Natural vegetation, also known as ‘flora,’ refers to plants and trees that grow without any interference or help from human beings.
Wildlife refers to animals that cannot be domesticated by human beings and known as ‘fauna’.
India is also home to a variety of wildlife.
Tigers are found throughout India - from the Himalayas to Kanyakumari. The Royal Bengal Tiger is our national animal.
The Gir forest in Gujarat is the home of the Asiatic lion. Snow leopards are found in the Himalayan region. Elephants and one-horned rhinoceroses are found in the forests of Assam.
Hot desert areas, such as the Great Indian Desert and the Rann of Kutch are the habitat of camels.
Asiatic lions, tigers, elephants, one-horned rhinoceroses, camels, wild asses, wild goats, snow leopards, bears, nilgais and cheetahs are some wild animals commonly found in India.
The peacock is our national bird. Parrots, pigeons, mynahs, geese, bulbuls and ducks are some of the commonly spotted birds.
India has a rich variety of birds; bird sanctuaries provide birds with a natural habitat. India also has several hundreds of species of snakes. Cobras and kraits are the most poisonous snakes.
Reckless cutting down of forests not only destroys our natural vegetation, it also causes the loss of several species of wildlife. Wildlife is hunted for commercially valuable products like skin, horns, bones, fur and more. This is also known as poaching.
To protect our wildlife, many national parks, sanctuaries and biosphere reserves have been set up.
The government has also started Project Tiger and Project Elephant to protect these animals.
Measures to conserve wildlife:
- When visiting a forest or a park, carry a trash bag with you, so you can keep the environment clean.
- Refuse to buy things made from an animal’s body parts, such as bones, horns, fur, skins and feathers.
Wildlife week is celebrated in the first week of October to create awareness among people.