Post Mortem

Forests are important for sustenance

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 7/8/2019 12:36:22 PM IST

 Forests are a rich resource of our planet, the Earth. Forests have a great floral diversity. There are trees, creepers, climbers, grasses, bushes, shrubs and herbs that make up the vegetation in forests. Deforestation refers to the felling of trees and clearing of vegetation of a forest. Forests are important habitats for a large number of wildlife species. A wide variety of animals, birds, reptiles and insects inhabit forests. In the forests you can hear the roaring of the lion, the trumpeting of the elephant, the chattering of monkeys, and the sweet calls and songs of birds. You can see colourful birds, beautiful butterflies flitting around and small insects and reptiles. For all these wildlife species the forest is their home.

The food chain is in balance with the carnivores and herbivores living in the forest. While there are large carnivorous mammals like tigers, lions and leopards, there are other smaller carnivores like hyenas, foxes and jackals that live in the forests. There are also the scavenger birds like the vulture, hawk and eagle that feed on carcasses in forests. Herbivores like the deer and elephant that depend on the trees and vegetation for their food also live in forests. The herbivores also become food for the carnivores. When forests are disturbed and wildlife killed by man, there is disequilibrium in the food chain that causes ecological disturbances.

Man too depends on forests for his food and livelihood. When forests are cleared, man’s food supply, and the livelihoods of communities that live in the vicinity of forests are adversely affected. Forests are important in maintaining the hydrological cycle on the planet. Rainfall patterns are normal when forests are left undisturbed. Global warming and climate change are also due to deforestation. Despite forests being vital to the health of ecosystems, man has been clearing forests. This creates land that is used for other purposes such as building of homes or factories, practicing cultivation, or laying of roads and railway lines. 

Deforestation is the result of man’s insatiable greed for more and more goods and services, derived from limited non-renewable resources. It leads to an unhealthy and unsustainable environment. So while the goals of modern development of a consumerist society are met, the deforestation disturbs the ecosystem. Forests are a great natural wealth, and if we wish to treasure it we need to protect it by putting an end to deforestation.

(N. Kalyani)

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