: To protect the biodiversity, the Indian government has established 100 national parks, 515 sanctuaries and 17 biosphere reserves.
- The Indian Wildlife Protection Act: The Indian Wildlife Protection Act was implemented in 1972, with various provisions for protecting habitats. An all India list of protected species was also published. The thrust of the programme was towards protecting the remaining population of certain endangered species by banning hunting, giving legal protection to their habitats and restricting trade in wildlife.
- Projects for protecting specific animals: The central government has also announced several projects for protecting specific animals which were grately threatened, including the tiger, the one-horned rhinoceros, the Kashmir stag or hangul, the three types of crocodiles – the freshwater crocodile, the saltwater crocodile and the Gharial, the Asiatic lion and others.
- Forest Policy: India is one of the few countries which has a forest policy since 1894. It was revised in 1952 and again in 1988. The main plank of the forest policy is protection, conservation and development of forests.
- Forest Research Institutes: Indian government has created many forest Research Institutes for the research, protection and development of the forests. IFS Dehradun is the oldest research institution of the country.