The Eastern Ghats spread across Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, has lost almost 16% of its forest area over a span of 100 years, a recently published study shows.
The forest cover, which was 43.4% of the total geographical area in 1920, has reduced drastically to 27.5% in 2015. Over the years, about 8% of forest area was converted into agricultural fields, while about 4% converted into scrub or grassland.
They also found that the number of patches of land had increased indicating fragmentation. In 1920 there were about 1,379 patches which kept steadily increasing over the years reaching a whopping number of 9,457 in 2015.
Previous studies have shown that the Eastern Ghats is home to more than 2,600 plant species and this habitat fragmentation and destruction can pose a serious threat to the endemic plants.
While agriculture was the main reason for deforestation during the early years, post 1975, mining and other developmental activities such as the construction of dams, roads were the culprits.
The Eastern Ghats are often ignored. Even stakeholders are interested only in the Western Ghats and Himalayan studies. But they need to understand that the Eastern Ghats are also ecologically important. They play an important role in the monsoon break of both North-East and South-West Monsoon.
There are also many tribal communities in this region and the government needs to shift its focus and fund more studies and monitoring programmes in this region.
(This RC is from The Hindu Newspaper)
Q1. Where can’t you find the Eastern Ghats?
- Tamil Nadu
- Andhra Pradesh
Q2. Main reason for deforestation in recent years was?
- Mining and Developmental Activities
Q3. What can be the best Title for this passage?
- Western Ghats Conservation
- Conserving Eastern Ghats
- Deteriorating Eastern Ghats
- None of these
Answers: 1-A, 2-B, 3-C