Depletion of Forest and Wildlife in India



Species based on IUCN

Based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), we can classify species as follows:
Normal Species
Endangered Species
Vulnerable Species
Rare Species
(v) Endemic Species
(vi) Extinct Species.


Asiatic Cheetah and colonial forest policies

The world's fastest land mammal, the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus), is a unique and specialised member of the cat family and can move at the speed of 112 km./hr. The cheetah is often mistaken for a leopard. Prior to the 20th century, cheetahs were widely distributed throughout Africa and Asia. Today, the Asian cheetah is nearly extinct due to a decline of available habitat and prey. The species was declared extinct in India long back in 1952.


Colonial Forest Policies

Colonial Forest Policies: Some of our environmental activists say that the promotion of a few favoured species, in many parts of India, has been carried through the ironically-termed enrichment plantation, in which a single commercially valuable species was extensively planted and other species eliminated. For instance, teak monoculture has damaged the natural forest in South India and Chir Pine plantations in the Himalayas have replaced the Himalayan oak and Rhododendron forests.


Trouble of Himalayan Yew

The Himalayan Yew (Taxus wallichiana) is a medicinal plant found in various parts of Himachal Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh. A chemical compound called taxol is extracted from the bark, needles, twigs and roots of this tree, and it has been successfully used to treat some cancers the drug is now the biggest selling anti-cancer drug in the world. The species is under great threat due to overexploitation.


Indian fauna

 India is rich in its fauna. It has more than 89,000 of animal species. The country has more than 1200 species of birds. They constitute 13% of the worlds total. There are 2500 species of fish, which account for nearly 12% of the worlds stock. It also shares between 5 and 8 per cent of the worlds amphibians, reptiles and mammals. 


Reasons for destruction of forests and extinction of vegetation

Following are the reasons responsible for destruction of forests and extinction of vegetation.
1. Man is highly responsible for the destruction of forests. He destroys the jungle for his benefit.
2. Human urge to acquire more land.
3. To get raw material for industries.
4. To get wood for building construction.
5. To develop roads, airports, and railways.
6. To make multipurpose projects and canals.
7. To establish new settlements.
8. Man cuts trees for jhoom farming.
Besides, acid rain, forest fire are some of the reasons for deforestation.


Reasons for destruction of wildlife

Man has created danger to the existence of wildlife by activities like hunting, to satisfy is ego, for adventure and for economic purposes. Wild animals are gradually becoming extinct. Wildlife is also damaged due to different types of pollution, urbanisation, noise of vehicles, and due to the selfish motives of man. As a result, it has become very important to preserve wildlife.