UPSC 2015 (Expected Environment questions)

Credit for these articles: Mr Dinesh, Environment Faculty at Shankar IAS Academy

UPSC 2015 (Expected Environment question No: 1)
Cycad poachers behind bars! For the first time on record in the Eastern Cape and possibly in South Africa as a whole, an Encephalartos cycad poacher has been sentenced to ten years of imprisonment. Even we had several other gymnosperm plants in news

So You can expect questions based upon cycas or pinus or in general about Gymnosperms.

To learn about the fragility of South African cycad populations and the importance of protecting them from poaching – read the full story on Endangered Wildlife Trust’s project funded by IUCN’s SOS programme here:

NICHE TOURISM (Expected Question No:2)
In recent years the tourism sector is facing several changes. One of such a change is evolution of mass tourism to Niche Tourism. It involves in changing the tour style from groups to independent travellers. It promotes the growth of long and short haul destinations along with the package holidays. Niche tourism also refers to how a specific tourism product can be tailored to meet the needs of a particular audience/market segment. Locations with specific niche products are able to establish and position themselves, as niche tourism destinations.

Niche tourism includes:
(1) Eco & Wildlife tourism
(2) MICE tourism
(3) Cultural tourism
(4) Sustainable tourism
(5) Cruise tourism
(6) Golf Tourism
(7) Polo tourism
(8) Medical tourism
(9) Wellness tourism

How it’s Important for prelims….?
(1) We have International conference on Sustainbale tourism to be scheduled on september 2016 @ Spain, apart from this we have nearly 8 domestic confereences based upon Sustainable tourism and Niche tourism.
(2) We had an article with respect to Niche tourism published in Press information Bureau on september 19th 2014.
(3) 2014 International year of small island developing states

Expected Question Nature…..?
(1) You can expect simple question based upon the above 9 points they may give any of the above mentioned 9 points and ask you to find out whether they falls under Niche tourism. (P.F.A of the chart in this article)
(2) Simply even you can expect question based upon Sustainable tourism or about Trekking.




The Mangrove forest division (MFD) of Bhitarkanika revealed that Bhitarkanika wildlife sanctuary of Odisha is witnessing an alarming denudation in large tracts of mangrove vegetation. It is one of India’s biggest estuarine crocodile habitats and a major coastal eco-system. According to MFD, the denudation or saline blank formations have been noticed among the Avicennia and Excoecaria species, which is popularly known as Bani and Guan. In 1975 it was declared as a wildlife sanctuary by the state government of Odisha and later in 1998, it was declared as a National park by the Odisha government.

Is there any Importance of Bhitarkanika with Mangroves……?
(1) Bhitarkanika have the wildlife sanctuary and National park status as well as a Ramsar site.
(2) Bhitarkanika is ruled by a few giant saltwater crocodiles. The basking crocodile is one of such large crocodiles.
(3) Mangroves seem to be the dominant vegetation in this area.
(4) Mangroves are accorded the protection of highest order under coastal regulation zone, 1991.
(5) There were 38 Mangrove areas in India.
(6) India is one among the 8 countries of IUCN’s Mangroves for future programme. (India, Indonesia, Maldives, Pakistan, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam).
(7) Bhitarkanika has two endemic Mangrove trees such as Rhizophora annamalayana and Heritiera kanikensis (Kanika Sundari).
In which angle I can expect the Questions……?
(1) Who can set up a National park whether state govt or central govt..?
(2) Salt water crocodiles (or) difference between crocodiles and alligators (refer NDA/CDS question paper) its new trend by UPSC.
(3) Importance about Mangroves for future programme & its countries.
(4) Whether Bhitarkanika holds any endemic species and why not be a hotspot…?
(5) Whether Mangroves is a Stenohaline or Euryhaline species….?
(6) World’s largest area to hold Mangroves is Indonesia/Sundarbans….?
(7) Bordering states/countries of Sundarbans.
(8) Does sundarbans has any coral reef…..? Yes…St.Martin Island located in moderate salt content area of Sundarbans, part of Bangladesh is the one and only coral island in Bangladesh.
(9) Reasons for the denudation of Mangroves….?
(10) Bhitarkanika also acts as a nesting ground for migratory birds.

How you are saying it is important……?
(1) Article On May 24, 2015 in Indian express…/…/05/24/article2830205.ece
(2) Article On Sep 15, 2014 in Hindu…/bhitarkanika-n…/article6410433.ece
(3) Older Article in PIB

(4) Link between corals and Mangroves…/150210-mangrove-prote…/

(5) Even you can find information about Bani and Guan Mangroves in the Environment chapter of India Year Book.

2015 Expected Question No:4

It is India’s oldest conservation research based NGO located at Bombay. It publishes popular magazines like “Hornbill” and “Natural History”. It also published books like Hand book of birds, Indian reptiles, Indian mammals and Indian trees. It helped the government to frame wildlife- related laws and has taken up battles such as the “Save the silent valley” campaign. The BNHS working with UK-based Bird Life International (a global conservation organisation) has come out with these shocking findings in its new report titled “Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas: “A Global Network for Conserving Nature and Benefiting People”.

Is there any impact of BNHS in pervious year questions…?
(1) we got question about BNHS in UPSC prelims 2014
(2) we got about 4 questions about BNHS in various state public service commission question papers in 2014 – 2015

Where you referred……?
UPSC previous question bank and Pratyogita Darpan.

OMG…! Daily I read newspaper, I could not find it. Can you say me the Recent news about BNHS….?
(1)BNHS against use of wildlife for religious and cultural practices
(2) Conducted a study and found Diclofenac also causes threatening nature to Eagles next to Indian vultures.
(3)BNHS report to Birdlife international with respect to Important Bird and Biodiversity areas (IBA) of India.
(4)Launch of “Birds eye view” atlas by the BNHS along with IBCN, Kerala in June 2015
(5)MoEFCC Promotes the three “Vulture safe zone” along with BNHS

What are those ten important Bird and Biodiversity Areas……?
Some of the sites are Sewri-Mahul Creek, Mumbai and Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary in Solapur/Ahmednagar (both in Maharashtra), Flamingo City in Kutch (Gujarat), Ranebennur in Haveri (Karnataka), Basai in Gurgaon (Haryana), Tillangchong in Andaman and Nicobar Isles and four in Madhya Pradesh, including Sailana Kharmor Sanctuary in Ratlam.

Is there any thing called as “Vulture Safe zones” ….?
A Vulture Safe Zone (VSZ) is a geographical area, the natural habitat of wild vultures, of at least 100 Km radius made free of the presence of the drug diclofenac in animal carcasses, the major food of vultures. VSZs aim at conservation in key geographical areas to protect and increase remaining vulture populations and act as future release sites for the captive-bred vultures. With concerted efforts of BNHS, currently five states – Gujarat, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Assam have declared VSZs across seven locations.

Is there any vulture fatal Drugs still in use…..?
Nimesulide and Ketoprofen both belongs to NSAID category

I had heard something about vulture breeding centres, where it is…..?
(1) Rani and Guwahati (Assam)
(2) Pinjore (Haryana)
(3) Buxa (West Bengal)

Who was the newly welcomed guest….?
White-backed, long-billed, slender-billed was reported earlier and now Red headed and Egyptian vultures were joined to the list in 2014.

In what angle I can expect the questions…..?
(1) Which Asian countries banned the Diclofenac drug…?
(2) What are steroidal and non-steroidal drugs….?
(3) SAVE project and vulture restaurant locations in India….?
(4) Regarding to the species of vultures and eagles…..?
(5) Where is the Flamingo city….?
(6) Courtyard ship display of flamingo…?
(7) Regarding to Flamingo festival Jan 2015…?
(8) Who is authorised to give IBA status….?
(9) Indian sites under IBA…. and among those which stood first
3 position….?
(10) Vultures position in IUCN status….?

can you provide me the URL to know more about the news in order to get exact view………?…/bnhs-against-u…/article7171683.ece…/now-eagles-fal…/article6068232.ece…/indias-top-10-…/article6612560.ece…/10-bird-sanctuaries-in-i……/articlesh…/47699248.cms…/vulture-conservation-to-boost-up…


I had never heard this word…. can u say me what is it?
The IUCN World Parks Congress (WPC) is a landmark global forum on protected areas. The Congress will share knowledge and innovation, setting the agenda for protected areas conservation for the decade to come. Since its first staging in 1962 in Seattle, USA, the World Parks Congress has substantially influenced the way in which the world has viewed systems of protected areas. The series of Congresses has influenced and tracked perspectives on the role of protected areas in biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. The congress also strived to engage a diversity of young people around the world as the main proponents of a new vision and perspective on the role and value of protected areas.

Is there any theme for 2014 session……?
Building on the theme “Parks, people, planet: inspiring solutions”, it will present, discuss and create original approaches for conservation and development, helping to address the gap in the conservation and sustainable development agenda.

Can I know about the Objectives of WPC 2014….?
Three priority objectives for the Congress have been identified, based on the three foundations of the current IUCN Programme.
1.PARKS – Valuing and conserving nature by strengthening the policy.
2.PEOPLE – Effective and equitable governance of nature’s use
3.PLANET – Deploying nature-based solutions to global
challenges such as climate change, food and water security, health and a green economy.

OMG…! Can u say me the importance of WPC 2014 in a nutshell….?
The IUCN World Parks Congress 2014 will show that win-win solutions for conservation and development are possible, and can make a difference. For this to happen, we need significant involvement across diverse sectors and industries, as well as institutions and agencies involved with development and investment.

Are there any commitments with India or with our Neighbours…..?
In this WPC 2014 India had took part but not committed to do any initiative but one of neighbour Bangladesh had promised to establish its first marine protected area to protect whales, dolphins, sharks and other marine life. Spanning some 1,738 km2 with a depth of more than 900 meters, the Swatch of No Ground Marine Protected Area is larger than Cape Cod Bay and includes waters at the head of the submarine canyon from which it gets its name.

Apart from Academic part of view any interesting things happened….?
(1) The delegates had attended the session by using local common mode of transport, cycles and walking…. so the parking was filled only with cycles
(2) The delegates were asked to bring their own reusable coffee cups and water bottles for refilling it several times at the session.
(3) 85% of the power was supplied by using green energy
Is there any periodic interval for this session….?
It had been convened five times at ten year intervals (mostly) since 1962.

Where the previous summits held….?
1962: Seattle in United States
1972: Yellow stone in United States
1982: Bali in Indonesia
1992: Caracas in Venezuela
2003: Durban in south Africa
2014: Sydney in Australia

What are the questions I can expect from this topic……?
(1) Methods of In-situ and ex-situ conservation in conventional manner
(2) Role of central and state governments in setting the protected areas
(3) Commitment given by Bangladesh
(4) Objectives of World Park Congress 2014
(5) Promises of Cambodia, China, United States.

could you share me a link……..?…/what_is_the_world_parks_con…


List of National Parks of India

Name  , State ,  Established,  Area (in km²),  Important information (if any)

Balphakram National Park Meghalaya 2013 220 wild water buffalo, red panda, elephant and eight cat species, including the tiger and marbled cat

Bandhavgarh National Park Madhya Pradesh 1968 446 highest known Tiger population in India, White Tiger, 1336 species of endemic plants

Bandipur National Park Karnataka 1974 874.20 chital, gray langurs, Indian giant squirrel, Gaur, leopard, Sambar deer, indian elephants, honey buzzard, red-headed vulture and other animals.

Bannerghatta National Park Karnataka 1974 106.27

Betla National Park Jharkhand 1986 231.67

Tiger, Sloth Bear, Peacock, Elephant, Sambar deer and other animals.

Bhitarkanika National Park Odisha 1988 145 Mangroves, Saltwater crocodile, white crocodile, Indian python, black ibis, wild pigs, rhesus monkeys, chital and other animals

Blackbuck National Park, Velavadar Gujarat 1976 34.08

Buxa Tiger Reserve West Bengal 1992 760

Campbell Bay National Park Andaman and Nicobar Islands 1992 426.23

Chandoli National Park Maharashtra 2004 317.67

Dachigam National Park Jammu and Kashmir 1981 141 Only area where Kashmir stag is found[1]

Darrah National Park Rajasthan 2004 250

Desert National Park Rajasthan 1980 3162

Dibru-Saikhowa National Park Assam 1999 340

Dudhwa National Park Uttar Pradesh 1977 490.29

Eravikulam National Park Kerala 1978 97

Galathea National Park Andaman and Nicobar Islands 1992 110

Gangotri National Park Uttarakhand 1989 1552.73

Gir Forest National Park Gujarat 1965 258.71 Asiatic lion

Gorumara National Park West Bengal 1994 79.45

Govind Pashu Vihar Wildlife Sanctuary Uttarakhand 1990 472.08

Great Himalayan National Park Himachal Pradesh, 1984 754.40 UNESCO World Heritage Site

Gugamal National Park Maharashtra 1987 361.28

Guindy National Park Tamil Nadu 1976 2.82

Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park Tamil Nadu 1980 6.23

Hemis National Park Jammu and Kashmir 1981 4400

Harike Wetland Punjab 1987 86

Hazaribagh National Park Jharkhand 1954 183.89

Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park Tamil Nadu 1989 117.10

Indravati National Park Chhattisgarh 1981 1258.37 Wild Asian Buffalo, Tiger Reserve, Hill Mynas

Jaldapara National Park West Bengal 2012 216

Jim Corbett National Park Uttarakhand 1936 1318.5

Kalesar National Park Haryana 2003 100.88

Kanha National Park Madhya Pradesh 1955 940

Kanger Ghati National Park Chhattisgarh 1982 200

Kasu Brahmananda Reddy National Park Telangana 1994 1.42

Kaziranga National Park Assam 1905 471.71 Indian rhinoceros, UNESCO World Heritage Site

Keibul Lamjao National Park Manipur 1977 40 only floating park in the world

Kevladev National Park Rajasthan 1981 28.73 UNESCO World Heritage Site

Khangchendzonga National Park Sikkim 1977 1784

Kishtwar National Park Jammu and Kashmir 1981 400

Kudremukh National Park Karnataka 1987 600.32

Madhav National Park Madhya Pradesh 1959 375.22

Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park Andaman and Nicobar Islands 1983 281.50

Mahavir Harina Vanasthali National Park Telangana 1994 14.59

Manas National Park Assam 1990 500 UNESCO World Heritage Site

Mandla Plant Fossils National Park Madhya Pradesh 1983 0.27

Marine National Park, Gulf of Kutch Gujarat 1980 162.89

Mathikettan Shola National Park Kerala 2003 12.82

Middle Button Island National Park Andaman and Nicobar Islands 1987 0.64

Mollem National Park Goa 1978 107

Mouling National Park Arunachal Pradesh 1986 483

Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary Rajasthan 1960 288.84

Mount Harriet National Park Andaman and Nicobar Islands 46.62 important bird area as attributed by BirdLife International, new species frog named Rana CharlesDarwini

Mrugavani National Park Telangana 9.1

Mudumalai National Park Tamil Nadu 1940 321.55

Mukurthi National Park Tamil Nadu 2001 78.46

Murlen National Park Mizoram 200

Namdapha National Park Arunachal Pradesh 1974 1985.24

Nameri National Park Assam 1978 137.07

Nanda Devi National Park Uttarakhand 1982 630.33 UNESCO World

Heritage Sites in India

Name  , State ,  Established,  Area (in km²),  Important information (if any)

Nandankanan Zoological Park Odisha 1960 4.006

Navegaon National Park Maharashtra 133.88

Neora Valley National Park West Bengal 1986 88

Nokrek National Park Meghalaya 47.48 UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve

North Button Island National Park Andaman and Nicobar Islands 1979 144

Ntangki National Park Nagaland 1993 202.02

Orang National Park Assam 1999 78.81

Palani Hills National Park Tamil Nadu 736.87

Panna National Park Madhya Pradesh 1981 542.67

Papikonda National Park Andhra Pradesh 2008 1012.85

Pench National Park Madhya Pradesh 1977 758

Periyar National Park Kerala 1982 305

Phawngpui Blue Mountain National Park Mizoram 1992 50

Pin Valley National Park Himachal Pradesh 1987 807.36

Rajaji National Park Uttarakhand 1983 820

Nagarhole National Park Karnataka 1988 643.39

Rani Jhansi Marine National Park Andaman and Nicobar Islands 1996 256.14

Ranthambore National Park Rajasthan 1981 392

Saddle Peak National Park Andaman and Nicobar Islands 1979 32.55

Salim Ali National Park Jammu and Kashmir 9.07

Sanjay National Park² Madhya Pradesh 1981 466.7

Sanjay Gandhi National Park Maharashtra 1969 104

Sariska Tiger Reserve Rajasthan 1955 866

Satpura National Park Madhya Pradesh 1981 524

Silent Valley National Park Kerala 1980 237

Sirohi National Park Manipur 1982 41.30

Simlipal National Park Odisha 1980 845.70 Tiger, Leopard, Asian elephant, Sambar, Barking deer, Gaur, Jungle cat, Wild boar, and other animals.

Singalila National Park West Bengal 1986 78.60

South Button Island National Park Andaman and Nicobar Islands 5 Dugong, Dolphin, Water Monitor Lizard, Blue Whale

Sri Venkateswara National Park Andhra Pradesh 1989 353

Sultanpur National Park Haryana 1989 1.43

Sundarbans National Park West Bengal 1984 1330.12 UNESCO World Heritage Site

Tadoba National Park Maharashtra 1955 625

Valley of Flowers National Park Uttarakhand 1982 87.50

Valmiki National Park Bihar 1976 898.45

Vansda National Park Gujarat 1979 23.99