Conservation of Plants and Animals

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Plants and animals are the backbone of life on the Earth; it is important to conserve them and save them from getting extinct, maintaining their right population that help in enriching the biodiversity or the richness of flora and fauna worldwide. Deforestation or cutting down trees is considered as one of the major problems associated with the conservation of plants and animals. NCERT class 8 science chapter conservation of plants and animals will cover deforestation, biodiversity, species and different types of species and importance of conservation of plants and animals. In this article, we have discussed all of these topics in an easiest manner for better understanding. Let’s get started!


Deforestation

It is the cutting of trees for human benefits. With forest wood, humans are hugely benefited in various ways including firewood, paper production, house building, furniture manufacturing, and other artworks. Here, we will start with the causes and effects of deforestation (one of the most important factors that make it necessary to conserve plants and animals).


Causes of Deforestation

Man-made Causes

  • Urbanization- Constructing more buildings and houses.

  • Mining- Mining activities also lead to deforestation.

  • Timber- For obtaining wood, people cut many trees.

  • Paper Industry- Paper is obtained from wood and it requires cutting down a large amount of trees.

  • Logging- It is the process of cutting trees, processing them and loading into trucks or cars.

Natural Causes

  • Forest fires

  • Barren Lands

  • Hurricanes

  • Pests

  • Droughts


Effects of Deforestation

  1. Decrease in temperature leading to global warming

  2. Desertification where lands turn into dry lands or deserts, without trees and receiving no rainfall.

  3. Change in rainfall patterns as trees are useful to maintain the climatic conditions.

  4. Soil erosion leading to washing away of soil layers useful for plantation.

  5. Floods which are natural disasters that may take up many lives.


Biodiversity (Flora and Fauna of an Area)

Conservation of plants and animals topic also covers biodiversity and the different terms associated with the biodiversity are as follows:

  • Species: A group of interbreeding individuals are called species.

  • Food Chain: It is a linear sequence of organisms dependent on each other, starting from producers to consumers to decomposers. 

  • Endemic Species: Those species which are found only in a particular area and cannot be found anywhere else are called endemic species.

  • Ecosystem: All plants, animals, microorganisms, soil, water and air together constitute an ecosystem that helps the survival of living organisms. Ecosystem consists of biotic (with life) and abiotic (without life) factors as mentioned here.


Biodiversity Conservation

It is the flora and fauna of an area and maintaining rich diversity will help in conservation of plants and animals. Biodiversity is managed or protected from destruction with the help of the following establishments:

1. Biosphere Reserve

It allows research and education to zoologists and botanists who are studying plants and animals. It helps them gain knowledge about different flora and fauna. An example of biosphere reserve is Pachmarhi biosphere reserve where Sal trees and Wild Mango are found as flora and flying squirrel and Cheetal are among fauna found there. 

2. National Park

It is a highly restricted area where no human activity is allowed. It protects the historic and cultural heritage of the area. For example, rock shelters and caves were discovered in Satpura National Park where no human activity is allowed.

3. Wildlife Sanctuaries

It conserves wild animals in their natural habitat and limited human activity is only allowed here. No one is allowed to perform hunting, poaching and deforestation.

4. Tiger Reserves

It was launched in the year 1973 and is especially meant for conserving tigers. Tiger being a National animal of India is highly taken care of.


Species and Different Kinds of Species

A group of interbreeding individuals are called species.

  • Vulnerable Species

Those species that are about to become endangered. Examples: Giant Panda and Polar Bear.

  • Endangered Species

Species that are at a high risk of extinction. Examples: Bonobo and Blue Whale

  • Critically Endangered Species

Species that are at the highest risk of extinction are critically endangered species.

Examples: Hawksbill and Orangutan

  • Extinct Species

Species which no longer exist are called extinct species. Examples: Dinosaurs and Dodo.

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Importance of Conservation of Plants and Animals

  • Conservation of plants and animals is important to protect the endangered plants and animals along with their habitat.

  • A balanced ecosystem can be maintained by conserving living resources.

  • Having conservation methods applied, we can feel glad about the multitudinous varieties of species present on the Earth.

  • It helps in maintaining a healthy and functional environment for the survival of all organisms.

  • It also helps in repairing the damage which is already done to the environment.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What are the different types of Species?

Ans. There are different types of species according to their risk of extinction. These are vulnerable species, endangered species, critically endangered species and extinct species.

2. How does conservation of plants and animals help in a Healthy Environment?

Ans. Conservation of plants and animals is very important for enriched biodiversity that helps in balancing the ecosystem. Plants and animals are the backbone of life on Earth and both depend upon each other in the environment in many ways. It is our responsibility to conserve plants and animals and save them from extinction. We should recover for all deforestation activities done by humans by planting trees and preventing hunting or killing of animals for self use.