Natural Vegetation and Wildlife
India is a land of diverse terrain and topography which is spread across a very large area from north to south. It has a lot of climatic conditions from Tropical wet, Tropical dry, Sub-tropical Humid Climate and Mountain Climate making it rich with different types of vegetations and wildlife. Apart from this it also has almost 23% of its land is covered from forests, therefore, this country is a home to a lot of flora, fauna, wildlife, etc. There are lots of questions being asked every year related to natural vegetation and wildlife in various Government Exams like UPSC, State PSCs, SSC, etc. Here we have put together all the required information related to natural vegetation and wildlife in India and World. There are five main types of vegetation in India which are as below:-
- Tropical Rainforests
- Tropical Deciduous Forests
- Tropical Thorn Forests and Scrubs
- Montane Forests
- Mangrove Forests.
- Locations:- This type of vegetations are mainly found in Western Ghats, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Assam, Tamil Nadu coast and the island groups of Lakshadweep and Andaman & Nicobar.
- Vegetation characteristics:- The main characteristics of tress in this type of vegetation is that they never shed their leaves, therefore these trees are also known as evergreen.
- Rainfall:-It receives more than 200 cm of rainfall and it also has a very short dry season.
- Vegetation:- Due to lot of rain and sunlight all around the year, all kinds of vegetations is found here like shrubs, creepers, ebony, mahogany, rosewood, rubber and cinchona.
- Wildlife:- It has got diverse wildlife. Most of the animals are found here in this vegetation like elephants, monkey, lemur and deer along with a large number of birds, bats, sloth, scorpions and snails.
Tropical Deciduous Forests
- These are the most widespread forests of India as this type of vegetation is also known as monsoon forests.
- Rainfall:- These types of forests receives less rainfall in comparison to tropical rainforests i.e. between 75 cm and 200 cm.
- Vegetation characteristics:-In this vegetation trees shed their leaves in autumn or the dry season.
- Types of Deciduous forests:- Moist Deciduous Forest (rainfall between 200 cm and 100 cm, found in northeastern states, along the foothills of the Himalayas, Jharkhand, West Orissa, Chhattisgarh and eastern slopes of the Western Ghats.). Dry Deciduous Forest (rainfall between 100 cm and 70 cm and found peninsular plateau and the plains of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh).
- Vegetation:- Few of the trees found in these forests are Teak, bamboo, sal, shisham, sandalwood, khair, kusum, arjun and mulberry.
- Wildlife:- It has also got diverse wildlife. Few of the animals found in this type of vegetation are Lion, tiger, pig, deer and elephant.
Thorn Forests and Scrubs
- Locations:- These are found in the areas which receive less than 70 cm of rainfall. It is mainly found in the north-western part of India, e.g. Gujarat, some regions of Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.
- Vegetation:- Acacia, palms, euphorbias, bushes, acacia, cacti and date trees are few of the vegetation found in these areas. Leaves are usually modified into thorns to preserve water content.
- Wildlife:- Few of the animals found in this type of vegetation are Camel, rats, mice, rabbits, fox, wolf, tiger, lion, wild ass, horse, etc.
- Types of montane forests:- Wet temperate forest (height of around 1000 and 2000 metre, oak and chestnut found), Temperate forests (heights of around 1500 and 3000 metre, pine, deodar, silver fir, spruce and cedar found), Alpine vegetation (heights of > 3600 metre)
- Locations:- These are found in the foothills of the Himalayas. The vegetation keeps changing according to the altitude. The forests in the mountainous areas are called montane forest. Different types of vegetation are found at different altitudes in the mountains.
- Vegetation:- At the base you will find evergreen tall trees such as bamboo and teak, As you go higher there are conifer trees like the pine. And after a point its just grasslands and moss.
- Wildlife:- The wildlife found in these areas are Kashmir stag, spotted deer, wild sheep, jack rabbit, Tibetan antelope, yak, snow leopard, squirrels, bear, rare red panda, sheep and goats.
- Locations:- These types of forests are mainly found in the deltas of the Ganga, the Mahanadi, the Krishna, the Godavarai and the Kaveri.
- Vegetation:- Roots are completely under water. Sundari tree is the most common tree found in such forests.
- Wildlife:- Few of the wildlife found in these areas are Royal Bengal, turtles, crocodiles, gharials and snakes.
Wildlife of India
India has whole lot of wildlife present across the country. India has also been working on preserving the endangered species of animals by creating numerous sanctuaries, national parks, biosphere reserves. There are lots of question being asked every year related to the wildlife of India in different Government Exams. Few of the wildlife and their characteristics are as below:-
Various species of animals:-
- India has got around 90,000 species of different animal across the country
- It also has around 1000 species of birds.
- Elephants are found in Assam, Karnataka and Kerala.
- One-horned rhinos are found in the swampy and marshy lands of Assam and West Bengal.
- Wild ass and camels are found in the Rann of Kachchh and Thar Desert.
- Indian bison, nilgai, chousingha, gazel and many other species of deer and some other animals are found in India.
- India is the only country in the world which has both tigers and lions.
- Established:- Wildlife Sanctuaries are established by IUCN ( International Union for the Conservation of Nature) category II protected areas.
- Purpose:- It is a place for abused, injured, endangered animals to live in peace and dignity.
- First Sanctuaries:- Senchal Game Sanctuary was first Wildlife Sanctuary established in 1915 in West Bengal.
- Largest:- Chal Batohi in Gujarat is the largest Wildlife Sanctuaries in the country.
- Total area covered:- More than 500 wildlife sanctuaries and national parks are established covering areas of 118918 square kms.
- Project Tiger:- 50 tiger reserves are governed under Project tiger specially for conserving Bengal tiger
- Largest National Park - Hemis National Park (J & K), area is 4400 KM Square.
- Smallest National Park - South Button Island National Park (Andaman and Nicobar Islands) with area 300 Metre Square.
- Oldest National Park - Jim Corbett National Park (Established in 1936 as Hailey National Park. Note that Another National Park - Kaziranga National park was established in 1905 as a reserve forest. It was named as Kaziranga Game Sanctuary in 1916, Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary in 1950, and declared a national park in 1974).
- Newest National Park - Balphakram National Park (Meghalaya), Established in 2013.
- Marine National Park, Gulf of Kutch is the first national marine park of India.
- Keibul Lamjao National Park, Manipur is the only floating park in the world.
- Jim corbett have highest population of tigers.
Fourteen biosphere reserves:- Sunderbans, Gulf of Mannar, the Nilgiris, Nanda Devi, Nokrek, Great Nicobar, Manas, Simlipal, Dihang-Dibang, Dibru Saikhowa, Agasthyamalai, Kanchenjunga, Pachmari, Achanakmar-Amarkantak.
Few of the important topics related to Geography which would be very helpful for various Government exams are as below:-