Animals And Their Habitat

Forests Our Lifeline of Class 7

animals and habitat

(a) .. Wildlife Conservation in India

Fourteen biosphere reserves have been set up in the country to protect flora and fauna. Four out of these, the Sunderbans in the West Bengal, Nanda Devi in Uttaranchal, the Gulf of Mannar in Tamil Nadu and the Nilgiris (Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu) have been included in the world network of Biosphere reserves.

Kaziranga National Park

Kaziranga National Park

Saltwater Wetland

Coastal wetlands, also known as saltwater wetlands, include highly productive estuaries which provide food and habitat for a large number of marine organisms.

Mangrove swamps are coastal wetlands in tropics containing certain trees and shrubs growing best in the intertidal zone. Mangroves hold sediments and accumulate soil along the shoreline. As mangroves expand into the ocean, other plants colonise the soil left behind. Mangrove roots provide habitat for oysters, crabs and other marine organims. Like freshwater wetlands, coastal wetlands are also being destroyed for space, for coastal development and agricultural lands.

Wetland Conservation

Wetland conservation programmes are generally based on :

  • Preparation of wetland inventories.
  • Identification of wetlands of critical importance for their protection.
  • Checking waste disposal in wetlands.
  • Reduction of excessive inflow of nutrients and silt into wetlands from surrounding upland by keeping them under plant cover.
Energy Resources

The major energy resources are fossil fuels such as coal, petroleum and natural gases. Other resources of energy are solar energy, hydroelectric power, nuclear power, wind power, geothermal energy, energy from garbage, etc.

Fossil fuels

As stated earlier they include coal, petroleum and natural gases. They are important source of energy. Oil sources of the world are limited and restricted to just certain- areas. Moreover, their demand is increasing day by day because of urbanization and industrialization. The coal reserves of the world are higher than that of petroleum.The leading coal producing countries of the world are China, USSR, USA, UK, India, Japan, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Libya, Arab Republic and Indonesia. In India the coal reserves are found in Bihar, Bengal, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Jammu and Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh and Meghalaya.

Coal production is also necessary because coal is also used to produce energy. It can also be converted to liquid (oil) and methane gas. Gas produces much less pollution than other fossil fuels do. Many of the coal deposits are of higher sulphur coal. When burned this coal releases large amounts of sulphur compounds into the air. These compounds are among the most important air pollutants, causing serious health and environmental problems.

Uses of fossil fuels

They are an important source of energy for the modern technology. Fossil fuels are used in industry, thermal plants, agricultural operations, automobiles, planes, ships, rail engines, heating etc. They also yield certain useful materials like petroleum products.

Alternative sources of energy : Some alternatives to the great dependence on fossil fuels are solar energy, hydroelectric power, wind power, geothermal energy, nuclear power and energy from garbage.

  • Solar energy : Sun is the inexhaustive source of energy without any pollution effect on the atmosphere. Scientists have devised means to utilize solar energy from the sun rays to heat water, cook meals and run certain machines.
  • Hydroelectric power : It is generated from the kinetic energy of water falling from great heights. A number of power stations are established in India on a number of rivers and canal which generate electricity from water. Sea tides are also used as a source of hydropower (tidal energy).
  •  Geothermal energy : In some places, the heated water comes to the earth’s surface as hot spring. Wherever available it can be used to heat buildings and produce electrical power. It is called geothermal energy or power.
  • Wind power : Windmills have been used for centuries as a source of power to grind grains and pump water. But, the amount of wind and its duration varies widely from place to place and from- season to season. Therefore, windmills are better suited for some area than for other.
  • Nuclear energy : It is obtained from fusion or fission of atoms of certain elements. Nuclear fusion involves the fusion of the nuclei of two atoms instead of the splitting of atoms that occurs in nuclear fission. The result is the release of enormous quantities of energy. Splitting of the 1 amu of Uranium-235 can generate energy equivalent to that obtainable form burning of15 metric tons of coal or about 14 barrels of crude oil. In India, atomic power stations are located in Tarapur (Bombay), near Kota in Rajasthan, Kalpakkam in Tamil Nadu and Narora in Uttar Pradesh.
  •  Dung energy : Cattle dung cakes are widely used for cooking and heating in rural areas of India. A new technique, the gobar gas plant or biogas has been developed in India. In this plant fresh cattle dung is added to produce an odourless low pressure gas. This gas can be used for cooking and heating. The residue is used as manure.
  •  Wood energy : Wood is also used as the most common source of energy in villages of India.
  • Liquid hydrogen : It is a pollution free source of energy. It has a good prospect.

A Biosphere Reserve is a unique and representative ecosystem of terrestrial and coastal areas which are internationally recognised within the framework of UNESCO's Man and Biosphere (MAB) Programme.

There are 14 Biosphere Reserves in India (Table, Figure). Four Biosphere Reserves, namely (i) Nilgiri ; (ii) Nanda Devi; (iii) Sunderbans; and (iv) Gulf of Mannar have been recognised by the UNESCO on World

Network of Biosphere Reserves.



Name of the

Biosphere Reserve



Area (km2)


Location (States)










































Nanda Davi












Gulf of Mannar



Great Nicobar








Dihang Dibang


















































Part of wynad, Nagarhole, Bandipur and Mudumalai Karnataka)


Part of Chamoli, Pithoragarh and Almora distric (Uttar Pradesh) and part of Garo Hills (Megahalaya)


Part of Garo Hills (Meghalaya)



Part of Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon, Barpeta, Nalbari, Kamru and Darrang disttircts (Assam)


Part of delta of Ganges and Brahmaputra river system (West Bengal)


Indian part of Gulf of Mannar between India and Sri Lanka (Tamil Nadu)


Southermost islands of the Andaman and Nicobar (A & N Islands)


Part of Mayurbhanj district (Orissa)


Part of Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts (Assam)


Part of siang and Debang valley in Arunachal Pradesh


Parts of North and West Sikkim


Parts of Betul, Hoshangabad and Chindwara districts of  Madhya Pradesh


Agasthyamalai Hills in Kerala


Parts of Anupur and Dindori district of MP and parts of

Bilaspur district of  Chhattisgarh



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