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NOTES CHAPTER 2: FOREST AND WILDLIFE RESOURCES 1. Give an example to show how Humans are dependant on ecology.

We humans along with all living organisms form a complex web of ecological system in which we are only a part and very much dependant on this system for our own existence. For example, the plants, animals and micro-organisms re-create the quality of the air we breathe, the water we drink and the soil that produces our food without which we cannot survive. 2. What is Bio diversity? Biodiversity or Biological diversity is the natural system which is immensely rich in wildlife and cultivated species, diverse in form and function but closely integrated in a system through multiple network of interdependencies. 3. Examine the biodiversity of India Over 81000 species of fauna and 47000 species of flora are found in this country. Of the estimated 47000 plant species, about 15000 flowering species are endemic (indigenous) to India. 4. Why should we be concerned about Indias Biodiversity? Estimates suggest that at least 10 percent of Indias recorded wild flora and 20 percent of its mammals are on the threatened list. Many of these are categorised as critical, and are on the verge of extinction like the cheetah, pink-headed duck, mountain quail, and plants like Hubbardia heptameuron (a species of grass). 5. Classify the forest cover of India into various types based on their percentage The forest cover in the country is estimated at 637,293 sq. km., which is 19.39 percent of the total geographical area. It has 11.48 percent of Dense forest, 7.76 percent of open forest and 0.15 percent of Mangroves. 6. Examine the different categories of existing plants and animal species based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (ICUN). Based on the International union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, existing flora and fauna can be classified as follows:

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a. Normal species: Species whose population levels are considered to be normal for their survival, such as cattle, sal, pine, rodents, etc b. Endangered species: These are species which are in danger of extinction. The survival of such species is difficult if the negative factors that have led to a decline in their population continue to operate. The examples of such species are black buck, crocodile, Indian wild ass, Indian rhino, lion tailed macaque, etc. c. Vulnerable species: 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, etc d. Rare species: species with small population may move into the endangered or vulnerable category if the negative factors affecting them continue to operate. The examples are Himalayan brown bear, wild Asiatic buffalo, desert fox and hornbill, etc e. Endemic species: 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, etc f. Extinct species: these are species which are not found after searches of known or likely areas where they may occur. A species may be extinct from a local area, region, country, continent or the etire earth. Examples of such species are the Asiatic cheetah, pink head duck, etc. 7. Man has been greatly responsible for the shrinking of forest area. Elaborate. Man has been greatly responsible for the shrinking of forest area. He has changed nature into a resource and he obtains wood, bark, leaves, rubber, medicines, dyes, food, fuel, etc from trees. Forests have also been cleared for the construction of railways, agriculture and mining activities. Degradation of tribal forests has taken place due to shifting agriculture and large scale development projects. 8. How are National Parks different from Wildlife Sanctuaries? National parks are areas maintained by the government and cultivation, grazing and forestry are not allowed. There are 89 national parks in India. Wildlife sanctuaries are tracts of land where wild animals are protected against hunters. Activitiesa like collection of forest product, harvesting of timber and agriculture were allowed. India has 492 sanctuaries. 9. Find out which animals Reserves/National parks: are found in the following

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a. b. c. d. a. b. c. d.

Periyar Reserve in Kerala Manas Reserve in Assam Kaziranga National Park Sariska Reserve in Rajasthan Periyar Reserve in Kerala : Tiger Manas Reserve in Assam : Tiger Kaziranga National Park : Rhinoceros and Deer Sariska Reserve in Rajasthan : Tiger

10. Name two movements to prevent deforestation in which the local community has taken an active part Local communitites have taken an active part in preventing deforestation in movements like the Chipko Movement and the formation of sacred groves. 11. Examine the major and minor factors that have led to the decline of Indias biodiversity and environmental destruction. Habitat destruction, hunting, poaching, over-exploitation, environmental pollution, poisoning and forest fires are major factors which have led to the decline in Indias biodiversity. Other important causes of environmental destruction are unequal access, inequitable consumption of resources and differential sharing of responsibility for environmental well being. Over population in the developing countries is also another major factor. 12. What are the far reaching consequences of loss of biodiversity in Human society? (High skill level question) Loss of biodiversity is not just a biological issue. It is strongly correlated with the los of cultural diversity in the human society. a. Loss of biodiversity have increasingly marginalised and impoverished many indigenous and other forest dependant communities, who directly depend on various components of the forest and wildlife for food, drink, medicine, culture, spirituality, etc. b. Within the poor, women are affected more than men. As resources are depleted, the drudgery of women increases in societies where women bear the major responsibility of collection of fuel, fodder, water and other basic subsistence needs, causing serious health problems for them c. Negligence of home and children because of increased hours of work has serious social implications

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d. Indirect impact of degradation like severe drought or deforestation induced floods hits the poor the hardest, causing acute poverty. 13. Why do we need to conserve our forests and wildlife? a. Conservation preserves the ecological diversity and out life support systems: water, air and soil. b. It preserves the genetic diversity of plants and animals for better growth of species and breeding. c. For example, in agriculture, we are still dependent on traditional crop varieties. Fisheries are heavily dependant on the maintenance of aquatic biodiversity. 14. What are the different (Protection) Act of 1972? provisions of the Indian Wildlife

a. Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act was implemented in 1972, with various provisions for protecting habitats. b. An all India list of protected species was published under that act. c. The thrust of the programme was towards protecting the remaining population of certain endangered species by banning hunting, giving legal protection to their habiteats, and restricting trade in wildlife. 15. Name a few animals which have recently been given full or partial legal protection against its hunting and trade. Indian Elephant, Black Buck (chinkara), the great Indian bustard (godawan) and the snow leopard. 16. Examine the achievements made by Project Tiger a. Project Tiger, one of the well publicised wildlife campaigns in the world, was launched in 1973. b. In the beginning it showed success as the tiger population went up to 4002 in 1985 and 4334 in 1989 c. There are 27 tiger reserves in India covering an area of 37761 sq km. d. Project Tiger is viewed not only as an effort to save the Tiger, but also as a means of preserving biotypes of sizeable magnitude. e. Corbett national park in Uttaranchal and Sundarbans in West Bengal are two well known tiger reserves of India. 17. What are the different Forest and Wildlife types according to the Forest Department of the Government of India?

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The Forest Department along with some allied government departments own and manage much of the vast forest and wildlife wealth of India. This resource has been classified under the following categories: a. Reserved forests: more than half of the total forest land has been declared as reserved forests. Reserved forests are regarded as the most valuable as far as conservation of forest and wildlife resources are concerned. b. Protected forests: Almost one third of the total forest area is protected forest, as declared by the Forest Department. This forest land are protected from any further depletion. c. Unclassed forests: These are other forests and wastelands belonging to both government and private individuals and communities. 18. Examine the Distribution of the Forest and Wildlife resources of India. a. Madhya Pradesh has the largest area under permanent forests, constituting 75 percent of its total forest area. b. Jammu and Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Maharashtra have large percentages of reserved forests of its total forested area c. Bihar, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Orissa and Rajasthan have a bulk of their forested area under protected forests. d. All North Eastern states and parts of Gujarat have a very high percentage of their forests as un-classed forests managed by local communities. 19. Examine the involvement of local communities in Forest and Wildlife conservation. a. In Sariska Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan, villagers have fought against mining by citing the Wildlife Protection Act. b. In many areas, villagers themselves are protecting habitatsand explicitly rejecting government involvement. c. The inhabitants of five villages in the Alwar district of Rajasthan have declared 1200 hectares of forest as the Bhairodev Dakav Sonchuri, declaring their own set of rules and regulations which do not alow hunting, and are protecting the wildlife against any outside encroachments. 20. Examine the Social movements which have created awareness against destruction of Forest and Wildlfe resources. a. The famous Chipko movement in the Himalayas has successfully resisted deforestation in several areas but has also

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shown that community afforestation with indigenous species can be enormously successful. b. Farmers and citizens groups like the Beej Bachao Andolan in Tehri and Navdanya have shown that adequate levels of diversified crop production without the use of synthetic chemicals are possible and economically viable. 21. Examine the Joint Forest Management program. a. In India, joint forest management (JFM) furnishes a good example for involving local communities in the management and restoration of degraded forests. b. JFM depends on the formation of local (village) institutions that undertake protection activities mostly on degraded forest land managed by the forest department. c. In return, the members of these communities are entitled to intermediary benefits like non-timber forest produces and share in the timber harvested by successful protection.

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