Flash-Cards-for-IAS-Prelims-2018-Environment-Day-35
70 Days WAR Plan

Day#35 Static Flash Cards Environment & Ecology [70 Days WAR Plan]

Fly Ash; Ecotone; Panna Tiger Reserve; Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring (TEAM); Global Wastewater Initiative (GW2I); Biomagnification; Non-point sources of pollution in rivers; Zoological Survey of India (ZSI); International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); Wildlife Protection Act, 1972;
By IT's Core Team
April 25, 2019

 

 

 

What is Fly Ash? and what are the usages of Fly Ash?

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Answer & Enrich Your Learning:

  • Fly ash is a by-product of burning pulverized coal in an electrical generating station or coil-fired boilers.
  • Fly ash is also known as “flue ash” or “pulverised fuel ash“.
  • It is a coal combustion product that is composed of the particulates (fine particles of burned fuel) that are driven out of coal-fired boilers together with the flue gases.
  • Ash that falls to the bottom of the boiler is called bottom ash.
  • It is the unburned residue that is carried away from the burning zone in the boiler by the flue gases and then collected by either mechanical or electrostatic separators.
  • Fly ash is normally produced from burning anthracite or bituminous coal.
  • In coal-fired power plants, fly ash is generally captured by electrostatic precipitators or other particle filtration equipment before the flue gases reach the chimneys.
  • Together with bottom ash removed from the bottom of the boiler, it is known as coal ash.
  • Depending upon the source and composition of the coal being burned, the components of fly ash vary considerably, but all fly ash includes substantial amounts of silicon dioxide (SiO2), aluminium oxide (Al2O3) and calcium oxide (CaO).
  • It is also a valuable resource of important plant nutrients, e.g., Calcium (Ca), Magnesium (Mg), Pottasium (K), Phosphorus (P), Sulphur (S), Boron (B), Iron (Fe), Copper (Cu) and Zinc (Zn).
  • The utilization of fly ash in replacing the cement in concrete mixture decreases both energy and CO2 emitted during production.

Uses:

  • It is used in a variety of engineering applications. 
  • Typical highway engineering applications include: portland cement concrete (PCC), soil and road base stabilization, flowable fills, grouts, structural fill and asphalt filler.
  • It is most commonly used as a pozzolan in PCC applications. Pozzolans are siliceous or siliceous and aluminous materials used to produce cementitious compounds.

Environmental benefits:

  • Increasing the life of concrete roads and structures by improving concrete durability,
  • Net reduction in energy use and greenhouse gas and other adverse air emissions when fly ash is used to replace or displace manufactured cement,
  • Reduction in amount of coal combustion products that must be disposed in landfills, and
  • Conservation of other natural resources and materials.
  • Addition of 2%–5% of fly ash to calcareous soils has resulted in better plant growth compared to normal soils. However, when the application exceeds 5%, the crop growth was significantly reduced.

Concerns:

  • Air pollution and groundwater contamination, due to the leaching of metals from the ashes, especially the accumulation of the very fine particles of fly ash.
  • Leaching of traceable and hazardous elements,
  • Contamination of groundwater.
  • Uncontrolled land disposal of coal fly ash is likely to cause unnecessary transformation in soil conditions, including contaminating the soil.
  • Depending on where the coal was mined, coal ash typically contains heavy metals like arsenic, lead, mercury, which if eaten, drunk or inhaled, these toxicants can cause cancer and nervous system impacts such as cognitive deficits, developmental delays and behavioural problems.
  • They can also cause heart damage, lung disease, respiratory distress, kidney disease, reproductive problems, gastrointestinal illness, birth defects, and impaired bone growth in children.

 

 

 

Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 extends to the whole India, including the State of Jammu and Kashmir which has its own wildlife act. Right OR Wrong?

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Answer:

Right Statement:

  • Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 extends to the whole of India, except the State of Jammu and Kashmir which has its own wildlife act.

Enrich Your Learning:

Wildlife Protection Act, 1972:

  • The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted for protection of plants and animal species.
  • Before 1972, India only had five designated national parks.
  • The act provides for the protection of wild animals, birds and plants and matters connected with them, with a view to ensure the ecological and environmental security of India.
  • Extends to the whole of India, except the State of Jammu and Kashmir which has its own wildlife act
  • It provides for prohibition on use of animal traps except under certain circumstances
  • It provides for protection of hunting rights of the Scheduled Tribes in Andaman and Nicobar Islands
  • It has provisions for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

It has six schedules which give varying degrees of protection

  • Species listed in Schedule I and part II of Schedule II get absolute protection — offences under these are prescribed the highest penalties
  • Species listed in Schedule III and Schedule IV are also protected, but the penalties are much lower
  • Schedule V includes the animals which may be hunted
  • The plants in Schedule VI are prohibited from cultivation and planting

Provisions of hunting under the Act:

  • This section describes what constitutes hunting and the intent to hunt. Hunting wild animals is prohibited under this act.
  • No person shall hunt any wild animal specified in Schedule, I, II, III and IV except as provided under law.
  • Hunting of Wild animals to be permitted in certain cases.
  • Any wild animal killed or wounded in defence of any person shall be Government property.
  • The Chief Wildlife Warden can grant permission by an order in writing stating the reasons therefor, to any person, on payment of such fee as may be prescribed, which shall entitle the holder of such permit to hunt, subject to such conditions like education, scientific research and scientific management.
  • The authorised officer may, subject to any general or special order of the State Government can suspend or cancel any licence granted under the Act.

 

 

 

Red List of Threatened Species is published by which institution?

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Answer:

  • International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Enrich Your Learning:

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN):

  • The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is a membership Union uniquely composed of both government and civil society organisations.
  • It has headquartered in Switzerland.
  • It was created in 1948 and has evolved into the world’s largest and most diverse environmental network.
  • IUCN is the only environmental organization to have observer status at the United Nations, and it provides scientific information and advice on global conservation policy through a wide range of international forums.
  • IUCN is the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it.
  • It is organised into six commissions dedicated to species survival, environmental law, protected areas, social and economic policy, ecosystem management, and education and communication.
  • It is funded by governments, bilateral and multilateral agencies, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, international conventions, foundations, member organizations, corporations and individuals.
  • IUCN congresses have produced several key international environmental agreements including the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), the World Heritage Convention, and the Ramsar Convention on wetlands.
  • The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (also known as the IUCN Red List or Red Data List), founded in 1964, is the world’s most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of biological species.

Functions:

  • It focuses on valuing and conserving nature, ensuring effective and equitable governance of its use, and deploying nature-based solutions to global challenges in climate, food and development.
  • it supports scientific research, manages field projects all over the world, and brings governments, NGOs, the UN and companies together to develop policy, laws and best practice.
  • It counts on the support of a large network of partners who help fund activities, implement the IUCN Programme, or offer their knowledge and expertise to support the work of the Union.
  • It provides public, private and non-governmental organisations with the knowledge and tools that enable human progress, economic development and nature conservation to take place together.

 

 

 

The headquarters of Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) is situated in which Indian city?

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Answer:

  • ZSI has its headquarters at Kolkata and 16 regional stations located in different geographic locations of the country.

Enrich Your Learning:

Zoological Survey of India (ZSI):

  • The Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), a subordinate organization of the Ministry of Environment and Forests that was established in 1916.
  • It was established as a national centre for faunistic survey and exploration of the resources leading to the advancement of knowledge on the exceptionally rich faunal diversity of the country.
  • Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) is responsible to promote survey, exploration and research leading to the advancement in our knowledge of the various aspects of the exceptionally rich animal life.
  • Information about ecosystems, protected areas, species status survey, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), remote sensing system, DNA barcoding, Central Entomological Laboratory (C. E. L), Indian faunal resources, Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) project, etc. is given.

Activities:

  • Study of the fauna of states
  • Fauna of conservation areas
  • Fauna of important ecosystems
  • Status survey of endangered species
  • Fauna of India and
  • Ecological Studies & Environmental impact assessments
  • Identification & Advisory Services,
  • Training & Extension Services in the field of animal taxonomy and faunistic surveys,
  • Library facilities and
  • Presentation & Publication of Research work in journals and books.

 

 

 

Which are the non-point sources of pollution in rivers?

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Answer & Enrich Your Learning:

  • Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution is a term used to describe pollution resulting from many diffuse sources which results from a single source.
  • Nonpoint source pollution generally results from land runoff, precipitation, atmospheric deposition, drainage, seepage, or hydrological modification (rainfall and snowmelt) where tracing pollution back to a single source is difficult.
  • It affects a water body from sources such as polluted runoff from agricultural areas draining into a river, or wind-borne debris blowing out to sea.
  • It affects air quality from sources such as smokestacks or car tailpipes.
  • It can be contrasted with point source pollution, where discharges occur to a body of water or into the atmosphere at a single location.
  • It is difficult to control because it comes from the everyday activities of many different people, such as lawn fertilization, applying pesticides, road construction or building construction.
  • Nonpoint source pollution not only affects ecosystems; it can also have harmful effects on the economy.
  • It affects the beauty and health of coastal lands and waters.
  • Excess nonpoint source pollution impacts the overall quality of life, and subsequently can drive property values down.

Nonpoint source pollution can include:

  • Excess fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides from agricultural lands and residential areas
  • Oil, grease and toxic chemicals from urban runoff and energy production
  • Sediment from improperly managed construction sites, crop and forest lands, and eroding streambanks
  • Salt from irrigation practices and acid drainage from abandoned mines
  • Bacteria and nutrients from livestock, pet wastes and faulty septic systems
  • Atmospheric deposition and hydromodification

Point sources:

  • These are organized sources of pollution where the pollution load can be measured, e.g. surface drains carrying municipal sewage or industrial effluents, sewage pumping stations and sewerage systems, trade effluents from industries, etc.
  • Pollution loads due to untreated sewage is one of the main reasons threatening the ecological health of rivers. Most of the urban lakes in the country are also facing similar challenges.

 

 

 

What is Biomagnification?

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Answer:

Biomagnification is the increasing concentration of a substance, such as a toxic chemical, in the tissues of tolerant organisms at successively higher levels in a food chain.

Enrich Your Learning:

  • Biomagnification is also known as bio-amplification or biological magnification.
  • In Biomagnification, the rate of internal degradation of a substance is low.

This increase can occur as a result of:

  • Persistence – where the substance cannot be broken down by environmental processes
  • Food chain energetics – where the substance’s concentration increases progressively as it moves up a food chain
  • Low or non-existent rate of internal degradation or excretion of the substance – often due to water-insolubility
  • It refers to the process whereby certain substances such as pesticides or heavy metals flows into lakes, rivers and the ocean, and then progressively move up the food chain in greater concentrations.
  • They are incorporated into the diet of aquatic organisms such as zooplankton, which in turn are eaten perhaps by fish, which then may be eaten by bigger fish, large birds, animals, or humans.
  • They get increasingly concentrated in tissues or internal organs as they move up the chain.
  • These substances that bio-magnify are lipophilic and not easily degraded and are consequently known as “persistent organic pollutants” or POPs.
  • Novel organic substances are not easily degraded because organisms lack previous exposure and have thus not evolved specific detoxification and excretion mechanisms, as there has been no selection pressure from them.
  • Metals are not degradable because they are elements. Organisms, particularly those subject to naturally high levels of exposure to metals, have mechanisms to sequester and excrete metals. Problems arise when organisms are exposed to higher concentrations than usual, which they cannot excrete rapidly enough to prevent damage. Some persistent heavy metals are especially dangerous and harmful to the organism’s reproductive system.

Example:

  • Spraying a marsh to control mosquitoes will cause trace amounts of DDT to accumulate in the cells of microscopic aquatic organisms, the plankton, in the marsh.
  • In feeding on the plankton, filter-feeders, like clams and some fish, harvest DDT as well as food. (Concentrations of DDT 10 times greater than those in the plankton have been measured in clams.)
  • The process of concentration goes right on up the food chain from one trophic level to the next. Gulls, which feed on clams, may accumulate DDT to 40 or more times the concentration in their prey. This represents a 400-fold increase in concentration along the length of this short food chain.

 

 

 

Global Wastewater Initiative (GW2I) is hosted and managed by which international body?

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Answer:

  • UNEP Global Programme of Action

Enrich Your Learning:

About Global Wastewater Initiative (GW2I):

  • The GW2I is a voluntary network of stakeholders with an international Steering Committee and a Secretariat to be provided, hosted and managed by UNEP/GPA.
  • The GW2I is a multi-stakeholder platform which is comprised of UN agencies, international organizations, governments, scientists, private sectors, industries and Major groups and stakeholders to provide the foundations (including information, tools and policy mechanisms) for partnerships to initiate comprehensive, effective and sustained programmes addressing wastewater management.
  • This initiative will be carried out through the creation of demonstration projects for sustainable wastewater reuse.
  • Outreach and mainstreaming will be supported by use of publications and other outreach material.
  • Capacity building and training for public and private sector stakeholders at local, regional and national levels.
  • The GW2I operates as a voluntary network of stakeholders with a view to facilitate joint efforts to communicate and address the wastewater challenge and to push the wastewater agenda by sharing, among stakeholders, information, lessons learned and best practices for wastewater management, including sound technologies that do not adversely affect the environment and biodiversity.

 

 

 

Which institutes are associated with Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring (TEAM) Network?

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Answer:

  • The Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring (TEAM) Network is an innovative partnership between Conservation International, the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Smithsonian Institute with the goal of better understanding how tropical forests are responding to a changing climate and disturbed landscapes.

Enrich Your Learning:

About the Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring (TEAM):

  • This wide-reaching partnership allows TEAM to monitor more than 100 vegetation plots and almost 300 species of mammals and birds across 19 protected areas in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
  • Data collected from TEAM sites are analyzed and made publicly available in near real-time to provide data-driven insights for protected area managers.
  • The idea behind TEAM is deceptively simple: to measure and compare plants, terrestrial mammals, ground-dwelling birds and climate using a standard methodology in a range of tropical forests, from relatively pristine places to those most affected by people.
  • TEAM currently operates in sixteen tropical forest sites across Africa, Asia and Latin America supporting a network of scientists committed to standardized methods of data collection to quantify how plants and animals respond to pressures such as climate change and human encroachment.

 

 

 

Panna Tiger Reserve is located in which region of India?

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Answer:

  • It is situated in the Vindhyan mountain range in the northern part of Madhya Pradesh, Panna Tiger Reserve is spread over the Panna and Chhatarpur districts.

Enrich Your Learning:

About Panna Tiger Reserve:

  • The terrain here consists of extensive plateaus and gorges.
  • This reserve contains the last remaining tiger habitat of North Madhya Pradesh.
  • Flowing from the south to the north through the reserve is the River Ken.
  • These forests along with Ken Gharial Sanctuary form a significant part of the catchment area of this river.
  • River Ken is one of the sixteen perennial rivers of Madhya Pradesh. It is the lifeline of this reserve and is the least polluted of Yamuna’s tributaries.
  • The reserve is also dotted with two thousand year-old rock paintings.

Flora and fauna:

  • It forms the northern most tip of the natural teak forests and the eastern most tip of the natural Anogeissus pendula (Kardhai) forests.
  • The reserve has dry and short grass habitat with extensive open woodlands. Along the major seasonal streams and in the Ken river valley, lush vegetation can be seen.
  • The tree species Acacia catachu dominates the dry steep slopes of the plateaus here. These habitats make for a heterogeneous landscape.
  • This Protected Area is very important because it links the eastern and western populations of wild animals through the Vindhyan ranges that run from north-east to south-west.
  • Apart from the tiger, it is home to other animals like the leopard, nilgai, chinkara, chousinga, chital, rusty spotted cat, porcupine, and sambhar. Gharials (long snouted crocodiles) and muggars (marsh crocodiles) can be found in River Ken.
  • In addition, more than 300 species of birds can be found here.

 

 

 

It is a transition area between two biomes. It is where two communities meet and integrate. It may be narrow or wide, and it may be local or regional. Which environmental term justifies these statements?

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Answer:

  • Ecotone

Enrich Your Learning:

  • An ecotone is a transition area between two biomes. It is where two communities meet and integrate. It may be narrow or wide, and it may be local (the zone between a field and forest) or regional (the transition between forest and grassland ecosystems).
  • An ecotone may appear on the ground as a gradual blending of the two communities across a broad area, or it may manifest itself as a sharp boundary line.
  • Ecotones are particularly significant for mobile animals, as they can exploit more than one set of habitats within a short distance. The ecotone contains not only species common to the communities on both sides; it may also include a number of highly adaptable species that tend to colonize such transitional areas.
  • The phenomenon of increased variety of plants as well as animals at the community junction is called the edge effect and is essentially due to a locally broader range of suitable environmental conditions or ecological niches.
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