|| s.S.t project TOPIC
NATURAL VEGITATION AND WILD LIFE madeby:Ansuman sharma class:9 rollno.:1
|| 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 virgin vegetation. Thus, cultivated crops and fruits, orchards form part of
vegetation but not natural vegetation.
Virgin vegetation -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.
Flora- The term flora is used to denote plants of a particular region or period.
Fauna- the species of animals are referred to as fauna.
This huge diversity in flora and fauna kingdom is due to the following factors
|| relief Land affects the natural vegetation directly and indirectly. The nature of land
influences the type of vegetation. The fertile level is generally devoted to agriculture.
The undulating and rough terrains are areas where grassland and woodlands develop
and give shelter to a variety of wild life.
The soils also vary over space. Different types of soils provide basis for different
types of vegetation. The sandy soils of the desert support cactus and thorny bushes
while wet, marshy, deltaic soils support mangroves and deltaic vegetation. The hill
slopes with some depth of soil have conical trees.
|| climate Temperature
The character and extent of vegetation are mainly determined by temperature along
with humidity in the air, precipitation and soil. On the slopes of the Himalayas and
the hills of the Peninsula above the height of 915 metres, the fall in the temperature
affects the types of
vegetation and its growth, and changes it from tropical to subtropical temperate and
|| ecosystem The nature of the plants in an area, to a large extent, determines the animal life in
that area. When the vegetation is altered, the animal life also changes. All the plants
and animals in an area are interdependent and interrelated to each other in their
physical environment, thus, forming an ecosystem. Human beings are also an
integral part of the ecosystem. A very large ecosystem on land having distinct types
of vegetation and animal life is called a biome. The biomes are identified on the basic plant.
|| Type of vegetation The following major types of vegetation may be identified in our country
(i) Tropical Rain Forests
(ii) Tropical Deciduous Forests
(iii) Tropical Thorn Forests and Scrubs
(iv) Montane Forests
(v) Mangrove Forests
|| tropical rain forest
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. 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 elephants, monkey, lemur and deer.
The one horned rhinoceros 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 forest 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
Orissa 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, 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. 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
|| The Thorn Forests and Scrubs In regions with less than 70 cm of rainfall, the natural vegetation consists of thorny
trees and 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 minimize 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 forest In mountainous areas, the decrease in temperature with increasing altitude leads to
the corresponding change in natural vegetation. 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. Silver fir, junipers,
pines and birches are the common trees of these forests. 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 mangroves are the common
varieties with roots of the plants submerged under water. The deltas of the Ganga,
the Mahanadi, the
Krishana, the Godavari and the Kaveri are covered by such vegetation. Royal Bengal
Tiger is the famous animal in these forests. Turtles, crocodiles, gharials and snakes
are also found in these forests.
|| 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
Arjun: The fresh juice of leaves is a cure for earache. It is also used to regulate
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 Plant: Is used to cure cough and cold.
|| Wild life Like its flora, India is also 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 world’s total. There are 2500 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. 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. 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 Pradesh, the Sundarbans of West Bengal and the Himalayan
region. To protect the flora and fauna of the county, the government has taken many
|| (i) Fourteen biosphere reserves have been set up in the country to protect flora and
fauna. Four out of these, the Sunderbans in the West Bengal, Nanda Devi in
Uttaranchal, the Gulf of Mannar in Tamil Nadu and the Nilgiris (Kerala, Karnataka
and Tamil Nadu) have been included in the world network of Biosphese reserves.
(ii) Financial and technical assistance is provided to many Botanical Gardens by the
government since 1992.
(iii) Project Tiger, Project Rhino, Project Great Indian Bustard and many other
ecodevelopmental projects have been introduced.
(iv) 89 National Parks, 49 Wildlife sanctuaries and Zoological gardens are set up to
take care of Natural heritage.
• Sunderbans • Simlipal
• Gulf of Mannar • Dihang-Dibang
• The Nilgiris • Dibru Saikhowa
• Nanda Devi • Agasthyamalai
• Nokrek • Kanchenjunga
• Great Nicobar • Pachmari
• Manas • Achanakmar-Amarkantak