The Indian Forest Service The Indian Forest Service (IFS) is one of the three All India Services, the other two being the Indian Administrative Service & the Indian Police Service. IFS was created in 1966 under the All India Services Act 1951. However, this was only a revival of a well organized Indian Forest Service which existed during the British Raj from 1865 to 1935. The beginning of formal training of IFS officers dates back to 1867 when five candidates were selected to undergo training in France & Germany. This continued up to 1885 except for a short break on account of war between France and Russia. From 1885 to 1905, the training of IFS Probationers was organised at Cooper’s Hill, London where 173 Officers were trained. The training of IFS Probationers between 1895 and 1927, was held in Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Edinburgh. In 1920, the Government of India took the historic decision that the IFS Probationers may be trained at one centre and consequent to the establishment of Forest Research Institute at Dehradun, the training started in India in 1926. It continued up to 1932, when due to lack of demand for officers, it had to be discontinued. The Government of India Act of 1935, which transferred forestry to Provisional list, resulted in abolition of the IFS training. With the retirement of IFS officers, the demand for trained foresters cropped up and thus Indian Forest College was born in 1938. The Superior Forest Service officers, recruited from different states, were trained in IFC thus retaining the all India character of the service. The main mandate of the service was scientific management of the forests to exploit it on a sustained basis for primarily timber products. It was during this time that large tracts of the forest were brought under state control through the process of reservation under the Indian Forest Act,1927. The management of the forest went into the hands of the provincial government in 1935 and even today the Forest Departments are managing the forest of the country under the respective State governments. Since the subject of forestry was shifted to the concurrent list in the year 1977, the central government plays an important role, particularly at the policy level in the management of the forest. The main thrust of managing forests for production of timber products as in the British period continued even after the reconstitution of IFS in 1966.The recommendations of National Commission on Agriculture in 1976 was a landmark shift in forest management. It was for the first time that people’s perception was taken care of in addressing biomass needs and extension activities through social forestry were introduced. The concept of sustained yield was addressed in tandem with biomass needs of the people living in and around forest areas. Equal thrust was given to habitat management in protected area and conserving the biodiversity of the land. Today there are over 2700 IFS officers serving in the country. Besides serving the 31 Forest Departments in the States and Union Territories managing the country’s natural resources, a good number of them work in various Ministries and institutions both in the State and Central Government. Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), a body under the Government of India, recruits the IFS Officers by conducting a competitive examination open to graduates with science background. After qualifying the written examination, the candidates have to undergo an interview, a walking test (25 km for men & 14 km for women in four hours in Delhi Zoological Park) and a standard medical fitness test. The current trend in educational background of selected officers reflects high qualifications including Postgraduate in Sciences, Engineering, Agriculture and Forestry. A fairly large number of officers are Post Graduate in various subjects.

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Indian Forest Service (Hindi: भारतीय वन सेवा) (abbreviated as IFS[3]) is one of the Civil Services of India and belongs to the apex All India Services group, with other two All India Services being the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and the Indian Police Service (IPS).[4][5][6] Indian Forest Service was created in 1966 under the All India Services Act 1951. Previously, the Imperial Forestry Service existed during the British Raj from 1865 to 1935. Officers are recruited via a rigorous competitive examination and then trained for about two years by the Central Government. Their services are placed under various State cadres and joint cadres, even though they have the mandate to serve both under the State and Central Governments.[7] The main mandate of the service is the implementation of the National Forest Policy which aims to ensure environmental stability and maintenance of ecological balance which are vital for sustenance of all life forms, human, animal and plant.[8] IFS officers while in field postings in respective state cadres work for conservation, protection and development of forests and wildlife along with an aim to enhance livelihood opportunities of forest dependent communities of rural and tribal areas. An IFS officer is largely independent of district administration and exercises administrative, judicial and financial powers in their own domain. All top positions in state forest department are held by IFS officers. Positions like Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Conservator of Forests (CF) and Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) etc. are some examples. The highest ranking IFS official in each state is the Head of Forest Forces (HoFF), a cabinet selection post equal in rank to the Chief Secretary for IAS or State Police Chief for the IPS. They are also eligible for State and Central deputations as their counterpart IAS and IPS officers. Deputation of IFS officers to the Central Government includes appointments in Central Ministries at the position of Deputy Secretary, Director, Joint Secretary and Additional Secretary etc.; appointments in various Public Sector Units, Institutes and Academies at the position of Chief Vigilance Officers (CVO), Managing Directors, Inspector General, Director General etc. Deputation of IFS officers is also permissible to foreign governments, United Nations bodies, international organisations, NGOs, voluntary organisations apart from private sector as per the Indian Forest Service (Cadre) Rules, 1966.[9] Ministry of Environment and Forests (India), under the Government of India, is the cadre controlling authority of Indian Forest Service. Contents [hide] 1 History 1.1 Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy 1.2 Modern agency 2 Ranks 3 Deputations 3.1 Central Deputation 3.2 State Deputation 3.3 Deputation under International Organisation 4 Training 5 Notable IFS officers 6 See also 7 References History[edit] Dietrich Brandis, who is widely considered as the father of IFS. India was one of the first countries in the world to introduce scientific forest management.[10] In 1864, the British Raj established the Imperial Forest Department. In 1866 Dr Dietrich Brandis, a German forest officer, was appointed Inspector General of Forests. The Imperial Forestry Service was organised subordinate to the Imperial Forest Department in 1867 when five candidates were selected to undergo training in France & Germany. This continued up to 1885 except for a short break on account of war between France and Russia. Officers appointed from 1867 to 1885 were trained in Germany and France, and from 1885 to 1905 at Cooper’s Hill, London, also known as Royal Indian Engineering College ( a noted college of Forestry at that time) where 173 officers were trained. From 1905 to 1926, the University of Oxford (Sir William Schlich), University of Cambridge, and University of Edinburgh had undertaken the task of training Imperial Forestry Service officers. In 1920, the Government of India took the historic decision that the IFS Probationers may be trained at one centre and consequent to the establishment of Forest Research Institute at Dehradun, the training started in India in 1926. The Government of India Act 1935, which transferred forestry to Provisional list, resulted in abolition of the IFS training. With the retirement of IFS officers, the demand for trained foresters cropped up and thus Indian Forest College was born in 1938. The Superior Forest Service officers, recruited from different states, were trained in the Indian Forest College thus retaining the all India character of the service. The main mandate of the service was scientific management of the forests to exploit it on a sustained basis for primarily timber products. It was during this time that large tracts of the forest were brought under state control through the process of reservation under the Indian Forest Act, 1927. The management of the forest went into the hands of the provincial government in 1935 and even today the Forest Departments are managing the forest of the country under the respective State governments. Since the subject of forestry was shifted to the concurrent list in the year 1977, the central government plays an important role, particularly at the policy level in the management of the forest. The main thrust of managing forests for production of timber products as in the British period continued even after the reconstitution of IFS in 1966. The recommendations of National Commission on Agriculture in 1976 was a landmark shift in forest management. It was for the first time that people’s perception was taken care of in addressing biomass needs and extension activities through social forestry were introduced. The concept of sustained yield was addressed in tandem with biomass needs of the people living in and around forest areas. Equal thrust was given to habitat management in protected area and conserving the biodiversity of the land. Today there are over 2700 IFS officers serving in the country. Besides serving the 31 Forest Departments in the States and Union Territories managing the country’s natural resources, a good number of them work in various Ministries and institutions both in the State and Central Government. Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy[edit] The Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy (IGNFA) was established in the 1938 as Indian Forest College at Dehradun, and officers recruited to the Superior Forest Service by the states and provinces were trained there. Presently IGNFA acts as the staff college to the officers of the Indian Forest Service, undertaking a substantial portion of their training requirements. Modern agency[edit] The modern Indian Forest Service was established in 1966, after independence, under the All India Services Act 1951. The first Inspector General of Forests, Hari Singh, was instrumental in the development of the IFS. India has an area of 635,400 km2 designated as forests, about 19.32% of the country. India’s forest policy was created in 1894 and revised in 1952 and again in 1988. Ranks[edit] Grade Union Ministry Designation Apex Scale Director General of Forests (वन महानिदेशक) HAG+ Scale Additional Director General of Forests (अपर वन महानिदेशक) Higher Administrative Grade Inspector General of Forests (वन महानिरीक्षक) PB-4 Additional Inspector General of Forests (अपर वन महानिरीक्षक) PB-4 Deputy Inspector General of Forests (उप वन महानिरीक्षक) PB-4 Director (निदेशक) PB-3 Assistant Inspector General of Forests (सहायक वन महानिरीक्षक) Grade State Government Designation Apex Scale Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (प्रधान मुख्य वन संरक्षक) Higher Administrative Grade Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (अपर प्रधान मुख्य वन संरक्षक) PB-4 Chief Conservator of Forests (मुख्य वन संरक्षक) Regional Chief Conservator of Forests (क्षेत्रीय मुख्य वन संरक्षक) PB-4 Conservator of Forests (वन संरक्षक) PB-3 Deputy Conservator of Forests (उप वन संरक्षक) Divisional Forest Officer (वन प्रमंडल पदाधिकारी) PB-3 Probationary Officer (प्रशिक्षु पदाधिकारी) Deputations[edit] As per Rule 6 of the Indian Forest Service (Cadre) Rules, 1966 deputation of IFS officers broadly falls into two categories:[11] Central Deputation State Deputation For Central Deputation, there are two schemes devised for the purpose of regulating appointments in Government of India and organisations under its control. Central Staffing Scheme Non-Central Staffing Scheme Central Deputation[edit] There are two Central Staffing Schemes, one each controlled by Ministry of Environment and Forests (India) (MoEF) and Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) of Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions and they are respectively called as CSS of MoEF and CSS of DoPT. Manning the pre-identified professional positions in the Ministry, its regional offices, subordinate offices, organisations under its control (located elsewhere in the country) and in other Ministries/Departments, exclusively by IFS, CSS of MoEF scheme has been formulated. The posts included under it are Director General of Forests, Additional Director General of Forests, Inspector General of Forests and Deputy Inspector General of Forests in Ministry of Environment and Forests, Associate Professors and Lecturers in IGNFA, Director of Forest Survey of India, Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy, Project Tiger, Project Elephant, National Zoological Park, Forest Education and Deputy Directors/Conservators in Regional offices of the Ministry. Similar to the CSS of the MoEF, for manning pre-identified positions of Under Secretary (US), Deputy Secretary (DS), Director, Joint Secretary to Government of India (JS), Additional Secretary (AS), Special Secretary (SS) and equivalent levels in the Government of India and its organizations, DoPT have formulated a staffing Scheme. A total of 38 Civil Services including the three All India Services viz IAS, IPS, IFS are participants under this Scheme. Similar to the CSS, there are two Non-CSSs under the Government of India one each controlled by the MoEF and DoPT. All posts to be filled up by IFS officers in the autonomous bodies under the control of the Ministry viz ICFRE, Dehradun; Wild Life Institute of India, Dehradun and Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal; Wild-Life Crime Control Bureau, Central Pollution Control Board, Central Zoo Authority etc. are called as non-CSS posts. Isolated posts under various Departments and Ministries in Government of India and the posts of Commissions, Autonomous Bodies, Authorities, Trusts, Boards, Societies, etc. constitute non-CSS of DoPT. State Deputation[edit] An IFS officer may also be deputed for service under a company, association, corporation which is wholly or substantially owned or controlled by a State Government, a Municipal Corporation or Local Body. Appointment is done by the State Government. Deputation under International Organisation[edit] An IFS officer may also be deputed for service under international organisation by Central Government in consultation with State Government. Training[edit] Forest Research Institute in Dehradun IFS officers of the country are part of the nation’s management expertise pool. The training course for the IFS Probationers is designed to address these requirements. Some of the essential elements of the training are as follows: 1. Capacity building by imparting technical knowledge and skills required in forestry sector 2. Enhancing management skills 3. The personality development as a member of Indian Forest Service To achieve the above course objectives, training at the Academy extends over a period of 2 years. Comprehensive exposure to all the subjects that are directly or indirectly related to forestry are provided. The course is designed to be covered in phases as under 1. Foundation Course 2. Professional Phase I 3. Professional Phase II 4. Convocation Phase Officers of the IFS have to initially attend the common foundation course at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration in Mussorie. On completion of which they are trained at the Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy at Dehradun, with training on forest and wildlife management, soil conservation, surveying, Scheduled Tribes and handling weapons. After completion of their training the officers are awarded a master’s degree in Science (Forestry) of Forest Research Institute. The officers are taught more than 56 subjects of life sciences in these two years. After completing training at the academy, candidates go through a year of on-the-job field training in the state to which he or she is assigned, during which they are posted as Assistant Conservators of Forests or Deputy Conservator of Forests. After four years of service in the junior scale, which includes a professional training phase and foundation course, officers are appointed to the Senior Time Scale and are entitled to be posted as Deputy Conservators of Forests or Divisional Forest Officers (DFO) in charge of districts/forest divisions. The officers are supposed to work in the field of forestry as well as wildlife. At times they are posted as working plan officers and put on deputation with agencies such as State Forest Corporation, for carrying out exploiting operations of timber and their marketing, as Member Secretaries of Pollution control Board, Tourism Officers or Executive Directors or MDs of state-run corporations or boards. They can be posted as Secretaries of the Autonomous Bodies and as Directors or Joint Secretaries in government of India.

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Forestry in India is a significant rural industry and a major environmental resource. India is one of the ten most forest-rich countries of the world along with the Russian Federation, Brazil, Canada, United States of America, China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Australia, Indonesia and Sudan. Together, India and these countries account for 67 percent of total forest area of the world.[1] India’s forest cover grew at 0.22% annually over 1990-2000,[2] and has grown at the rate of 0.46% per year over 2000-2010,[2] after decades where forest degradation was a matter of serious concern.[3] As of 2010, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations estimates India’s forest cover to be about 68 million hectares, or 24% of the country’s area.[4][5] The 2013 Forest Survey of India states its forest cover increased to 69.8 million hectares by 2012, per satellite measurements; this represents an increase of 5,871 square kilometers of forest cover in 2 years.[6] However, the gains were primarily in northern, central and southern Indian states, while northeastern states witnessed a net loss in forest cover over 2010 to 2012. In 2002, forestry industry contributed 1.7% to India’s GDP.[3] In 2010, the contribution to GDP dropped to 0.9%, largely because of rapid growth of the economy in other sectors and the government’s decision to reform and reduce import tariffs to let imports satisfy the growing Indian demand for wood products. India produces a range of processed forest (wood and non-wood) products ranging from wood panel products and wood pulp to make bronze, rattazikistan ware and pern resin. India’s paper industry produces over 3,000 metric tonnes annually from more than 400 mills.[3] The furniture and craft industry is another consumer of wood. India’s wood-based processing industries consumed about 30 million cubic metres of industrial wood in 2002.[3] India annually consumes an additional 270 million tonnes of fuelwood, 2800 million tonnes of fodder, and about 102 million cubic meter of forest products – valued at about ₹27500 crore (US$4.1 billion) a year. India is one of the world’s largest consumer of fuel-wood.[3] India’s consumption of fuel-wood is about five times higher than what can be sustainably removed from forests.[3] However, a large percentage of this fuel-wood is grown as biomass remaining from agriculture, and is managed outside forests. Fuel-wood meets about 40% of the energy needs of the country.[3] Around 80% of rural people and 48% of urban people use fuel-wood.[3] Unless India makes major, rapid and sustained effort to expand electricity generation and power plants, the rural and urban poor in India will continue to meet their energy needs through unsustainable destruction of forests and fuel wood consumption. India’s dependence on fuel-wood and forestry products as a primary energy source is not only environmentally unsustainable, it is a primary cause of India’s near-permanent haze and air pollution.[7][8] Forestry in India is more than just about wood and fuel. India has a thriving non-wood forest products industry, which produces latex, gums, resins, essential oils, flavours, fragrances and aroma chemicals, incense sticks, handicrafts, thatching materials and medicinal plants. About 60% of non-wood forest products production is consumed locally. About 50% of the total revenue from the forestry industry in India is in non-wood forest products category.[3] In 2002, non-wood forest products were a source of significant supplemental income to over 400 million people in India, mostly rural.[3] Contents 1 History 1.1 Forestry in pre-1947 1.2 Forestry in India from 1947 to 1990 1.3 Post 1990 Forestry in India 2 Distribution of forests in Indian states 2.1 Forest cover measurement methods 3 Strategy to increase cover 3.1 Effect of tribal population growth on forest flora and fauna 4 Economics 5 Biodiversity in Indian forests 5.1 Trading in exotic birds 6 Conservation 7 Issues and threats 7.1 Chipko Movement 7.2 Jhum cultivation 7.3 Timber mafia and forest cover 8 Forest rights 9 Gallery 10 See also 11 References 12 Further reading 13 External links History[edit] Forestry in pre-1947[edit] In 1840, the British colonial administration promulgated an ordinance called Crown Land (Encroachment) Ordinance. This ordinance targeted forests in Britain’s Asian colonies, and vested all forests, wastes, unoccupied and uncultivated lands to the crown. The Imperial Forest Department was established in India in 1864.[9] British state’s monopoly over Indian forests was first asserted through the Indian Forest Act of 1865. This law simply established the government’s claims over forests. The British colonial administration then enacted a further far-reaching Forest Act of 1878, thereby acquiring the sovereignty of all wastelands which in its definition included all forests. This Act also enabled the administration to demarcate reserved and protected forests. In the former, all local rights were abolished while in the latter some existing rights were accepted as a privilege offered by the British government to the local people which can be taken away if necessary. These colonial laws brought the forests under the centralised sovereignty of the state. An FAO report claims it was believed in colonial times that the forest is a national resource which should be utilised for the interests of the government. Like coal and gold mines, it was believed that forests belonged to the state for exploitation. Forest areas became a source of revenue. For example, teak was extensively exploited by the British colonial government for ship construction, sal and pine in India for railway sleepers and so on. Forest contracts, such as that of biri pata (leaves of Diospyros melanoxylon), earned so much revenue that it was often used by the people involved in this business as a leverage for political power. These contracts also created forest zamindars (government recognised forest landowners). Additionally, as in Africa, some forests in India were earmarked by the government officials and the rulers with the sole purpose of using them for hunting and sport for the royalty and the colonial officials.[10] Forestry in India from 1947 to 1990[edit] In 1953, the government nationalised the forests which were earlier with the zamindars. India also nationalised most of the forest wood industry and non-wood forest products industry. Over the years, many rules and regulations were introduced by India. In 1980, the Conservation Act was passed, which stipulated that the central permission is required to practice sustainable agro-forestry in a forest area. Violations or lack of permits was made a criminal offense. These nationalisation wave and laws intended to limit deforestation, conserve biodiversity, and save wildlife. However, the intent of these regulations was not matched by reality that followed. Neither investment aimed at sustainable forestry nor knowledge transfer followed once India had nationalised and heavily regulated forestry. Deforestation increased, biodiversity diminished and wildlife dwindled. India’s rural population and impoverished families continued to ignore the laws passed in Delhi, and use the forests near them for sustenance.[11] India launched its National Forest Policy in 1988. This led to a programme named Joint Forest Management, which proposed that specific villages in association with the forest department will manage specific forest blocks. In particular, the protection of the forests would be the responsibility of the people. By 1992, seventeen states of India participated in Joint Forest Management, bringing about 2 million hectares of forests under protection. The effect of this initiative has been claimed to be positive.[citation needed] Post 1990 Forestry in India[edit] Forests in Himachal Pradesh Since 1991, India has reversed the deforestation trend. Specialists of the United Nations report India’s forest as well as woodland cover has increased. A 2010 study by the Food and Agriculture Organisation ranks India amongst the 10 countries with the largest forest area coverage in the world (the other nine being Russian Federation, Brazil, Canada, United States of America, China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Australia, Indonesia and Sudan).[12] India is also one of the top 10 countries with the largest primary forest coverage in the world, according to this study. From 1990 to 2000, FAO finds India was the fifth largest gainer in forest coverage in the world; while from 2000 to 2010, FAO considers India as the third largest gainer in forest coverage.[12] Some 500,000 square kilometres, about 17% of India’s land area, were regarded as Forest Area in the early 1990s. In FY 1987, however, actual forest cover was 640,000 square kilometres. Some claim, that because more than 50% of this land was barren or bushland, the area under productive forest was actually less than 350,000 square kilometres, or approximately 10% of the country’s land area. India’s 0.6% average annual rate of deforestation for agricultural and non-lumbering land uses in the decade beginning in 1981 was one of the lowest in the world and on a par with Brazil. Distribution of forests in Indian states[edit] India is a large and diverse country. Its land area includes regions with some of the world’s highest rainfall to very dry deserts, coast line to alpine regions, river deltas to tropical islands. The variety and distribution of forest vegetation is large: there are 600 species of hardwoods, including sal (Shorea robusta). India is one of the 17 mega biodiverse regions of the world.[13] Indian forests types include tropical evergreens, tropical deciduous, swamps, mangroves, sub-tropical, montane, scrub, sub-alpine and alpine forests. These forests support a variety of ecosystems with diverse flora and fauna. Forest cover measurement methods[edit] Forests and valley of Uttarakhand. Prior to the 1980s, India deployed a bureaucratic method to estimate forest coverage. A land was notified as covered under Indian Forest Act, and then officials deemed this land area as recorded forest even if it was devoid of vegetation. By this forest-in-name-only method, the total amount of recorded forest, per official Indian records, was 71.8 million hectares.[14] Any comparison of forest coverage number of a year before 1987 for India, to current forest coverage in India, is thus meaningless; it is just bureaucratic record keeping, with no relation to reality or meaningful comparison. In the 1980s, space satellites were deployed for remote sensing of real forest cover. Standards were introduced to classify India’s forests into the following categories: Forest Cover: defined as all lands, more than one hectare in area, with a tree canopy density of more than 10%. (Such lands may or may not be statutorily notified as forest area). Very Dense Forest: All lands, with a forest cover with canopy density of 70% and above Moderately Dense Forest: All lands, with a forest cover with canopy density of 40-70 % Open Forest: All lands, with forest cover with canopy density of 10 to 40% Mangrove Cover: Mangrove forest is salt tolerant forest ecosystem found mainly in tropical and sub-tropical coastal and/or inter-tidal regions. Mangrove cover is the area covered under mangrove vegetation as interpreted digitally from remote sensing data. It is a part of forest cover and also classified into three classes viz. very dense, moderately dense and open. Non Forest Land: defined as lands without any forest cover Scrub Cover: All lands, generally in and around forest areas, having bushes and or poor tree growth, chiefly small or stunted trees with canopy density less than 10% Tree Cover: Land with tree patches (blocks and linear) outside the recorded forest area exclusive of forest cover and less than the minimum mapable area of 1 hectare Trees Outside Forests: Trees growing outside Recorded Forest Areas The first satellite recorded forest coverage data for India became available in 1987. India and the United States cooperated in 2001, using Landsat MSS with spatial resolution of 80 metres, to get accurate forest distribution data. India thereafter switched to digital image and advanced satellites with 23 metres resolution and software processing of images to get more refined data on forest quantity and forest quality. India now assesses its forest distribution data biennially. 2007 forest survey data The 2007 forest census data thus obtained and published by the Government of India suggests the five states with largest area under forest cover as the following:[14] State Area (in million hectares) Madhya Pradesh 7.64 Arunachal Pradesh 6.8 Chhattisgarh 5.6 Odisha 4.83 Maharashtra 4.68 2013 forest survey data According to India’s 2013 forest survey report, the forest cover in top five states has increased, with the exception of Arunachal Pradesh:[15] State Area (in million hectares) Madhya Pradesh 7.75 Arunachal Pradesh 6.73 Chhattisgarh 5.6 Maharashtra 5.06 Odisha 5.03 Strategy to increase cover[edit] Forest around a lake in the Western Ghats of India Forest covered hills in Uttarakhand A NASA satellite image of India in April 2008, showing forest cover and about to be harvested crop in its peninsula region. Indian Forest cover map created using Openstreetmap data (map as of February 2015). In the 1970s, India declared its long-term strategy for forestry development to compose of three major objectives: to reduce soil erosion and flooding; to supply the growing needs of the domestic wood products industries; and to supply the needs of the rural population for fuelwood, fodder, small timber, and miscellaneous forest produce. To achieve these objectives, the National Commission on Agriculture in 1976 recommended the reorganisation of state forestry departments and advocated the concept of social forestry. The commission itself worked on the first two objectives, emphasising traditional forestry and wildlife activities; in pursuit of the third objective, the commission recommended the establishment of a new kind of unit to develop community forests. Following the leads of Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh, a number of other states also established community-based forestry agencies that emphasized programmes on farm forestry, timber management, extension forestry, reforestation of degraded forests, and use of forests for recreational purposes. In the 1980s, such socially responsible forestry was encouraged by state community forestry agencies. They emphasized such projects as planting wood lots on denuded communal cattle-grazing grounds to make villages self-sufficient in fuelwood, to supply timber needed for the construction of village houses, and to provide the wood needed for the repair of farm implements. Both individual farmers and tribal communities were also encouraged to grow trees for profit. For example, in Gujarat, one of the more aggressive states in developing programmes of socioeconomic importance, the forestry department distributed 200 million tree seedlings in 1983. The fast-growing eucalyptus is the main species being planted nationwide, followed by pine and poplar. In 2002, India set up a National Forest Commission to review and assess India’s policy and law, its effect on India’s forests, its impact of local forest communities, and to make recommendations to achieve sustainable forest and ecological security in India.[16] The report made over 300 recommendations including the following: India must pursue rural development and animal husbandry policies to address local communities need to find affordable cattle fodder and grazing. To avoid destruction of local forest cover, fodder must reach these communities on reliable roads and other infrastructure, in all seasons year round. The Forest Rights Bill is likely to be harmful to forest conservation and ecological security. The Forest Rights Bill became a law since 2007. The government should work closely with mining companies. Revenue generated from lease of mines must be pooled into a dedicated fund to conserve and improve the quality of forests in the region where the mines are located. Power to declare ecologically sensitive areas must be with each Indian state. The mandate of State Forest Corporations and government owned monopolies must be changed. Government should reform regulations and laws that ban felling of trees and transit of wood within India. Sustainable agro-forestry and farm forestry must be encouraged through financial and regulatory reforms, particularly on privately owned lands. India’s national forest policy expects to invest US$ 26.7 billion by 2020, to pursue nationwide afforestation coupled with forest conservation, with the goal of increasing India’s forest cover from 20% to 33%.[17] Effect of tribal population growth on forest flora and fauna[edit] Indian forests are home to many near threatened and threatened species of birds and other wildlife. This is Nicobar pigeon found in the Andaman & Nicobar islands of India. Due to faster tribal population growth in forest / tribal areas, naturally available forest resources (NTFP) in a sustainable manner are becoming inadequate for their basic livelihood. Many tribal are giving up their traditional livelihood and taking up farming and cattle rearing in the forest areas causing un-repairable damage to forests. The erstwhile protectors of forests are slowly turning into bane of forests and its wildlife. Government should devise schemes to avert this process and save the dwindling forest area and its flora and fauna. Tribal people have extraordinary understanding of forest flora and fauna which can be productively utilized. All the tribals shall be employed by the government in the expansion and protection of forests and its wildlife till their descendants get educated and diversify into industrial and service sectors.[18] Economics[edit] Significant forest products of India include paper, plywood, sawnwood, timber, poles, pulp and matchwood, fuelwood, sal seeds, tendu leaves, gums and resins, cane and rattan, bamboo, grass and fodder, drugs, spices and condiments, herbs, cosmetics, tannins. India is a significant importer of forest products. Logs account for 67% of all wood and wood products imported into India due to local preference for unprocessed wood. This preference is explained by the availability of inexpensive labor and the large number of productive sawmills. In trade year 2008-2009, India imported logs worth $1.14 billion, an increase of about 70% in just 4 years.[19] Indian market for unprocessed wood is mostly fulfilled with imports from Malaysia, Myanmar, Côte d’Ivoire, China and New Zealand.[citation needed] India is growing market for partially finished and ready-to-assemble furniture. China and Malaysia account for 60% of this imported furniture market in India followed by Italy, Germany, Singapore, Sri Lanka, the United States, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.[citation needed] The Indian market is accustomed to teak and other hardwoods that are perceived to be more resistant to termites, decay and are able to withstand the tropical climate. Teak wood is typically seen as a benchmark with respect to grade and prices of other wood species. Major imported wood species are tropical woods such as mahogany, garjan, marianti, and sapeli. Plantation timber includes teak, eucalyptus, and poplar, as well as spruce, pine, and fir. India imports small quantities of temperate hardwoods such as ash, maple, cherry, oak, walnut, beech, etc. as squared logs or as lumber. India is the world’s third largest hardwood log importer. In 2009, India imported 332 million cubic metres of roundwood mostly for fuel wood application, 17.3 million cubic metres of sawnwood and wood-based panels, 7.6 million metric tonnes of paper and paperboard and about 4.5 million metric tonnes of wood and fiber pulp. Biodiversity in Indian forests[edit] Spotted Owlet – one of over 1000 bird species in Indian forests Asian Golden cat, one of the 15 feline species found in India Asian paradise flycatcher – A bird found in the forests of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Indian forests are more than trees and an economic resource. They are home to some of earth’s unique flora and fauna. Indian forests represent one of the 12 mega biodiverse regions of the world. India’s Western Ghats and Eastern Himalayas are amongst the 32 biodiversity hotspots on earth. India is home to 12% of world’s recorded flora, some 47000 species of flowering and non-flowering plants.[20] Over 59000 species of insects, 2500 species of fishes, 17000 species of angiosperms live in Indian forests. About 90000 animal species, representing over 7% of earth’s recorded faunal species have been found in Indian forests. Over 4000 mammal species are found here. India has one of the richest variety of bird species on earth, hosting about 12.5% of known species of birds. Many of these flora and fauna species are endemic to India. Indian forests and wetlands serve as temporary home to many migrant birds. Trading in exotic birds[edit] India was, until 1991, one of the largest exporters of wild birds to international bird markets. Most of the birds traded were parakeets and munias. Most of these birds were exported to countries in Europe and the Middle East.[21] In 1991, India passed a law that banned all trade and trapping of indigenous birds in the country. The passage of the law stopped the legal exports, but illegal trafficking has continued. In 2001, for example, an attempt to smuggle some 10,000 wild birds was discovered, and these birds were confiscated at the Mumbai international airport. According to a WWF-India published report, trapping and trading of some 300 species of birds continues in India, representing 25% of known species in the country. Tens of thousands of birds are trapped from the forests of India, and traded every month to serve the demand for bird pets. Another market driver for bird trapping and trade is the segment of Indians who on certain religious occasions, buy birds in captivity and free them as an act of kindness to all living beings of the world. Trappers and traders know of the need for piety in these people, and ensure a reliable supply of wild birds so that they can satisfy their urge to do good. The trappers, a detailed survey and investigation reveals are primarily tribal communities. The trappers lead a life of poverty and migrate over time. Their primary motivation was economics and the need to financially support their families.[22][23] Trapping and transport of trapped birds from India’s forests has high injury and losses, as in other parts of the world. For every bird that reaches the market for a sale, many more die. Abrar Ahmed, the WWF-India and TRAFFIC-India ornithologist, suggests the following as potentially effective means of stopping the harm caused by illegal trading of wild birds in India:[22] Engage the tribal communities in a constructive way. Instead of criminalising their skills at finding, recognising, attracting and capturing birds, India should offer them employment to re-apply their skills through scientific management, protection and wildlife preservation. Allow captive and humane breeding of certain species of birds, to satisfy the market demand for pet birds. Better and continuous enforcement to prevent trapping practices, stop trading and end smuggling of wild birds of India through neighboring countries that have not banned trading of wild birds. Education and continued media exposure of the ecological and environmental harm done by wild bird trade, in order to reduce the demand for trapped wild birds as pets. Conservation[edit] Forest around Nohkalikai fall in Meghalaya, an eastern state of India Greater Flamingoes amid forests of Andhra Pradesh. The role of forests in the national economy and in ecology was further emphasized in the 1988 National Forest Policy, which focused on ensuring environmental stability, restoring the ecological balance, and preserving the remaining forests. Other objectives of the policy were meeting the need for fuelwood, fodder, and small timber for rural and tribal people while recognising the need to actively involve local people in the management of forest resources. Also in 1988, the Forest Conservation Act of 1980 was amended to facilitate stricter conservation measures. A new target was to increase the forest cover to 33% of India’s land area from the then-official estimate of 23%. In June 1990, the central government adopted resolutions that combined forest science with social forestry, that is, taking the sociocultural traditions of the local people into. The cumulative area afforested during the 1951-91 period was nearly 179,000 square kilometres. However, despite large-scale tree planting programmes, forestry is one arena in which India has actually regressed since independence. Annual fellings at about four times the growth rate are a major cause. Widespread pilfering by villagers for firewood and fodder also represents a major decrement. In addition, the 1988 National Forest Policy noted, the forested area has been shrinking as a result of land cleared for farming and development programmes. Between 1990 and 2010, as evidenced by satellite data, India has reversed the deforestation trend. FAO reports India’s rate of forest addition has increased in recent years, and as of 2010, it is the third fastest in the world in increasing forest cover. The 2009 Indian national forest policy document emphasizes the need to combine India’s effort at forest conservation with sustainable forest management.[24] India defines forest management as one where the economic needs of local communities are not ignored, rather forests are sustained while meeting nation’s economic needs and local issues through scientific forestry.[17] Issues and threats[edit] Chipko Movement[edit] Main article: Chipko Movement Chipko movement in India started in the 1970s around a dispute on how and who should have a right to harvest forest resources. Although the Chipko movement is now practically non-existent in Uttarakhand, the Indian state of its origin, it remains one of the most frequently deployed examples of an environmental and a people’s movement in developing countries such as India. What caused Chipko is now a subject of debate; some neopopulists theorise Chipko as an environmental movement and an attempt to save forests, while others suggest that Chipko movement had nothing to do with eco-conservation, but was driven primarily to demand equal rights to harvest forests by local communities. According to one set of writers: Since the early 1970s, as they realised that deforestation threatened not only the ecology but their livelihood in a variety of ways, people have become more interested and involved in conservation. The best known popular activist movement is the Chipko Movement, in which local women under the leadership of Chandi Prasad Bhatt and Sunderlal Bahuguna, decided to fight the government and the vested interests to save trees. The residents declared that they would embrace—literally “to stick to” (chipkna in Hindi)–trees to prevent cutting of ash trees in their district.[citation needed] According to those[25] who critique the ecological awareness and similar theories, Chipko had nothing to do with protecting forests, rather it was an economic struggle using the traditional Indian way of non-violence. These scientists point out that very little is left of the Chipko movements today in its region of origin save for its memory, even though the quality of forests and its use remains a critical issue for India. To explain the cause of Chipko movement, they find that government officials had ignored the subsistence issues of the local communities, who depended on forests for fuel, fodder, fertiliser and sustenance resources. These researchers claim that local interviews and fact finding confirms that local communities had filed complaints requesting the right to commercially exploit the forests around them. Their requests were denied, while permits to fell trees and exploit those same forests were granted to government-favoured non-resident contractors including a sporting company named Symonds. A protest that became Chipko movement followed. The movement grew and Indian government responded by imposing a 15-year ban on felling all trees above 1000 metres in the region directly as a result of the Chipko agitations. This legislation was deeply resented by many communities supporting Chipko because, the regulation further excluded the local people from the forest around them. Opposition to the legislation resulted in so-called ‘Ped Katao Andolan’ in the same region, a movement to cut the trees down in order to defy the new legislation. The people behind Chipko movement felt that the government did not understand or care about their economic situation.[25] Chipko movement, at the very least, suggests that forests in India are an important and integral resource for communities that live within these forests, or survive near the fringes of these forests. Jhum cultivation[edit] An example of Jhum cultivation, or slash and burn type farming, from India’s northeast. A major threat to forests of India are in its northeastern states. From ancient times, the locals have practiced slash-and-burn shifting cultivation to grow food. Locally called Jhum, it supports about 450,000 families in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Assam and Meghalaya.[6] Approximately 15,000 square kilometers of forest land is under jhum cultivation, and just a sixth of this land is actually producing any crop at any given year. The tribal people consider it a tradition, and economic ecosystem. However, the slash and burn causes damage to a dense forest, to soil, to flora and fauna, as well as pollution. The crop yields are very poor with jhum cultivation. Between 2010 and 2012, satellite studies confirmed a net loss of forest cover over these northeastern states.[6] The lost forest includes primary dense forests. There is a concerted effort by the state government officials to educate, incentivize and train jhum dependent families to horticulture and other high value crops, along with an offer of food supply security. Bamboo-based textiles and value added forest products industries are also being encouraged by the local officials.[26] States such as Arunachal Pradesh reported reduction in Jhum cultivation practice in 2013.[27] Timber mafia and forest cover[edit] Main article: Mafia raj A 1999 publication claimed that protected forest areas in several parts of India, such as Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka and Jharkhand, were vulnerable to illegal logging by timber mafias that have coopted or intimidated forestry officials, local politicians, businesses and citizenry.[28][29] Despite these local criminal and corruption issues, satellite data analysis and a 2010 FAO report finds India has added over 4 million hectares of forest cover, a 7% increase, between 1990 and 2010.[12]

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Global Warming: Indian Estimates of Greenhouse Gas Emission from Agricultural Fields Global climate change The climate of earth is a dynamic one promoting the evolution of various living forms and changing the structure and chemical composition of the atmosphere. Over the past few decades, acceleration in the human-induced changes in the climate of the earth has become the focus of scientific and social scrutiny. The gaseous composition of the atmosphere has undergone a significant change mainly through increased industrial emissions, fossil fuel combustion, widespread deforestation and burning of biomass as well as changes in land use and land management practices. These anthropogenic activities have resulted in an increased emission of radiatively active gases, e.g., carbon dioxide (CO), methane (CHJ and nitrous oxide (NzO), popularly known as the ‘greenhouse gases’. The atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide were 280±6 ppm, 700±60 ppb and 270±10 ppb between the period 1000 and 1750 AD (!pCC, 2001. Climate change 2001: Impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change, Report of the Working Group II. Cambridge, UK.) Today, these values have become 369 ppm, 1750 ppb and 316 ppb, respectively. These greenhouse gases trap the outgoing infrared radiation from the earth’s surface. The process, generally referred to as the greenhouse effect, adds to the net energy of the lower atmosphere and, therefore, results in atmospheric warming. The global mean annual temperature at the end of the 20th century has increased by 0.7 DC from that recorded at the end of the 19th century. Diurnal temperature range has also decreased, with night time temperature increasing at twice the rate of day time maximum temperature. The 1990s were, on an average, the warmest decade of the earth since the starting of instrumental measurement of temperature in 1860’s, and the twentieth century has been the warmest during the last 1000 years. The seven warmest years globally in the instrumental record occurred in 1990s. Global climate change Global climate change Global warming, in turn, leads to regional changes in climate­related parameters such as rainfall, soil moisture, and sea level. The extensive and frequent occurrence of climatic extremes such as droughts, heat and floods in the last decade in many parts of the world may be the fallout of this. The sea level has risen by 10-20 cm with regional variations (!pCC 2001). Similarly, snow cover is also believed to be gradually decreasing. The Inter-Governmental Panel on Climatic Change (!pCe) of the United Nations in its report for 2001 has projected using different models that the globally averaged temperature of the air above the earth’s surface might rise by 1.4-5.8°C over the next 100 years (Fig. 1) (!pCC, 2001). The CO2 levels are projected to increase to 388-399 478-1099 by 2100 using different models. For India, the area-averaged annual mean warming by 2020 is projected to be between 1.0 and 1.4°C and between 2.2 to 2.9°C by 2050. Relatively, the increase in temperature would be less in khari! (monsoon season) than in rabi (winter season). The khari! rainfall is expected to increase in most places whereas rabi rainfall may decrease in some areas. The rabi rainfall will, however, have larger uncertainty (Table 1). Table 1. Projected change in temperature and rainfall due to global warming in different crop seasons in 2020, 2050 and 2080s in south Asia. Year Season Increase in temperature, °C Change in rainfall, % Lowest Highest Lowest Highest 2020 Rabi 1.08 1.54 -1.95 4.36 Khari! 0.87 1.12 1.81 5.10 2050 Rabi 2.54 3.18 -9.22 3.82 Khari! 1.81 2.37 7.18 10.52 2080 Rabi 4.14 6.31 -24.83 4.50 Khari! 2.91 4.62 10.10 15.18 Impact of climate change More floods, frequent droughts and forest fires, decrease in agricultural and aquacultural productivity, displacement of coastal dwellers by sea level rise and intense tropical cyclones, and the degradation of mangroves may be some of the likely consequences of climate change in Asia. Such consequences could considerably affect the food supply and access through their direct and indirect effects on crops, soils, livestock, fisheries and pests. Increase in atmospheric CO2 promotes the growth and productivity of C3 OOW photosynthetic activity) plants. On the other hand increase in temperature, can reduce crop duration, increase crop respiration rates, affect the equilibrium between crops and pests, hasten nutrient mineralisation in soils, decrease fertiliser use efficiencies, and increase evapo-transpiration among others. Uncertainty in precipitation causing droughts and floods has been responsible for many famines, rural poverty and migration despite development of impressive irrigation potentials. These environmental changes, particularly temperature increase and sea level rise, could also affect fisheries directly and indirectly through changes in the availability of feed. Similarly, by increased temperatures the changes in fodder and water availability may affect production of meat and milk. Indirectly, there may be considerable impact on agricultural land use due to snow melt, availability of irrigation, frequency and intensity of inter- and intra-seasonal droughts and floods, soil organic matter transformations, soil erosion, decline in arable areas (due to submergence of coastal lands), and availability of energy. All these changes would have tremendous impact on agricultural production and, hence, on the food security of any region. Several important socio-economic determinants of food supply such as government policies, capital availability, prices and returns, infrastructure, land reforms, and inter- and intra­national trade are also expected to be influenced and altered by environmental changes. Need for indigenous efforts in quantifying greenhouse gas (GHG) emission Alarmed by the possible impact of global climatic change on the quality of life of human beings, there has been a serious concern all over the world in understanding the processes and developing strategies to mitigate the negative effects. It has been realized by all that a change in environmental quality affects all aspects of life. Efforts are, therefore, needed to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, which are mainly responsible for atmospheric warmmg. The solution to such environmental issues is closely linked with the issues of socio-economic problems. Each country or region addresses the problem with their own individualistic perception on what is best suited for their economic development and not necessarily what is best for the health of the world as a whole. Therefore, such environmental problems generally involve conflicts between the interests of those who benefit greatly and those who benefit less or none at all. For example, the quest for maintaining the currently unsustainable life styles by the western world prevents it from reducing energy consumption contributing to increased emissions of green house gases. On the other hand, the quest for improved income and quality of life by the developing countries forces them to increase their energy use. The emissions of GHGs can be somewhat reduced by using cleaner technologies currently available in the western world. Such clean technologies can help the developing world in containing their GHG emissions and yet meet their developmental goals. However, the business interests of corporate bodies, who own such technologies, restrict their free sharing. Ironically, India, China and other developing countries of Asia have been blamed by the western world for their ‘large’ contributions to GHG emissions and thus global warming. The total annual injection of methane into the atmosphere from all sources in the world is estimated to be 375 Tg (1 Tg = 1012 g or 1 million tonnes). Although the increase in annual load of methane in the atmosphere is much less than that of CO2, its high impaired absorption amounts to higher contribution (15-20%) in the global warming. Agriculture, largely rice paddies, and ruminant animal production, is considered a major source of this emission. Continuously flooded rice fields emit methane as anoxic conditions favour methanogenesis. International studies based on very limited measurements done in the USA and Europe and extrapolated to the whole world indicated that as much as 110 Tg per year was released from rice paddies alone (Houghton, J.T., Jenkins, G.J., and Ephraums, J.J. 1990, Climate Change. IPCC scientific assessment. Cambridge University Press). Since India and China are the major rice cultivators, US-EPA attributed 38 Tg methane per year to Indian rice fields. Based on this, the international opinion was built that Asia, in particular India and China, contributes considerably to global warming and should do something to prevent this. It required sustained and systematic indigenous research effort to develop correct estimates of methane emissions form Indian paddies. The pioneering studies done in this context at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute since 1990 helped in rationalizing the estimates of GHG emissions and formulating our national policy on global climate change. International concerns and conflicts on global climate change have now led to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) following the Earth’s Summit in June 1992. The UNFCCC, which came into force on 21st March 1994, requires all parties to compile, periodically update, and publish national inventories of GHG emission and sinks using comparable methodologies that have been agreed upon by the Conference of Parties (COP). The Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) has taken a lead role in the preparation of the national inventories for methane and nitrous oxide emissions from Indian agriculture. The Institute has also been actively engaged in research to understand the greenhouse gas emission mechanisms in detail and to reduce the uncertainties in the greenhouse gas emission estimates, leading to the development of strategies to reduce the emissions. Following are the highlights of the work done in this regard. Methane emission from rice fields Methanogenesis, the process responsible for methane formation, occurs in all anaerobic environments in which organic matter undergoes decomposition. Rice is generally grown in waterlogged condition, which creates an anoxic environment and is conducive to methane production by the strictly anaero bic methanogenic bacteria. Methanogens use organic compounds as electron donors for energy and synthesis of cellular constituents and, in turn, reduce C to CH4 Field and laboratory experiments were conducted at lAR! to (a) measure methane emission from rice ecosystems, (b) evaluate the effect of irrigation and fertilizer management on methane.

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Oak trees are a flowering plant. Oaks may be divided into two genera (sometimes referred to as subgenera) and a number of sections: Genus Quercus Oak at Schönderling Sect. Quercus (synonyms Lepidobalanus and Leucobalanus), the white oaks of Europe, Asia and North America. Styles are short; acorns mature in 6 months and taste sweet or slightly bitter; the inside of an acorn shell is hairless. The leaves mostly lack a bristle on their lobe tips, which are usually rounded. The type species is Quercus robur. Sect. Mesobalanus, Hungarian oak and its relatives of Europe and Asia. Styles long; acorns mature in about 6 months and taste bitter; the inside of this acorn’s shell is hairless. The section Mesobalanus is closely related to section Quercus and sometimes included in it. Sect. Cerris, the Turkey oak and its relatives of Europe and Asia. Styles long; acorn mature in 18 months and taste very bitter. The inside of the acorn’s shell is hairless. Its leaves typically have sharp lobe tips, with bristles at the lobe tip. Sect. Protobalanus, the canyon live oak and its relatives, in southwest United States and northwest Mexico. Styles short, acorns mature in 18 months and taste very bitter. The inside of the acorn shell appears woolly. Leaves typically have sharp lobe tips, with bristles at the lobe tip. Sect. Lobatae (synonym Erythrobalanus), the red oaks of North America, Central America and northern South America. Styles long; acorns mature in 18 months and taste very bitter. The inside of the acorn shell appears woolly. The actual nut is encased in a thin, clinging, papery skin. Leaves typically have sharp lobe tips, with spiny bristles at the lobe. Genus Cyclobalanopsis[edit] The ring-cupped oaks of eastern and southeastern Asia. Evergreen trees growing 10–40 m (33–131 ft) tall. They are distinct from subgenus Quercus in that they have acorns with distinctive cups bearing concrescent rings of scales; they commonly also have densely clustered acorns, though this does not apply to all of the species. IUCN, ITIS, Encyclopedia of Life and Flora of China treats Cyclobalanopsis as a distinct genus, but some taxonomists consider it a subgenus of Quercus. It contains about 150 species. Species of Cyclobalanopsis are common in the evergreen subtropical laurel forests which extend from southern Japan, southern Korea, and Taiwan across southern China and northern Indochina to the eastern Himalayas, in association with trees of genus Castanopsis and the laurel family (Lauraceae). Hybridization[edit] A hybrid white oak, possibly Quercus stellata × Q. muhlenbergii Interspecific hybridization is quite common among oaks but usually between species within the same section only and most common in the white oak group (subgenus Quercus, section Quercus; see List of Quercus species). Inter-section hybrids, except between species of sections Quercus and Mesobalanus, are unknown. Recent systematic studies appear to confirm a high tendency of Quercus species to hybridize because of a combination of factors. White oaks are unable to discriminate against pollination by other species in the same section. Because they are wind pollinated and they have weak internal barriers to hybridization, hybridization produces functional seeds and fertile hybrid offspring.[4] Ecological stresses, especially near habitat margins, can also cause a breakdown of mate recognition as well as a reduction of male function (pollen quantity and quality) in one parent species.[4][5] Frequent hybridization among oaks has consequences for oak populations around the world; most notably, hybridization has produced large populations of hybrids with copious amounts of introgression, and the evolution of new species.[6] Frequent hybridization and high levels of introgression have caused different species in the same populations to share up to 50% of their genetic information.[7] Having high rates of hybridization and introgression produces genetic data that often does not differentiate between two clearly morphologically distinct species, but instead differentiates populations.[8] Numerous hypotheses have been proposed to explain how oak species are able to remain morphologically and ecologically distinct with such high levels of gene flow, but the phenomenon is still largely a mystery to botanists. The Fagaceae, or beech family, to which the oaks belong, is a very slow evolving clade compared to other angiosperms,[9][10] and the patterns of hybridization and introgression in Quercus pose a great challenge to the concept of a species since a species is often defined as a group of “actually or potentially interbreeding populations which are reproductively isolated from other such groups.”[11] By this definition, many species of Quercus would be lumped together according to their geographic and ecological habitat, despite clear distinctions in morphology and, to a large extent, genetic data. Uses[edit] Heart of oak beams of the frame of Saint-Girons church in Monein, France Oak wood has a density of about 0.75 g/cm3 (0.43 oz/cu in) creating great strength and hardness. The wood is very resistant to insect and fungal attack because of its high tannin content. It also has very appealing grain markings, particularly when quartersawn. Oak planking was common on high status Viking longships in the 9th and 10th centuries. The wood was hewn from green logs, by axe and wedge, to produce radial planks, similar to quarter-sawn timber. Wide, quarter-sawn boards of oak have been prized since the Middle Ages for use in interior panelling of prestigious buildings such as the debating chamber of the House of Commons in London and in the construction of fine furniture. Oak wood, from Quercus robur and Quercus petraea, was used in Europe for the construction of ships, especially naval men of war, until the 19th century, and was the principal timber used in the construction of European timber-framed buildings. Today oak wood is still commonly used for furniture making and flooring, timber frame buildings, and for veneer production. Barrels in which wines, sherry, and spirits such as brandy, Irish whiskey, Scotch whisky and Bourbon whiskey are aged are made from European and American oak. The use of oak in wine can add many different dimensions to wine based on the type and style of the oak. Oak barrels, which may be charred before use, contribute to the colour, taste, and aroma of the contents, imparting a desirable oaky vanillin flavour to these drinks. The great dilemma for wine producers is to choose between French and American oakwoods. French oaks (Quercus robur, Q. petraea) give the wine greater refinement and are chosen for the best wines since they increase the price compared to those aged in American oak wood. American oak contributes greater texture and resistance to ageing, but produces more powerful wine bouquets. Oak wood chips are used for smoking fish, meat, cheeses,[12] and other foods. Sherry maturing in oak barrels Japanese oak is used in the making of professional drums from the manufacturer Yamaha Drums. The higher density of oak gives the drum a brighter and louder tone compared to traditional drum materials such as maple and birch. In hill states of India, besides fuelwood and timber, the local people use oak wood for making agricultural implements. The leaves are used as fodder during lean period and bedding for livestock.[13][14] A cross section of the trunk of a cork oak, Quercus suber The bark of the cork oak is used to produce wine stoppers (corks). This species grows in the Mediterranean Sea region, with Portugal, Spain, Algeria, and Morocco producing most of the world’s supply. Of the North American oaks, the northern red oak is the one of most prized of the red oak group for lumber, much of which is marketed as red oak regardless of the species of origin. It is not good for outdoor use due to its open capillaries unless the wood is treated. If the wood is properly treated with preservatives, it will not rot as quickly as cured white oak heartwood. The closed cell structure of white oaks prevent them from absorbing preservatives. With northern red oak, one can blow air through an end grain piece 10 inches long to make bubbles come out in a glass of water. These openings give fungus easy access when the finish deteriorates. Shumard oak, a member of the red oak subgenus, provides timber which is described as “mechanically superior” to Northern Red oak. Cherrybark oak is another type of red oak which provides excellent timber. The standard for the lumber of the white oak group – all of which is marketed as white oak – is the white oak. White oak is often used to make wine barrels. The wood of the deciduous pedunculate oak and sessile oak accounts for most of the European oak production, but evergreen species, such as Holm oak and cork oak also produce valuable timber. The bark of the White Oak is dried and used in medical preparations. Oak bark is also rich in tannin, and is used by tanners for tanning leather. Acorns are used for making flour or roasted for acorn coffee. Oak galls were used for centuries as a main ingredient in iron gall ink, a kind of manuscript ink, harvested at a specific time of year.[citation needed] In Korea, oak bark is used to make shingles for traditional roof construction. Oak has been listed as one of the 38 substances used to prepare Bach flower remedies,[15] a kind of alternative medicine promoted for its effect on health. However, according to Cancer Research UK, “there is no scientific evidence to prove that flower remedies can control, cure or prevent any type of disease, including cancer”.

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Kanha National Park –about kanha tiger reserve Kanha National Park is nestled in the Maikal range of Satpuras in Madhya Pradesh, the heart of India that forms the central Indian highlands.The national park is being popularized as the Tiger reserve and interestingly is being declared as one of the finest wildlife areas in the world. Spreading across two revenue districts the Mandala and the Kalaghat, Kanha National Park was declared a reserve forest in 1879 and revalued as a wildlife sanctuary in 1933. Its position was further upgraded to a national park in 1955. The Kanha National Park is spread across the area of 940 sq km in the Maikal chain of hills. By bringing up the buffer and core zone all together, the Kanha Tiger Reserve has the total area of 1945 sq km. The landscapes and the surrounding luxurious meadows along with the wooded strands and the dense maroons of forests offer magnanimous sightseeing experiences for the nature lovers. Making the land more beautiful and adorable, the crystal clear streams amidst the dense jungle cleanses the surroundings and makes the wildlife unrivalled. This vivacious land has been the source of inspiration for Rudyard Kipling, a famous writer for his outstanding creation- “The Jungle Book”. The Kanha National Park is the ideal home for wide ranges of wild creatures; right from the mighty tigers to the most populated Barasingha and the countless species of plants, birds, reptiles and insects. This reserve has fascinated many travelers around the corners of the world with its well developed infrastructure specially meant for them. The best location here to enjoy the most is the Bammi Dadar, also known as the Sunset Point.

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Pench National Park -Pench National park, nestling in the lower southern reaches of the satpuda hills is named after Pench river, meandering through the park from north to south. It is located on the southern boundary of Madhya Pradesh, bordering Maharashtra, in the districts of Seoni and Chhindwara.Pench National Park, comprising of 758 SQ Kms, out of which a core area of 299 sq km of Indira Priyadarshini Pench National Park and the Mowgli Pench Sanctuary and remaining 464 sq km of pench national park is the buffer area. The area of the present tiger reserve has a glorious history. A description of its natural wealth and richness occurs in Ain-i-Akbari. Pench Tiger Reserve and its neighbourhood is the original setting of Rudyard Kipling’s most famous work, The Jungle Book. Forests and Wildlife The undulating topography supports a mosaic of vegetation ranging from moist, sheltered valleys to open, dry deciduous forest. Over 1200 species of plants have been recorded from the area including several rare and endangered plants as well as plants of ethno-botanical importance. The area has always been rich in wildlife. It is dominated by fairly open canopy, mixed forests with considerable shrub cover and open grassy patches. The high habitat heterogeneity favours high population of Chital and Sambar. Pench tiger reserve has highest density of herbivores in India (90.3 animals per sq km). Salient Features: Area: Core : 292.85 sq. km. Buffer : 465.00 sq. km. Total : 757.85 sq. km. Longitude : 79007’45” E to 79022’30” Latitude: 21037’N to 21050’30” E Altitude : 580-675 Mt. Above MSL Rainfall : 1397 mm Seasons : Winter : November to February Summer : March to mid-June Monsoon : mid-June to September Temperature: Minimum : 3.1°F Maximum : 47°F.

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Gurves that are quite out of the ordinary. The Gir National Park is where the last surviving population of the Asiatic lion is to be found and the Little Rann of Kutch, the home of the Indian wild ass. Located in the South west of the Saurashtra Peninsula, the Gir National Park is a haven to about 300 Asiatic lions. The 1,412.14 sq. km. Park has a rugged terrain and the steep rocky hillsides are recovered in mixed deciduous forests. There are teak, ber, flame of the forest and banyan trees. Streams run through the deep ravines. The lions, a smaller more compact version of their African cousins, are best viewed at dawn or dusk when they are on the move. Gir has also nearly 210 leopards and numerous chital, nilgai, chinkara, the four horned antelope and wild boar. Marsh crocodiles are often seen along its rivers. The forest is rich in bird life and the paradise fly catcher, black headed cuckoo shrike, pied woodpecker, Bonelli’s eagle, crested serpent eagle, painted sand grouse, bush quail and grey partridge are among the variety that is found here. Three unusual reserves, the Nalsarover Lake and Sanctuary, where large numbers of water-birds can be seen; the bare saline flats of the Rann of Kutch, incredibly the home of the Indian wild ass and the spectacular Flamingo island where nesting colonies of flamingoes are to be seen make Gujarat an exciting place for wildlife enthusiasts. Topographic Variations Gir exhibits great variation in topography, including flat, gently undulating to hilly tracts; and elevation ranges between 152m at Vasadhol to 530m above the sea level at Nandivela hills. The Gir forest area is extremely rugged and hilly. Slopes are generally moderate, hills are of volcanic origin and the soil varies from one area to another. While most of the soil is generally black, the other types one may come across will be red, yellowish, white clay and sandy. Each soil type supports a different kind of plant life and hence the wildlife too differs based on vegetation types. Climate Out of the three prominent seasons of summer, winter and monsoon, the longest stretching is the summer, in which the average minimum and maximum temperature ranges between 10ºC to nearly 45ºC. April and May are the hottest months. The erratic monsoon is eagerly awaited, with its active period between middle of June and September. The maximum rainfall in the area is recorded around 1,866 mm and the minimum recorded being 199mm. The water always remains a critical factor in the well being of the forest. At times the waterholes are required to be replenished through water tankers from outside at great expense. Around 350 of such waterholes are maintained by the park staff. River And Water Courses Gir has seven main rivers. They are Datardi, Shingoda, Macchundri, Saraswati, Raval, Ardak, and Hiran of which only Hiran has perennial flow, the rest being seasonal. Many of these seasonal streams have permanent waterholes, called ‘Ghunas’ and ‘Virdas’, which provide precious water to animals and birds. Gir also has four dams and that has made possible to store water in large reservoirs. Hiran River is the main lifeline of Western Gir. It originates from Kansa hills of Gir, and flows close to Sasan, Dadhia, Rajasthali, Gidadiya ness and close to Talala village. It meets Sarasvati and Kapila rivers near Prabhas Patan to reach the Arabian Sea. Sarasvati originates from Dipada-No-Dungar in Gir to meet Hiran hillocks of Dhali Bakini Dungari near Chanchai hills. It crosses Gir near Kardapan, Mandvi, Kodila, Ghodavadi and near Una Navabundar and meets the Arabian Sea. Shingoda River originates from the Chasa hillocks and Kadi Vadli hillocks and crosses Gir near Buntel, Chhodavadi, Jamwala and Kansaria-No-Ness. It meets the Arabian Sea near Kodinar. The Dataedi river passes close to the Jamwala ness to meet at Jamwal, while the river Raval originates from Dhundhia hills of Gir, goes to Una and near Manekpor, meets the Arabian Sea. Gir Vegetation Vegetation in Gir can be looked at in four ways. The first is the Teak forest and nearly half of the protected area has this kind of a habitat. The main tree species that occupy this habitat are Khair, Sadad, Timru, Babul, Amla, Moledi, Dhavdo, Kadayo and Bahedo. The non-Teak forests, which comprise the remaining forest consists of tree species like the Khair, Dhavdo, Sadad, Timru, Amla, Moledi, Kadayo, Salai, Simal, Khakhro, Ber and Asundro. A distinct belt of vegetation is found along the main rivers and streams. Species like the Jambu, Karanj, Umro, Vad, Kalam, Charal, Sirus and Amli are found here. These trees are mostly broad leaved and evergreen, giving the area a cool shade and the moisture content. Finally, Prosopis and Casuarina have been planted in the coastal border as part of the aforestation plan. Modad, Kakad, Kalam, Garmalo, Limdo, Apto, Dudhlo, Siras, and Dhraman are trees that form the top part of the forest. The understory is formed by Mindhol, Bordi, Kanthar, Hingori, Karamda and Antedi. Ground cover has herbaceous growth of Desmodium, Tephrosia, Indigofera and Vernonia. Grasses mostly include Bhagoru, Ratad, Zinjavo, Saniyar and Kagadiyu. Important ‘Lianas’ (woody climbers) include Khervelio Baval, and Malvelo. Around Gir there are some grasslands, locally known as ‘Vidis’. Reserve Vidis have better palatable grass species and are well protected. The moist, shady riverine habitats show presence of more evergreen type of trees like Kalam, Sajad, Karanj, Jambu, Amli, Umbro, to name a few. Flora Vegetation in Gir can be looked at in four ways. The first is the Teak forest and nearly half of the protected area has this kind of a habitat. The main tree species that occupy this habitat are Khair, Sadad, Timru, Babul, Amla, Moledi, Dhavdo, Kadayo and Bahedo. The non-Teak forests, which comprise the remaining forest consists of tree species like the Khair, Dhavdo, Sadad, Timru, Amla, Moledi, Kadayo, Salai, Simal, Khakhro, Ber and Asundro. A distinct belt of vegetation is found along the main rivers and streams. Species like the Jambu, Karanj, Umro, Vad, Kalam, Charal, Sirus and Amli are found here. These trees are mostly broad leaved and evergreen, giving the area a cool shade and the moisture content. Finally, Prosopis and Casuarina have been planted in the coastal border as part of the aforestation plan. Fauna The Gir national park is a heaven to about 300 Asiatic lions. The Lion, Panther Leo, inhabits the forest of Gir in the Saurashtra peninsula, attracting sixty thousand visitors to this sanctuary of Gujarat every year. Gir today is the only place in the world, outside Africa, where the lion can be seen in its natural habitat. The Asiatic lion is slightly smaller than its African cousin, nevertheless, a large male lion of the Gir is quite a sight to behold. The best way to observe the big cats is, of course, in their natural surroundings, at dawn and dusk, when they are on the prowl. Wildlife viewing in the Girs is best done, by driving around the forest.

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