Class 9 Geography Chapter 5 Important Questions Natural Vegetation and Wildlife

Class 9 Social Science Geography Chapter 5 Natural Vegetation and Wildlife important questions and answers cover the major concepts of the chapter. Solving answers of these important questions help students to revise the Chapter most competently. We prepared these questions with PDF as per the latest NCERT book and CBSE syllabus. Practising these questions before the exam will ensure excellent marks in the exam.

Natural Vegetation and Wildlife Class 9 Important Questions and Answers

1. Give a brief description of tropical evergreen forests.

Answer: Tropical evergreen forests are found in areas receiving heavy rainfall of over 200 cm, well distributed throughout the year. They are also known as rainforests. The warm, wet climate throughout the year supports luxuriant vegetation of all kinds including trees, shrubs and creepers. The trees grow very tall, reaching a height of 60 metres. As the trees grow very close to each other they form a thick canopy. The different types of vegetation form a multi-layered structure. The climate supports large number of broad-leafed trees of different species. Ebony, mahogany, rosewood, rubber, cinchona are commercially important trees. These trees do not shed their leaves at the same time as there is no distinct dry season. This makes the forests evergreen as they retain their green look throughout the year.

2. What are the characteristics of the trees of deciduous forests?

Answer: Deciduous forests are found in areas receiving rainfall of 70 to 200 cm with a distinct dry season. They are also known as Monsoon Forests. Trees of this forest type shed their leaves for about six to eight weeks in dry summer. So they have a distinct period for shedding their leaves. The trees have widespread out branches like the neem and mango. Leaves are smaller in size than that of the rain forests to reduce transpiration. The trees also have less height than evergreen trees. The trees are prized for their hardwood commercially valuable timber is collected from these forests. These forests are more open and less luxuriant and trees are more spread out. On the basis of availability of water, deciduous forests are divided into moist deciduous, e.g. teak, sal, shisham, sandalwood, and dry deciduous, e.g. sal, peepal, neem, palas.

3. Write a short note on the flora and fauna of India.
Why has India a rich heritage of flora and fauna? 

Answer: The term flora is used to denote plants and the term fauna is used to denote animal species of a particular region or period. India is rich in flora and fauna and is marked by great biodiversity. With about 47,000 plant species, India occupies tenth place in the world and fourth in Asia in plant diversity. 15,000 flowering plants are endemic or indigenous to India. They account for 6 per cent of world’s total number of flowering plants. A large number of nonflowering plants like ferns, algae and fungi are also found in India. Plants of all climatic regions ranging from tropical to Tundra are found in India. India is rich in fauna or animal life also. It has more than 89,000 species of animals and 1200 species of birds. 13 percent of the world’s total number of birds are found in India. 5 to 8 percent of the world’s amphibians are found in India. It has 2500 species of fishes in its marine and freshwaters. This accounts for nearly 12 percent of the world’s stock. India is the only country in the world which has both lions and tigers.

4. Distinguish between extinct and endangered species.

Answer: Extinct species are those species of flora and fauna which are no more surviving. Even after searches of known or likely areas where they may occur, they are no more found. A species may be extinct from an area, region, country, continent or the entire earth. Asiatic cheetah and pink-head duck are extinct in India. Dodo and dinosaurs are extinct from the entire earth. Endangered species are those species of flora or fauna which are in the danger of extinction. They have declined in number at an alarming rate. If the negative factors that have reduced their number is not checked, their survival is difficult. Black buck, Indian rhino, Indian wild ass, Sangai and Indian tiger are endangered species in India. Black Panda is an endangered species throughout the world.

5. Give a brief description of temperate forests.

Answer: Temperate forests are found in areas with cool climate. In India, temperate forests are found in the mountainous regions of the north. Here, a rise in altitude corresponds with a fall in temperature and supports the growth of temperate forests. The wet temperate type of forests are found in areas with elevation between 1000 and 2000 metres rainfall is high in these areas. So, evergreen broad-leafed hardwood trees predominate these areas. Oak and chestnut are important species of these temperate forests. At elevations between 1500 and 3000 metres, temperate forests containing coniferous trees are found. These forests cover mostly the southern slopes of the Himalayas and places having high altitude in northeast India. The trees of these forests are tall, straight and conical in shape. The leaves are narrow and needle shaped and seeds are found in hard cones. Pine, deodar, silver fir, spruce and cedar are important trees found in these forests.

6. Discuss the type of vegetation found in a thorn forest.
Describe any three features of thorn forests. 

Answer: Thorn forests are found in regions with less than 70 cm of rainfall. This type of vegetation is found in northwestern India, in the desert and semi-arid areas. The vegetation consists of low and open forests with short thorny tress and thorny bushes, scrubs and grasses in between. Trees are scattered and have long roots, penetrating deep into the soil to tap groundwater. The leaves are thick and small to reduce evaporation and are often transformed into spines and thorns to minimise evaporation. The cacti growing in the deserts have thick succulent stems to conserve water. Acacias, palms, euphorbias, khair, babul and cacti are the main plant species of the thorn forests.

7. What are dry deciduous forests? How do they differ from moist deciduous forests?
 Write three main characteristics of tropical deciduous forest? 

Answer: The tropical deciduous or monsoon forests are sub-divided into dry deciduous and moist deciduous forests on the basis of availability of water. The dry deciduous forests are found in areas receiving rainfall between 100 cm and 70 cm. Teak, sal, peepal, neem, palas are important trees of these forests. In contrast, the moist deciduous forests are found in areas receiving rainfall between 200 cm and 100 cm. The trees of both the dry deciduous and moist deciduous forests shed their leaves during a distinct dryperiod in summer. But the trees of the dry deciduous forests are bare for a longer period as their dry periods lasts for more time than that of the moist deciduous forests. The dry deciduous forests are more open and less dense. They do not have bamboo thickets like the moist deciduous forests. Large parts of the dry deciduous forests have been cleared for cultivation or used for grazing. Both forests have commercially important hardwood trees. But timber from the moist forests are of better quality and in larger quantity. Teak, sal, shisham, sandalwood, mulberry and bamboos are important species of the moist forests.

8. Distinguish between a tropical evergreen forest and a dry deciduous forest.

Answer: The points of distinction between a tropical evergreen forest and a dry deciduous forest are as follows:

Tropical Evergreen ForestTropical Deciduous Forest
Tropical Evergreen Forests are very denseTropical Deciduous Forests are less dense compared to Tropical Evergreen forests.
Tropical Evergreen Forests are found in the regions receiving more than 200 cm of rainfall.Tropical Deciduous Forests are found in the region having rainfall in the range of 70 cm – 200 cm.
The trees of the tropical evergreen forests do not shed their leaves at the same time as there is no particular season for shedding their leavesThe trees of the deciduous forests shed their leaves for about six to eight months during the dry season.
Tropical Evergreen forests are predominantly found in the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, MaharashtraTropical Deciduous forests are predominantly found in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha.
Some of the tree species found in Tropical Evergreen Forests are Ebony, Mahogany, Rosewood, etcSome of the tree species found in Tropical Deciduous forests are Teak, Sal, Sandalwood, etc.

9. Describe the main objectives of the Project Tiger and the Project Rhino and their effect
 on the wildlife in India.

Answer: The Project Tiger and Project Rhino are two well-known wildlife conservation projects. They have been undertaken to protect the Indian tiger and the one-horned rhino of India which are endangered species.

Their objectives are as follows:
(i) Protect the endangered species from poaching, hunting and illegal trading.
(ii) Save the natural habitats of these animals so that they can breed naturally and multiply in numbers.
(iii) Maintain a survey of the number of existing tigers and rhinos. These well publicised projects have played a great role in protecting the endangered animals. Under the projects government has undertaken steps to save and protect the existing animals by banning hunting and poaching.

10. What is an ecosystem? How do the human beings influence the ecology of a region?

Answer: All the plants and animals occur in distinct groups of communities in areas having similar climatic conditions. All the plants and animals in an area are interdependent and interrelated to each other in their physical environment called the ecosystem. Human beings are an integral rapt of the ecosystem. They utilise the vegetation and wildlife. The greed of human beings leads to over utilisation of these resources. They cut the trees and kill animals creating an ecological imbalance.

11. Describe the kind of vegetation and wildlife found in the Ganga-Brahmaputra delta.

Answer: The Ganga-Brahmaputra delta is covered by mangrove forests, mainly Sundari trees which provide durable hard timber. Palm, coconut, keora, agar also grow in some parts of the delta. Royal Bengal tiger is the famous animal found here. Turtles, crocodiles, gharials and snakes are also found in these forests.

12. What are the steps taken by the Government to protect flora and fauna in India? Write any three.

Answer: To protect the flora and fauna of the country, the government of India has taken many steps, as stated below :
(i) Fourteen biosphere reserves have been set up in the country at different places to protect flora and fauna. Out of these four have been included in the world network of biosphere reserves.
(ii) Project tiger, Project Rhino, Project Great Indian Bustard and many other ecodevelopmental projects have been introduced.
(iii) 89 National parks, 49 wildlife sanctuaries and zoological gardens are set up to take care of our natural heritage.

13. In which region are the thorny forests and scrubs found in India? Mention any two characteristics of such type of vegetation?

Answer: The thorny forests and scrubs in India are found in regions with less than 70 cm of rainfall. This type of vegetation is found in the North-Western part of the country including semi-arid areas of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. Acacias, palms euphorbias and cacti are the main plant species.

The two important characteristics of such type of vegetation are as follows :
(i) Trees are scattered and have long roots penetrating deep into the soil in order to get moisture.
(ii) The stems of the trees are succulent to conserve water. Leaves are mostly thick and small to minimize evaporation.

14. Explain the different biodiversity of India.

Answer: India is one of the twelve mega biodiversity countries of the world. With about 47,000 plant species India occupies tenth place in the world and fourth in Asia in plant diversity. There are about 15000 flowering plants in India which account for 6 percent of the world’s total number of flowering plants. The country has many non-flowering plants such as ferns, algae and fungi. Besides, India has 89,000 species of animals as wells a rich variety of fish in its fresh and marine water.

15. Name the two sub-type of Tropical deciduous forests. State any two features of each type also.

Answer: The two sub-types of Tropical deciduous forests are (i) Moist Deciduous and (ii) Dry Deciduous type. These divisions are made on the basis of the availability of water.

(i) Moist deciduous forests are found in regions receiving rainfall between 200 and 100 cm. The main characteristics of vegetation are:
(a) thick cover of forest, characterized by climbers and epiphytes. Bamboo and ferns are common.
(b) All the trees are evergreen. They do not shed their leaves at a time. Therefore, the forest will remain green all the year round.

(ii) The dry deciduous forests are found in areas having rainfall between 100 cm and 70 cm. The principal characteristics of dry deciduous forests are:
(a) These forest shed their leaves during early spring or summer when sufficient moisture is not available. The forest appears bare and brown during summer.
(b) The forest is more open in which grow important trees like teak, sal peepal, neem.

16. Name the vegetation found at high altitude in our country and mention animals are found in this region.

Answer: At higher altitudes, generally more than 3600 metres above sea level, temperate forest and grass lands give way to the Alpine vegetation. Silver fir, junipers, pines and birches are the common trees. These trees are progressively stunted as they approach the snow line. The common animals found in these forests are Kashmir stag, spotted deer, wild sheep, Jack rabbit, Tibetan antelope, yak, snow leopard, squirrels, shaggyhorn, wild ibex, bear and rare red panda, sheep and goats with thick hair.

17. How are forests useful to us? Give Examples.
How are forests important for human beings? Explain.

Answer: Forests provide to man food, fibre, fodder, timber, fuel wood and hosts of other essential items. It provides raw materials to industry and transport. Forest is a renewable resource and is widely used as domestic fuel in Third World countries. Forest also influences the environment by modifying local climate, controlling soil erosion and deposits humus in the soil, regulating stream flows. Minor forest products provide livelihood to many forest dwellers. Besides, forest is the home of various wild animals and birds. It offers recreation to man and boosts the Tourism industry.

18. What do you mean by natural vegetation? What is their importance?

Answer: Natural vegetation refers to a plant community which has grown naturally without human aid and has been left undisturbed by humans for a long time. This is also known as a virgin vegetation. Cultivated crops and fruits, orchards form also part of vegetation but not natural vegetation. The importance of natural vegetation lies on to modify local climate, control soil erosion, regulate stream flow, support a variety of industries, provide livelihood for many communities and offer panoramic view for recreation. It controls windforce, regulate temperature and causes rainfall. It also provides humus on the soil and shelter to the wild life. India’s natural vegetation has undergone drastic changes. Still, it holds key position in areas of inaceessable hilly regions and Marusthali.

19. Describe the major vegetation types found in the Himalayas.
Why does mountain vegetation change with altitude ? Explain with example.

Answer: In mountainous areas, the decrease in temperature with increase in altitude leads to corresponding changes in natural vegetation. As such, there is a succession of vegetation and a distinct arrangement ranging from the tropical to the tundra region in the montane forests of hilly and mountainous regions of the Himalayas. Tropical evergreen forests with rosewood, ebony and ironwood are found in rainier parts of the foothills and in higher altitudes upto above 1000 metres. Tropical deciduous forests of sal, teak, palas and bamboo are found in the foothills upto a height of 1000 metres.

Wet temperate forests with evergreen broad-leafed trees like oaks and chestnut predominate between a height of 1000 and 2000 metres. Temperate coniferous forests with softwood trees like pine, deodas silver fir, spruce and cedar grow at altitude between 1500 and 3000 metres. They are followed by temperate grasslands at higher elevation. At high altitude of more than 3600 metres temperate forests and grasslands give way to alpine vegetation. Silver fir, junipers, pines and birches are common trees. As they approach the snowline they get progressively stunted. Shrubs, scrubs and then alpine grasslands are found at higher elevations. At still higher altitudes in shaded slopes, moss and lichens, typical of Tundra vegetation, grow.

20. Describe how rainfall and relief influence the vegetation of an area.

Answer: Factors like rainfall and relief influence the natural vegetation of an area

Rainfall: Climate plays an important role in determining the natural vegetation of a region.

Rainfall determines the type, character and extent of vegetation in an area. Areas of heavy rainfall have dense vegetation with rich forests while arid areas and semi-arid areas with less rainfall have thorny and scrub vegetation. Areas with more than 200 cm of annual rainfall have tropical evergreen rainforests. Tropical moist deciduous forests are found in areas with 100 to 200 cm of rainfall. Tropical dry deciduous forests are found in areas receiving rainfall between 100 cm and 70 cm. In regions with less than 70 cm of rainfall the natural vegetation consists of thorny trees and bushes.

Relief: The type of vegetation found in an area depends upon the relief or landform of the area. The fertile level lands of plains are generally devoted to agriculture. Much of the natural vegetation is cleared or altered in such areas. Grasslands and woodlands develop in areas with undulating and rough terrains. Mountainous areas have succession of vegetation types according to the altitude of the area.

Relief and Rainfall. Windward slopes of Western Ghats are covered with thick forests because they receive heavy rainfall. The eastern slopes do not have thick forests because they are on the leeward side and receive less rainfall.

21. Give a brief account about the wildlife of India.

Answer: Our country, India, has a rich natural heritage of fauna – 89,000 animal species, 1200 species of birds, 2500 species of marine and freshwater fish and 5 to 8 per cent of the world’s amphibians, reptiles and mammals are found in India.

The wildlife in the different natural habitats are varied and rich. They include :

(i) The majestic Indian lions found in the Gir forest of Gujarat, the last remaining habitat of Asiatic Lion. India is the only country in the world that has both lions and tigers.

(ii) Tigers found in the national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in the forests of Madhya Pradesh, the Sunderbans of West Bengal and Himalayan region.

(iii) The large Asian elephants of the hot wet forests of Assam, Karnataka and Kerala.

(iv) The endangered one-horned rhinoceroses found in the swampy and marshy lands of Assam and West Bengal.

(v) Indian wild ass of the Rann of Kachchh.

(vi) Camels found in Thar desert.

(vii) Ladakh’s freezing high altitudes are home to yak, the shaggy horned wild ox, the Tibetan antelope, the bharal (blue sheep), wild sheep and the kiang (Tibetan wild ass), ibex, bear, snow leopard and rare red panda are found in some areas of the Himalayas.

(viii) Indian bison, nilgai, chousingha (four-horned antelope), gazel, different species of deer and several species of monkeys are found in India.

(ix) Many colourful birds, including peacock which is our national bird, are found in India.

(x) Turtles, crocodiles and gharials are found in rivers, lakes and coastal areas. Snakes like cobras and others are found in different areas.

22. Why are some of the animals and plants endangered in India? How can they be protected?
What steps have been taken by the government to protect flora and fauna of the country.

Write three measures to protect wildlife. 

Write any three measures to conserve ecosystem.

Answer: Endangered species are those species of flora and fauna which are in the danger of extinction. In India, about 1,300 plant species are endangered. Quite a few animal species, like the one horned rhino, Indian tiger, Indian wild ass, black buck, red panda, Asiatic elephants, Indian bustard, are endangered.

The main causes that have lead to threat upon. India’s flora and fauna, endangering many species are :
(i) Hunting and poaching for illegal trade of animal tusks, horns, bones, skin, etc.
(ii) Reckless cutting of forests to bring land under cultivation and settlement have destructed the natural habitats of wild creatures and wiped off valuable species of trees.
(iii) Pollution due to chemical and industrial waste, acid deposits, have brought down numbers of plants and animals.
(iv) Introduction of alien species that may be hostile to existing species. Understanding the grave threat, conservation of forests and wildlife have been taken up.

Government, NGOs, wildlife organisations and volunteers have taken up activities to protect wildlife and plants. They include :
(i) Fourteen biosphere reserves to protect biodiversity.
(ii) Project Tiger, Project Rhino, Project Great Indian Bustard and other eco-development projects to protect endangered species.
(iii) Setting up of 89 National Parks, 492 Wildlife Sanctuaries, Zoological Gardens, Protected and Reserved Forests, Botanical Gardens to protect the endangered species along with other types of flora and fauna.
(iv) Wildlife Protection Acts to safeguard wildlife.
(v) Affortestation, social programmes and awareness campaigns can also help to protect endangered species.

23. Write a note on the formation and distribution of mangrove forests in India.
Mention two regions in India where you will find mangrove forests. What are the features of the mangrove forests?

Answer: The mangrove or tidal forests are found in coastal areas under the influence of tides. The deltaic areas with clayey soil and saline water during tides have mangrove forests. The plants of these areas have adapted themselves to the alteration of freshwater and saline water as well as to the sticky mud and silt. The roots of these plants are submerged under water. They have breathing roots protruding on the surface. The trees have stilt like roots to support the trunk of the tree in the wet soil.

The forest are dense with hardwood trees like sundari, keora, agar, palm and coconut in some parts. The mangrove forests are found in :

(i) The Ganga-Brahmaputra delta which are known as Sunderbans on account of the sundari trees that predominate here. It provides durable hard timber.

(ii) Deltas of the rivers Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna and Kaveri on the east coast of India.

24. Write a note on the importance of biosphere reserve. What are its objectives?

Answer: Biosphere reserves are a series of multipurpose protected areas linked through a global network, intended to demonstrate the relationship between conservation and development. Their sole purpose is conservation of flora and fauna.

The biosphere reserves play an important role in maintaining the ecological balance in the ecosystem. In the biosphere, all living beings are interrelated and interdependent on each other for survival. This life supporting system is called ecosystem. Vegetation and wildlife are two valuable resources of the biosphere. The biosphere reserves are set up to protect them and maintain diversity.

The main objectives of the biosphere reserves are :

(i) to protect and conserve the biological diversity, i.e., preserving plant and animal species of the area in natural forms.

(ii) to protect flora and fauna from over-exploitation.

(iii) to undertake research and experimentation in forestry.

(iv) to save endangered species and prevent extinction of valuable species. There are fourteen such biosphere reserves in India.

25. Give the main causes for depletion of biodiversity in India. (CBSE 2010)

Answer: The varied climate and landform of India support of rich variety of natural vegetation. But only about 23 per cent of the land area of India is at present under forests. It is far lower than the desired 33 per cent outlined in the National Forest Policy.

The main reasons behind the reduction of the natural vegetation of India are as follows:

(i) Deforestation. Large areas of forests have been recklessly cleared by man due to the following reason :

(a) to meet the growing demand for cultivated land,
(b) to acquire land for setting up industries,
(c) to provide land for settlement and urbanisation.

(ii) Shifting cultivation in hilly areas of northeast and Central India.

(iii) Mining. Large areas are cleared of natural vegetation for the purpose of mining.

(iv) Constructional activities like building of dams submerge areas of valuable forests and destruct the natural vegetation.

(v) Natural hazards like forest fires and landslides affect natural vegetation in hilly areas. The Tsunami of 2004.

(vi) Cyclonic storms affect plant cover of the areas where they strike. Overgrazing of pastures.

(vii) Wiped off valuable rainforests in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. These above mentioned human-made and natural factors have accelerated the process of extinction of natural vegetation in India.

26. What type of dangers does the wildlife sanctuaries of India face? How can they be protected better? Write a brief note on each.

Answer: 492 Wildlife Sanctuaries have been set up in India to protect and conserve wildlife. The government has demarcated them and maintains them. But certain external factors and loopholes in internal management of these areas creates problems and affect their purpose.

Dangers faced by wildlife sanctuaries of India are as follows :

(i) Poaching or illegal killing of animals for trade of their hides, skins, tusk, horns and bones.

(ii) Hunting of animals for game.

(iii) Killing of animals by villagers in instances of migration of animals to inhabitated areas during floods. In North Bengal often elephants move out from the forests to cultivated fields and are killed by the villagers.

(iv) Shortage of trained personnel to take care of the animals within the sanctuaries. This leads to death of sick animals.

(v) Shortage of funds for management of the sanctuaries.

The wildlife sanctuaries can be protected better in the following ways :

(i) Strict vigilance of the areas within the sanctuaries.

(ii) Enforcing strict measures against people encroaching the wildlife sanctuaries without proper permission.

(iii) Making laws against poaching and hunting more strict and punishing people who dare to destroy the sanctity of the wildlife sanctuaries.

(iv) Training the personnel to take proper care of animals within the wildlife sanctuary.

(v) Creating a proper, protected boundary for the wildlife sanctuaries.

(vi) Creating public awareness regarding the need of wildlife sanctuaries.