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Depletion of Biodiversity of Jharkhand State of India
The term biodiversity was created by Walter and Rosen in 1985, which is abbreviated the term Biological Diversity. The biosphere is a vital life support system for humans and its existence of the human race. The newly formed state of Jharkhand of India is very rich in biodiversity due to its diverse physical and climatic conditions. The state of Jharkhand lies between 21°58’10” to 25°18’N Latitude and 83°22′ to 87°57′ E Longitude. Jharkhand is part of the Chotanagpur Plateau region of the Deccan Peninsula Biogeographic Zone. As the name of the state suggests , it is having a good cover of forests (reserved forest 4,387.20 sq km, protected forest 19,184.78 sq km and unclassified forest 33.49 sq km). mixed forest. The forests grow the fishermen of the three main rivers – Koel, Damodar and Subernekha, the forest cover is 23605.47 sq km, which is 29.6% of the total area of the state, i.e. 79714 sq km. The state has forest, semi-wild and cultivated areas.
The state is also very rich in minerals. Almost 50% of the country’s natural resources are in the state – iron and coal are the main ones, but the mineral map and forests overlap for important minerals (Anonymous 2009). The state has many wild animals. Floral diversity includes 97 species of trees, 46 species of shrubs and herbs, 25 species of climbers, parasites and orchids and 17 species of grass. The important trees of the state are Shorea robusta (Sal), Delbergia sissioo ( Sesum), Madhuca indica (Mahua), Acasia nilotica (babool), Azadirachta indica (Neem), Terminalia arjuna (Arjun), bombax ceiba (Semul) and Butea. monosperma (Palas). 39 mammal species, 170 avian species, 12 reptilian species including 8 snake species and 4 lizard species and about 21 insect species were reported from the forests of Jharkhand. The important mammalian fauna includes tiger, leopard, sloth bear, elephant, jungle forest, Indian bison, hyena, wild monkey and langur, deer and birds, wolf etc.
For the present study, a survey was conducted from Jamshedpur in June-June 2010 by the author with the help of the Forest Department of Jharkhand and the data was collected. The study area is divided into seven areas, viz. Udhuwa lake wildlife sanctuary (WLS), Topchanchi wildlife sanctuary, Koderma wildlife sanctuary, Hazaribagh wildlife sanctuary, Lawalong wildlife sanctuary, Simdega forest and Dalma. Observation is done through watchtowers and data collected through actual observation and by collecting information from local tribes and villages by showing pictures of animals. The collected data is analyzed and compared to previous data.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION:
The study showed the following animal diversity from the study areas.
In the year 2000, 45 mammalian species, 205 avian species, 15 reptilian species and 45 invertebrate species were recorded, and in 2005, there were 41 mammalian species, 201 avian, 14 reptilian and 43 invertebrate species. In 2010, the diversity found was 35 mammalian species including 168 avian and 11 reptilian. Invertebrate species diversity shows contribution in number like 48.
From the above data, it is clear that the ethnic diversity of the state is constantly decreasing. Mammalian animals and avian animals have decreased gradually until 2010, with a slight increase in 2008, may be due to conservation policies, implemented by the state government. As far as reptilian variation is concerned, it has always been rejected. Insect diversity has shown a trend of increase.
The biodiversity of the state is under constant pressure due to the unsustainable harvesting of living things, habitat destruction and fragmentation, the effects of pollution, and competition with colonizing, often large, invasive species. Biodiversity is also threatened by various other factors such as manufacturing, urbanization, agricultural activities, quarrying, unrestrained grazing by free cattle, mining activities, construction of railways, roads, dams , other development activities and even cultural aspects of the tribes.
Some of the threatened wildlife of Jharkhand are the Asiatic Elephant Elephas maximus (Endangered), sloth bear Melursus ursinus (Vulnerable) and Indian giant squirrel Ratufa indica (Least Vulnerable). The races of two species of birds, the green-billed malkoha Phaenicophaeus tristis tristis, and the pin-striped tit babbler Macronous gularis rubicapilla recorded here are isolated populations lying at the southernmost edge of the range their distribution in central-western India. Prominent among the reptiles is the Indian chameleon Chamaeleo zeylanicus which is listed in Schedule II of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972.
Understanding the biodiversity profile of an area can provide data for better mining practices, mitigation plans, and recommending biodiversity offsets for optimal biodiversity conservation. Habitat loss not only destroys species, it also represents a loss of biodiversity in its own right. The dramatic loss of species and ecosystems poses equally significant threats to genetic diversity. Loss of genetic diversity can damage agriculture. How much the genetic base has been damaged is hard to say, but since the 1950s the spread of the modern “Green Revolution” of corn, wheat, rice and other crops has rapidly displaced native landraces (Jharenvis 2008). The present study suggests that there is a significant need of wildlife conservation in the state.
The authors take the opportunity to express their gratitude to Mr. MS Jain, former Director of Tata Steel Zoological Park, Jamshedpur for providing the necessary facilities and for organizing the research. They also thanked the forest officials for providing support. They also thanked the local tribes and villages for helping in the research.
1. Anonymous (2009). Diverse. Green Matter. page 1-29.
2. Jarenvis (2008). Environmental information system. Department of Forest and Environment, Jharkhand.
The newly formed state of Jharkhand is rich in biodiversity due to its diverse physical and climatic conditions. The biodiversity includes 39 species of animals, 12 animals and 15 types of insects, which are under serious threat from various development activities. In the present study, a study of livestock diversity was conducted and it has been found that it is constantly decreasing indicating the need for conservation.
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