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NATURAL VEGETATION AND WILDLIFE 39
H
ave you observed the type of trees,
bushes, grasses and birds in the fields
and parks in and around your school?
Are they similar or there are variations? India
being a vast country you can imagine the
types of bio-forms available throughout the
country.
Our country India is one of the 12 mega
bio-diversity countries of the  world. With
about 47,000 plant species India occupies
tenth place in the world and fourth in Asia in
plant diversity. There are about 15,000
flowering plants in India, which account for
6 per cent in the world’s total number of
flowering plants. The country has many non-
flowering plants, such as ferns, algae and
fungi. India also has approximately 90,000
species of animals, as well as, a rich variety of
fish in its fresh and marine waters.
Natural vegetation refers to a plant
community, which has grown naturally
without human aid and has been left
undisturbed by humans for a long time. This
is termed as a virgin vegetation. Thus,
cultivated crops and fruits, orchards form part
of vegetation but not natural vegetation.
NATURAL VEGETATION AND WILDLIFE
TYPES OF VEGETATION
The following major types of vegetation may
be identified in our country (Figure 5.4).
(i) Tropical Evergreen Forests
(ii) Tropical Deciduous Forests
(iii) Tropical Thorn Forests and Scrubs
(iv) Montane Forests
(v) Mangrove Forests
5
The virgin vegetation, which
are purely Indian are known as endemic or
indigenous species but those which have come
from outside India are termed as exotic plants.
 The term flora is used to denote plants of
a particular region or period. Similarly, the
species of animals are referred to as fauna. Figure 5.1 : Tropical Evergreen Forest
Rationalised 2023-24
Page 2


NATURAL VEGETATION AND WILDLIFE 39
H
ave you observed the type of trees,
bushes, grasses and birds in the fields
and parks in and around your school?
Are they similar or there are variations? India
being a vast country you can imagine the
types of bio-forms available throughout the
country.
Our country India is one of the 12 mega
bio-diversity countries of the  world. With
about 47,000 plant species India occupies
tenth place in the world and fourth in Asia in
plant diversity. There are about 15,000
flowering plants in India, which account for
6 per cent in the world’s total number of
flowering plants. The country has many non-
flowering plants, such as ferns, algae and
fungi. India also has approximately 90,000
species of animals, as well as, a rich variety of
fish in its fresh and marine waters.
Natural vegetation refers to a plant
community, which has grown naturally
without human aid and has been left
undisturbed by humans for a long time. This
is termed as a virgin vegetation. Thus,
cultivated crops and fruits, orchards form part
of vegetation but not natural vegetation.
NATURAL VEGETATION AND WILDLIFE
TYPES OF VEGETATION
The following major types of vegetation may
be identified in our country (Figure 5.4).
(i) Tropical Evergreen Forests
(ii) Tropical Deciduous Forests
(iii) Tropical Thorn Forests and Scrubs
(iv) Montane Forests
(v) Mangrove Forests
5
The virgin vegetation, which
are purely Indian are known as endemic or
indigenous species but those which have come
from outside India are termed as exotic plants.
 The term flora is used to denote plants of
a particular region or period. Similarly, the
species of animals are referred to as fauna. Figure 5.1 : Tropical Evergreen Forest
Rationalised 2023-24
40 CONTEMPORARY INDIA-I
Tropical Evergreen Forests
These forests are restricted to heavy rainfall
areas of the Western Ghats and the island
groups of Lakshadweep, Andaman and
Nicobar, upper parts of Assam and Tamil Nadu
coast. They are at their best in areas having
more than 200 cm of rainfall with a short dry
season. The trees reach great heights up to 60
metres or even above. Since the region is warm
and wet throughout the year, it has a luxuriant
vegetation of all kinds — trees, shrubs and
creepers giving it a multilayered structure. There
is no definite time for trees to shed their leaves.
As such, these forests appear green all the
year round.
Some of the commercially important trees
of this forest are ebony, mahogany, rosewood,
rubber and cinchona.
The common animals found in these forests
are elephant, monkey, lemur and deer. One-
horned rhinoceroses are found in the jungles
of Assam and West Bengal. Besides these
animals, plenty of birds, bats, sloth, scorpions
and snails are also found in these jungles.
Tropical Deciduous Forests
These are the most widespread forests of India.
They are also called the monsoon forests and
spread over the region receiving rainfall
between 200 cm and 70 cm. Trees of this forest
type shed their leaves for about six to eight
weeks in dry summer.
On the basis of the availability of water,
these forests are further divided into moist and
dry deciduous. The former is found in areas
receiving rainfall between 200 and 100 cm.
These forests exist, therefore, mostly in the
eastern part of the country — northeastern
states, along the foothills of the Himalayas,
Jharkhand, West Odisha and Chhattisgarh,
and on the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats.
Teak is the most dominant species of this forest.
Bamboos, sal, shisham, sandalwood, khair,
kusum, arjun and mulberry are other
commercially important species.
The dry deciduous forests are found in areas
having rainfall between 100 cm and 70 cm.
These forests are found in the rainier parts of
the Peninsular plateau and the plains of Bihar
and Uttar Pradesh. There are open stretches,
in which teak, sal, peepal and neem grow. A
large part of this region has been cleared for
cultivation and some parts are used for grazing.
In these forests, the common animals found
are lion, tiger, pig, deer and elephant. A huge
variety of birds, lizards, snakes and tortoises
are also found here.
The Thorn Forests and Scrubs
In regions with less than 70 cm of rainfall, the
natural vegetation consists of thorny trees and
Figure 5.2 : Tropical Deciduous Forest
Figure 5.3 : Thorn Forests and Scrubs
Rationalised 2023-24
Page 3


NATURAL VEGETATION AND WILDLIFE 39
H
ave you observed the type of trees,
bushes, grasses and birds in the fields
and parks in and around your school?
Are they similar or there are variations? India
being a vast country you can imagine the
types of bio-forms available throughout the
country.
Our country India is one of the 12 mega
bio-diversity countries of the  world. With
about 47,000 plant species India occupies
tenth place in the world and fourth in Asia in
plant diversity. There are about 15,000
flowering plants in India, which account for
6 per cent in the world’s total number of
flowering plants. The country has many non-
flowering plants, such as ferns, algae and
fungi. India also has approximately 90,000
species of animals, as well as, a rich variety of
fish in its fresh and marine waters.
Natural vegetation refers to a plant
community, which has grown naturally
without human aid and has been left
undisturbed by humans for a long time. This
is termed as a virgin vegetation. Thus,
cultivated crops and fruits, orchards form part
of vegetation but not natural vegetation.
NATURAL VEGETATION AND WILDLIFE
TYPES OF VEGETATION
The following major types of vegetation may
be identified in our country (Figure 5.4).
(i) Tropical Evergreen Forests
(ii) Tropical Deciduous Forests
(iii) Tropical Thorn Forests and Scrubs
(iv) Montane Forests
(v) Mangrove Forests
5
The virgin vegetation, which
are purely Indian are known as endemic or
indigenous species but those which have come
from outside India are termed as exotic plants.
 The term flora is used to denote plants of
a particular region or period. Similarly, the
species of animals are referred to as fauna. Figure 5.1 : Tropical Evergreen Forest
Rationalised 2023-24
40 CONTEMPORARY INDIA-I
Tropical Evergreen Forests
These forests are restricted to heavy rainfall
areas of the Western Ghats and the island
groups of Lakshadweep, Andaman and
Nicobar, upper parts of Assam and Tamil Nadu
coast. They are at their best in areas having
more than 200 cm of rainfall with a short dry
season. The trees reach great heights up to 60
metres or even above. Since the region is warm
and wet throughout the year, it has a luxuriant
vegetation of all kinds — trees, shrubs and
creepers giving it a multilayered structure. There
is no definite time for trees to shed their leaves.
As such, these forests appear green all the
year round.
Some of the commercially important trees
of this forest are ebony, mahogany, rosewood,
rubber and cinchona.
The common animals found in these forests
are elephant, monkey, lemur and deer. One-
horned rhinoceroses are found in the jungles
of Assam and West Bengal. Besides these
animals, plenty of birds, bats, sloth, scorpions
and snails are also found in these jungles.
Tropical Deciduous Forests
These are the most widespread forests of India.
They are also called the monsoon forests and
spread over the region receiving rainfall
between 200 cm and 70 cm. Trees of this forest
type shed their leaves for about six to eight
weeks in dry summer.
On the basis of the availability of water,
these forests are further divided into moist and
dry deciduous. The former is found in areas
receiving rainfall between 200 and 100 cm.
These forests exist, therefore, mostly in the
eastern part of the country — northeastern
states, along the foothills of the Himalayas,
Jharkhand, West Odisha and Chhattisgarh,
and on the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats.
Teak is the most dominant species of this forest.
Bamboos, sal, shisham, sandalwood, khair,
kusum, arjun and mulberry are other
commercially important species.
The dry deciduous forests are found in areas
having rainfall between 100 cm and 70 cm.
These forests are found in the rainier parts of
the Peninsular plateau and the plains of Bihar
and Uttar Pradesh. There are open stretches,
in which teak, sal, peepal and neem grow. A
large part of this region has been cleared for
cultivation and some parts are used for grazing.
In these forests, the common animals found
are lion, tiger, pig, deer and elephant. A huge
variety of birds, lizards, snakes and tortoises
are also found here.
The Thorn Forests and Scrubs
In regions with less than 70 cm of rainfall, the
natural vegetation consists of thorny trees and
Figure 5.2 : Tropical Deciduous Forest
Figure 5.3 : Thorn Forests and Scrubs
Rationalised 2023-24
NATURAL VEGETATION AND WILDLIFE 41
Study the given map for the forest cover and try to find the reasons as to why certain states have more forest area
as compared to others?
Figure 5.4 : Natural Vegetation
Rationalised 2023-24
Page 4


NATURAL VEGETATION AND WILDLIFE 39
H
ave you observed the type of trees,
bushes, grasses and birds in the fields
and parks in and around your school?
Are they similar or there are variations? India
being a vast country you can imagine the
types of bio-forms available throughout the
country.
Our country India is one of the 12 mega
bio-diversity countries of the  world. With
about 47,000 plant species India occupies
tenth place in the world and fourth in Asia in
plant diversity. There are about 15,000
flowering plants in India, which account for
6 per cent in the world’s total number of
flowering plants. The country has many non-
flowering plants, such as ferns, algae and
fungi. India also has approximately 90,000
species of animals, as well as, a rich variety of
fish in its fresh and marine waters.
Natural vegetation refers to a plant
community, which has grown naturally
without human aid and has been left
undisturbed by humans for a long time. This
is termed as a virgin vegetation. Thus,
cultivated crops and fruits, orchards form part
of vegetation but not natural vegetation.
NATURAL VEGETATION AND WILDLIFE
TYPES OF VEGETATION
The following major types of vegetation may
be identified in our country (Figure 5.4).
(i) Tropical Evergreen Forests
(ii) Tropical Deciduous Forests
(iii) Tropical Thorn Forests and Scrubs
(iv) Montane Forests
(v) Mangrove Forests
5
The virgin vegetation, which
are purely Indian are known as endemic or
indigenous species but those which have come
from outside India are termed as exotic plants.
 The term flora is used to denote plants of
a particular region or period. Similarly, the
species of animals are referred to as fauna. Figure 5.1 : Tropical Evergreen Forest
Rationalised 2023-24
40 CONTEMPORARY INDIA-I
Tropical Evergreen Forests
These forests are restricted to heavy rainfall
areas of the Western Ghats and the island
groups of Lakshadweep, Andaman and
Nicobar, upper parts of Assam and Tamil Nadu
coast. They are at their best in areas having
more than 200 cm of rainfall with a short dry
season. The trees reach great heights up to 60
metres or even above. Since the region is warm
and wet throughout the year, it has a luxuriant
vegetation of all kinds — trees, shrubs and
creepers giving it a multilayered structure. There
is no definite time for trees to shed their leaves.
As such, these forests appear green all the
year round.
Some of the commercially important trees
of this forest are ebony, mahogany, rosewood,
rubber and cinchona.
The common animals found in these forests
are elephant, monkey, lemur and deer. One-
horned rhinoceroses are found in the jungles
of Assam and West Bengal. Besides these
animals, plenty of birds, bats, sloth, scorpions
and snails are also found in these jungles.
Tropical Deciduous Forests
These are the most widespread forests of India.
They are also called the monsoon forests and
spread over the region receiving rainfall
between 200 cm and 70 cm. Trees of this forest
type shed their leaves for about six to eight
weeks in dry summer.
On the basis of the availability of water,
these forests are further divided into moist and
dry deciduous. The former is found in areas
receiving rainfall between 200 and 100 cm.
These forests exist, therefore, mostly in the
eastern part of the country — northeastern
states, along the foothills of the Himalayas,
Jharkhand, West Odisha and Chhattisgarh,
and on the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats.
Teak is the most dominant species of this forest.
Bamboos, sal, shisham, sandalwood, khair,
kusum, arjun and mulberry are other
commercially important species.
The dry deciduous forests are found in areas
having rainfall between 100 cm and 70 cm.
These forests are found in the rainier parts of
the Peninsular plateau and the plains of Bihar
and Uttar Pradesh. There are open stretches,
in which teak, sal, peepal and neem grow. A
large part of this region has been cleared for
cultivation and some parts are used for grazing.
In these forests, the common animals found
are lion, tiger, pig, deer and elephant. A huge
variety of birds, lizards, snakes and tortoises
are also found here.
The Thorn Forests and Scrubs
In regions with less than 70 cm of rainfall, the
natural vegetation consists of thorny trees and
Figure 5.2 : Tropical Deciduous Forest
Figure 5.3 : Thorn Forests and Scrubs
Rationalised 2023-24
NATURAL VEGETATION AND WILDLIFE 41
Study the given map for the forest cover and try to find the reasons as to why certain states have more forest area
as compared to others?
Figure 5.4 : Natural Vegetation
Rationalised 2023-24
42 CONTEMPORARY INDIA-I
bushes. This type of vegetation is found in the
north-western part of the country, including
semi-arid areas of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya
Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and
Haryana. Acacias, palms, euphorbias and cacti
are the main plant species. Trees are scattered
and have long roots penetrating deep into the
soil in order to get moisture. The stems are
succulent to conserve water. Leaves are mostly
thick and small to minimise evaporation. These
forests give way to thorn forests and scrubs in
arid areas.
In these forests, the common animals are
rats, mice, rabbits, fox, wolf, tiger, lion, wild ass,
horses and camels.
Montane Forests
In mountainous areas, the decrease in
temperature with increasing altitude leads to
the corresponding change in natural
vegetation. As such, there is a succession of
natural vegetation belts in the same order as
we see from the tropical to the tundra region.
The  wet temperate type of forests are found
between a height of 1000 and 2000 metres.
Evergreen broad-leaf trees, such as oaks and
chestnuts predominate. Between 1500 and
3000 metres, temperate forests containing
coniferous trees, like pine, deodar, silver fir,
spruce and cedar, are found. These forests
cover mostly the southern slopes of the
Himalayas, places having high altitude in
southern and north-east India. At higher
elevations, temperate grasslands are common.
At high altitudes, generally, more than 3,600
metres above the sea level, temperate forests
and grasslands give way to the Alpine
vegetation. Silver fir, junipers, pines and
birches are the common trees of these forests.
However, they get progressively stunted as
they approach the snow-line. Ultimately,
through shrubs and scrubs, they merge into
the Alpine grasslands. These are used
extensively for grazing by nomadic tribes, like
the Gujjars and the Bakarwals. At higher
altitudes, mosses and lichens form part of
tundra vegetation.
The common animals found in these forests
are Kashmir stag, spotted dear, wild sheep, jack
rabbit, Tibetan antelope, yak, snow leopard,
squirrels, Shaggy horn wild ibex, bear and rare
red panda, sheep and goats with thick hair.
Mangrove Forests
The mangrove tidal forests are found in the
areas of coasts influenced by tides. Mud and
silt get accumutated on such coasts. Dense
Figure 5.5 : Montane Forests
Figure 5.6 : Mangrove Forests
Rationalised 2023-24
Page 5


NATURAL VEGETATION AND WILDLIFE 39
H
ave you observed the type of trees,
bushes, grasses and birds in the fields
and parks in and around your school?
Are they similar or there are variations? India
being a vast country you can imagine the
types of bio-forms available throughout the
country.
Our country India is one of the 12 mega
bio-diversity countries of the  world. With
about 47,000 plant species India occupies
tenth place in the world and fourth in Asia in
plant diversity. There are about 15,000
flowering plants in India, which account for
6 per cent in the world’s total number of
flowering plants. The country has many non-
flowering plants, such as ferns, algae and
fungi. India also has approximately 90,000
species of animals, as well as, a rich variety of
fish in its fresh and marine waters.
Natural vegetation refers to a plant
community, which has grown naturally
without human aid and has been left
undisturbed by humans for a long time. This
is termed as a virgin vegetation. Thus,
cultivated crops and fruits, orchards form part
of vegetation but not natural vegetation.
NATURAL VEGETATION AND WILDLIFE
TYPES OF VEGETATION
The following major types of vegetation may
be identified in our country (Figure 5.4).
(i) Tropical Evergreen Forests
(ii) Tropical Deciduous Forests
(iii) Tropical Thorn Forests and Scrubs
(iv) Montane Forests
(v) Mangrove Forests
5
The virgin vegetation, which
are purely Indian are known as endemic or
indigenous species but those which have come
from outside India are termed as exotic plants.
 The term flora is used to denote plants of
a particular region or period. Similarly, the
species of animals are referred to as fauna. Figure 5.1 : Tropical Evergreen Forest
Rationalised 2023-24
40 CONTEMPORARY INDIA-I
Tropical Evergreen Forests
These forests are restricted to heavy rainfall
areas of the Western Ghats and the island
groups of Lakshadweep, Andaman and
Nicobar, upper parts of Assam and Tamil Nadu
coast. They are at their best in areas having
more than 200 cm of rainfall with a short dry
season. The trees reach great heights up to 60
metres or even above. Since the region is warm
and wet throughout the year, it has a luxuriant
vegetation of all kinds — trees, shrubs and
creepers giving it a multilayered structure. There
is no definite time for trees to shed their leaves.
As such, these forests appear green all the
year round.
Some of the commercially important trees
of this forest are ebony, mahogany, rosewood,
rubber and cinchona.
The common animals found in these forests
are elephant, monkey, lemur and deer. One-
horned rhinoceroses are found in the jungles
of Assam and West Bengal. Besides these
animals, plenty of birds, bats, sloth, scorpions
and snails are also found in these jungles.
Tropical Deciduous Forests
These are the most widespread forests of India.
They are also called the monsoon forests and
spread over the region receiving rainfall
between 200 cm and 70 cm. Trees of this forest
type shed their leaves for about six to eight
weeks in dry summer.
On the basis of the availability of water,
these forests are further divided into moist and
dry deciduous. The former is found in areas
receiving rainfall between 200 and 100 cm.
These forests exist, therefore, mostly in the
eastern part of the country — northeastern
states, along the foothills of the Himalayas,
Jharkhand, West Odisha and Chhattisgarh,
and on the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats.
Teak is the most dominant species of this forest.
Bamboos, sal, shisham, sandalwood, khair,
kusum, arjun and mulberry are other
commercially important species.
The dry deciduous forests are found in areas
having rainfall between 100 cm and 70 cm.
These forests are found in the rainier parts of
the Peninsular plateau and the plains of Bihar
and Uttar Pradesh. There are open stretches,
in which teak, sal, peepal and neem grow. A
large part of this region has been cleared for
cultivation and some parts are used for grazing.
In these forests, the common animals found
are lion, tiger, pig, deer and elephant. A huge
variety of birds, lizards, snakes and tortoises
are also found here.
The Thorn Forests and Scrubs
In regions with less than 70 cm of rainfall, the
natural vegetation consists of thorny trees and
Figure 5.2 : Tropical Deciduous Forest
Figure 5.3 : Thorn Forests and Scrubs
Rationalised 2023-24
NATURAL VEGETATION AND WILDLIFE 41
Study the given map for the forest cover and try to find the reasons as to why certain states have more forest area
as compared to others?
Figure 5.4 : Natural Vegetation
Rationalised 2023-24
42 CONTEMPORARY INDIA-I
bushes. This type of vegetation is found in the
north-western part of the country, including
semi-arid areas of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya
Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and
Haryana. Acacias, palms, euphorbias and cacti
are the main plant species. Trees are scattered
and have long roots penetrating deep into the
soil in order to get moisture. The stems are
succulent to conserve water. Leaves are mostly
thick and small to minimise evaporation. These
forests give way to thorn forests and scrubs in
arid areas.
In these forests, the common animals are
rats, mice, rabbits, fox, wolf, tiger, lion, wild ass,
horses and camels.
Montane Forests
In mountainous areas, the decrease in
temperature with increasing altitude leads to
the corresponding change in natural
vegetation. As such, there is a succession of
natural vegetation belts in the same order as
we see from the tropical to the tundra region.
The  wet temperate type of forests are found
between a height of 1000 and 2000 metres.
Evergreen broad-leaf trees, such as oaks and
chestnuts predominate. Between 1500 and
3000 metres, temperate forests containing
coniferous trees, like pine, deodar, silver fir,
spruce and cedar, are found. These forests
cover mostly the southern slopes of the
Himalayas, places having high altitude in
southern and north-east India. At higher
elevations, temperate grasslands are common.
At high altitudes, generally, more than 3,600
metres above the sea level, temperate forests
and grasslands give way to the Alpine
vegetation. Silver fir, junipers, pines and
birches are the common trees of these forests.
However, they get progressively stunted as
they approach the snow-line. Ultimately,
through shrubs and scrubs, they merge into
the Alpine grasslands. These are used
extensively for grazing by nomadic tribes, like
the Gujjars and the Bakarwals. At higher
altitudes, mosses and lichens form part of
tundra vegetation.
The common animals found in these forests
are Kashmir stag, spotted dear, wild sheep, jack
rabbit, Tibetan antelope, yak, snow leopard,
squirrels, Shaggy horn wild ibex, bear and rare
red panda, sheep and goats with thick hair.
Mangrove Forests
The mangrove tidal forests are found in the
areas of coasts influenced by tides. Mud and
silt get accumutated on such coasts. Dense
Figure 5.5 : Montane Forests
Figure 5.6 : Mangrove Forests
Rationalised 2023-24
NATURAL VEGETATION AND WILDLIFE 43
mangroves are the common varieties with roots
of the plants submerged under water. The
deltas of the Ganga, the Mahanadi, the Krishna,
the Godavari and the Kaveri are covered by
such vegetation. In the Ganga-Brahmaputra
delta, sundari trees are found, which provide
durable hard timber. Palm, coconut, keora,
agar, etc.,  also grow in some parts of the delta.
Royal Bengal Tiger is the famous animal
in these forests. Turtles, crocodiles, gharials
and snakes are also found in these forests.
Let us discuss : Let us discuss : Let us discuss : Let us discuss : Let us discuss :  What will happen if plants and
animals disappear from the earth’s surface? Can
the human beings survive under such a situation?
Why is biodiversity necessary and why should it be
conserved?
WILDLIFE
Like its flora, India is also rich in its fauna.  It
has approximately 90,000 animal species.
The country has about 2,000 species of birds.
They constitute 13% of the world’s total.  There
are 2,546 species of fish, which account for
nearly 12% of the world’s stock.  It also shares
between 5 and 8 per cent of the world’s
amphibians, reptiles and mammals.
Activity Activity Activity Activity Activity
Can you identify the type of forest shown in this picture?
Identify some trees in it.  What type of similarity/
dissimilarity you notice in this type of vegetation from
the one found in your region?
MEDICINAL PLANTS
India is known for its herbs and spices from ancient times. Some 2,000 plants have been described in Ayurveda
and at least 500 are in regular use. The World Conservation Union’s Red List has named 352 medicinal plants
of which 52 are critically threatened and 49 endangered. The commonly used plants in India are:
Sarpagandha : Used to treat blood pressure; it is found only in India.
Jamun : The juice from ripe fruit is used to prepare vinegar, which is carminative and diuretic, and
has digestive properties. The powder of the seed is used for controlling diabetes.
Arjun : The fresh juice of leaves is a cure for earache. It is also used to regulate blood pressure.
Babool : Leaves are used as a cure for eye sores. Its gum is used as a tonic.
Neem : Has high antibiotic and antibacterial properties.
Tulsi : Is used to cure cough and cold.
Kachnar : Is used to cure asthma and ulcers. The buds and roots are good for digestive problems.
Identify more medicinal plants in your area. Which plants are used as medicines by local
people to cure some diseases?
Source : Medicinal Plants by Dr. S.K. Jain, 5th edition 1994, National Book Trust of India
The elephants are the most
majestic animals among the
mammals.  They are found in the hot
wet forests of Assam, Karnataka and
Kerala. One-horned rhinoceroses are
the other animals, which live in
swampy and marshy lands of Assam
and West Bengal.  Arid areas of the
Rann of Kachchh and the Thar
Desert are the habitat for wild ass
and camels respectively.  Indian
bison, nilgai (blue bull), chousingha
(four-horned antelope), gazel and
different species of deer are some
other animals found in India.  It also has several
species of monkeys.
Wildlife Protection Act was
implemented in 1972 in India.
India is the only country in the world that
has both tigers and lions.  The natural habitat
of the Indian lion is the Gir forest in Gujarat.
Tigers are found in the forests of Madhya
Rationalised 2023-24
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FAQs on NCERT Textbook: Natural Vegetation and Wildlife - Geography for UPSC CSE

1. What is natural vegetation?
Ans. Natural vegetation refers to plant life that grows without human intervention in a particular region. It includes all the plants, trees, shrubs, herbs, etc. that grow naturally in a particular area.
2. Why is natural vegetation important?
Ans. Natural vegetation plays a crucial role in maintaining the ecological balance of a region. It helps in soil conservation, water conservation, maintaining biodiversity, and providing habitat for wildlife. It also acts as a natural carbon sink, absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and helping to regulate the earth's climate.
3. What is wildlife?
Ans. Wildlife refers to all non-domesticated animals that live in their natural habitat without human intervention. This includes animals such as tigers, elephants, lions, deer, birds, reptiles, and amphibians, among others.
4. Why is wildlife conservation important?
Ans. Wildlife conservation is essential to maintain the ecological balance of a region. Wildlife plays a crucial role in pollination, seed dispersal, and maintaining the food chain. It also helps in controlling pests and diseases, and contributes to the tourism industry. Additionally, many species of wildlife have cultural and religious significance, and their loss can lead to the loss of traditional knowledge and practices.
5. What are the major threats to natural vegetation and wildlife?
Ans. The major threats to natural vegetation and wildlife are habitat loss and fragmentation, overexploitation, pollution, climate change, and invasive species. Human activities such as deforestation, mining, and urbanization are the primary causes of habitat loss and fragmentation. Overexploitation of resources such as timber, wildlife, and fisheries can lead to the depletion of populations and loss of biodiversity. Pollution from sources such as industrial waste, agricultural runoff, and plastic waste can harm both flora and fauna. Climate change is altering the natural habitats of species, affecting their survival. Invasive species can displace native species and disrupt the natural balance of an ecosystem.
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