Question: Mention any four major threats to the population of tiger? Explain the efforts made by the government to protect them.
- Poaching for trade
- Shrinking habitat
- Depletion of prey base species
- Growing human population
- The trade of tiger skins and the use of their bones in transitional medicines, especially in the Asian countries left the tiger population on the verge of extinction.
Efforts made by the government to protect them are as under:
- Project Tiger, one of the well-publicized wildlife campaigns in the world, was launched in 1973.
- There are 42 tiger reserves in India covering an area of 37,761 sq km.
- Tiger conservation had been viewed not only as an effort to save an endangered species, but with equal importance as a means of preserving bio types of sizable magnitude.
- Some of the tiger reserves of India are Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand, Sunderbans National Park in West Bengal etc.
Question: Explain the social impacts of loss of forests.
“Forest and wildlife are vital to the quality of life and environment in the subcontinent”. Explain.
- 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.
- Impact on women: Even among the poor, women are affected more than men. In many societies, women bear the major responsibility of collection of fuel, fodder, water and other basic needs. As these resources are depleted, the drudgery of women increases. Most of the time they have to walk for more than 10 km to collect the basic necessities. This causes serious health problems for women in the negligence of home and children because of the increased hours of work, which often has serious social implications.
- Poverty: Deforestation is also responsible for poverty. It is considered as a direct outcome of environmental destruction. Most of the poor people or tribal people depend on forests for their basic needs. Now if the forests are destroyed, these poor people will be deprived of the basic necessities.
Question: Describe how communities have conserved and protected forests and wildlife in India. What moral lessons you have learnt from this?
- In Sariska Tiger Reserve: Rajasthani villagers have fought against mining by citing the Wildlife Protection Act. In many areas, villagers themselves are protecting habitats and explicitly rejecting government involvement.
- The inhabitants of five villages in the Alwar district of Rajasthan have declared about 1,200 hectares of forest area as the ‘Bhairodev Dakav Sonchuri. The community has declared their own set of rules and regulations which do not allow hunting and are protecting the wildlife against any outside encroachments.
- Many states have launched the Joint Forest Management programme to involve local communities in the management and restoration of degraded forests. Odisha was the first state to launch this programme.
- Improper farming techniques, defective methods of farming are also responsible for depletion of our biodiversity. So many farmers and citizen groups support the Bee) Bachao Andolan in Tehri and Navdanya have developed or are using various crop production methods which do not use synthetic chemicals for growing crops.
- The famous Chipko Movement was launched by the women of Chamoli in northern India, saved more than 12,000 sq. km. area of forests just by hugging the trees when the lumberjacks attempted to cut them.
- Conservation strategies can be successful only with the participation of local people.
- The clear lesson from the dynamics of both environmental destruction and reconstruction in India is that local communities everywhere have to be involved in some kind of natural resource management. But there is still a long way to go before local communities are at the centre-stage in decision making. Accept only those economic or developmental activities, that are people centric, environment-friendly and economically rewarding.
Question: Which values do the wildlife sanctuaries of any country promote?
- Wildlife sanctuaries have been formed to conserve and maintain the diversity and integrity of natural heritage.
- They help to preserve natural ecosystem.
- They teach us the value of sharing because we humans along with all living organisms form a complex web of ecological system in which we are only a part and very much dependent on this system for our own existence.
Question: List any three examples of environmental degradation that you may have observed around you.
- Polluted air and water: Industries and vehicles release harmful gases and chemicals which are responsible for degradation of water and air.
- Land degradation: Overuse of fertilizers and chemicals have resulted in land degradation.
- Loss of biodiversity: Habitat destruction, hunting, poaching has led to the decline in biodiversity.