Test: Environment & Ecology - 5 (May 12, 2021)


30 Questions MCQ Test UPSC CSE Prelims 2021 Mock Test Series | Test: Environment & Ecology - 5 (May 12, 2021)


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QUESTION: 1

Match the following:

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:


Extinction of Species
• A known species has gone extinct if no member of the species is found anywhere on Earth. This is known as biological extinction and is irreversible.
• Before a species goes biologically extinct, it goes through two other stages:
1. Local Extinction: Species is no longer found in the area it once inhabited, though it is present elsewhere in the world.
2. Ecological Extinction: So few members of the species are left that it can no longer play its normal ecological role in the community.
• Background Extinction is a process of natural and low-level extinction that goes on continuously due to changes in the environmental conditions; such changes may be small or big, gradual or sudden. When such changes occur, the local species must adapt itself, move to a more favorable area or become extinct.
• The background extinction has always been happening and biologists say that 99.9% of all species that ever lived are extinct.
• The rate of background extinction has been generally uniform over long geological periods. At some points in time, however, mass extinctions have occurred on earth.
• A mass extinction is a global, catastrophic event with more than 65% of all species becoming extinct.
• There have been 5 mass extinctions over the past 500 million years and in each case there was a huge loss of biodiversity.
• Both environmental and biological factors have led to mass extinctions. The suggested causes include global cooling, falling sea levels, predation and competition. 
• Our planet is now in the midst of its sixth mass extinction of plants and animals — the sixth wave of extinctions in the past half-billion years.
• We’re currently experiencing the worst spate of species die-offs since the loss of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Although extinction is a natural phenomenon, it occurs at a natural “background” rate of about one to five species per year. Scientists estimate we’re now losing species at up to 1,000 times the background rate, with literally dozens going extinct every day.

QUESTION: 2

Consider the following statements with respect to the Acid Rain:
1. In Acid rain sulfuric and nitric acids formed in the atmosphere fall to the ground mixed with rain, snow, fog, or hail.
2. Acid rain falling on a forest’s soil disrupts soil nutrients and kills microorganisms in the soil. 3. Acid rain increases the methane emission from wetlands by disturbing their pH levels.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?

Solution:

• Statement 3 is incorrect: In areas where there is a significant amount of acid rain, scientists have shown that these sulfur archaea out-compete the methane-producing 
microbes, thereby decreasing the methane output in these areas significantly.
 Acid Rain
• Acidity and alkalinity are measured using a pH scale for which 7.0 is neutral. The lower a substance’s pH (less than 7), the more acidic it is; the higher a substance’s pH (greater than 7), the more alkaline it is. Normal rain has a pH of about 5.6; it is slightly acidic because carbon dioxide (CO2) dissolves into it forming weak carbonic acid.  Acid rain usually has a pH between 4.2 and 4.4.
• Acid rain, or acid deposition, is a broad term that includes any form of precipitation with acidic components, such as sulfuric or nitric acid that fall to the ground from the atmosphere in wet or dry forms.  This can include rain, snow, fog, hail or even dust that is acidic.
• Acid rain results when sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOX) are emitted into the atmosphere and transported by wind and air currents.  The SO2 and NOX react with water, oxygen and other chemicals to form sulphuric and nitric acids.  These then mix with water and other materials before falling to the ground. While a small portion of the SO2 and NOX that cause acid rain is from natural sources such as volcanoes, most of it comes from the burning of fossil fuels.  The major sources of SO2 and NOX in the atmosphere are:
• Burning of fossil fuels to generate electricity.  Two thirds of SO2 and one fourth of NOX in the atmosphere come from electric power generators.
• Vehicles and heavy equipment.
• Manufacturing, oil refineries and other industries.
• Wet Deposition: Wet deposition is what we most commonly think of as acid rain.  The sulphuric and nitric acids formed in the atmosphere fall to the ground mixed with rain, snow, fog, or hail.  
• Dry Deposition: Acidic particles and gases can also deposit from the atmosphere in the absence of moisture as dry deposition.  The acidic particles and gases may deposit to surfaces (water bodies, vegetation, buildings) quickly or may react during atmospheric transport to form larger particles that can be harmful to human health. When the accumulated acids are washed off a surface by the next rain, this acidic water flows over and through the ground, and can harm plants and wildlife, such as insects and fish. The amount of acidity in the atmosphere that deposits to earth through dry deposition depends on the amount of rainfall an area  receives.  For example, in desert areas the ratio of dry to wet deposition is higher than an area that receives several inches of rain each year.
• Dead or dying trees are a common sight in areas effected by acid rain. Acid rain leaches aluminium from the soil. That aluminium may be harmful to plants as well as animals. Acid rain also removes minerals and nutrients from the soil that trees need to grow.  At high elevations, acidic fog and clouds might strip nutrients from trees’ foliage, leaving them with brown or dead leaves and needles. The trees are then less able to absorb sunlight, which makes them weak and less able to withstand freezing temperatures.
• Wetland soils also contain sulfur-loving archaea, which are single-celled organisms that use sulfur for energy production. They compete with the methane producing microbes. In areas where there is a significant amount of acid rain, scientists have shown that these sulfur archaea outcompete the methane-producing microbes, thereby decreasing the methane output in these areas significantly.

QUESTION: 3

Consider the following statements:
1. Decrease in capacity of the agricultural areas to host wildlife
2. International trade and transport
3. Mariculture
4. Desiccation of soils and wetlands
5. Beam trawling
Which of the above are the major threats to biodiversity on Earth?

Solution:

• All statements are correct
Causes of Biodiversity Loss


QUESTION: 4

Consider the following statements with respect to Black Carbon:
1. Black carbon is the result of incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, biofuel, and biomass.
2. It is directly emitted in the atmosphere as fine particles PM5.
3. Black carbon warms the atmosphere by reducing albedo when deposited on snow and ice.
4. Life time of black carbon in the atmosphere is more than 100 years.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?

Solution:

• Statement 4 is incorrect: BC remains in the atmosphere for only a few weeks, so cutting its emissions would immediately reduce the rate of warming, particularly in the rapidly changing Arctic.
Black Carbon
• Black Carbon (BC) has recently emerged as a major contributor to global climate change, possibly second only to CO2 as the main driver of change. BC particles strongly absorb sunlight and give soot its black color.
• BC is produced both naturally and by human activities as a result of the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, biofuels, and biomass. Primary sources include emissions from diesel engines, cook stoves, wood burning and forest fires.
• Reducing CO2 emissions is essential to avert the worst impacts of future climate change, but CO2 has such a long atmospheric lifetime that it will take several decades for CO2 concentrations to begin to stabilize after emissions reductions begin. In contrast, BC remains in the atmosphere for only a few weeks, so cutting its emissions would immediately reduce the rate of warming, particularly in the rapidly changing Arctic. Moreover, reduced exposure to BC provides public health cobenefits, especially in developing countries. Technologies that can reduce global BC emissions are available today.
• Being the strongest absorbent of light amongst all the components of particulate matter. It has the ability to reduce albedo when deposited on snow. It thus warms the region by reflecting less solar energy.
• Main Properties of Black Carbon
• It is directly emitted in the atmosphere as fine particles (PM5.)
• It is highly effective in absorbing solar energy and can absorb million times more energy than Carbon Dioxide.
• It is formed of pure carbon in several linked forms.
• It is emitted in two forms-anthropogenic and soot. It is a major component of soot.
• Climatologically, it is highly active and is known as a climate forcing agent. It adds to global atmospheric heating by reducing the albedo which is the property of snow and ice to reflect sunlight.
• BC emissions are largely done from automobile sources like diesel engines and other vehicles. This comprises 52% of total BC emissions. Other sources include burning of biomass, residential processes, industrial heating etc.
• Largest contributors of BC in the world are Asia, some parts of African continent and Latin America. China and India together contribute 25-30% of the total global black carbon emissions. These emissions are more intense in the source regions which include: Indo-Gangetic plains of India, Eastern China, Southeast Asia and Indonesia, Equatorial Africa, Latin America etc.  A large part of people live in these hotspots.
• It was first identified in the Arctic haze aerosols and the Arctic snow.
• It comprises about 30% of the total carbon component of soils. It serves a major reservoir of nutrients for tropical soils.

QUESTION: 5

According to Conservation International, which of the following is/are the strict criteria for declaring an area as a Biodiversity Hotspot?
1. The area must have at least 1500 vascular species of plants or a high percentage of plant life as endemics.
2. The area must be threatened with its 70% original habitat loss.
Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:

• Both statements are correct.
Biodiversity Hotspots
• Some areas of the world are especially rich in biodiversity with a large number of endemic species. If such an area is also threatened with habitat loss and other factors described above, it is called a biodiversity hotspot. This concept was first proposed by the ecologist Norman Myers.
• According to Conservation International, there are two strict criteria for declaring an area as a biodiversity hotspot: 
• The area must have at least 1500 vascular plants or a high percentage of plant life as endemics. In other words, a hotspot is irreplaceable.
• The area must have 30% or less of its original natural vegetation. In other words, it must be threatened.

QUESTION: 6

Which of the following is/are known as Criteria Pollutants in India?
1. Carbon monoxide
2. Nitrogen oxides
3. Sulfur dioxide
4. Persistent Organic Pollutants
5. Total suspended particulates
Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:

• Statement 4 is incorrect: Persistent Organic Pollutants are not a part of ‘Criteria air pollutants’
Criteria Pollutants
• ‘Criteria air pollutants’ is a term used internationally to describe air pollutants that have been regulated and are used as indicators of air quality.
• In India criteria pollutants are: carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and total suspended particulates (TSP).
• Persistent Organic Pollutants are not a part of ‘Criteria air pollutants’

QUESTION: 7

Consider the following statements regarding Biodiversity in India:
1. India accounts for nearly 18% of the recorded species in the world.
2. The varied Edaphic, Climatic and topographic conditions have resulted in a wide range of ecosystems and habitats in India.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?

Solution:

• Statement 1 is incorrect: India accounts for nearly 7% of the recorded species in the world.
Biodiversity in India
• India is a recognised as one of the megadiverse countries, rich in biodiversity and associated traditional knowledge. With just 2.4% of the land area, India accounts for nearly 7% of the recorded species even while supporting almost 18% of human population.
• In terms of species richness, India ranks seventh in mammals, ninth in birds and fifth in reptiles.
• The varied Edaphic, Climatic and Topographic conditions have resulted in a wide range of ecosystems and habitats such as forests, grasslands, wetlands, coastal and marine ecosystems, and deserts in India with greater biodiversity.

QUESTION: 8

Consider the following statements with respect to the Air Pollutants:
1. Primary pollutants are usually produced from a process, such as ash from a volcanic eruption.
2. Secondary pollutants are not emitted directly thus are less harmful than the primary pollutants.
3. Ground level ozone is a prominent example of a Primary pollutant.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?

Solution:

• Statement 2 and 3 are incorrect: Secondary pollutants are not emitted directly. Rather, they form in the air when primary pollutants react or interact. Ground level ozone is a prominent example of a secondary pollutant. Secondary pollutants are generally more harmful.
Air Pollutants
• Air pollution occurs when harmful substances including particulates and biological molecules are introduced into Earth’s atmosphere. It may cause diseases, allergies or death of humans; it may also cause harm to other living organisms such as animals and food crops, and may damage the natural or built environment. Human activity and natural processes can both generate air pollution.
• An air pollutant is a substance in the air that can have adverse effects on humans and the ecosystem. The substance can be solid particles, liquid droplets, or gases. This pollutant can be of natural origin or manmade. Pollutants are classified as primary or secondary.
• The pollutants that are emitted directly from a combustion process – or the products of combustion - are called “primary pollutants” such as ash from a volcanic eruption. Other examples include carbon monoxide gas from motor vehicle exhaust, or the sulfur dioxide released from factories.
• Secondary pollutants are not emitted directly. Rather, they form in the air when primary pollutants react or interact. Ground level ozone is a prominent example of a secondary pollutant. Secondary pollutants are generally more harmful.

QUESTION: 9

Consider the following statements regarding Mangroves?
1. Mangroves are generally found in tropical and sub-tropical sheltered coastlines.
2. Mangroves trees have high resistance to salinity stress and water logging.
3. Mangroves helps in increasing the fertility of the coastal soil by blocking salinity ingress.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?

Solution:

• All statements are correct
Mangroves
• Mangroves are defined as assemblages of salt tolerant trees and shrubs that grow in the intertidal regions of the tropical and subtropical coastlines. They grow luxuriantly in the places where freshwater mixes with seawater and where sediment is composed of accumulated deposits of mud
• Mangroves are self-propagating plants and if it is undisturbed, can grow quite easily in conducive soil and locations. They are basically evergreen land plants growing on sheltered shores, typically on tidal flats, estuaries, bays, creeks and the barrier islands. They are very hardy plants that have adapted over millennia to grow in difficult conditions. These are physiologically adapted to salinity stress and to water logged anaerobic mud is high.
• Mangrove ecosystems are rich in biodiversity and harbour a number of floral and faunal species (both terrestrial and aquatic) many of which, e.g. the tiger, Gangetic dolphin, estuarine crocodile, etc. are endangered. They also act as nurseries for fin fish, shell fish, crustaceans and molluscs. Mangrove forests are regarded as the most productive ecosystems in the world on account of the large quantities of organic and inorganic nutrients released in the coastal waters by these ecosystems.
• Mangroves moderate the monsoonal tidal floods and reduce inundation of coastal lowlands. It prevents the soil erosion, enhance the natural recycling of nutrients. They require high solar radiation and have the ability to absorb fresh water from saline / brackish water. Thus it helps in increasing fertility of coastal soils by blocking salinity ingress
• The mangroves besides providing a number of ecological services also play a major role in protecting coastal areas from erosion, tidal storms and surges (tsunamis). They help in land accretion by trapping the fine debris particles. They are also an important source of honey, tannins, wax, besides fish. Presently, these are one of the most threatened ecosystems on account of both anthropogenic factors (reclamation of land, discharge of waste etc) and natural factors like global warming.

QUESTION: 10

Which of the following are major sources of e-waste used in the manufacturing of electronics?
1. Mercury
2. Chromium
3. Rare earth elements
4. Poly Brominated Diphenyl ethers
5. Poly Vinyl Chlorides
Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:

• All statements are correct:
E-Waste
• E-waste-connected health risks may result from direct contact with harmful materials such as lead, cadmium,chromium, mercury, brominated flame retardants or polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), PVCs, etc from inhalation of toxic fumes, as well as from accumulation of chemicals in soil, water and food. In addition to its hazardous components, being processed, e-waste can give rise to a number of toxic by-products likely to affect human health.
• It is estimated that more than 50MT E-Waste is generated globally every year - A report of the United Nations predicted that by 2020, E-Waste from old computers would jump by 400% on 2007 levels in China and by 500% in India - Additionally E-Waste from discarded mobile phones would be about seven times higher than 2007 levels in China and in India 18 timers higher by 2020 - China already produces about 2.3 million tonnes of E-Waste domestically second only to the US with about 3 million tonnes .
• Rapid growth of technology, upgradation of technical innovations, and a high rate of obsolescence in the electronics industry have led to one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world which consist of end of life electrical and electronic equipment product such as refrigerator, Washing machines, Computers and Printers, Televisions, Mobiles, IPod etc.
• Many of which contain toxic materials consisting of – 
1. Ferrous & Non-ferrous Metals Plastics, Glass, Wood etc.
2. Iron & Steel -50%
3. Plastics - 21%
4. Non-ferrous metal -13%
5. Mercury, Arsenic, Lead etc.

QUESTION: 11

Match the following:

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:


Distribution of Scared Groves in India
• In India, sacred groves are found all over the country and abundantly along the Western Ghats in the states of Kerala and Karnataka. Although, there has been no comprehensive study on the sacred groves of the entire country, experts estimate the total number of sacred groves in India could be in the range of 100,000 – 150,000.
• Sacred Groves are known by different names in different states of India

QUESTION: 12

Which of the following sewage management steps is/are correctly matched?​
1. Primary treatment: It is done to remove metals to prevent the grit from causing damage to the equipment.
2. Aeration: It creates a suitable environment for natural bacteria to digest the waste in water and form activated sludge.
3. Secondary treatment: This stage has the ability to remove up to 99 percent of the impurities from the wastewater.
Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:

• Pair 3 is incorrectly matched: The tertiary treatment stage has the ability to remove up to 99 percent of the impurities from the wastewater.
Sewage Treatment Stages
• Primary treatment is done by pouring the wastewater into big tanks for the solid matter to settle at the surface of the tanks. The sludge, the solid waste that settles at the surface of the tanks, is removed by large scrappers and is pushed to the center of the cylindrical tanks and later pumped out of the tanks for further treatment. It is done to remove metals to prevent the grit from causing damage to the equipment. The remaining water is then pumped for secondary treatment.
• The secondary treatment stage involves adding seed sludge to the wastewater to ensure that it is broken down further. Air is first pumped into huge aeration tanks which mix the wastewater with the seed sludge which is basically small amount of sludge, which fuels the growth of bacteria that uses oxygen and the growth of other small microorganisms that consume the remaining organic matter. This process leads to the production of large particles that settle down at the bottom of the huge tanks.
• The tertiary treatment stage has the ability to remove up to 99 percent of the impurities from the wastewater.
This produces effluent water that is close to drinking water quality. Unfortunately, this process tends to be a bit expensive as it requires special equipment, well trained and highly skilled equipment operators, chemicals and a steady energy supply. All these are not readily available.

QUESTION: 13

Botanical Gardens refer to scientifically planned collection of trees, shrubs and plants. In this context, consider the following statements:
1. Botanical Gardens are now mainly focusing on conserving rare and threatened plants.
2. They help in conserving indigenous and local knowledge regarding use of plant resources. 
3. Botanic Garden Conservation International (BGCI) is an intergovernmental organization to link botanic gardens in a global network.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?

Solution:

• Statement 3 is incorrect: Botanic Garden Conservation International (BGCI) is an independent UK Charity to link the botanic gardens of the world in a global network for plant conservation.
Botanical Gardens
• Botanic gardens are institutions holding documented collections of living plants for the purpose of scientific research, conservation, display and education.
• In 2018, BGCI (Botanic Garden Conservation International) updated the criteria that define a botanic garden to have a greater emphasis on conserving rare and threatened plants, compliance with international policies and sustainability and ethical initiatives.
• Purposes of Botanical Garden are: 
1. To study the taxonomy as well as growth of plants
2. To study the introduction and acclimatization process of exotic plants
3. It acts as a germplasm collection
4. It helps development of new hybrids
5. It augments conserving rare and threatened species
6. Education is a strength of botanic gardens that allows them to communicate the importance of conserving plants, reaching out to diverse audiences, and also to communicate how this may be achieved.
7. Linking plants with the well-being of people, and also helping conserve indigenous and local knowledge, to encourage the sustainable use of plant resources for the benefit of all, as part of sustainable development
Botanic Garden Conservation International (BGCI)
• Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) is a membership organization, representing botanic gardens in more than 100 countries around the world.
• It is an independent UK charity established in 1987 to link the botanic gardens of the world in a global network for plant conservation.
• The mission is to mobilize botanic gardens and engage partners in securing plant diversity for the well-being of people and planet.
• The typical member is a botanic garden, seed bank or other botanical institution. BGCI members also include botanic gardens, seed banks or botanical institutions that are being established or created, with an interest in developing their activities for the purpose of plant conservation and wish to seek the benefits that BGCI membership provides.

QUESTION: 14

Which of the following statements are correct regarding the impact of mining activities on the environment?
1. Mine drainage can modify water pH and temperature and make the groundwater acidic.
2. It destroys landscapes which in turn lead to soil erosion and destruction of agricultural land.
3. It leads to destruction or displacement of species in areas of excavation and piling of mine wastes.
Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:

• All statements are correct
Mining Pollution
• Mining is the extraction of minerals and other geological materials of economic value from deposits on the earth. Mining has the potential to have severely adverse effects on the environment including loss of biodiversity, erosion, contamination of surface water, ground water, and soil.
Effects of Mining on Environment
• Bad mining practices can ignite coal fires, which can burn for decades, release fly ash and smoke laden with greenhouse gasses and toxic chemicals. Furthermore mining releases coal mine methane which is a greenhouse gas which affects climate change.
• It causes black lung disease among miners and those who live nearby, and mine accidents kill thousands every year.
• Cardiopulmonary disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hypertension, lung disease, and kidney disease have been found in higher-thannormal rates among residents who live near coal mines.
• It destroys landscapes, forests and wildlife habitats causing displacement from the site of the mine when trees, plants, and topsoil are cleared from the mining area. Thus, it leads to soil erosion and destruction of agricultural land.
• Mining sediments pollute waterways when they are washed away by rainwater. The fish and other smaller plant life are badly affected, and cause disfiguration of river channels and streams, which leads to flooding. 
• It results in chemical contamination of ground water when minerals in upturned earth seep into the water table, and watersheds are destroyed when disfigured land loses the water it once held. It lowers the water table, changing the flow of groundwater and streams and produces also greenhouse gas emissions.
• It also causes dust and noise pollution when top soil is disrupted with heavy machinery and coal dust is created in mines.
• Another type of mining called as ‘Underground mining’ causes huge amounts of waste earth and rock to be brought to the surface - waste that often becomes toxic when it comes into contact with air and water.
• Toxic levels of arsenic, fluorine, mercury, and selenium are emitted by coal fires, entering the air and the food chain of those living nearby.

QUESTION: 15

Consider the following:
1. Star tortoise  
2. Monitor lizard
3. Pygmy hog  
4. Lion Tailed Macaque
Which of the above species are found in India?

Solution:

• All statements are correct
Indian Species
• Star tortoise  Monitor lizard  Pygmy hog and Lion Tailed Macaque - All are found in India
• The Indian star tortoise (Geocheloneelegans) is a threatened species of tortoise found in dry areas and scrub forest in India and Sri Lanka.
• The Pygmy Hog is the smallest, rarest and most highly specialized member of the pig family. It was formerly known to occur across a narrow strip of early successional tall grassland plains along the southern Himalayan foothills in the Indian subcontinent
• Lion-tailed macaque (Macacasilenus) also known as Wanderloo is one of the smallest and most endangered of the macaque species.  Lion-tailed Macaque is the only Indian macaque with a black coloured coat.
• Lion Tailed Macaque is endemic to Western Ghats and is found only in evergreen broadleaf monsoon forest in Western Ghats states of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

QUESTION: 16

“Soil pollution is defined as the ‘addition of substances to the soil, which adversely affects physical, chemical and biological properties of soil and reduces its productivity.” In this context, consider the following causes of soil pollution:
1. Indiscriminate use of fertilizers.
2. Dumping of solid waste
3. Soil erosion
Which of the above factors is/are responsible for soil pollution?

Solution:

• All statement are  correct
Soil Pollution
• Soil is a thin layer of organic and inorganic materials that covers the Earth’s rocky surface. Soil pollution is defined as the ‘addition of substances to the soil, which adversely affects physical, chemical and biological properties of soil and reduces its productivity.’
• It is build-up of persistent toxic compounds, chemicals, salts, radioactive materials, or disease-causing agents in the soil which has adverse effects on plant growth, human and animal health.
• A soil pollutant is any factor which deteriorates the quality, texture and mineral content of the soil or which disturbs the biological balance of the organisms in the soil.
Causes
• Indiscriminate use of fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides, and herbicides
• Dumping of large quantities of solid waste
• Deforestation and soil erosion
• Pollution Due to Urbanisation

QUESTION: 17

Consider the following statements:
1. Gir sanctuary holds the only wild population of Asiatic lions in the world.
2. It is listed in Schedule-I of Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972.
3. Recently a vaccine has been developed by India to directly cure the Canine Distemper Virus common amongst the big cats.
Which of the above statements are correct?

Solution:

• Statement 3 is incorrect: There is no known cure for Canine Distemper Virus 
Asiatic Lions
• The big cat population in Gujrat is the last of the Asiatic Lions in the world. Gir Sanctuary is the only world population of Asiatic lions in the world.
• It is listed in Schedule 1 of Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972, has been categorized as Endangered on IUCN Red List and is listed in Appendix I of CITES.
• This Asiatic lion is under threat more so lately under the impact of Canine distemper Virus. Gujrat Forest Department has thus started vaccination of lions in Gir Sanctuary to protect them from a deadly Canine Distemper Virus (CDV).
• CDV is a viral disease affecting the gastrointestinal, respiratory and central nervous system. It can spread through both direct and indirect contact, though it cannot live in the surfaces for very long. Inhaling the virus is the primary method of exposure. There is no known cure for CDV.

QUESTION: 18

With reference to the landfills, consider the following statements:
1. Landfills give rise to air pollution and water pollution.
2. Sanitary landfill uses a clay liner to isolate the trash from the environment.
3. Municipal solid waste (MSW) landfill involves the combustion of organic substances contained in waste materials.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?

Solution:

• Statement 3 is incorrect: Incineration is a waste treatment process that involves the combustion of organic substances contained in waste materials.
Waste Management
• Waste management or Waste disposal refers to all the activities and actions required to manage waste from its inception to its final disposal. This includes amongst other things, collection, transport, treatment and disposal of waste together with monitoring and regulation. It also encompasses the legal and regulatory framework that relates to waste management encompassing guidance on recycling etc. Throwing daily waste/garbage in the landfills is the most popularly used method of waste disposal used today. This process of waste disposal focuses attention on burying the waste in the land.
• Landfills are commonly found in developing countries. This method is becoming less these days owing to the lack of space available and the strong presence of methane and other landfill gases, both of which can cause numerous contamination problems. Landfills give rise to air and water pollution which severely affects the environment and can prove fatal to the lives of humans and animals. When organic material such as food scraps and green waste is put in landfill, it is generally compacted down and covered. This removes the oxygen and causes it to break down in an anaerobic process. Eventually this releases methane, a greenhouse gas that is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide polluting the air around itself. Similarly the leachate contaminates the groundwater sources.
• A sanitary landfill uses a clay liner to isolate the trash from the environment. A municipal solid waste (MSW) landfill uses a synthetic (plastic) liner to isolate the trash from the environment. Combustion of organic substances contained in waste materials is not involved in the process.
• Incineration is a waste treatment process that involves the combustion of organic substances contained in waste materials. Incineration and other high-temperature waste treatment systems are described as “thermal treatment”. Incineration of waste materials converts the waste into ash, flue gas and heat.

QUESTION: 19

Which of the following statement regarding Trade Related Analysis of Fauna and Flora in Commerce (TRAFFIC) is/are correct? 
1. It is a joint programme of Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) and United Nations environment Programme (UNEP).
2. It works in collaboration with Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
3. It acts to reduce wildlife crime and illegal trade.
Select the answer using the code given below:

Solution:

• Statement 1 is incorrect: TRAFFIC is a joint program of WWF and The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Trade Related Analysis of Fauna and Flora in Commerce (TRAFFIC)
• TRAFFIC is a joint program of WWF and The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
• TRAFFIC’s work is organized around two work streams:
• Action to reduce wildlife crime and illegal trade
• Action to enhance benefits from sustainable, legal wildlife trade
• TRAFFIC undertakes its activities in close collaboration with governments and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

QUESTION: 20

Which of the following prerequisites with regard to pollutants are necessary for bio magnification in food web?
1. Longevity
2. Insolubility in fats
3. Mobility
4. Solubility in water
Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:

• Statement 2 is incorrect: Soluble in fats: Pollutants that dissolve in fats are retained for a long time as the breakdown of such pollutants becomes a bit complex.
• Statement 4 is incorrect: Less soluble in water: If the pollutant is soluble in water, it has the possibility to be excreted by the organism.
Bio magnification
• Bio magnification refers to the tendency of pollutants to concentrate as they move from one trophic level to another. Thus it is an increase in concentration of a pollutant from one link in a food chain to another.
• In order for bio magnification to occur, the pollutant must  be :
• Long lived: If a pollutant is short-lived, it will be broken down before it can become toxic. Long life of a pollutant allows it to sustain itself as it moves up the food chain. 
• Mobile: Immobility of a pollutant restricts it to one position and thus becomes unlikely to be taken up by the organism thus hindering the bio magnification.
• Soluble in fats: Pollutants that dissolve in fats are retained for a long time as the breakdown of such pollutants becomes a bit complex.
• Biologically active: If a pollutant is not biologically active, it may bio magnify but is not toxic to a great degree. Example: DDT
• Less soluble in water: If the pollutant is soluble in water, it has the possibility to be excreted by the organism.
• Example: Veterinary use of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drug diclofenac in South Asia has resulted in the collapse of populations of vulture species of the genus Gyps to the most severe category of global extinction risk. Vultures are exposed to diclofenac when scavenging on livestock treated with the drug shortly before death. Diclofenac causes kidney damage, increased serum uric acid concentrations, visceral gout, and death.

QUESTION: 21

Match the following:

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:

The correct option is D.
They are correctly matched.

QUESTION: 22

Which of the following are man-made sources of radioactive pollution?
1. Terrestrial radiations from radio-nuclides present in earth’s crust
2. Uranium mining
3. Radiation therapy
4. Transportation of nuclear material
Select the correct answer using code given below:

Solution:

• Statement 1 is incorrect: Terrestrial radiations from radio-nuclides present in earth’s crust is natural source of radioactive pollution.
Radioactive Pollution
• Radioactivity is a phenomenon of spontaneous emission of proton (a-particles), electrons (ß-particles) and gamma rays (short wave electromagnetic waves) due to the disintegration of atomic nuclei of some elements. These cause radioactive pollution.
• Sources
• Natural
• They include cosmic rays from space and terrestrial radiations from radionuclides present in earth’s crust such as radium-224, uranium-238, thorium232, potassium- 40, carbon-14, etc
• Man-made
1. Nuclear power plants
2. Nuclear weapon
3. Transportation of nuclear material
4. Disposal of nuclear waste
5. Uranium mining
6. Radiation therapy

QUESTION: 23

Consider the following statements:
1. The pink pages in the Red Data Book published  by IUCN include the vulnerable species.
2. The IUCN has downgraded conservation status of snow leopard from endangered to vulnerable.
3. IUCN is a leading governmental authority for the conservation of animal species only.
Which of the above statements given above is/ are correct?

Solution:

• Statement 1 is incorrect: The pink pages in the Red Data Book published by IUCN include the critically endangered species.  
• Statement 3 is incorrect: The IUCN is working in the field of nature conservation and sustainable use of natural resources
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
• The IUCN is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental organisation working in the field of nature conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.  It was founded in 1948, headquartered in Gland, Switzerland.  It is a leading nongovernmental authority on the environment and sustainable development. It is also involved in data gathering and analysis, research, field projects, advocacy, lobbying and education.
• The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is a membership Unionuniquely composed of both government and civil society organisations. It provides public, private and non-governmental organisations with the knowledge and tools that enable human progress, economic development and nature conservation to take place together.
• The Pink pages in the Red Data Book published by IUCN include the critically endangered species. Green pages are used for those species that were formerly endangered, but have now recovered to a point where they are no longer threatened.
• IUCN has downgraded conservation status of snow leopard from “endangered” to “vulnerable”.  The change in status comes 45 years after snow leopard was first declared endangered in 1972. 

QUESTION: 24

Which of the following pairs is/are correctly matched?

Select the correct answer pair using the code given below:

Solution:

• All pairs are correctly matched
Health Effects of Pollutants
• Lead comes from mining, batteries, electronic devices, etc. It can be leached from metal pipes to ground water. It affects kidney and mental growth.
• Arsenic is a very serious pollutant in water. It is found in earth’s crust. It can be leached to groundwater through rock formations. It results into thickening and discolouration of skin, stomach pain, diarrhoea, etc.
• Baby Blue Syndrome is the result of nitrate contamination.
• Fluoride pollution will result into Knock knee syndrome where knee joints stiffness and pain in bones. 

QUESTION: 25

With respect to Gangetic Dolphins, consider the following statements:
1. These are found in river Ganga only.
2. They have been classified as “critically endangered” by IUCN.
3. These species are practically blind and rely on bio-sonar waves to move around.
4. Gangetic Dolphins have been recognized as National aquatic animal of India.
Which of the above statements are correct?

Solution:

• Statement 1 is incorrect: Ganges River Dolphin are found in the Ganga and Brahmaputra Rivers.
• Statement 2 is incorrect: River dolphins have been classified as “endangered”.
Gangetic Dolphin
• Ganges River Dolphin is a sub-species of river dolphins, found in the Ganga and Brahmaputra Rivers. These species are practically blind and rely on bio-sonar waves to move around. There are almost 2500 river dolphins in Ganga and there population is diminishing.
• River dolphins have been classified as “endangered” not “critically endangered” by IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) in 1966.
• The Ganges river dolphin can only live in freshwater and is essentially blind and therefore rely on bio-sonar waves to move around.
• Gangetic Dolphins have been recognized as National aquatic animal of India.
• Common Name: Ganges river dolphin, blind dolphin, Ganges dolphin, Ganges susu, Gangetic dolphin, hihu, side-swimming dolphin, South Asian River Dolphin, Indus River Dolphin ; Plataniste du Gange (Fr); Delfín del Ganges (Sp)
• Scientific Name: Platanistagangetica
• Population : 1,200-1,800 individuals
• Skin colour: Greyish brown

QUESTION: 26

Which of the following is/are correct regarding Non-ionising radiations?  

Solution:

Two types of radiations with regard to the mode of their action on cells
• Non-ionising radiations
1. They include short-wave radiations such as ultraviolet rays, which form a part of solar radiation.
2. They have low penetrating power and affect the cells and molecules which absorb them.
3. They damage eyes which may be caused by reflections from coastal sand, snow (snow blindness) directly looking towards the sun during an eclipse.
4. They injure the cells of skin and blood capillaries producing blisters and reddening called sunburns.
• Ionizing radiations
1. They include X-rays, cosmic rays and atomic radiations (radiations emitted by radioactive elements).
2. Ionizing radiations have high penetration power and cause breakage of macromolecules.
3. The molecular damage may produce short-range (immediate) or long-range (delayed) effects. 
• Short-range effects include burns, impaired metabolism, dead tissues and death of the organisms.
• Long-range effects are mutations that increased the incidence of tumors and cancer, shortening of life-span and developmental changes.
• The mutated gene can persist in living organisms and may affect their progeny.
1. The actively dividing cells such as Embryo, foetus, cells of the skin, intestinal lining, bone marrow, and gamete forming cells are more sensitive to radiations.
2. Some species of animals and plants preferentially accumulate specific radioactive materials. For example, oysters deposit 65Zn, fish accumulate 55Fe, marine animals selectively deposit 90Sr.

QUESTION: 27

International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime Mission has been formed to strengthen criminal justice systems and provide coordinated support at national, regional and international level to combat wildlife and forest crime. Which of the following organizations is/are the part of it?
1. INTERPOL
2. World Bank
3. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
4. Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:

International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC)
• Composed of five major international organizations, the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) forms a powerful alliance to fight wildlife crime effectively. The ICCWC delivers determined and coordinated support to law enforcement, helping to deliver action on the ground with the ultimate aim of bringing criminals to justice. Wildlife crime frequently involves money laundering, fraud, counterfeiting and violence. Dismantling the transnational criminal networks behind the illegal international trade in wild flora and fauna requires a coordinated global response.
• The ICCWC brings together:
1. Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES);
2. INTERPOL;
3. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC);
4. World Bank;
5. World Customs Organization (WCO).
• The ICCWC seeks to ensure that perpetrators of serious wildlife crimes face a formidable and coordinated response, departing from the present situation where the risk of detection and punishment is all too low.

QUESTION: 28

Which of the following activitie(s) is/are responsible for the decrement in the economic output from inland fishery?
1. Discharge of untreated effluents from the industrial units and urban silage which destroy the fish.
2. Construction of dams prevents the free migration of fish to their usual breeding and feeding grounds.
3. Deforestation and frequent flooding due to poor watershed management. 
Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:

Inland Fishery
The reasons are:

• Discharge of untreated effluents from the industrial units and urban silage destroy the fish by clogging their respiratory organs. Also fish exposed to industrial effluent induce a greater risk of oxidative stress with a resultant increased level of lipid peroxides. Consequently, if these fish with increased oxidative species are ingested by humans, they may cause physiological problems such as cardiovascular diseases and cancer involving disruption of cellular homeostasis.
• Construction of dams, reservoirs prevents the free migration of fish to their usual breeding and feeding grounds and thus adversely affects the stock of fish in rivers. Also water temperature changes have often been identified as a cause of reduction in native species, particularly as a result of spawning success .eg: Coldwater release from high dams of the Colorado River has resulted in a decline in native fish abundance.
• Deforestation leads to loosening of soil thus facilitating frequent flooding in cases of poor watershed management. In some cases, floods lead to a decline in fish population. In these situations, fewer young fish survive than normal, as the offspring are isolated by the retreating waters after the flood. But such declines are more common in fastermoving rivers. 

QUESTION: 29

Identify the National park having the following characteristics:
1. It lies in the Central Crystalline belt of the Greater Himalayas.
2. The park is bounded on the north by the banks of Indus River and parts of Zaskar Range.
3. It is majorly protecting the Snow Leopards.
Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:

Hemis National Park
• Hemis National Park (or Hemis High Altitude National Park) is a high altitude national park in the eastern Ladakh region of the state of Jammu and Kashmir in India comprising of Central Crystalline belt of the Greater Himalayas. The park is bounded on the north by the banks of the Indus River, and includes the catchments of Markha, Sumdah and Rumbak, and parts of the ZanskarRange.World famous for being the best place to see the snow leopard in the wild, it is believed to have the highest density of snow leopards of any protected area in the world.
• Dachigam National Park: India’s northernmost and most elevated reserve, Dachigam is a national treasure nestled in the beautiful and troubled state of Kashmir. Spread over 140 sq. km., Dachigam is split into the Upper and Lower Dachigam sectors, both of which have seen better days. The magnificent hangul or Kashmir stag is the main mammal in the area and Dachigam is also home to the elusive snow leopard, marten, ibex, musk deer and other animal’s characteristic of the Himalayas. Birds like the Koklas pheasant and the monal pheasant inhabit the region. Srinagar’s Harwan Reservoir is fed by the numerous streams in the Dachigam forests, making the park a crucial catchment area. Since 1989, political unrest has caused this area to be severely affected as shifting priorities, terrorists and Indian officials have all played a part in the downfall of the park. The area is, however, always breathtaking and more adventurous wildlife enthusiasts can still enter the park.
• Pin Valley National park: This is a national park and that too the only one of Himachal Pradesh situated in the cold desert area. This whole region has the effect of Buddhism and thus there are built the gompas or monasteries here. The main animals found here are snow leopard, ibex, bharal, red fox, marten, weasel, pika, vulture, chukor, golden eagle and others. The main species of flora found here are shrubs, herbs, scrubs, juniper and birch in the form of forests.
• Kishtwar National park: Kishtwar National Park is a beautiful place, located in the Kishtwar district of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The Park is named after the district in which it is located. It was majorly founded to protect the Snow Leopards that are now slowly vanishing from the nature. Total area of the park is 425.00 Km2. This national park was basically made to protect the endangered species of snow leopards and was given the status of a national park in 1981.This national park is surrounded by beautiful snowcapped Himalayas. The park is a scenic backdrop where many streams flowing through the park adds to the beauty of this wildlife paradise. The Park is famous for its unique and rich wildlife and bird species. The flora mainly comprises coniferous, alpine, meadows and scrub forests. The rich wildlife includes Brown Bear, Himalayan Black bear, Musk Deer, Ibex, Markhor, Snow Leopard, Wild boar, Bharal, Indian Muntijal, Serow, and Rhesus macaque (Hangul and Kashmiri stag that migrate in winters from Dachigam National Park).

QUESTION: 30

Which of the following statements is /are correct about the Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD)? 
1. It is the amount of dissolved oxygen needed by bacteria in decomposing the inorganic waste present in water.
2. The higher value of BOD indicates the low DO content of water.
Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:

• Statement 1 is incorrect: BOD is the amount of dissolved oxygen needed by bacteria in decomposing the organic wastes present in water.
Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD)
• Water pollution by organic wastes is measured in terms of Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD).
• BOD is the amount of dissolved oxygen needed by bacteria in decomposing the organic wastes present in water. It is expressed in milligrams of oxygen per liter of water.
• The higher value of BOD indicates the low DO content of water.
• Since BOD is limited to biodegradable materials only. Therefore, it is not a reliable method of measuring the pollution load in the water.
Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD)
• It is a slightly better mode used to measure pollution load in the water.
• It is the measure of oxygen equivalent of the requirement of oxidation of total organic matter (i.e. biodegradable and non-biodegradable) present in water.