Conservation of Plants and Animals Class 8 Notes NCERT and MCQs

23-08-2023 17:13 PM IST Priyanka Chaudhary

The chapter discusses concepts of wildlife sanctuaries, national parks and biosphere reserves. It defines environment and ecology relate terms such as biosphere, ecosystem, endemic species, endangered species etc.

Deforestation and its causes

Deforestation means clearing of forests and using that land for other purposes such as cultivation, construction, making furniture or using wood as fuel. It is a major threat to survival of plants, animals and humans. Deforestation can also be caused due to natural reasons like Forest fires and severe droughts.

Fig.1: Causes of Deforestation

Consequences of Deforestation

Deforestation leads to decrease in rainfall and the fertility of the soil and increased chances of natural calamities such as floods and droughts. It also changes soil properties and leads to conversion of fertile land into deserts, called desertification. It also leads to a decrease in the water holding capacity of the soil. The other properties of soil like nutrient content, texture, etc. also changes due to deforestation.

Important Terms related to Environment

Biosphere: It is that part of the earth in which living organisms exist or which supports life.

Ecosystem: An ecosystem is made of all the plants, animals and microorganisms in an area along with non-living components such as climate, soil, river deltas etc.

Biological diversity (Biodiversity): It refers to the variety of organisms existing on the earth, their interrelationships and their relationship with the environment.

Protected areas

They are the areas earmarked to protect our flora and fauna and their habitats. In protected areas, plantation, cultivation, grazing, felling trees, hunting and poaching are prohibited. They include wildlife sanctuaries, national parks and biosphere reserves.

Wildlife Sanctuaries

  • Wildlife sanctuaries are areas where animals are protected from any disturbance to them and their habitat.
  • Killing (poaching) or capturing animals in general is strictly prohibited and punishable in wildlife sanctuaries.
  • People living in wildlife sanctuaries are allowed to do certain activities such as grazing by their livestock, collecting medicinal plants, firewood, etc.

National Parks

  • National parks are areas reserved for wild life where they can freely use the habitats and natural resources.
  • They are large and diverse enough to protect whole sets of ecosystems.
  • They preserve flora, fauna, landscape and historic objects of an area.
  • Human activities such as grazing, poaching, hunting, capturing of animals or collection of firewood, medicinal plants, etc. are not allowed in national parks.
  • Satpura National Park is the first Reserve Forest of India. The finest Indian teak is found in this forest.
  • Project Tiger was launched by the government in 1973 to ensure the survival and maintenance of tiger population in India.

Read the list of National Parks in India

Biosphere Reserves

  • Biosphere reserves are large areas of protected land for conservation of wild life, plant and animal resources and traditional life of the tribals living in the area.
  • Biosphere reserves help to maintain the biodiversity and culture of that area.
  • A biosphere reserve may also contain other protected areas in it.
  • The Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve consists of one national park named Satpura and two wildlife sanctuaries named Bori and Pachmarhi.

Flora and Fauna

Plants and animals of a particular area are known as the flora and fauna of that area. Sal, teak, mango, jamun, silver ferns, arjun, etc., are the flora and chinkara, bluebull, barking deer, cheetal, leopard, wild dog, wolf, etc. are examples of the fauna of the Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve.

Species is a group of population which is capable of interbreeding. Members of a species have common characteristics and cannot reproduce fertile offsprings with members of other species.

Endemic species

Endemic species are found only in a particular area. They are not naturally found anywhere else. Sal and wild mango are two examples of the endemic flora of the Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve. Bison, Indian giant squirrel and flying squirrel are endemic fauna of Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve. Destruction of habitat, increasing population and introduction of new species are threats to the existence of endemic species.

Endangered species

Endangered species are those which are facing the danger of extinction. Animals whose numbers are diminishing to a level that they might face extinction are known as the endangered animals. Red Data Book keeps a record of all the endangered animals and plants.

Migration

Migration is the phenomenon of movement of a species from its own habitat to some other habitat for a particular time period every year for a specific purpose like breeding. Birds that cover long distances to reach another land are known as migratory birds.

Reforestation

Reforestation is the restocking of destroyed forests by planting new trees. The planted trees should generally be of the same species which were found in that forest. Reforestation can take place naturally also.

Forest (Conservation) Act 1980

It is aimed at preservation and conservation of natural forests and meeting the basic needs of the people living in or near the forests.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Conservation of Plants and Animals

What are endemic species?

Species found only in a particular area is known as endemic species.

What are the effects of Deforestation?

Deforestation can lead to droughts due to decline in rainfall. It causes soil to lose its fertility and water retaining capacity. It can also lead to floods.

What is Red Data Book?

Red Data Book keeps a record of all the endangered animals and plants.

What is Biodiversity?

Biodiversity refers to the variety of organisms existing on earth, their interrelationships and their relationship with the environment.
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Panna district of Madhya Pradesh is famous for which mineral? / मध्य प्रदेश का पन्ना जिला किस खनिज के लिए प्रसिद्ध है?