news Friday, July 31, 2015 - 05:30
  Telangana's forests are dying, with more than half of its forest cover disappearing in the past seven decades. From 40,746 sq km of forests in 1930, the number has come down to a mere 17,520 sq km in 2013.   Deforestation alone has resulted in 23.7% of the forest cover completely disappearing, while another 18.5% of the forests are critically endangered. These statistics are from a new study, funded by ISRO's 'National Carbon Project,' done by Hyderabad based National Remote Sensing Centre which has come out with some troubling figures.   Here are five figures that show the extent of depletion.   1) The northern part of Telangana has seen a drastic reduction in forest area, while the forests of the state situated closer to Hyderabad, are practically negligible now.         2) Forest are classified into grids for easier segregation. 1,095 grids have gone extinct since 1930, while more than a 1,000 are endangered or vulnerable. The study team comprising of C Sudhakar Reddy , S Vazeed Pasha, C S Jha and VK Dadhwal, pointed out that "Ecological degradation is a critical issue, threatening biodiversity, ecosystem stability and the long term availability of forest products as well as depleting the natural resource base."           3) The authors classified the reasons of forest loss into deforestation, fragmentation and forest fires.Forest fragmentation occurs when forests are cut down in a manner that leaves small, isolated patches of trees known as a forest fragment. This isolation results in inbreeding of the animals that live there, eventually leading to the species' extinction.         4) While fragmentation has not resulted in the extinction of ecosystems, more than 500 grids are critically endangered, while another 282 are vulnerable.​         5) The map shows how large chunks of forests have burnt down in Telangana from 2005 to 2014 and stresses the need for conservative measures.         "Increased human population demanding development in diverse sectors has resulted in unexpected disturbances in forest ecosystem. In the present scenario, many forest ecosystems are prone to high anthropogenic disturbances, which bring out loss and extinction of species," the study added.

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