Mains Q & A 17 January 2023
Q1. Mangrove swamps protect coastal areas against erosion, storm surge, and tsunamis. Mangroves in India are growing more climatically and ecologically vulnerable. Comment. (250 words)
Paper & Topic: GS III Environmental Conservation:
Mangroves are the recognisable type of littoral vegetation found near safe beaches in tropical and subtropical areas. Amazingly, they can tolerate high temperatures, ferocious gusts, shifting tides, and salt water (FAO-1952). Bruguiera, Avicenia, and Rhizopora are a few examples. Mangroves cover over 4,975 square kilometres in India, according to the most recent State of Forest Report 2019, which was published.
Ecological Services of Mangroves:
Mangrove plants have (additional) special roots like prop roots and pneumatophores that help strengthen the shorelines along the coast, act as a habitat for fish to nest, and help block water flow and so enhance the deposition of sediment in places (where it is already occurring).
In times of monsoonal tidal flooding, mangroves save coastal lowlands from flooding.
They prevent coastal soil erosion.
They protect the coastline from hurricanes, floods, and tsunamis.
Natural nutrient recycling is enhanced by mangroves.
Mangroves are home to a wide variety of plants, birds, and other animals.
Give different fishes a safe and beneficial environment so they can breed, mate, and flourish.
They supply the local inhabitants with firewood, medicinal herbs, and tasty plants.
By providing a range of employment opportunities, they assist local communities in raising their level of living.
Mangroves are at danger from:
A scientific study found that all mangrove species, 92 percent of the species that live beside them, 60.8% of the algae, 23.8% of the crustaceans, and 21.1% of the fish are all in jeopardy.
A result of the processes of natural climate change:
Sea level rise causes mangrove systems to lag behind shifting water levels, which can have an impact on a person’s location and health, for example by altering the height of the silt and sulphide soil toxicity.
Storms: destroy more of the mangroves’ trees, defoliate them, and even trigger their collapse.
Precipitation: Less precipitation and higher evaporation will raise the salinity, which will hinder growth.
Temperature: Adaptive phenology and species diversity (e.g., timing of flowering and fruiting)
Ocean circulation patterns have an impact on the community structure of mangroves as well as the genetic make-up of mangrove populations and the dispersal of mangrove propagules.
Actions caused by people:
Mangroves are being destroyed and are in great risk as a result of urbanisation, industrialization, and the discharge of domestic sewage, industrial effluents, and pesticides.
Aquaculture and saltpans pose a severe threat to mangroves as well.
40% of the mangrove forests along India’s west coast have been converted into crops and communities over the previous three decades.
Some mangrove species, such as Bruguiera cylindrica and Sonneratia acida, are on the verge of extinction.
Shrimp farming has destroyed almost 35,000 acres of mangroves in India.
Mangrove scientific management:
Remote sensing techniques, land surveys, and time series will be used to map mangrove locations across the nation in order to gauge how quickly the ecosystems are deteriorating.
Environmental factors such as area, climate, forest tree growth rate, and seasonal changes are all quantified.
IUCN Red List species of endangered mangroves are being added (International Union for Conservation of Nature). Take the Indian Sonneratia griffithii, for example.
examining possible sites for reserve forests. Aerial seeding and mangrove nurseries for artificial regeneration are two examples.
Mangroves are managed in collaboration with the neighbourhood.
disease and pest control. For example, bright paint on hypocotyls shields them against crab bites. Plants are put inside bamboo containers.
putting in trees where mangroves have been destroyed, investigating management strategies, studying the ecology, flora, and fauna of mangroves, as well as their microbiology and the biochemistry of organic components and sediments.
Mangroves for Future is an innovative partner-led initiative that focuses on protecting coastal ecosystems. This project, which will initially protect the mangroves in eight nations in South Asia, South East Asia, and the Western Indian Ocean, including India, is being organised by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Mangroves are protected under Category I (ecologically sensitive) of the CRZ.
Mangrove cover has grown by 54 sq. km, according to SFR 2019. To stabilise low-lying coastal zones, it is vital to build on this progress. Protecting mangroves is crucial because they serve as natural water filters that filter out contaminants.
Q2. Unplanned and broad urbanisation has a number of negative repercussions, including conflicts between humans and animals. Identify the key reasons why there are more man-animal conflicts now in India. What noteworthy steps has the administration taken to reduce conflict? (250 words)
Paper & Topic: GS III Environmental Conservation:
According to data from the Union Environment Ministry, incidences involving tigers, leopards, bears, and elephants resulted in more than 1,608 fatalities between 2013 and 2017. According to data, during the last three years, there have been about one or two people killed every day in India by marauding tigers or ferocious elephants, where the wildlife is confined to ever-shrinking woods and grasslands.
Rising Man-Animal Conflicts: Causes and Consequences:
Uncontrolled Development: The amount of area that tigers, elephants, and other large wild species have to roam is shrinking as a result of the invasion of natural habitats. Unsustainable land use is the main problem here.
Animals are finding that roads, railroads, and industry are obstructing their usual migratory routes more frequently.
The Ken-Betwa River interlinking project will cause 100 sq. km. of the Panna Tiger Reserve to be inundated.
Urbanization: Growth and urbanisation plans alter the landscape’s dynamics, which has an impact on the biological dynamics of animals.
For instance, the Gwal Pahari area on the Gurugram-Faridabad Road has received change of land use permits from the district town and country planning department.
The recent relaxation of rules to permit an extension of the road and railroad networks adjacent to these protected areas is the reason of the new worries.
The abundance of animals and birds outside of designated protected areas is the primary reason why human-animal conflicts are occurring more frequently.
Wildlife experts estimate that 29% of India’s tigers reside outside of designated protected areas.
Ineffective legal enforcement: No safe distance is maintained between vital animal habitats and populated areas.
Climate Change and Biodiversity: Due to the quick changes in the food chain and the variety of species, there is less feed accessible to wild animals. They therefore venture outside of human settlements in search of livestock.
Less Protected Area: India has 5% of its land area designated as protected areas. This area is insufficient to provide a comprehensive habitat for wild animals.
A male tiger needs between 60 and 100 square kilometres of space because they are territorial animals. A complete tiger reserve, such as the Bor Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra, is only permitted to occupy a little over 140 square kilometres of territory.
The territorial animals do not have enough space in the reserves, and their prey do not have enough food to survive.
Among the government’s initiatives to reduce human-animal conflict are:
A network of Protected Areas, comprising national parks, sanctuaries, conservation reserves, and community reserving, covering important animal habitat, has been established across the country in compliance with the provisions of the Wild Life (Protection) Act of 1972.
Wildlife corridors: Wildlife corridors have been established across the country.
To give an example, the government of Odisha identified 14 corridors in 2017 to protect elephant habitat.
A tiger corridor surrounds the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserves.
“Plan Bee” was developed by Indian Railways to prevent elephants from being hurt when travelling alongside train lines, hence reducing the number of fatalities.
Up to 50 buzzing amplifiers have been installed as part of “Plan Bee” in 12 “elephant corridors” in the vast Assamese woodlands, which are home to up to 6,000 elephants, or 20% of the country’s total.
Assisting the state government in the construction of solar-powered fences and boundary barriers around important locations to prevent attacks from wild animals
Enhancing the financial capability of the state government to offer ex gratia compensation to victims of wild animal attacks for their injuries and deaths.
Urging the state government to set up a network of protected areas and wildlife corridors in order to preserve wildlife.
The relevant authorities can take the necessary action to deal with bothersome wild animals thanks to provisions in the Wild Life (Protection) Act of 1972.
Standard Operating Procedures are adopted by the various state governments for the management of huge, problematic species like tigers, elephants, leopards, rhinos, etc.
Governing the populace: In order to address man-animal conflicts, the Environment Ministry approved the “immune-contraception” approach in January 2018.
Immuno-contraception is a non-hormonal method of birth control. As a result, antibodies are created, preventing animals from becoming pregnant.
The ministry granted more than Rs 10 crore for “immunology contraception” of wild boars, Rhesus monkeys, and elephants.
How to Proceed:
Community involvement: Volunteers from the area should be trained to mediate conflicts between people and wildlife and organise the neighbourhood to act quickly until a wildlife rescue team arrives.
Rescue teams: Wild Life Rescue Teams should be present with the requisite personnel, equipment, and communication systems in areas where there may be a risk of human-animal conflict.
Increasing public awareness:
Hunting of prey species like deer and pigs is no longer permitted because their populations are what allow tiger and other carnivore populations to grow.
Finding the paths that large animals take frequently, raising awareness to avert issues, and gathering information on conflicts, their causes, and the most effective ways to react. Recognize the hotspots for conflict and keep a close eye on them.
strategies for covering animal damage under insurance.
Crop insurance should be made accessible in case wild animals destroy crops.
Investigating the reach of livestock insurance is crucial.
Help the neighbourhood construct barriers and fright tactics.
A healthy animal population that sustains the ecology and human life are both necessary. Through peace, both people and nature may be protected. Conservation and development must cooperate in order to decrease human-animal conflict. Sustainable development will be the result of this.
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