Flora And Fauna
Forests constitute about 12.8% of the total geographical area of the state.
The Himalayan region and the terai and bhabhar area in the
Gangetic plain have most of the forests. The Vindhyan forests consists
mostly of scrub. The districts of Jaunpur, Ghazipur and Ballia have no
forest land while 31 other district have less forest area.
Near the snow line there are forests of rhododendrons
and betula (bhojpatra). Below them are forests of silver fir, spruce,
deodar, chir and oak. On the foothills and in the terai bhabhar area grow
the valuable sal and gigantic haldu. Along river courses the Shisham grows
in abundance. The Vindhyan forests have dhak, teak, mahua, salai, chironji
and tendu. The hill forests also have a large variety of medicinal herbs.
Sal, chir, deodar and sain yield building timber and
railway sleepers. Chir also yield resin, the chief source of resin and
turpentine. Sisso is mostly used for furniture while Khair yields Kattha
which is taken with betel leaves or pan. Semal and gutel are used as matchwood
and Kanju in the plywood industry. Babul provides the principal tanning
material of the state. Some of the grasses such as baib and bamboo are
raw material for the paper industry. Tendu leaves are used in making bidis
and cane is used in baskets and furniture.
According to an authoritative computation, there are
species of woody plants, including trees, shrubs and woody climbers. Species
of grasses have been collected from the Gangetic plain. Herbs include
medicinal plants like rauwolfia serpentina, Viala serpens, podophyllum,
hexandrum and ephecra gerardiana.
Corresponding to its variegated topography and climate,
the state has a wealth of animal life. Its avifauna is among the richest
in the country. Widespread in the jungles of Uttar Pradesh except in the
higher reaches of the Himalayas, are found the tiger, leopard, wild bear,
sloth bear, chital, sambhar, jackal, porcupine, jungle cat, hare, squirrel,
monitor, lizard and fox. The most common birds include the crow, pigeon,
dove, jungle fowl, black partridge, house sparrow, peafowl, blue jay,
parakeet, kite, myna, quail, bulbul, kingfisher and woodpecker.
Certain species are found in special habitats. The
elephant is confined to the terai and the foothills. The gond and para
in this region. The chinkara and the sand grouse prefer a dry climate
and have their habitat in the Vindhyan forests. The musk deer and the
brown bear is found in the higher Himalayas. Among the game birds resident
in the state are the snipe, comb duck, grey duck, cotton teal and whistling
Several species of wildlife have become extinct in Uttar
Pradesh. Among them are the lion from the Gangetic plain and the rhinoceros
from the terai. The fate of many species is uncertain the black buck,
serow, musk deer, swamp deer, bustard, pink-headed duck, chir and mural
pheasants and four horned antelope. Although a determined enforcement
of laws against poaching and hunting has yielded some results, the wildlife
population today is alarmingly low. Alligators and crocodiles were killed
ruthlessly for their skin.
To preserve its wild life the state has established
one National Park; famed Corbett National Park and 12 game sanctuaries.
The Corbett National Park is situated partly in Ramnagar and partly in
the Kalagarh forest division. It is one of the showpieces of the state.