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Natural Vegetation and Wildlife

Tutormate > CBSE Syllabus-Class 9th Geography > Natural Vegetation and Wildlife

04 Natural Vegetation and Wildlife

India ranks 10th in the world and 4th in Asia in plant diversity and has 6 per cent of the world’s total flowering plants. 13 per cent of the world’s birds, 12 percent of fish and 5 to 8 per cent of world’s amphibians, reptiles and mammals find shelter in India. The following factors are responsible for this large diversity in India.

Relief Features:


  • Nature of land affects type of vegetation, directly and indirectly.


  • Different types of soil provide basis for different types of vegetation.



  • Temperature, humidity, soil and precipitation determine the character and extent of vegetation.

Photoperiod (Sunlight)

  • The geographical conditions like latitude, altitude, season and duration of day cause variation in duration of sunlight.


  • The areas which receive heavy rainfall have dense vegetation.

Why are forests important?

  • Forests are renewable resources and majorly enhance the quality of environment.
  • They modify the local climate, control soil erosion, regulate stream flow, support industries, provide livelihood for communities and offer scenic views.


  • All plants and animals of an area are interdependent and interrelated in their physical environment, forming an ecosystem.
  • A large ecosystem on land having distinct types of vegetation and animal life is a called a biome which are identified on the basis of plants.

Types of Vegetation

Tropical Evergreen Forests

  • These are found in the coastal areas of the Western Ghats and the island groups of Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar, upper parts of Assam and Tamil Nadu.

Tropical Deciduous Forests

  • These are spread over various parts of India that receive rainfall between 70cm and 200 cm.
  • They are also called monsoon forests and are divided into: moist and dry deciduous based on water availability.

The Thorn Forests and Scrubs

  • These are spread over the north western parts of India including semi-arid areas of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana

Montane Forests

  • With increasing altitude, temperature decreases causing change in natural vegetation, similar to that from tropical to tundra region

Mangrove Forests

  • These forests are found in coastal areas where mud and silt get accumulated

Medicinal plants:

  • Some 2,000 plants have been described in Ayurveda and at least 500 are in regular use. The World Conservation Union’s Red List has named 352 medicinal plants of which 52 are critically threatened and 49 endangered.


  • Tigers are found in the forests of Madhya Pradesh, the Sunderbans of West Bengal and the Himalayan region.
  • Lions are found in the Gir forest in Gujarat.
  • The leopard is among the most important animal of prey.
  • India is also home to the most majestic mammal: elephant.
  • The swampy and marshy lands of Assam and West Bengal house the one-horned rhinoceroses.
  • The yak, the shaggy horned wild ox weighing around one tonne, the Tibetan antelope, the bharal (blue sheep), wild sheep, and the kiang (Tibetan wild ass) are found in the freezing high altitudes of Ladakh.
  • Wild ass and camels are found in arid areas of the Rann of Kuchchh and the Thar Desert, respectively.
  • Turtles, crocodiles and gharials are found in the rivers, lakes and coastal areas
  • Birds like peacocks, pheasants, ducks, parakeets, cranes and pigeons inhabit the wetlands and forests.

Conservation of Forests

  • Hunting for commercial purposes, pollution, deforestation for cultivable and habitable land, acid deposits, etc. are main causes of threat to nature.
  • Wildlife Protection Act was implemented in 1972 in India.
  • In addition, the government has taken the following steps to conserve natural resources.
    1. Eighteen biosphere reserves have been set up in the country.
    2. The government has also been providing financial and technical assistance to the Botanical Gardens since 1992
    3. Project Tiger, Project Rhino, Project Great Indian Bustard and many other eco-developmental projects have been introduced by the government for the preservation for endangered animals.
    4. The government has also set up 103 National Parks, 535 Wildlife sanctuaries and Zoological gardens to take care of the Natural heritage.

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