Natural Vegetation and Wildlife Class 10 Geography Notes Maharashtra State Board
You might have recognized the species shown above and discussed them because there is a similarity between them and many Indian species. But these species are found in Brazil. Look for their names. Now we will study the variety of flora found in Brazil.
In the figure, rainfall, flora, and fauna of Brazil have been shown in the cross profile along with physiography. The change occurring in the above elements while going from north to south is seen here. Discuss this in the class and write a note about it.
In Brazil, rainfall varies due to physiography. In most parts of the equatorial region, it rains throughout the year. As one moves away from the equator, the number of rainy days as well as the amount of rainfall reduces. This affects the life cycle of the vegetation too. Evergreen forests are found in the area where it rains throughout the year. In regions that receive rainfall only during certain seasons, the density of the vegetation reduces. Instead of forests, various types of grasses, short shrubs, thorny vegetation, etc. are found.
Brazil has the largest number of vegetation species in the world. This includes evergreen vegetation, semi-evergreen, arid, etc. One finds trees like Pau Brasil, rubber, mahogany, rosewood, and a variety of orchids. Because of the evergreen rainforests in Brazil, there is a large amount of oxygen that is released into the environment. This helps to reduce carbon dioxide levels. Therefore, these rainforests are rightly called the ‘lungs of the world’.
The following types of forests are found in India. In regions that receive more than 2000 mm of rainfall on average along with abundant sunlight, evergreen forests are found. The leaves of the trees in these forests are broad and green. The trees have hardwood, heavy and durable. E.g mahogany, rosewood, rubber, etc. Also, there are various types of creepers found here. The highest biodiversity is found in these forests.
In regions receiving rainfall between 1000 mm to 2000 mm in India, deciduous forests are found. In dry seasons, trees shed their leaves so that water is not lost due to evaporation. E.g., teak, bamboo, banyan, peepal, etc are the trees found in these forests. In regions that receive less than 500 mm of rainfall and experience dry summers for a long period in India, thorny and shrub-type vegetation is found. The leaves are small in size. e.g. catechu, acacia, khejri, and varieties of cactus-like aloe vera and agave.
In swampy areas, estuaries, and lagoons near coastal areas having saline soils and moist climates, coastal-type vegetation is found. They are called mangroves or Sunderbans in India. The wood of these trees is oily, light, and durable.
In the Indian Himalayas, three types of forests are found according to the altitude. In areas located at the highest altitude, seasonally flowering trees are found. In regions with medium altitude, coniferous trees like pine, deodar, and fir, and at foothills, mixed forests are found. This includes both coniferous and deciduous types of forests. Here, the proportion of sal trees is higher.
A greater diversity of wildlife is found in Brazil than in any other country in the world. In the swampy areas of the Pantanal, huge anacondas are found. In Brazil, guinea pigs, crocodiles, alligators, monkeys, pumas, leopards, etc are found. Among the fish varieties, mainly swordfish are found in the seas while pink dolphins and piranhas are found in the rivers. Condors which are huge and fly high in the sky, and various types of parrots, macaws, and flamingoes are the major birds found here. Millions of insect varieties are also found here. As a result of these varieties, the wildlife of Brazil is very rich and diverse.
Degradation of the environment is happening due to the illegal smuggling of wild animals, slash-and-burn agriculture (roka), deforestation, pollution, etc. Brazil is facing these problems today. Many endemic species are on the verge of becoming extinct because of these issues. A survey done in 2016 found that approximately 5831 sq. kms. of land under forests in Brazil had already degraded in that year.
India is also a Mega-diverse country in terms of wildlife There are many species of wildlife in India. Elephants are found in hot and humid forests. One-horned rhinoceroses are found in swampy and marshy lands of Assam. Wild ass and camels are found in arid lands. snow leopards and yaks are found in the snow-capped regions of the Himalayas. Indian Bisons, deer, antelopes, and monkeys are found in the Peninsular region. India is the only country in the world where both tigers and lions are found.
Rivers, estuaries, and coastal areas are homes of many turtles, crocodiles, and gavials (gharial). The forests and wetlands are the shelters of a variety of birds like Peacocks, Indian bustards, Kingfishers, peasants, ducks, parakeets, cranes, and pigeons. All these species make it a land of unique habitat of wildlife.
Many species of wildlife are on the verge of extinction from India because of poaching, pollution, and rapidly occurring deforestation. e.g. cheetahs. The Government of India has set up several national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, bird sanctuaries, and biosphere reserves for the protection of wildlife and forests in India.
Well-maintained Maharashtra State Board Class 10 Geography Notes Natural Vegetation and Wildlife can serve as a reference for lifelong learning.