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 Page 1


We share this planet with millions of other
living beings, starting from micro-organisms
and bacteria, lichens to banyan trees,
elephants and blue whales. This entire
habitat that we live in has immense
biodiversity. 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. For example, the plants,
animals and micro-organisms re-create the
quality of the air we breathe, the water we
drink and the soil that produces our food
without which we cannot survive. Forests
play a key role in the ecological system as
these are also the primary producers on
which all other living beings depend.
Flora and Fauna in India
If you look around, you will be able to find
that there are some animals and plants which
are unique in your area. In fact, India is
one of the world’s richest countries in terms
of its vast array of biological diversity. This
is possibly twice or thrice the number yet
to be discovered. You have already studied
in detail about the extent and variety of
forest and wildlife resources in India. You
may have realised the importance of
these resources in our daily life. These
diverse flora and fauna are so well
integrated in our daily life that we take
these for granted. But, lately, they are
under great stress mainy due to insensitivity
to our environment.
Narak! My Lord, you are the creator of music
in the world of Lepchas
Oh Narak! My Lord, let me dedicate
myself to you
Let me gather your music from the
springs, the rivers, the mountains, the forests,
the insects and the animals
Let me gather your music from the sweet
breeze and offer it to you
Source: Lepcha folk song from northern part of
West Bengal
Biodiversity or Biological Diversity is
immensely rich in wildlife and cultivated
species, diverse in form and function but
closely integrated in a system through
multiple network of interdependencies.
Find out stories prevalent in your region
which are about the harmonious relationship
between human beings and nature.
Conservation of Forest and Wildlife in India
Conservation in the background of rapid
decline in wildlife population and forestry has
become essential. But why do we need to
conserve our forests and wildlife?
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.
In the 1960s and 1970s, conservationists
demanded a national wildlife protection
programme. The Indian Wildlife (Protection)
Rationalised-2023-24
Page 2


We share this planet with millions of other
living beings, starting from micro-organisms
and bacteria, lichens to banyan trees,
elephants and blue whales. This entire
habitat that we live in has immense
biodiversity. 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. For example, the plants,
animals and micro-organisms re-create the
quality of the air we breathe, the water we
drink and the soil that produces our food
without which we cannot survive. Forests
play a key role in the ecological system as
these are also the primary producers on
which all other living beings depend.
Flora and Fauna in India
If you look around, you will be able to find
that there are some animals and plants which
are unique in your area. In fact, India is
one of the world’s richest countries in terms
of its vast array of biological diversity. This
is possibly twice or thrice the number yet
to be discovered. You have already studied
in detail about the extent and variety of
forest and wildlife resources in India. You
may have realised the importance of
these resources in our daily life. These
diverse flora and fauna are so well
integrated in our daily life that we take
these for granted. But, lately, they are
under great stress mainy due to insensitivity
to our environment.
Narak! My Lord, you are the creator of music
in the world of Lepchas
Oh Narak! My Lord, let me dedicate
myself to you
Let me gather your music from the
springs, the rivers, the mountains, the forests,
the insects and the animals
Let me gather your music from the sweet
breeze and offer it to you
Source: Lepcha folk song from northern part of
West Bengal
Biodiversity or Biological Diversity is
immensely rich in wildlife and cultivated
species, diverse in form and function but
closely integrated in a system through
multiple network of interdependencies.
Find out stories prevalent in your region
which are about the harmonious relationship
between human beings and nature.
Conservation of Forest and Wildlife in India
Conservation in the background of rapid
decline in wildlife population and forestry has
become essential. But why do we need to
conserve our forests and wildlife?
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.
In the 1960s and 1970s, conservationists
demanded a national wildlife protection
programme. The Indian Wildlife (Protection)
Rationalised-2023-24
14 CONTEMPORARY INDIA – II
Act was implemented in 1972, with various
provisions for protecting habitats. An all-
India 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.
Subsequently, central and many state
governments established national parks and
wildlife sanctuaries about which you have
already studied. The central government also
announced several projects for protecting
specific animals, which were gravely
threatened, including the tiger, the one-
horned 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.
Fig. 2.1
Tribal girls using bamboo saplings in a
nursery at Mukhali near Silent Valley
Tribal women selling minor forest produce Leaf litter collection by women folk
Project Tiger
Tiger is one of the key wildlife species in
the faunal web. In 1973, the authorities
realised that the tiger population had
dwindled to 1,827 from an estimated
55,000 at the turn of the century. The major
threats to tiger population are numerous,
such as poaching for trade, shrinking
habitat, depletion of prey base species,
growing human population, etc. The trade
of tiger skins and the use of their bones in
traditional medicines, especially in the
Asian countries left the tiger population on
the verge of extinction. Since India and
Nepal provide habitat to about two-thirds
of the surviving tiger population in the
world, these two nations became prime
targets for poaching and illegal trading.
“Project Tiger”, one of the well-
publicised wildlife campaigns in the world,
was launched in 1973. Tiger conservation
has been viewed not only as an effort to
save an endangered species, but with
Rationalised-2023-24
Page 3


We share this planet with millions of other
living beings, starting from micro-organisms
and bacteria, lichens to banyan trees,
elephants and blue whales. This entire
habitat that we live in has immense
biodiversity. 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. For example, the plants,
animals and micro-organisms re-create the
quality of the air we breathe, the water we
drink and the soil that produces our food
without which we cannot survive. Forests
play a key role in the ecological system as
these are also the primary producers on
which all other living beings depend.
Flora and Fauna in India
If you look around, you will be able to find
that there are some animals and plants which
are unique in your area. In fact, India is
one of the world’s richest countries in terms
of its vast array of biological diversity. This
is possibly twice or thrice the number yet
to be discovered. You have already studied
in detail about the extent and variety of
forest and wildlife resources in India. You
may have realised the importance of
these resources in our daily life. These
diverse flora and fauna are so well
integrated in our daily life that we take
these for granted. But, lately, they are
under great stress mainy due to insensitivity
to our environment.
Narak! My Lord, you are the creator of music
in the world of Lepchas
Oh Narak! My Lord, let me dedicate
myself to you
Let me gather your music from the
springs, the rivers, the mountains, the forests,
the insects and the animals
Let me gather your music from the sweet
breeze and offer it to you
Source: Lepcha folk song from northern part of
West Bengal
Biodiversity or Biological Diversity is
immensely rich in wildlife and cultivated
species, diverse in form and function but
closely integrated in a system through
multiple network of interdependencies.
Find out stories prevalent in your region
which are about the harmonious relationship
between human beings and nature.
Conservation of Forest and Wildlife in India
Conservation in the background of rapid
decline in wildlife population and forestry has
become essential. But why do we need to
conserve our forests and wildlife?
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.
In the 1960s and 1970s, conservationists
demanded a national wildlife protection
programme. The Indian Wildlife (Protection)
Rationalised-2023-24
14 CONTEMPORARY INDIA – II
Act was implemented in 1972, with various
provisions for protecting habitats. An all-
India 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.
Subsequently, central and many state
governments established national parks and
wildlife sanctuaries about which you have
already studied. The central government also
announced several projects for protecting
specific animals, which were gravely
threatened, including the tiger, the one-
horned 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.
Fig. 2.1
Tribal girls using bamboo saplings in a
nursery at Mukhali near Silent Valley
Tribal women selling minor forest produce Leaf litter collection by women folk
Project Tiger
Tiger is one of the key wildlife species in
the faunal web. In 1973, the authorities
realised that the tiger population had
dwindled to 1,827 from an estimated
55,000 at the turn of the century. The major
threats to tiger population are numerous,
such as poaching for trade, shrinking
habitat, depletion of prey base species,
growing human population, etc. The trade
of tiger skins and the use of their bones in
traditional medicines, especially in the
Asian countries left the tiger population on
the verge of extinction. Since India and
Nepal provide habitat to about two-thirds
of the surviving tiger population in the
world, these two nations became prime
targets for poaching and illegal trading.
“Project Tiger”, one of the well-
publicised wildlife campaigns in the world,
was launched in 1973. Tiger conservation
has been viewed not only as an effort to
save an endangered species, but with
Rationalised-2023-24
15 FOREST AND WILDLIFE RESOURCES
much of its 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.
(i) 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.
(ii) 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.
(iii) Unclassed 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.
Jammu and Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh,
Uttarakhand, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West
Bengal, and Maharashtra have large
percentages of reserved forests of its total forest
area whereas Bihar, Haryana, Punjab,
Himachal Pradesh, Odisha and Rajasthan have
a bulk of it under protected forests. All North-
Collect more information on the wildlife
sanctuaries and national parks of India and
cite their locations on the map of India.
Fig. 2.2:  Rhino and deer in Kaziranga National Park
equal importance as a means of
preserving biotypes of sizeable magnitude.
Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand,
Sunderbans National Park in West Bengal,
Bandhavgarh National Park in Madhya
Pradesh, Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary in
Rajasthan, Manas Tiger Reserve in Assam
and Periyar Tiger Reserve in Kerala are
some of the tiger reserves of India.
The conservation projects are now focusing
on biodiversity rather than on a few of its
components. There is now a more intensive
search for different conservation measures.
Increasingly, even insects are beginning to find
a place in conservation planning. In the
notification under Wildlife Act of 1980 and
1986, several hundred butterflies, moths,
beetles, and one dragonfly have been added to
the list of protected species. In 1991, for the
first time plants were also added to the list,
starting with six species.
Types and Distribution of Forest and
Wildlife Resources
Even if we want to conserve our vast forest and
wildlife resources, it is rather difficult to
manage, control and regulate them. In India,
Rationalised-2023-24
Page 4


We share this planet with millions of other
living beings, starting from micro-organisms
and bacteria, lichens to banyan trees,
elephants and blue whales. This entire
habitat that we live in has immense
biodiversity. 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. For example, the plants,
animals and micro-organisms re-create the
quality of the air we breathe, the water we
drink and the soil that produces our food
without which we cannot survive. Forests
play a key role in the ecological system as
these are also the primary producers on
which all other living beings depend.
Flora and Fauna in India
If you look around, you will be able to find
that there are some animals and plants which
are unique in your area. In fact, India is
one of the world’s richest countries in terms
of its vast array of biological diversity. This
is possibly twice or thrice the number yet
to be discovered. You have already studied
in detail about the extent and variety of
forest and wildlife resources in India. You
may have realised the importance of
these resources in our daily life. These
diverse flora and fauna are so well
integrated in our daily life that we take
these for granted. But, lately, they are
under great stress mainy due to insensitivity
to our environment.
Narak! My Lord, you are the creator of music
in the world of Lepchas
Oh Narak! My Lord, let me dedicate
myself to you
Let me gather your music from the
springs, the rivers, the mountains, the forests,
the insects and the animals
Let me gather your music from the sweet
breeze and offer it to you
Source: Lepcha folk song from northern part of
West Bengal
Biodiversity or Biological Diversity is
immensely rich in wildlife and cultivated
species, diverse in form and function but
closely integrated in a system through
multiple network of interdependencies.
Find out stories prevalent in your region
which are about the harmonious relationship
between human beings and nature.
Conservation of Forest and Wildlife in India
Conservation in the background of rapid
decline in wildlife population and forestry has
become essential. But why do we need to
conserve our forests and wildlife?
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.
In the 1960s and 1970s, conservationists
demanded a national wildlife protection
programme. The Indian Wildlife (Protection)
Rationalised-2023-24
14 CONTEMPORARY INDIA – II
Act was implemented in 1972, with various
provisions for protecting habitats. An all-
India 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.
Subsequently, central and many state
governments established national parks and
wildlife sanctuaries about which you have
already studied. The central government also
announced several projects for protecting
specific animals, which were gravely
threatened, including the tiger, the one-
horned 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.
Fig. 2.1
Tribal girls using bamboo saplings in a
nursery at Mukhali near Silent Valley
Tribal women selling minor forest produce Leaf litter collection by women folk
Project Tiger
Tiger is one of the key wildlife species in
the faunal web. In 1973, the authorities
realised that the tiger population had
dwindled to 1,827 from an estimated
55,000 at the turn of the century. The major
threats to tiger population are numerous,
such as poaching for trade, shrinking
habitat, depletion of prey base species,
growing human population, etc. The trade
of tiger skins and the use of their bones in
traditional medicines, especially in the
Asian countries left the tiger population on
the verge of extinction. Since India and
Nepal provide habitat to about two-thirds
of the surviving tiger population in the
world, these two nations became prime
targets for poaching and illegal trading.
“Project Tiger”, one of the well-
publicised wildlife campaigns in the world,
was launched in 1973. Tiger conservation
has been viewed not only as an effort to
save an endangered species, but with
Rationalised-2023-24
15 FOREST AND WILDLIFE RESOURCES
much of its 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.
(i) 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.
(ii) 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.
(iii) Unclassed 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.
Jammu and Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh,
Uttarakhand, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West
Bengal, and Maharashtra have large
percentages of reserved forests of its total forest
area whereas Bihar, Haryana, Punjab,
Himachal Pradesh, Odisha and Rajasthan have
a bulk of it under protected forests. All North-
Collect more information on the wildlife
sanctuaries and national parks of India and
cite their locations on the map of India.
Fig. 2.2:  Rhino and deer in Kaziranga National Park
equal importance as a means of
preserving biotypes of sizeable magnitude.
Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand,
Sunderbans National Park in West Bengal,
Bandhavgarh National Park in Madhya
Pradesh, Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary in
Rajasthan, Manas Tiger Reserve in Assam
and Periyar Tiger Reserve in Kerala are
some of the tiger reserves of India.
The conservation projects are now focusing
on biodiversity rather than on a few of its
components. There is now a more intensive
search for different conservation measures.
Increasingly, even insects are beginning to find
a place in conservation planning. In the
notification under Wildlife Act of 1980 and
1986, several hundred butterflies, moths,
beetles, and one dragonfly have been added to
the list of protected species. In 1991, for the
first time plants were also added to the list,
starting with six species.
Types and Distribution of Forest and
Wildlife Resources
Even if we want to conserve our vast forest and
wildlife resources, it is rather difficult to
manage, control and regulate them. In India,
Rationalised-2023-24
16 CONTEMPORARY INDIA – II
eastern states and parts of Gujarat have a very
high percentage of their forests as unclassed
forests managed by local communities.
Community and Conservation
Conservation strategies are not new in our
country. We often ignore that in India, forests
are also home to some of the traditional
communities. In some areas of India, local
communities are struggling to conserve these
habitats along with government officials,
recognising that only this will secure their
own long-term livelihood. 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. Attempts to revive the traditional
conservation methods or developing new
methods of ecological farming are now
widespread. 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.
In India joint forest management (JFM)
programme furnishes a good example for
involving local communities in the
management and restoration of degraded
Can you find out the reasons for the above mentioned problems?
Rationalised-2023-24
Page 5


We share this planet with millions of other
living beings, starting from micro-organisms
and bacteria, lichens to banyan trees,
elephants and blue whales. This entire
habitat that we live in has immense
biodiversity. 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. For example, the plants,
animals and micro-organisms re-create the
quality of the air we breathe, the water we
drink and the soil that produces our food
without which we cannot survive. Forests
play a key role in the ecological system as
these are also the primary producers on
which all other living beings depend.
Flora and Fauna in India
If you look around, you will be able to find
that there are some animals and plants which
are unique in your area. In fact, India is
one of the world’s richest countries in terms
of its vast array of biological diversity. This
is possibly twice or thrice the number yet
to be discovered. You have already studied
in detail about the extent and variety of
forest and wildlife resources in India. You
may have realised the importance of
these resources in our daily life. These
diverse flora and fauna are so well
integrated in our daily life that we take
these for granted. But, lately, they are
under great stress mainy due to insensitivity
to our environment.
Narak! My Lord, you are the creator of music
in the world of Lepchas
Oh Narak! My Lord, let me dedicate
myself to you
Let me gather your music from the
springs, the rivers, the mountains, the forests,
the insects and the animals
Let me gather your music from the sweet
breeze and offer it to you
Source: Lepcha folk song from northern part of
West Bengal
Biodiversity or Biological Diversity is
immensely rich in wildlife and cultivated
species, diverse in form and function but
closely integrated in a system through
multiple network of interdependencies.
Find out stories prevalent in your region
which are about the harmonious relationship
between human beings and nature.
Conservation of Forest and Wildlife in India
Conservation in the background of rapid
decline in wildlife population and forestry has
become essential. But why do we need to
conserve our forests and wildlife?
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.
In the 1960s and 1970s, conservationists
demanded a national wildlife protection
programme. The Indian Wildlife (Protection)
Rationalised-2023-24
14 CONTEMPORARY INDIA – II
Act was implemented in 1972, with various
provisions for protecting habitats. An all-
India 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.
Subsequently, central and many state
governments established national parks and
wildlife sanctuaries about which you have
already studied. The central government also
announced several projects for protecting
specific animals, which were gravely
threatened, including the tiger, the one-
horned 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.
Fig. 2.1
Tribal girls using bamboo saplings in a
nursery at Mukhali near Silent Valley
Tribal women selling minor forest produce Leaf litter collection by women folk
Project Tiger
Tiger is one of the key wildlife species in
the faunal web. In 1973, the authorities
realised that the tiger population had
dwindled to 1,827 from an estimated
55,000 at the turn of the century. The major
threats to tiger population are numerous,
such as poaching for trade, shrinking
habitat, depletion of prey base species,
growing human population, etc. The trade
of tiger skins and the use of their bones in
traditional medicines, especially in the
Asian countries left the tiger population on
the verge of extinction. Since India and
Nepal provide habitat to about two-thirds
of the surviving tiger population in the
world, these two nations became prime
targets for poaching and illegal trading.
“Project Tiger”, one of the well-
publicised wildlife campaigns in the world,
was launched in 1973. Tiger conservation
has been viewed not only as an effort to
save an endangered species, but with
Rationalised-2023-24
15 FOREST AND WILDLIFE RESOURCES
much of its 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.
(i) 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.
(ii) 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.
(iii) Unclassed 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.
Jammu and Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh,
Uttarakhand, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West
Bengal, and Maharashtra have large
percentages of reserved forests of its total forest
area whereas Bihar, Haryana, Punjab,
Himachal Pradesh, Odisha and Rajasthan have
a bulk of it under protected forests. All North-
Collect more information on the wildlife
sanctuaries and national parks of India and
cite their locations on the map of India.
Fig. 2.2:  Rhino and deer in Kaziranga National Park
equal importance as a means of
preserving biotypes of sizeable magnitude.
Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand,
Sunderbans National Park in West Bengal,
Bandhavgarh National Park in Madhya
Pradesh, Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary in
Rajasthan, Manas Tiger Reserve in Assam
and Periyar Tiger Reserve in Kerala are
some of the tiger reserves of India.
The conservation projects are now focusing
on biodiversity rather than on a few of its
components. There is now a more intensive
search for different conservation measures.
Increasingly, even insects are beginning to find
a place in conservation planning. In the
notification under Wildlife Act of 1980 and
1986, several hundred butterflies, moths,
beetles, and one dragonfly have been added to
the list of protected species. In 1991, for the
first time plants were also added to the list,
starting with six species.
Types and Distribution of Forest and
Wildlife Resources
Even if we want to conserve our vast forest and
wildlife resources, it is rather difficult to
manage, control and regulate them. In India,
Rationalised-2023-24
16 CONTEMPORARY INDIA – II
eastern states and parts of Gujarat have a very
high percentage of their forests as unclassed
forests managed by local communities.
Community and Conservation
Conservation strategies are not new in our
country. We often ignore that in India, forests
are also home to some of the traditional
communities. In some areas of India, local
communities are struggling to conserve these
habitats along with government officials,
recognising that only this will secure their
own long-term livelihood. 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. Attempts to revive the traditional
conservation methods or developing new
methods of ecological farming are now
widespread. 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.
In India joint forest management (JFM)
programme furnishes a good example for
involving local communities in the
management and restoration of degraded
Can you find out the reasons for the above mentioned problems?
Rationalised-2023-24
17 FOREST AND WILDLIFE RESOURCES
Sacred groves - a wealth of diverse and rare
species
Nature worship is an age old tribal belief based on
the premise that all creations of nature have to be
protected. Such beliefs have preserved several virgin
forests in pristine form called Sacred Groves (the
forests of God and Goddesses). These patches of
forest or parts of large forests have been left
untouched by the local people and any interference
with them is banned.
Certain societies revere a particular tree which
they have preserved from time immemorial. The
Mundas and the Santhal of Chota Nagpur region
worship mahua (Bassia latifolia) and kadamba
(Anthocaphalus cadamba) trees, and the tribals of
Odisha and Bihar worship the tamarind (T amarindus
indica) and mango (Mangifera indica) trees during
weddings. To many of us, peepal and banyan trees
are considered sacred.
Indian society comprises several cultures, each
with its own set of traditional methods of conserving
nature and its creations. Sacred qualities are often
ascribed to springs, mountain peaks, plants and
animals which are closely protected. You will find
troops of macaques and langurs around many
temples. They are fed daily and treated as a part of
temple devotees. In and around Bishnoi villages in
Rajasthan, herds of blackbuck, (chinkara), nilgai and
peacocks can be seen as an integral part of the
community and nobody harms them.
forests. The programme has been in formal
existence since 1988 when the state of
Odisha passed the first resolution for joint
forest management. JFM depends on the
formation of local (village) institutions that
undertake protection activities mostly on
degraded forest land managed by the forest
department. In return, the members of
these communities are entitled to
intermediary benefits like non-timber
forest produces and share in the timber
harvested by ‘successful protection’.
The clear lesson from the dynamics of
both environmental destruction and
reconstruction in India is that local
communities everywhere have to be
involved in some kind of natural resource
management. But there is still a long way
to go before local communities are at the
centre-stage in decision-making. Accept
only those economic or developmental
activities, that are people centric,
environment-friendly and economically
rewarding.
“The tree is a peculiar organism of unlimited kindness and benevolence and
makes no demand for its sustenance, and extends generously the products of its
life activity. It affords protection to all beings, offering shade even to the axemen
who destroy it”.
Gautama Buddha (487 B.C.)
Write a short essay on any practices
which you may have observed and
practised in your everyday lives that
conserve and protect the environment
around you.
Rationalised-2023-24
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76 videos|480 docs|131 tests

FAQs on NCERT Textbook: Forest & Wildlife Resources - Social Studies (SST) Class 10

1. What are the reasons for the depletion of forest and wildlife resources?
Ans. There are several reasons for the depletion of forest and wildlife resources. Some of the major reasons include deforestation for agriculture, industrialization, and urbanization, illegal hunting and poaching, habitat destruction, forest fires, and climate change.
2. What are the consequences of deforestation on forest and wildlife resources?
Ans. Deforestation has severe consequences on forest and wildlife resources. It leads to the loss of habitat for various plant and animal species, causing a decline in biodiversity. It also disrupts the ecological balance, increases soil erosion, affects water cycles, and contributes to climate change by releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
3. How can we conserve forest and wildlife resources?
Ans. Forest and wildlife resources can be conserved through various measures. These include promoting afforestation and reforestation, implementing strict laws and regulations against illegal hunting and poaching, creating protected areas and national parks, promoting sustainable forest management practices, and raising awareness among people about the importance of conservation.
4. What is the role of local communities in the conservation of forest and wildlife resources?
Ans. Local communities play a crucial role in the conservation of forest and wildlife resources. They have traditional knowledge and practices that can contribute to sustainable resource management. Involving local communities in decision-making processes, providing them with alternative livelihood options, and recognizing their rights over natural resources can empower them to actively participate in conservation efforts.
5. How does the loss of wildlife species impact ecosystems?
Ans. The loss of wildlife species has a significant impact on ecosystems. Each species plays a specific role in maintaining the ecological balance. The loss of a single species can disrupt the food chain, affect pollination and seed dispersal, and alter the dynamics of the entire ecosystem. It can lead to the decline of other species dependent on it and result in cascading effects throughout the ecosystem.
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