Environmental ecology, Biodiversity & Climate change - GS questions based on daily current affairs

1)   Which of the following is/are true regarding the Gaur?

1) It is nocturnal.
2) It is known as the Nilgiri tahr.

- Published on 13 Jan 17

a. Only 1
b. Only 2
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Only 1

Explanation:

  • The gaur, also called Indian bison, is the largest extant bovine, native to South Asia and Southeast Asia.
  • The species has been listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List since 1986.
  • Where gaur have not been disturbed, they are basically diurnal.
  • In other areas, they have become largely nocturnal due to forest molestation caused by humans.
  • In central India, they are most active at night, and are rarely seen in the open after 8 o'clock in the morning.
  • The gaur is the tallest species of wild cattle.
  • Domesticated form of gaur is mithum or gayal.
  • Nilgiri tahr is not gaur.
  • The Nilgiri tahr known locally as the Nilgiri ibex or simply ibex, is an ungulate that is endemic to the Nilgiri Hills and the southern portion of the Western Ghats in the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala in southern India.
  • Niligiri tahr is the state animal of Tamil Nadu. Despite its local name, it is more closely related to the sheep of the Ovis genus than the ibex and wild goats of the Capra genus.


2)   IRV2020 is concerned with
- Published on 11 Jan 17

a. Universal healthcare
b. E-Governance
c. Rhinoceros
d. Vaccination
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Rhinoceros

Explanation:

  • Indian Rhino Vision 2020 programme (IRV2020), a collaborative effort between various organisations, including the

  • 1. International Rhino Foundation,
    2. Assam’s Forest Department,
    3. Bodoland Territorial Council,
    4. WWF-India, and
    5. The US Fish and Wildlife Service.
  • IRV2020 hopes to raise the number of rhinos in Assam to 3,000 by 2020.
  • It aims to spread them over seven of the state’s protected areas: Kaziranga, Pobitora, Orang national park, Manas national park, Laokhowa wildlife sanctuary, Burachapori wildlife sanctuary and Dibru Saikhowa wildlife sanctuary.
This will be achieved by adopting the following three-pronged strategy:

1. Enhance protection in the existing rhino-bearing areas.
2. Undertake range expansion through translocations to re-introduce rhinos in potential rhino habitats (Manas NP, Dibru Saikhowa WLS and Laokhowa–Bura Chapori WLS) from existing rhino bearing areas (Pobitora WLS and Kaziranga NP).
3. Secure and manage the habitats for rhinos.
  • Support is being provided in all the rhino-bearing areas of the state for enhancing security infrastructure and capacity-building of frontline forest staff.
  • To seek their support towards rhino conservation and making them aware about IRV2020 in the state, more than 25,000 villagers (including school children) have been reached out to in Manas and other rhino-bearing areas until now.
  • In partnership with local NGO’s and the State Agriculture Department, the livelihood options of the communities living on the fringes of the park are being developed by undertaking agriculture support programs.
  • A pilot programme to reduce fuelwood consumption has been undertaken by promoting the use of solar energy and energy-efficient chulhas in the villages around Manas National Park.


3)   Banasura laughingthrush is endemic to
- Published on 10 Jan 17

a. Western Ghats
b. Eastern Himalayas
c. Western Himalayas
d. Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Western Ghats

Explanation:
Montane laughingthrushes are endemic to the Western Ghats.

BirdLife International, an organisation which assesses the conservation status of birds globally, has split the group of montane laughingthrushes and recognised them as two new species.

As a result, Kerala now has four mountain laughingthrushes in place of two.

The newly accepted species are Banasura laughingthrush (Trochalopteron jerdoni), which has a very restricted distribution in Wayanad district and Travancore laughingthrush (Trochalopteron merdionale) found in Thiruvananthapuram district.

The conservation status of the Banasura species was assessed as endangered.

The Travancore variety was considered vulnerable, considering the risk both the species were facing.

The two original species of the family were Nilgiri laughingthrush and Palani laughingthrush.

The Nilgiri species, assessed as an endangered one, is found in Silent Valley National Park and Siruvani hills of Kerala.

The near-threatened Palani laughingthrush is found mainly in Munnar hills and the mountains of Periyar Tiger Reserve apart from Grass Hills and Palani hills in Tamil Nadu.

Laughingthrushes are found only in the peaks of Western Ghats, popularly known as sky islands.

These mountain peaks are separated from the others so well that the birds from one sky island find difficult to move to the next sky island.

This has resulted in the creation of four closely related species, each of them occupying a series of mountain tops across the entire range of southern Western Ghats.


4)   What is Zingiber pseudosquarrosum?
- Published on 09 Jan 17

a. Zebra
b. Ginger
c. Zebra Grass
d. Zebrafish
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Zebrafish

Explanation:
Scientists of the Botanical Survey of India (BSI) have found a new species of Zingiber (commonly referred as Ginger) from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

The species Zingiber pseudosquarrosum, new to science, belonging to genus Zingiber.

It was already used by the local Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups ( PVTGs) of the Andamans for its medicinal values.

The fresh extract [juice] of fleshy tuberous roots is used to treat abdominal pain and anti-helminthic troubles by Nicobarese and certain other tribal communities.

This pseudo stem of the new species is predominantly red in colour.

Flowers have a vermilion tinge and dehisced fruit [fully mature fruits] are lotus shaped.

Inflorescence buds are urceolate in shape.

The species has got tuberous root.

The morphological features of this species makes it distinct from other species belonging to the genus Zingiber.

Like other species of Gingers, this new species is edible and can be propagated vegetatively from the rhizome.

The planted rhizomes were successfully vegetatively propagated at the BSI garden at Port Blair after transplantation.


5)   Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India is collaborating with whom for Real-Time River Water and Air Quality Monitoring?
- Published on 04 Jan 17

a. Microsoft
b. Intel
c. Google
d. GE
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Intel

Explanation:
Recognizing the importance of developing the online River Water and Air Quality Monitoring (WAQM) systems, Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India and Intel are collaborating to jointly initiate “DST-Intel Collaborative Research for Real-Time River Water and Air Quality Monitoring” soliciting proposals from Academic/Research Institutions and providing grant-in-aid support to the selected project(s).

The aim of this initiative is to develop key technologies for sensing, communication and analysis of large-scale data collected from autonomous networks of perpetual/long-lived sensor nodes, followed by integration and deployment for water and air quality monitoring in real-time.

The program will be administered by the binational Indo-U.S. Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF).


6)   Which of the following activities are prohibited in eco-sensitive zones?

1) Flying over protected areas in an aircraft
2) Commercial use of firewood
3) Setting up of hotels and resorts
4) Commercial mining
5) Setting of saw mills

- Published on 03 Jan 17

a. 2, 3, 4
b. 2, 3, 4, 5
c. 1, 2, 4, 5
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: 1, 2, 4, 5

Explanation:
The ESZ guidelines says that activities, including commercial mining, setting of saw mills and industries causing pollution, commercial use of firewood and major hydro-power projects, are prohibited in such areas.

It also prohibits tourism activities like flying over protected areas in an aircraft or hot air balloon, and discharge of effluents and solid waste in natural water bodies or terrestrial areas.

Felling of trees, drastic change in agriculture systems and commercial use of natural water resources, including groundwater harvesting and setting up of hotels and resorts, are the activities regulated in the areas.

Activities permitted in the areas include ongoing agriculture and horticulture practices by local communities, rainwater harvesting, organic farming, adoption of green technology and use of renewable energy sources.


7)   Which of the following is/are true regarding Eco-Sensitive Zone?

1) The zone limits are set on case by case basis and there is no standard specified limit to it.
2) All activities are banned in the eco-sensitive zone.

- Published on 03 Jan 17

a. Only 1
b. Only 2
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Only 1

Explanation:
The width of the ESZ and type of regulation may vary from protected area to area. However, as a general principle, the width of the ESZ could go up to 10 kms around the protected area.

The purpose of declaring an Eco-Sensitive Zone is to create a buffer zone, where activities will be regulated to protect areas demarcated as Protected Areas.

The ESZ guidelines include a broad list of activities that could be allowed, promoted, regulated or promoted. This is an important checklist for conservationists to keep in mind while identifying threats in ESZs.


8)   What are the benefits of 2G (Second Generation) Ethanol Bio-refinery?

1) Generate Bio-CNG
2) Generating Bio-fertilizer
3) Reducing CO2 emissions from the paddy straw

- Published on 26 Dec 16

a. 1, 2
b. 1, 3
c. 2, 3
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: All of the above

Explanation:
First 2G (Second Generation) Ethanol Bio-refinery in India is to be set up at Bathinda (Punjab).

Bio-refinery will be utilizing agriculture residues for production of 100 KL per day or 3.20 crore litres per annum of ethanol which may be sufficient to meet the 26% of the ethanol blending requirement of the State.

The proposed Bio-refinery will generate employment for about 1200 -1300 persons in the Biomass supply chain and generate an additional income for the farmers through purchase of their agriculture residues.

The project shall also help in reducing CO2 emissions from the paddy straw which currently is being burnt after harvesting.

One of the major outputs of this Bio-refinery shall be Bio-fertilizer which shall be incorporated into the soil for improving soil fertility and overall productivity of farms in Punjab.

The Bio-refinery shall also produce more than 1.00 lakh Kg of Bio-CNG per annum which can cater to transport and clean cooking requirements.


9)   First 2G (Second Generation) Ethanol Bio-refinery in India to be set up at
- Published on 26 Dec 16

a. Tamil Nadu
b. Uttar Pradesh
c. Punjab
d. Mumbai
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Punjab

Explanation:
First 2G (Second Generation) Ethanol Bio-refinery in India is to be set up at Bathinda (Punjab).

Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL), a Central Government Public Sector Undertaking, is setting up the project.

The Government of India is encouraging production of Second Generation (2G) Ethanol from agricultural residues to provide additional sources of remuneration to farmers, address the growing environmental concerns and support the Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) programme for achieving 10% Ethanol Blending in Petrol.


10)   Who authored 'Aaj Bhi Khare Hai Talaab'?
- Published on 20 Dec 16

a. Shehla Masood
b. Ashish Kothari
c. Anupam Mishra
d. Sunita Narain
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Anupam Mishra

Explanation:
Noted Gandhian, journalist, environmentalist, and water conservationist Anupam Mishra passed away.

He had been awarded the 1996 Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puraskar (IGPP) award instituted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India.

He travelled to villages across India describing the value of time-tested systems of water harvesting.

He advocated conservation of traditional water structures in India as well as abroad.

He wrote books, like, “Aaj Bhi Khare Hain Talaab” (Lakes are still Standing, 1993) and “Rajasthan Ki Rajat Boondein” (Radiant Raindrops of Rajasthan, 1995), - landmark works in the field of water conservation.


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