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Class 10 Geography Chapter 2 Notes - Forest and Wildlife Resources

Introduction


Earth is the residence of many life forms, ranging from microorganisms, bacteria, and lichens to majestic banyan trees, elephants, and colossal blue whales.

Class 10 Geography Chapter 2 Notes - Forest and Wildlife Resources

Flora and Fauna in India


  • With its extensive biological diversity, India ranks among the world's most affluent nations, hosting almost 8 percent of the global species count, estimated at 1.6 million.
  • However, concerning India's documented wild flora, 10 percent, and mammals, 20 percent, face the threat of endangerment.
  • A notable portion of these species, including iconic ones like the cheetah and pink-headed duck, are classified as 'critical,' hovering on the brink of extinction.

Question for Chapter Notes: Forest & Wildlife Resources
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What percentage of India's documented wild mammals are facing the threat of endangerment?
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Conservation of Forest and Wildlife in India


  • Conservation plays a crucial role in safeguarding ecological diversity and our essential life support systems—water, air, and soil.
  • In response to the demands of conservationists, the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act was enacted in 1972, incorporating various provisions to safeguard habitats. 
  • The primary objective was to protect the remaining populations of endangered species by prohibiting hunting, legally safeguarding their habitats, and restricting wildlife trade.
  • Both the central and numerous state governments took steps to establish national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. 
  • Additionally, the central government initiated various projects to protect specific gravely threatened animals, such as the tiger, the one-horned rhinoceros, and others.
  • The Government of India launched Project Tiger in 1973 to rescue the endangered tiger species in the country.
  • Amendments to the Wildlife Act in 1980 and 1986 expanded the list of protected species to include several hundred butterflies, moths, beetles, and one dragonfly. 
  • In 1991, a landmark development occurred as plants were included in the protected list for the first time, starting with six species.

Project Tiger

  • The tiger population has significantly declined over the years, from an estimated 55,000 at the turn of the century to only 1,827 in 1973.

Class 10 Geography Chapter 2 Notes - Forest and Wildlife Resources

  • The main threats to tiger population include poaching, habitat loss, depletion of prey species, and growing human population.
  • The trade of tiger skins and bones for traditional medicines, particularly in Asian countries, has pushed the tiger population to the brink of extinction.
  • India and Nepal are home to about two-thirds of the remaining tiger population, making them prime targets for poaching and illegal trading. 
  • In 1973, "Project Tiger" was launched as a well-publicized wildlife campaign to conserve and protect tigers.
  • Tiger conservation is not only important for saving an endangered species but also for preserving significant biotypes.
  • India has several tiger reserves including Corbett National Park, Sunderbans National Park, Bandhavgarh National Park, Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary, Manas Tiger Reserve, and Periyar Tiger Reserve.

Question for Chapter Notes: Forest & Wildlife Resources
Try yourself:
What was the main objective of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act enacted in 1972?
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Types and Distribution of Forest and Wildlife Resources

  • In India, a significant portion of its forest and wildlife assets is under the ownership or management of the government, overseen by entities like the Forest Department and other government departments.

Class 10 Geography Chapter 2 Notes - Forest and Wildlife Resources

  • Forests in the country are categorized as follows:
    • Reserved Forests: These are deemed the most valuable concerning the conservation of forest and wildlife resources, encompassing half of the total forest land.
    • Protected Forests: This category includes forest land shielded from further depletion, constituting almost one-third of the total forest area.
    • Unclassed Forests: This classification encompasses other forests and wastelands owned by both the government and private individuals and communities.

Community and Conservation


  • Traditional communities also inhabit the forests, and local residents are actively engaged in collaborative efforts with government officials to preserve these habitats, securing their long-term livelihoods.
  • In Rajasthan's Sariska Tiger Reserve, villagers have resisted mining activities by invoking the Wildlife Protection Act.
  • The renowned Chipko movement in the Himalayas has effectively opposed deforestation in multiple regions, demonstrating that community-led afforestation with indigenous species can be highly successful.
  • Initiatives like the Beej Bachao Andolan in Tehri and Navdanya, led by farmers and citizen groups, have illustrated that achieving adequate levels of diversified crop production without the use of synthetic chemicals is both feasible and economically viable.
  • The Joint Forest Management (JFM) program, introduced in 1988 in the state of Odisha, serves as a noteworthy example, showcasing successful involvement of local communities in the management and restoration of degraded forests.

Question for Chapter Notes: Forest & Wildlife Resources
Try yourself:
Which trees are considered sacred by the Mundas and Santhal tribes?
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Sacred Groves - A Wealth of Diverse and Rare Species

  • Nature worship is a tribal belief that has been practiced for a long time. It is based on the idea that all creations of nature should be protected.
  • Sacred Groves, which are pristine forests, have been preserved by these beliefs. 
  • Local people have left these forests untouched and any interference with them is prohibited.
  • Some societies revere specific trees and have protected them for generations.
  • For example, the Mundas and Santhal tribes worship mahua and kadamba trees.

Class 10 Geography Chapter 2 Notes - Forest and Wildlife Resources

  • Tribals in Odisha and Bihar worship tamarind and mango trees during weddings.
  • Peepal and banyan trees are considered sacred by many.
  • Indian society has various cultures, each with its own methods of conserving nature.
  • Springs, mountain peaks, plants, and animals are often considered sacred and protected.
  • Macaques and langurs are found around many temples and are treated as devotees.
  • In Bishnoi villages in Rajasthan, animals like blackbuck, nilgai, and peacocks are an integral part of the community and are not harmed.

The document Class 10 Geography Chapter 2 Notes - Forest and Wildlife Resources is a part of the Class 10 Course Social Studies (SST) Class 10.
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FAQs on Class 10 Geography Chapter 2 Notes - Forest and Wildlife Resources

1. What is the significance of flora and fauna in India?
Ans. Flora and fauna in India are of great significance as they contribute to the rich biodiversity of the country. India is home to a wide variety of plant and animal species, many of which are endemic and found nowhere else in the world. This biodiversity provides various ecosystem services, such as clean air, water, and soil, and also supports the livelihoods of millions of people who depend on forests and wildlife for their sustenance.
2. How is the conservation of forest and wildlife carried out in India?
Ans. The conservation of forests and wildlife in India is carried out through various measures and initiatives. The government has established national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, and biosphere reserves to protect and preserve the natural habitats of plants and animals. Strict laws and regulations are in place to prevent hunting, poaching, and illegal trade of wildlife. Efforts are also made to promote sustainable forestry practices, reforestation, and the restoration of degraded ecosystems.
3. What is Project Tiger and what is its objective?
Ans. Project Tiger is a conservation program launched in India in 1973 with the objective of protecting the endangered Bengal tiger. It aims to ensure a viable population of tigers in their natural habitats and to protect their habitats from destruction and fragmentation. The project focuses on creating tiger reserves, implementing anti-poaching measures, and promoting community participation in tiger conservation.
4. What are the types and distribution of forest and wildlife resources in India?
Ans. In India, forests are classified into five major types: tropical evergreen forests, tropical deciduous forests, thorn forests, montane forests, and mangrove forests. These forests are distributed across different regions of the country, with the highest forest cover in states like Madhya Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh. Wildlife resources in India include a wide range of species, including tigers, elephants, rhinoceros, lions, and various species of birds and reptiles. They are found in national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, and protected areas across the country.
5. What is the concept of sacred groves and why are they important for conservation?
Ans. Sacred groves are patches of forests or wooded areas that are protected by local communities due to their religious or cultural significance. These groves are considered sacred and are protected from any kind of exploitation or destruction. Sacred groves are important for conservation as they serve as havens for a diverse range of plant and animal species, including many rare and endangered ones. They also play a crucial role in maintaining the ecological balance and preserving the traditional knowledge and practices related to biodiversity conservation.
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