Importance of forests and Wildlife

Biology

Forests are of great importance to mankind. Following are some points illustrating the importance of forests:

Forests help in maintaining water cycle on earth. Plants absorb water from the soil through their roots. The process of releasing excess water by plants into the atmosphere in the form of water vapor is known as transpiration. The process in which water vapor from oceans rises and condenses to form clouds is known as condensation and the process of moving clouds to land due to sea breeze is known as precipitation and this eventually leads to rainfall. All these processes together form the water cycle and hence forests play a significant role in continuing water cycle.

Forests help in maintaining the temperature and oxygen level of the atmosphere. Plants release oxygen during photosynthesis and consume carbon dioxide. Forests being a huge reserve of plants and trees, they play a significant role in balancing oxygen level in the atmosphere.

Forests help in preventing global warming. Increased amount of carbon dioxide (greenhouse gas) in the atmosphere results in greenhouse effect and thus causes global warming.

Forests prevent soil erosion. Trees present in the forests hold the soil particles strongly with the roots and prevent them from erosion.

Wildlife

India has an amazingly wide spectrum of animals native to the country. It is home to Indochinese and Bengal Tigers, Asiatic Lions, Snow Leopards, Leopards, Deer (including Chital, Kashmir Stag (Hangul), Indian Elephants, and many more amongst others. The region’s rich and diverse wildlife is preserved in more than 120 national parks, 18 Bio-reserves and more than 500 wildlife sanctuaries across the country.

India has some of the most bio diverse regions of the world and hosts four of the world’s 35 biodiversity hotspots – or treasure-houses – that are the Western Ghats, the Eastern Himalayas, Indo-Burma and Nicobar Islands in Sunderland.

Since India is home to a number of rare and threatened animal species, wildlife management in the country is essential to preserve these species.

India is one of the seventeen mega diverse countries. According to one study, India along with other 16 mega diverse countries is home to about 60-70% of the world’s biodiversity.

India, lying within the Indomalaya Eco zone, is home to about 7.6% of all mammalian, 12.6% of avian (bird), 6.2% of reptilian, and 6.0% of flowering plant species.

Following are the number of different animal groups found in India-

       Animal Group                              Number of Species

          Mammals                                           800

          Reptiles                                              420

          Aves                                                    200

          Insects                                                50,000

          Molluscs                                             4000

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