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Conservation of Forest and Wildlife Overview

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What is a Forest?

Before understanding the conservation of forest and wildlife it is important to understand the general definition of the forest. There are several definitions of the forest; the article encompasses the definition provided by FAO. A forest is defined as a land area of more than 0.5 hectares with a tree canopy cover of more than 10% that is not predominantly used for agriculture as well as other quasi purposes. An important requirement is trees should be capable of attaining a length of 5 meters in situ and achieving the canopy cover requirement in young forests or locations where tree development is climatically inhibited. 

In simpler words, forests are areas where most of the species of flora and fauna are found per square kilometre. It is the lungs of the planet that take up the carbon dioxide released by the animals and give oxygen to the environment. Forests are defined as the areas of lands that grow various species of trees, plants, shrubs, herbs. The importance of forest and its conservation can be understood by the commodities it provides. The forest serves as a natural habitat of numerous animal species, it helps in balancing the impact of carbon emission, it helps in global temperature regulation. Apart from it forest also maintains the various biogeochemical cycle. Forests are the primary source of many medicinal plants, woods, food, raw materials, and fabrics. About 31% of the earth's surface is covered by forest, but as the modern age arises, the rate at which the trees are being cut-down is increasing gradually. Hence, there is an importance in conserving the woods and their associated wildlife.

The article provides a complete overview of the conservation of forests and wildlife. The article discusses wildlife conservation including the critical points on conservation. The importance or the need for conservation is also mentioned in the article.

Reasons why Forests Matter

We have briefly discussed the importance of forest which leads to the requirement of conservation of forest. Let us look into some of the important reasons for conserving the forest.

  • The primary reason to conserve forests and wildlife is to provide oxygen to breathe. Without the existence of trees, oxygen cannot be formed, and carbon dioxide may be accumulated in the environment.

  • The products of the forests, like medicinal plants, fabrics, and raw materials, give employment to millions of people. Without the woods, all of these people lose their jobs and cannot earn a livelihood.

  • Forests provide shelter to a wide range of animals. If the trees are destroyed, these animals also die as they do not have their natural habitat. This destruction makes many of the endangered species of plants and animals extinct.

  • Forests play a role in the carbon cycle by absorbing carbon dioxide from animals.

  • They bring about a moderate atmospheric temperature and prevent global warming and also reduces the greenhouse effect. Global warming causes an increase in the sea level by melting the glaciers and ice in the north and south poles.

  • Forests can absorb most of the water during a flood and hence prevent soil erosion and rescue us from the natural calamities.

  • A significant economy can be generated by converting the forest zones into tourist spots and viewing the wildlife as a first-hand experience.

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Conservation of Forest

Conservation of forests is the practice of saving the trees that are cut by industries and other organizations in the name of development and urbanization. It is planting new trees and taking care of them. Deforestation is the process of cutting trees and using the area for domestic or industrial purpose. Hence, deforestation must be controlled to control the destruction of the forest.

Awareness about climate change due to deforestation must be spread among people. Since industrialization is slowly growing in the modern world, properly planned deforestation must be done. The woods which cannot be used and that need less time to grow must be used as raw materials. Selectively the trees are cut so that rare trees are preserved.

Forest fires are also among the causes of deforestation. Proper measures to prevent forest fires should be taken. Old woods that can catch fire due to lightning must be removed. Planning and execution of the elimination of forest fires must be done priorly by the government. 

Various reforestation programs like the World Environment Day celebrated on June 5th of every year should be practiced by multiple schools and colleges. Youth must be encouraged to plant and look after the plants. The importance of conserving the trees must be explained to the people. 

The exploitation of forest products must be stopped. Strict rules and implementation of the regulations must be made on people who exploit forest wealth. Forest management departments should take care of the sustainable growth of the forests and ensure that hunting and poaching activities are avoided.

Wildlife Conservation

The protection of diverse wildlife in the forest is called wildlife conservation. Wildlife is the animals and birds that live in the woods and that are not domesticated by anyone. The wood is their natural habitat, and destruction of the forests leads these animals to become homeless. These animals can later come among the villages and feed on the crops as they do not have a specific home to live. 

Medicinal plants that have an essential therapeutic value are obtained in forests. Most of the antibiotics are manufactured by the raw materials found in the woods. Almost one-third of the pharmaceutical industry gets its raw materials from the woods. These medicinal plants may also have the potential to cure many diseases that man has not found a cure for. Hence, forests are essential places for scientists to find specimens to research and find a cure, explore different properties of plants. These medicinal plants are wild and can also come under the term of wildlife.

Forests and wildlife are necessary to regulate the population of different species of animals and birds. The forest ecosystem has primary, secondary, and tertiary consumers in the food chain. 

Forests help in maintaining biodiversity as various species of organisms takes shelter in the woods. Microorganisms that are necessary for the biosphere to survive, such as nitrogen-fixing bacteria, also take refuge in the soil of the forest. They regulate the nitrogen content of the earth and make it sustainable for living.

Essential Points on Conservation of Forest and Wildlife

Let us look inot some of the important points of the forest conservation.

  • Deforestation is the destruction of forests and creating barren land. It may be done to use forest land for commercial purposes.

  • Reforestation is the regrowing of plants in a land where once forest existed but now is destroyed. 

  • Afforestation is growing plants in a barren area. It is building a new forest in an area where forests never existed.

  • Fossil fuels are obtained from forest resources and should be appropriately used and not be wasted.

  • Wildlife should not be destroyed and should be put in either in-situ conservation or ex-situ conservation centres.

  • The Government should protect animals and birds from hunting and poaching. Strict action should be taken against people who hunt animals for their skin, horns, teeth, hair, etc. 

  • Endangered species must be given special protection so that they do not become extinct. 

  • Wood and timber must be used wisely, and for every tree cut, twice the amount of plant must be planted and taken care of.

  • Forest fire departments must be separately employed, and fires should be minimized to a greater extent.

  • Students, youth, adults should take part in programs to grow plants and trees.

  • Forests have ecological importance, and wildlife has interdependence and is essential for the ecosystem to function.

  • The fossil fuels and wood generated by forests contribute significantly to the economy of the country.

  • Forests provide a wide range of sources for scientists and enthusiasts that are engaged in science.

In conclusion of the article, we have learnt about reasons for conservation and the importance of forests. We have also learnt about wildlife conservation.

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FAQs on Conservation of Forest and Wildlife Overview

1. What is the in-situ conversation?

In-situ conservation is defined as the conservation of the natural habitat of species and preservation of ecosystems and natural habitats. It is important to note that the conservation of the vulnerable species is done in their native place itself.

2. What is ex-situ conservation?

Ex-situ conservation is commonly known as off-site conservation. In this type of conservation method vulnerable and endangered species are brought up and rehabilitated in different areas where they are given proper care to grow and flourish the population.

3. What is an ecosystem?

Ecosystems are the fundamental units of the environment in which living species communicate with one another and with their surroundings. An ecosystem, in other terms, is a series of interactions between species and their surroundings. An English botanist named A.G.Tansley introduced the word "ecosystem" in 1935.