Deforestation and Its Consequences

Deforestation: clearing of forests and using that land for other purposes.

Consequences: Deforestation increases the temperature and pollution level on the earth.
It increases the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Groundwater level also gets lowered.

Deforestation disturbs the balance in nature, rainfall and the fertility of the soil will decrease.
Plants need carbon dioxide for photosynthesis. Fewer trees would mean that less carbon dioxide will be used up resulting in its increased amount in the atmosphere. This will lead to global warming as carbon dioxide traps the heat rays reflected by the earth. The increase in temperature on the earth disturbs the water cycle and may reduce rainfall causing droughts. Deforestation leads to a change in soil properties. The physical properties of the soil get affected by plantation and vegetation.

Deforestation leads to desertification. How?

Fewer trees result in more soil erosion. Removal of the top layer of the soil exposes the lower, hard and rocky layers. This soil has less humus and is less fertile. Gradually the fertile land gets converted into deserts leading to desertification. Deforestation also leads to a decrease in the water holding capacity of the soil. The movement of water from the soil surface into the ground (infiltration rate) is reduced. This results in floods. As a result, the other properties of the soil like nutrient content, texture etc., also change.


Occurrence of an innumerable number of different types of organisms and the whole range of their varieties (biotypes) adapted to different climates, environments and areas.
Biodiversity refers to the variety of living organisms in a specific area.
Wildlife sanctuary, national park and biosphere reserve are names given to the areas meant for conservation and preservation of forest and wild animals.
Plantation, cultivation, grazing, felling trees, hunting and poaching are prohibited there.

National Parks

Areas reserved for wild life where they can freely use the habitats and natural resources. These are established at the approval of the legislature. Example: Hazaribagh National Park in Jharkhand, Desert National Park in Rajasthan, etc. Project Tiger was launched by the government to protect the tigers in the country. The objective of this project was to ensure the survival and maintenance of the tiger population in the country.

Wildlife Sanctuary

Areas where animals are protected from any disturbance to them and their habitat. Example: Jaldapara in Madarihat (West Bengal), Keoladeo Ghana in Bharatpur (Rajasthan)

Biosphere Reserve

Large areas of protected land for conservation of wildlife, plant and animal resources and traditional life of the tribals living in the area. The biosphere reserves help to maintain the biodiversity and culture of that area. A biosphere reserve may also contain other protected areas. Ex: The Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve consists of one national park named Satpura and two wildlife sanctuaries named Bori and Pachmarhi

Plants and animals of a particular area are known as the flora and fauna of that area.Flora: Different types of plants belonging to an area. Example: Silver ferns, sal, teak, mango, etc. Fauna: All animals found in an area. Example: dog, frog, insects, bull, jackal, etc.

Endemic Species

Species of plants and animals found exclusively in a particular area. These are not naturally found anywhere else. Ex: sal and wild mango examples of the endemic flora of the Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve. Bison, Indian giant squirrel and flying squirrel are endemic fauna of this area.

Extinct Species

Species of plants and animals which have already been lost. Example: Dodo, Indian cheetah, Pink-headed duck, etc.

Threatened Species

Species that is liable to become extinct if it is not allowed to realise its full biotic potential by removed the caused of threat.

Types of threatened Species

1. Endangered Species

A species of animal or plant that is seriously at risk of extinction. Example: Indian rhinoceros, Asiatic lion, Asiatic wild ass, etc. Red Data Book contains a record of endangered species. Red Data Book is maintained internationally by an organisation. India also maintains Red Data Book for plants and animals found in India.

2. Vulnerable Species

A vulnerable species is a species of animals or plants which are likely to become endangered unless something changes. Example: Chinkara deer and blackbuck, golden langur, etc.

3. Rare Species

Species whose population are originally small and scattered in the world.


Migration is the phenomenon of movement of a species from its habitat to some other habitat for a particular period every year for a specific purpose like breeding.

 It is the regular, periodic, two-way movements of birds and some animals from their place of residence to some other place along well-definedroutes. It is linked to seasonal factors, breeding, shortage of foods, etc. The Bharatpur bird sanctuary is known for migratory birds.


It is the restocking destroyed forests by planting new trees. The planted trees should generally be of the same species which were found in that forest. Reforestation can take place naturally also. When the deforested area is left undisturbed, it re-establishes itself. In natural reforestation, there is no role of human beings.

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