IMPORTANCE OF WILD LIFE AND PRESERVATION
India’s flora and fauna is matchless. In richness, variety and abundance it has hardly any parallel. India’s great latitudinal spread, encompassing a wide range of temperature conditions, makes it rich and varied in flora and fauna.
The number of species of flowering plants in the country is about 15,000. There are about 35,000 non-flowering plants.The rich variety of fauna is in direct relation to the abundance and opulence of the flora. Both are inter-linked and interdependent in many ways. The flora depends on the fauna for its fertilization, propagation and spread, while the latter’s existence and survival depends on the former. There are about 350 species of mammals and 1,200 species of birds. More than 30,000 species of insects, apart from a great variety of reptiles and fishes are also found.
The mammals include the elephant, the Indian bison, Indian buffalo, the blue-bull or nilgai, four-horned antelope, black buck, Indian wild ass, the famed one-horned rhinoceros and many varieties of deer. Under the big game category come the Indian lion, the tiger, the panther, leopard and various species of smaller cats. Many types of bears roam the western Himalayas, but only a single species of panda is found. Several species of monkeys and apes are common. The wild yak inhabits the upper lands of Ladakh.
India is very rich in bird life also. The Indian peacock, with its splendid blue plumage, is the national bird. Several other species, such as ducks, pheasants, partridges, jungle fowl, quails, green pigeons, mynahs, bulbuls, parakeets, hornbills, herons, and cranes, etc. are a familiar sight. The rivers and lakes harbor crocodiles, gharries and a large variety’ of indigenous fish. Trout is common in hill streams and the masher is found in most of the large rivers.
Sometimes it is asked why we should preserve wildlife and conserve forests when we ourselves need more land for agriculture, housing and...
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