The removal of forests for industrial, agricultural or other purposes is called deforestation.
Biodiversity is the variety of plants, animals and microorganisms found in a particular area or habitat.
Re-establishment of the destroyed forests by planting new trees is called reforestation. The planted trees should generally be of the same species which were cut down from the forest during deforestation.
Yes, if deforested land is left undisturbed for some time, reforestation may take place through natural means also, where there is no role of human beings.
The phenomenon of converting fertile land into desert is called desertification.
Introduction of new species in a forest may affect the natural habitat of endemic species of that forest and endanger their existence.
The destruction of their natural habitat, increasing population and introduction of new species may affect the natural habitat of endemic species and endanger their existence.
Deforestation increases the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere leading to global warming which in turn leads to changing climatic conditions.
The main causes of deforestation are:
• Making furniture, paper products and using wood as fuel
• Procuring land for agricultural activities
• Increasing urbanisation
• Digging land for mining
• Forest fires
The consequences of deforestation are:
• Increase in the pollution level.
• Increase in the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere leading to global warming.
• Soil erosion and decrease in soil fertility leading to desertification.
• Decrease in the water holding capacity of soil leading to floods.
• Loss of biodiversity
• Shortage of forests products
Trees roots are capable of retaining water and holding the fertile topsoil in place. If trees are removed, nutrients-rich topsoil will be eroded due to rainwater or heat exposing the lower, rocky and hard layer to sun. This layer has less humus and so less fertile. Slowly, the once fertile land becomes a desert.
Trees roots are capable of holding the fertile topsoil in place. If trees are removed, nutrients-rich topsoil will be eroded due to rainwater or heat exposing the lower, rocky and hard layer to sun. This layer has less humus and so less fertile. As a result, less water goes from the eroded soil surface into the ground. Instead, water flows along the surface and this causes floods.
Trees are the important part of a forest. They absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. If trees are destroyed, then the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will increase. The high levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will trap more heat radiations coming from the sun in the earth’s atmosphere, leading to rise in earth’s average surface temperature, that is, global warming. This increase in temperature of the earth will disturb the water cycle. As a result of disruption in the water cycle, there will be reduced rainfall which can cause droughts.
There is a strong need to save paper. In order to manufacture one tonne of paper, 17 full grown trees are cut down. Therefore, we should not waste paper. We should give our used notebooks or cardboards for recycling. One sheet of paper saved in a day, can save many trees in a year. So, we should save, reuse used paper and recycle it. Doing this will not only save trees but will also save energy and water needed for manufacturing paper. Moreover, the usage of harmful chemicals used in paper making will also be reduced.
There are several ways by which we can conserve the green wealth of our neighbourhood such as:
• We can plant trees in open spaces and parks along the side of road and motivate others.
• We can make use of rainwater for water harvesting to restore the ground water table.
• We can recycle our organic waste from kitchen for making compost and use it to nourish our kitchen garden or plants.
• We can reduce our usage of paper. We can save it by reusing used paper and giving it for recycling.
At present, it is not right to cut the trees so frequently for such development. Trees as a part of forest are the most significant part of our eco-system. Reduced forest cover has already started showing its devastating effects globally in terms of climatic changes. Therefore, we must reduce our dependency on our forest resources to meet the ever-increasing demand in factories and for shelter. We should look out for some other alternatives for the same and start practicing reforestation at a much larger scale taking it as a top priority.
(a) Forests are the most vital part of our ecosystem. They are responsible for cleaning of polluted air we breathe, rainfall supplementing our water resources which are used for drinking purpose as well as crop production, supply of organic raw materials in the form of food, wood and medicine, providing food and shelter to animals and birds. Trees roots are capable of holding the fertile topsoil in place. Therefore, they also prevent soil erosion and floods. Cutting of forests in a longer run will result in disastrous consequences for the existence of mankind along with whole spectrum of diversity evolving on this planet earth.
(b) Each species of an animal is a part of our ecosystem. If the natural habitat of an animal is disturbed, it will opt to migrate to some other place for food and shelter. This will disturb the ecosystem of that particular area resulting in long term consequences.
(c) If the top layer of soil is exposed, rain water directly hits the ground. As a consequence, humus rich top soil loosens further and gets washed away. Gradually, the once fertile land gets converted into desert. Moreover, the water holding capacity of soil also decreases depriving ground water reserves from recharging as water will flow down without any seepage, thus causing floods.
(a) Wild animals: Deforestation leads to loss of natural habitat of wild animals as result of which they may migrate to other areas for food and shelter or may face extinction.
(b) Environment: Deforestation is disturbing the whole set of our ecosystem resulting into major environmental changes like Global warming. Increased temperatures in turn will cause climatic changes leading to less rainfall, melting of polar ice caps, rising sea level and destruction of natural habitat of animals.
(c) The next generation: Deforestation will impose great challenges to the next generation in the form of scarcity of water due to lesser rainfall, increased air pollution, lesser food, lesser organic raw materials, increased temperature and increased occurrence of natural calamities such as floods, droughts and storms due to climatic changes.
As a result of deforestation, less rainwater goes from the eroded soil surface into the ground. Instead, a lot of rainwater from deforested soil rushes into the rivers quickly and this causes floods. These floods damage standing crops, houses and even drown people living in nearby areas. The other properties of the soil like concentration of nutrients, texture also get change because of deforestation.
All the different kinds of plants found on earth are collectively called its flora and all its different kinds of animals are collectively called its fauna.
Satpura National Park
The objective of Project Tiger was to create a safe natural habitat for the survival and growth of tigers and their prey and to save tigers from illegal killing.
Red Data Book is the source book which keeps a record of all the endangered species of plants and animals.
Red Data Book is maintained by IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural resources).
Endemic flora of Panchmarhi Biosphere Reserve Sal and Wild mango tree
Endemic fauna of Panchmarhi Biosphere Reserve Bison and giant squirrel
Birds who cover long distances to reach another land in search of food or laying eggs during extreme weather conditions are known as the migratory birds.
Migration is the phenomenon of movement of species from its own habitat to some other habitat during a particular time in a year either in search of food or for laying eggs as their natural habitat becomes extremely cold for their survival.
Endangered animals are those animals whose numbers are diminishing and might face extinction in near future. For example, Tiger is one of the many animals which are slowly disappearing from earth.
Endemic species are those species of plants and animals found exclusively in a particular area and not found anywhere else. For example, Sundari and sandy mangrove are the endemic flora of Sunderbans Biosphere Reserve. Bengal tiger, Bengal monitor lizard and fishing cat are the endemic fauna of this area.
Those species that used to live on earth but are no longer living due to natural or human activities are called extinct species. Animal species like dinosaur and dodo are extinct now.
There is a need to conserve biodiversity because biodiversity represents whole eco-system comprising land, water, air, fauna and flora. Each of these components are inter-dependent on each other for sustainability.
Protected forests are not safe for wild animals because people living in the neighbourhood encroach upon them. They kill animals for their valuable body parts to make some quick money.
Migratory birds fly to far away areas every year for laying eggs or in search of food as the weather in their natural habitat becomes very cold and inhospitable for their survival.
Endangered species are those species whose numbers are diminishing to a level that they might face extinction in a near future whereas vulnerable species are those species which are likely to move into the endangered category in the near future if the adverse factors continue to work.
Sanctuaries are made in protected areas to protect and conserve endangered animals from going extinct. Killing and capturing of animals is strictly prohibited in such areas. Though, people are not allowed to live in these areas but some human activities such as livestock grazing is permitted under the control or direction of forest authorities.
(b) One-horned Rhino
(a) Elephants are hunted essentially for their tusks.
(b) One-horned Rhinos are illegally hunted mainly for their horns.
(c) Tigers are poached for their skin and the use of their bones in traditional medicines, especially in the Asian countries.
There are total 27 tiger reserves in India. Some of the tiger reserves are the following.
(a) Corbett National Park in Uttaranchal
(b) Sunderbans in West Bengal
(c) Manas tiger reserve in Assam
(d) Sariska tiger reserve (wildlife sanctuary) in Rajasthan
(e) Periyar tiger reserve in Kerala
India has the largest population of the tribal people in the world. They are still away from the basic amenities of modern life. They are dependent on the forest as they live in the deep forest. Forest provide them food items like fruit, raw vegetables and other products like honey, meat of hunted wild animals, fodder for their animals, wood logs for heating and cooking, natural fibres and animal skins for clothing.
It is spread over a very large area of land.
It occupies comparatively small area of land.
Its objective is to conserve plant and animal species of an area as well as improvement of relationship between man and his environment.
Its objective is to protect wild animals and birds of an area in their natural habitat.
Local people can live inside these areas.
Local people are not allowed to settle inside these areas.
Human activities such as cultivation of land and livestock grazing are allowed in the outermost zone.
Cultivation of land is not allowed here but limited degree of grazing and hunting is allowed in the peripheral areas, under the strict supervision of forest authorities.
The rock paintings found in rock shelters of Satpura National Park depict the figures of men (and animals) fighting, hunting, dancing and playing musical instruments. These are one of the major tourist attractions of Satpura national park.