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Natural Vegetation and Wildlife- Geography Guide for Class 8

Natural Vegetation and Wildlife- Geography Guide for Class 8

Information about Natural Vegetation and Wildlife

Title

Natural Vegetation and Wildlife

Class

Class 8

Subject

Class 8 Geography

Topics Covered

  • Water Resources
  • Pollution of Water
  • Water Conservation Methods


In the beginning, the earth was a barren planet. There was no life in water or on land. Gradually, life appeared in the ocean in the form of plants. Slowly, various other types of organisms appeared on the earth which were broadly classified as animals and plants.
  • The assemblage of plant species in an environment is known as natural vegetation.
Natural vegetation includes forests, grasses and shrubs. In this Chapter, we will study about natural vegetation and wildlife.

Natural Vegetation

Temperature and rainfall are two important factors for the growth of plants.
  • In the areas where rainfall is heavy, the forests are thick and dense. As the rainfall decreases, the size and concentration of trees also reduce.
  • Shrubs and short trees are common in the areas of low rainfall or in desert areas.
  • In cold regions, the growing season is very short. Therefore, plants occur in scattered patches in the form of mosses and lichens.


Wildlife

Wildlife includes non-domesticated animals, such as birds, fishes and animals, which make forests as their natural habitat. It is the most important part of the natural ecosystem.
Wildlife varies from place to place due to climatic variations. For example, in India, there is a rich variety of birds and animals. The blackbuck, peacock, lion and Bengal tiger are found in India. Australia is famous for koala bear, emu and kookabura.
  • Wildlife is very essential to maintain the ecological balance on the earth's surface. 
  • Wildlife is important for its aesthetic values and ecological balance.
The beauty of wild animals boosts tourism and creates jobs for the people. Animals' behaviour changes at the time of natural disasters like tsunami and earthquake. If this information can be harnessed for imparting early warning system, then life of lots of people can be saved.
  • Dead and decaying plants and animals also produce humus, which is helpful to maintain the fertility of the soil.
  • In various parts of the world, wild animals are hunted for various purposes like meat, skin, horns, etc. This disturbs the ecological balance of the environment.
Many birds have become extinct and many others are on the verge of extinction. Our forests are treasure troves of biodiversity. They harbour millions of species of animals. Our wildlife suffers severely due to deforestation and urbanisation. Many animals have become extinct because they have lost their natural habitat. Hence, there is great need for the conservation of wildlife.

Several steps are being taken by the Government of India to conserve the wildlife. Some of these are:
  • Hunting and poaching of wild animals and birds have been banned.
  • Killing of wildlife is a punishable offence.
  • National parks and wildlife sanctuaries are being set-up in different parts of the world. At present India has 103 National Parks and 528 Wildlife Sanctuaries.

National Park

A National Park is a well-defined area for the protection of wildlife. Visitors can only visit the park. No one has a right to use any forest products. Collection of firewood, timber from any part of the forest is totally prohibited.
  • Grand Canyon National Park of USA is declared as a world heritage site by the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation).

Wildlife Sanctuary

It is a declared protected area in which limited human activities are permitted. Hunting of animals and cutting of trees are banned. People can collect firewood, timber and medicinal herbs in a moderate amount which can be used for research and educational purposes. The UNESCO has selected Manas Wildlife Sanctuary of India as a world heritage site.
  • In India Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 prohibits poaching, hunting and trade of wildlife.
  • In 1973 'Project Tiger' was launched in India with the aim of conserving tigers. Initially nine tiger reserves were set-up, which expanded to 39 tiger reserves in 2010.
  • Jim Corbett National Park of Uttrakhand is a famous tiger reserve of India.
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