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Chapter 2 - Narak My Lord you are the creator of music in...

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We share this planet with millions of other living beings, starting from micro-organisms and bacteria, lichens to banyan trees, elephants and blue whales. This entire habitat that we live in has immense biodiversity. We humans along with all living organisms form a complex web of ecological system in which we are only a part and very much dependent on this system for our own existence. For example, the plants, animals and micro-organisms re-create the quality of the air we breathe, the water we drink and the soil that produces our food without which we cannot survive. Forests play a key role in the ecological system as these are also the primary producers on which all other living beings depend. Flora and Fauna in India If you look around, you will be able to find that there are some animals and plants which are unique in your area. In fact, India is one of the world’s richest countries in terms of its vast array of biological diversity, and has nearly 8 per cent of the total number of species in the world (estimated to be 1.6 million). This is possibly twice or thrice the number yet to be discovered. You have already studied in detail about the extent and variety of forest and wildlife resources in India. You may have realised the importance of these resources in our daily life. These diverse flora and fauna are so well integrated in our daily life that we take these for granted. But, lately, they are under great stress mainy due to insensitivity to our environment. Narak! My Lord, you are the creator of music in the world of Lepchas Oh Narak! My Lord, let me dedicate myself to you Let me gather your music from the springs, the rivers, the mountains, the forests, the insects and the animals Let me gather your music from the sweet breeze and offer it to you Source: Lepcha folk song from northern part of West Bengal Biodiversity or Biological Diversity is immensely rich in wildlife and cultivated species, diverse in form and function but closely integrated in a system through multiple network of interdependencies. Over 81,000 species of fauna and 47,000 species of flora are found in this country so far? Of the estimated 47,000 plant species, about 15,000 flowering species are endemic (indigenous) to India. Find out stories prevalent in your region which are about the harmonious relationship between human beings and nature. Some estimates suggest that at least 10 per cent of India’s recorded wild flora and 20 per cent of its mammals are on the threatened list. Many of these would now be categorised as ‘critical’, that is on the verge of extinction like the cheetah, pink-headed duck, mountain quail, forest spotted owlet, and plants like madhuca insignis (a wild
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variety of mahua) and hubbardia heptaneuron ,(a species of grass). In fact, no one can say how many species may have already been lost. Today, we only talk of the larger and more visible animals and plants that have become extinct but what about smaller animals like insects and plants?
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