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Terai region UPSC NOTE

 Issue of stray cattle in Uttar Pradesh

  • With more than a million abandoned cattle decimating harvests and farm-based livelihoods, however, electoral winds may blow in strange directions in this largely agrarian and electorally pivotal State. 

  • These stray cattle, were born out of the disruptions wrought on a functioning livestock economy by state policies and state-empowered vigilantes

  • The transport and trade of cattle without permits has been illegal in U.P. since 1955

  • Cattle trade, however, thrived until recently

  • It was enabled by a clandestine network of traders, and the tacit acceptance of communities that the meat industry is an integral part of the livestock economy.


Impact on wildlife in the Terai region

  • The U.P. Terai landscape is renowned for its thriving sugarcane agriculture and two tiger reserves that harbour populations of endangered species such as tigers, rhinoceros, swamp deer, and Bengal florican

  • Here, forests, grasslands, and agriculture seamlessly blend to create a vast wilderness within which people and wildlife live cheek by jowl. 

  • Paroxysmal conflicts with tigers and chronic crop losses to herbivores have been the norm across the landscape

  • Some people set up simple fences to protect their farms

  • Others, with farms adjoining protected areas, pool resources and use their influence to have fences set up along the farm-forest boundary.

  • With stray cattle venturing into farmlands proximate to villages and busy roads, farmers are adopting deadlier measures such as putting up razor-wire and high-voltage electric fencing

  • These are designed to kill or inflict debilitating injuries on anything that crosses their path

  • Reports of wounded cattle dying are common. But the toll these fences are likely taking on the plethora of wildlife that use these farms remains unaccounted for

  • In the U.P. Terai, sugarcane farmlands serve as vital wildlife movement corridors

  • The potential for large populations of unvaccinated free-ranging cattle to transmit diseases such as bovine tuberculosis and lumpy skin diseases to wild populations also remains underappreciated

  • Multiple cases of the lumpy skin diseases were reported recently from various districts of U.P., including parts of the Terai. 

  • The presence of large numbers of cattle within farmlands and along forest boundaries is also creating a large prey base that potentially facilitates the residence of tigers within farmlands, which creates fertile grounds for more conflicts.

  • Farmers recognise stray cattle as a serious menace, even as they wrestle with their beliefs in the divinity of cows

  • The ubiquitousness of tractors, the loss of grazing commons, changing aspirations, and rising input costs have made cattle rearing an increasingly impractical activity

  • High-yielding buffalo breeds, so far exempt from bans on trade and slaughter, fill this niche better than cattle do. 

  • Demand for buffaloes is dented only on account of their high purchase and rearing costs.

Terai region

  • Terai, is a lowland belt of flat, alluvial land stretching along the Nepal-India border and running parallel to the lower ranges of the Himalayas. 

  • A strip of undulating former marshland, it stretches from the Yamuna River in the west to the Brahmaputra River in the east.

  • It is the northern extension of the Gangetic Plain in India, commencing at about 300 meters above sea level and rising to about 1,000 meters at the foot of the Siwalik Range.

  • In India, the Terai extends over the states of Haryana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and West Bengal.

  • The flatland of Terai was formed by Gangetic alluvium consisting of beds of silt, clay, sand, pebbles, and gravel

  • At its northern edge are numerous springs forming several streams, including the important Ghaghara River (left-bank tributary of the Ganges River), that intersect the Tarai and are responsible for its marshy character.

  • The landscape boasts some of India’s best-known tiger reserves and protected areas such as Corbett Tiger Reserve, Rajaji National Park, Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, and Valmiki Tiger Reserve, Pilibhit Tiger Reserve 

  • In total, the landscape has 13 protected Areas, nine in India and four in Nepal.

  • Interspersed with the Terai is the Bhabar, which is a region of coarse gravel and shingle deposits supporting sal (Shorea robusta) forests.

  • The eastern part of the Tarai is known in West Bengal state and in Bangladesh as the Duars.


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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Terai region UPSC NOTE
Terai region UPSC NOTE
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