The biosphere is full of Biodiversity. Human beings along with other organisms form a complex web of ecosystemwhich is mutually exclusive and all organisms depend upon each other for their existence. For example, the plants, animals and microorganisms recreate the quality of the air we breathe, the water we drink and the soil that producesourfoodwithoutwhichwecannotsurvive.
The variety of Flora and Fauna in a given geographical area is called biodiversity of thatarea. Biodiversity refers to the variety of life. It is seen in the number of species in an ecosystem or on the entireEarth.
The planet Earth is a beautiful place to live in. Nomatterwherewegoontheplanet,thereare stunning plants, flowers and animals thatcatch areattention. Of all the living organisms on the planet, the most commonly seen by us are the plant life and the animal life which are known as Flora andFauna.
The term Flora is used to denote plants of a particularregion. It usually refers to the native plant life present but does include new species that have been introduced aswell. The Flora of India is one of the richest in the world due to the wide range ofclimate, topology and habitat in the country. There are estimated to be over 16,000 species offlowering plants inIndia.
The term Fauna is used to denote species of animalsofaparticularregionorperiod. Fauna by itself was the name of a Roman goddessrepresentingfertilityandtheearth. Over 81,000 species of Fauna are found in India. India is home to several well-known large mammals of around 500 different species along with species of insects, birds, reptilesand amphibians.
A forest is a large area of landcovered with trees or other woody vegetation. Forests are the dominant terrestrial ecosystem of Earth, and are distributed across theglobe.
Tropical EvergreenForests Tropical DeciduousForests Tropical Thorn Forests andScrubs Montane Forests MangroveForests
The dimensions of deforestation in India are staggering. The forest cover in the country is estimated at 78.29 million hectare, which is 23.81% of the total geographicalarea. According to the state of Forest Report (2011), the dense forest cover has increased by 10,098 sq. km since 1997. However, this apparent increase in the forest cover is due to plantation by differentagencies.
ThestateofForestReportdoesnotdifferentiate between natural forests andplantations. Therefore, these reports fail to deliver accurate informationaboutactuallossofnaturalforests.
Wildlife means an area where undomesticated animals living in the wild including those hunted for food, sport or profit. Wildlife can be found in allecosystems.
Forests act aswatershed They are habitat forwildlife They give us economicbenefits They help in climatecontrol Wildlife help in balancingecosystem Maintain foodchains Theyalsoactasameansofrecreation
Species whose population levels are considered to be normal for their survival, such as cattle, Sal, pine, rodents, etc. They are often referred to as ‘Common species’. Normal species are frequently regarded as being at low risk of extinction simply because they exist in large numbers, and hence their conservation status is often overlooked.
These are the species which are in danger of extinction. Survival of such species is difficult if the negative factors that have led to a declinein their population examplesofsuch continue species to operate. are black The buck, crocodile,Indian wild ass,Indian rhino, lion tailed macaque, sangai, Rafflesia, Baobab tree,etc. Endangered species usually have a small or decliningpopulationsizeoraverylimitedrange.
These are 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. The examples of such species are blue sheep, Asiatic elephant, Gangetic dolphin, Aloe juddii, Aglaia barbanthera, etc.
Species with small population may move into the endangered or vulnerable category if thenegative factors affecting them continue to operate. The examples ofsuch species are the Himalayan Brown bear, wild Asiaticbuffalo, desert fox, hornbill, parachute flower, pelican plant, etc.Rare species are generally considered threatened because a small population size is more likely to notrecoverfromthingsthatcouldhappen.
These are species which are only found in some particular areas usually isolated by natural or geographical barriers. Examples of such species are the Andaman teal, Nicobar pigeon, Andaman wild pig, mithun in Arunachal Pradesh, Nevada primrose, wax flower, etc. The ecological state of species being endemic is known as Endemism.
These are species which are not foundafter searches of known or likely areas where they may occur. A species may be extinct from a local area, region, country,continent or the entire Earth. Examples of such species are Asiatic cheetah, pink-head duck, dinosaurs, franklinia, kokia cookei, etc.
As the timepasses… …NORMAL SPECIESare on the wayto become EXTINCT!!
Normal Species EndangeredSpecies Vulnerable Species RareSpecies EndemicSpecies ExtinctSpecies
Habitat loss is probably the greatest threat to the variety of life on this planet today.Habitat loss and degradationaffect 86% of all threatened birds, 86% of mammals and 88% of threatened amphibians. Whena plant or an animal does not haveahabitat,andcannotadapt to a different environment, it will becomeextinct.
The introduction of plant and animal species that are not endemic to a given locality is both a natural and human process that often has disastrous knock-on consequences for local biota, often including extinction of native taxa. Introduction of species that are not native to a given area may occur through regular dispersal processes over short geographicdistances.
Ongoing evolutionary processes are driven by competition, and over (usually) long periods of time, plant and animal taxa that are unable to adapt may be out competed and naturally displaced from their habitat, and pushed towards extinction.
Climate Change is caused by a number of things. The effect that climate has on extinction is very big. The biodiverse Earth can't keep up with the rapid changes in temperature and climate. The species are not used to severe weather conditions and long seasons, or a changing chemical make- up of their surroundings. As more species die, it is only making it more difficult for the survivors to find food. The warmer climates we are used to present-day are perfect for diseases and epidemics tothrive.
Each species has defense mechanisms like immunities and the ability to fight disease. With the changing climate and landscape certain species are losing their ability to fend off disease. They are becoming more susceptible to disease and epidemics, which can lead to their eventual extinction.
→ Transformation of nature intoresources. → Pollution leading to acidrains. → Humanactivities leading to Global Warming. → Unregulatedorillegalkilling,huntingor poaching offauna. → Damage of forests duringcolonial period. → Agriculturalexpansion. → Large scale developmentprojects. → Mining
FACTFILE Over half of India's natural forests are gone, one-third of its wetlands drained out, 70% of its surface water bodies polluted, 40% of its mangroves are wiped out, and with continued hunting and trade of wild animals and commercially valuable plants, thousands of plantand animal species are heading towards extinction
Maintainingecologicalbalanceforsupporting life. Preservingdifferentkindsofspecies (biodiversity). Preservingeconomicallyimportantplantsand animals. Fuel,fodderanddomesticneedsofthe population Needsofvillage,smallscaleandlargescale industries.
CONSERVATIONIN THE BACKGROUND OF RAPID DECLINE IN WILDLIFE POPULATION AND FORESTRY HAS BECOMEESSENTIAL.
Even if we want to conserve our vast forest and wildlife resources, it is rather difficult to manage, control and regulate them. In India much of its forest and wildlife resources are either owned or managed by the government through the forest department or other governmentdepartments. Theseareclassifiedunderthefollowingcategories:
1. ReservedForests More than half of the total forest land has been declared Reserved Forests. Reserved forests are regarded as the most valuable as far as the conservation of forest andwildlife resourcesare concerned.
2. ProtectedForests Almost one-third of the total forest area is Protected Forest,as declaredbythe Forest Department.This forestlandare protectedfrom anyfurther depletion.