CBSE Notes Class 10 Geography Chapter 2 – Forest and Wildlife Resources

We humans along with all living organisms form a complex web of an ecological system. Chapter 2 of Class 10 Geography starts with the introduction of flora and fauna in India. The chapter subsequently discusses the important role that forests play in the ecological system and how we can conserve forests and wildlife in India.

Forest & Wildlife Resource

We share this planet with millions of other living beings, starting from micro-organisms and bacteria, lichens and million of other habitants. 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

Flora and Fauna in India

India is one of the world’s richest countries in terms of its vast array of biological diversity. India is one of the world’s richest country. It has nearly 8% of the total  number of species in  the world (estimated to be 1.6million). this is possible twice or thrice the number yet to be discovered. According to a study in India, near about 10% of flora and 20% of fauna are on the threatened list.

The different categories of existing plants and animal species. Based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), we can classify as follows–

Normal Species: Species whose population levels are considered to be normal for their survival, such as cattle, sal, pine, rodents, etc.

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                                                               Examples  black buck, crocodile, Indian wild ass, Indian rhino, lion tailed macaque, sangai (brow anter deer in Manipur), etc.

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.                        Examples- species are blue sheep, Asiatic elephant, Gangetic dolphin, etc.

Rare Species: Species with small population may move into the endangered or vulnerable category if the negative factors affecting them continue to operate. Examples species are the Himalayan brown bear, wild Asiatic buffalo, desert fox and hornbill, etc.

Endemic Species: These are species which are only found in some particular areas usually isolated by natural or geographical barriers. Examples species are the Andaman teal, Nicobar pigeon, Andaman wild pig, Mithun in Arunachal Pradesh.

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 entire earth. Examples of such species are the Asiatic cheetah, pink head duck.

Conservation of Forest and Wildlife in India

Conservation in the background of rapid decline in wildlife population and forestry has become essential. Conservation preserves the ecological diversity and our life support systems – water, air and soil. It also preserves the genetic diversity of plants and animals for better growth of species and breeding.

For example, in agriculture, we are still dependent on traditional crop varieties. Fisheries too are heavily dependent on the maintenance of aquatic biodiversity

The Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act was implemented in 1972, with various provisions for protecting habitats. An allIndia 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.

The central government also announced several projects for protecting specific animals, which were gravely threatened, including the tiger, the onehorned rhinoceros, the Kashmir stag or hangul, three types of crocodiles – fresh water crocodile, saltwater crocodile and the Gharial, the Asiatic lion, and others. Most recently, the Indian elephant, black buck (chinkara), the great Indian bustard (godawan) and the snow leopard, etc. have been given full or partial legal protection against hunting and trade throughout India.

Types and Distribution of Forest and Wildlife Resources

Forest and wildlife resources are either owned or managed by the government through the Forest Department or other government departments.

These are classified under the following categories.

Reserved Forests: 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 and wildlife resources are concerned.

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.

Un-classed Forests: These are other forests and wastelands belonging to both government and private individuals and communities.

Reserved and protected forests are also referred to as permanent forest estates maintained for the purpose of producing timber and other forest produce, and for protective reasons. Madhya Pradesh has the largest area under permanent forests, constituting 75 per cent of its total forest area.

Community and Conservation

  • In Sariska Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan, 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 1,200 hectares of forest as the Bhairodev Dakav ‘Sonchuri’, declaring their own set of rules and regulations which do not allow hunting, and are protecting the wildlife against any outside encroachments

  • The famous Chipko movement in the Himalayas has not only successfully resisted deforestation in several areas but has also shown that community afforestation with indigenous species can be enormously successful.
  • Farmers and citizen’s 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.
  • India joint forest management (JFM) programme furnishes a good example for involving local communities in the management and restoration of degraded forests.

The programme has been in formal existence since 1988 when the state of Odisha passed the first resolution for joint forest management

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