Have you noticed that the plants and animals everywhere are not the same? Some are large leafy green trees, and some are thorny bushes. In the same way, even animals differ from each other depending upon their habitat and other natural factors surrounding them. They have basically adapted to their natural environment around them, so they can survive. This is basically what we mean by natural Vegetation and wildlife in India.
Natural vegetation refers to the plant life (flora) that grows in a region according to the climatic conditions and other such factors prevailing in that region. In general, there are about five broad varieties of natural vegetation in the world. Let us take a quick look.
Types of Vegetation in the World
- Forests: A forest is a dense area with a lot of trees, so much that they shade the ground below them. But not all forests are same. The trees in the forest largely depend on the climatic conditions of the region. And the forests are generally classified by the kind of trees found in them. Some examples are Evergreen Forests, Temperate Forest, Mixed Forest Rain forests etc
- Grasslands: The name here is self-explanatory. These are flat regions that extend miles, and the primary form of vegetation here is grass. Here also there are types such as temperate grasslands, savannas etc. The Savannas of Africa are the most famous ones. Grasslands are the important source of weeds and crops such as oats which are cattle fodder.
- Desert: As you can imagine due to the dry and arid conditions there is not a lot of vegetation in deserts. The soil too mostly consists of sand and gravel. So the plants that grow in these regions have adapted to such conditions. They have long roots and stems that can store water. Cactus is the most valid example of such vegetation.
- Tundra: This type of vegetation is found in the coldest regions of our planet like the Arctic region. Vegetation is limited to some shrubs and few patches of grass, but mostly moss is found in such regions. There is also permafrost in this region, which is permanently frozen soil-like substance.
- Ice Sheets: Now this is interesting because these are regions absolutely devoid of any form of vegetation. There are only two such places on earth, i.e. Antarctica and Greenland.
Learn more about Deforestation here in detail
Vegetation in India
India has a very diverse geography. Due to being in two separate temperature zones, and a very varied landscape it also has a large variety of its natural vegetation. Let us take a look at the different types of vegetation we can find in India and the regions where.
- Tropical Evergreen Rainforests: These grow in regions that receive an excess of 200 cm of rainfall. Here the trees never shed their leaves, hence are known as evergreen. These are dense forests found in Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Assam etc
- Deciduous Forest: These grow in regions with moderate rainfall. The trees will shed their leaves in autumn or the dry season. The trees are usually very valuable as timber. These forests are found in Maharashtra, Bihar, Orissa and some regions of the Himalayas too
- Desert Vegetation: This is the sparse vegetation found in the regions of Thar desert. It mostly consists of bushes, acacia, cacti and date trees. It is found in the arid and semi-arid regions of Rajasthan, Gujarat and some regions of Punjab.
- Mountain Forests: These are found in the foothills of the Himalayas. The vegetation keeps changing according to the altitude. At the base you will find evergreen tall trees such as bamboo and teak, As you go higher there are conifer trees like the pine. And after a point its just grasslands and moss.
Wildlife in India
The animals that live in a specific region are what we call the wildlife of the region. Just as vegetation is the flora, wildlife is the fauna of a region. Animals can be found in every time of vegetation and are usually isolated from any human contact. It includes all the animals, birds, insects etc of the region.
The diversity of wildlife in the world is unimaginably large. There are said to be about 1 to 2 million species of animals on the planet! And India in particular boasts of an incredible wildlife presence.
Our national animal the tiger is one such rare animal found in India. In fact, the Bengal tiger can be found nowhere else on earth. We also have the Asiatic Lion, the only species of lions found outside Africa. It is home to many such exotic animals such as the Indian Elephant, the rhinoceroses and the leopard.
To preserve these amazing animals and their natural habitats, we have many conservatories, national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. In recent times to bring down illegal hunting and poaching the government has passed some very strict laws as well.
Solved Examples for You
Question: What are some famous wildlife sanctuaries in India?
Solution: India boasts of some of the most beautiful and diverse wildlife sanctuaries in the world. Among them, the oldest and by far the most famous is the Corbett National Park in Uttrakhand. It was established to protect the endangered Bengal Tigers from hunters and poachers.
Another important sanctuary is the Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan. Other than tigers, leopards, hyenas and the wild boar can also be found here. And then there is the Bandipur National Park famous for the elephants that stay there.