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Yamuna Biodiversity Park


Arvind NVS
|Environmental Studies - CCC704 |
Date of Trip: 18th February 2017
Date of Submission: 1st March 2017
1 About the Place 2
2 Observations 12
3 Discussion 30
4 References/Bibliography 35

About the place: Yamuna Biodiversity Park

Once the lifeline of many civilizations and cities that emerged along its banks, the river
Yamuna suffers from inadequate water flow and heavy pollution. The length of the river
in the National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCT) of Delhi is 48 km with a total river bed of
around 97 sq km. Apart from being a major source of water for Delhi, it is also one of the
major sources of groundwater recharge and irrigation for the states of Uttar Pradesh and
Punjab. Recently, however, rapid urbanization, overexploitation of natural resources and
extremely high levels of pollution have taken a severe toll on the biodiversity of the rivers
flora and fauna.

To rescue and restore the lost native biodiversity in regions surrounding the River
Yamuna, several
biodiversity park projects
were set up by the local
government, one of which
is the Yamuna
Biodiversity park. Set up
in the year 2002, on the
banks of river Yamuna,
near Wazirabad
village, the Yamuna
Biodiversity Park was
developed in two phases
in two different areas
on the inactive
floodplains of the river in
Phase I and on the active
floodplains in Phase II.

Phase I is spread out over an area of 157 acres. Once this area was acquired in the year
2002, the soil profile, physicochemical parameters and nutrient levels were estimated, and
it was found that the soil was highly alkaline and nutrient impoverished. Around a 100
species of grass were planted as an early measure to ameliorate the quality of the soil.
Initially, the area was highly alkaline with a pH of 9.8. Many species of grasses such as
Leptochloa fusca, Vetiveria zizanoides, Bothriochloa species, Cenchrus ciliaris, Cenchrus
setigerus etc. along with many native legume species such as Rhynchosia species,
Indigophera tinctoria, Indigophera linifolia, Sesbania sesban were utilized not just to
increase the nutrient levels but also to initiate microbial activities in the soil. It was thought
that during rainfall the salt present in the soil would leach down from the mounds (which
were a product of landscaping the local area) and act as a specialized niche for several plant
and animal species.

Yamuna Biodiversity park before
restoration work began in 2002.

ref: www.sahapedia.org

Phase II of the Yamuna Biodiversity Park is spread out over an area of 300 acres on the
active floodplain of the river and consists of a mosaic of wetlands together with grasslands
and floodplain forests. The wetlands, which are in an area of around 100 acres, are presently
under development and have already started attracting a diversity of resident and migratory
birds such as Grey Herons, Painted Storks, Spoonbills, Open-billed Storks, Red-crested
Pochards, Wagtails and Sandpipers. Once completed, this mosaic of wetlands will
impound floodwaters to the extent of around 500 million gallon, recharge aquifers during
dry months, minimize the impact of flood water on the Wazirabad barrage and reduce
siltation of the reservoir.

After restoration of
wetlands was completed in

Ref: www.tourelp.com

The park is divided into two zones the visitor zone and the nature reserve zone. The
major components of the visitor zone are the conservatory of medicinal plants', butterfly
garden', rangelands', sacred grove', acacia woodland', migratory ducks
wetland', resident ducks wetland and conservatory of fruit-yielding species.

The conservatory of medicinal plants consists of over 300 plant species known to have
therapeutic values. Some of the most important herbs planted here are ashwangandha
(Withania somnifera), artimisia, sarpagandha (Rauwolfia serpentine), nirgundi (Vitex
negundo) and isabgol (Plantago major). A climber grove was also created here for
climbers of medicinal importance such as dama bel (Tylophora indica), gurmar (Gymnema
sylvestre), antmool (Celastrus paniculata). A small lily pond in the medicinal garden
houses aquatic plants such as brahmi (Bacopa monerii) and bach (Acorus calamus).

The conservatory of
butterflies is a well-
designed, open air,
circular area whose
outer periphery
consists of host plants,
while the inner portion
has nectar-producing
flowers. Small ponds
have also been created
to add moisture to the
area. These ponds are
Herbal Garden in Yamuna Biodiversity Park.
also utilized for mud
puddling of
butterflies, an activity
that enhances the strength of their eggs. Here, one can see all the stages in a butterflys life
cycle egg, larvae, pupa and finally adult.

The sacred grove houses plant species which have some religious significance. The
conservatory of fruit plants, as the name suggests, has plant species that are specially grown
in the Yamuna river basin for their fruits. Khirni (Manilkara hexandra), is an important
fruit plant which was once found in Delhi but has now altogether disappeared from the
wild. Birds such as green pigeons, peafowls, bulbuls and parakeets have carved their niches
in this conservatory.

In the nature reserve zone, around 30 forest communities have been developed which offer
multiple micro-niches and habitats for a diversity of animal species to live and breed in.
The wetlands also harbor aquatic vegetation, fish, dragonflies and microorganisms that
were once found in the river Yamuna but have now disappeared. Presently, these wetlands
also receive flocks of migratory birds (around 5000) from Siberia and other Palearctic
regions every year. Some notable species are the Red-crested Pochard, Northern Shovellor,
Eurasian Wigeon, Gadwall etc. In addition, many resident birds have made the parks
wetlands their home like the Spot-billed Duck, Indian Moorhen, Lesser Whistling Teal and
Purple Moorhen. The darter, also called snake bird, is a near-threatened species which nests

in the wetlands of YBP each year. The Tamarix-Phragmite forest all along the shallow
wetlands has become one of the most important habitats for the nesting and breeding of the
Black-crowned Night Heron, which was once found all along the Yamuna but latterly had
disappeared due to habitat destruction.

The Yamuna Biodiversity Park harbors a wide range of ecosystems indigenous to the
Yamuna river basin and supports more than 1,500 plant and animal species. The diversity
of birds has shown a remarkable increase with specie numbers having risen from 37 to 196
since 2002, while reptiles have increased from 3 to 18. The nature reserve zone with

Visitor Trail at YBP

Courtesy: www.sahapedia.com
different forest communities interspersed
with sprawling grasslands and wetlands forms a fully functional ecosystem. Some forest
communities already have developed canopies and have attracted animals like porcupines,
civets, jungle cats and Nilgai. The result being, mammal diversity has increased from 4 to

The Yamuna Biodiversity Park is an open-air laboratory for a range of students and
researchers. Groups are led through the park on a predetermined nature trail and it has
already become a location where education on environment, sustainable development and
conservation is being imparted at a primary, secondary and tertiary level. Around 10,000
students/trainees/nature lovers from schools, colleges, institutions and NGOs visit it
every year.

Emerging as the capital's most visited public place and prominent center for learning and
understanding the environment, the Yamuna Biodiversity Park has become a home for
biologically rich wetlands, grassland communities, a wide variety of fruit yielding species
and an abundance of medicinal herbs. The Park also comprises a native flora and fauna
which used to exist 100 years ago and then became extinct locally.

Yamuna Biodiversity Park is thus a living laboratory where scientific experimentation has
done wonders. Once a barren place where nothing grew, the park is now full of life which
can be heard in the chirping of birds and rustling of leaves.

Map of Yamuna Biodiversity Park

ref: maps.google.com

The mounds of Yamuna Biodiversity Park
We were told about the Ten Mounds, surrounding the valley, which illustrate the
different forest ecosystems in its miniature form found all along the Yamuna River Basin.
The composition of forests, as in nature, consists of three to four layers: a tree canopy
that supports climbers and provides shade for the middle storey tree layer and shrub layer
which in turn protect the ground-cover of herbs and grasses. Plantation on these mounds
is designed based on the structure and composition of the forest ecosystem found in its
natural environment. These ecosystems are:

Subtropical mixed evergreen forest ecosystem

Moist tropical deciduous forest ecosystem with Teak as a dominant species
Tropical dry deciduous forest ecosystem with Sal as a dominant species
Tropical Dry Deciduous forest with Teak as a dominant species
Tropical thorn forest
Scrub jungle

The mounds in Yamuna biodiversity park surrounding the valley: Overview

Courtesy: www.dda.com

Subtropical mixed evergreen forest ecosystem

This ecosystem aimed to re-create and

preserve the flora and fauna community of the
said ecosystem. Many plants, ranging from
Indian rosewood in the top canopy to vigna
capensis in the climbers, can be found here.
Among other important plants are, mallotus, ,
Artocarpus lakoocha, Cinnamomum
camphora, or the camphor tree and many
others. A list of flora found in here is as

Top canopy - Toona ciliata, Dalbergia latifolia, Mitragyna parvifolia, Syzygium cumini
Middle storey - Trewia nudiflora, Artocarpus lakoocha, Cinnamomum camphora,
Shrub layer- Dillenia indica, Coffea benghalensis, Murraya paniculata, Bauhinia
Herbs and Grasses- Barleria cristata, Flemingia bracteata, Desmodium triflorum
Climbers- Vigna capensis, Combretum decandrum, Vitis paniculatum

Moist tropical deciduous forest ecosystem with Teak as a dominant species

This ecosystem is very essential from the

viewpoint of conservation and
expansion, as it is a natural habitat of
many of the critically endangered
species. The flora community in
Yamuna Biodiversity park in thus
ecosystem is huge and it contains the
following plants:

Top Canopy- Tectona grandis, Pterocarpus marsupium, Diospyros melanoxylon,

Middle storey- Buchanania lanzan, Albizia lebbeck, Bauhinia variegata
Shrub layer- Flemingia rugosus, Vitex negundo, Nyctanthus arbortristris, Zizyphus
Herbs and grasses- Desmodium triflorum, Crotolaria juncea, Bothriochloa pertusa,
Climbers- Pueraria phaseoloides, Asparagus racemosus

Tropical dry deciduous forest ecosystem with Sal as a dominant species

The following trees could be found in the

region marked for conservation of dry
deciduous forest.

Top canopy Shorea robusta, Diospros

melanoxylon, Putranjiva roxburghii,
Middle storey Erythrina indica, Cassia
fistula, Albizia sp., Sterculia urens
Shrub layer Carissa spinarum, Zizyphus
oenoplea, Nyctanthus arbortristris
Herbs & Grasses Chloris, Eragrostis, Fimbristylis ferruginea, Indigofera tinctoria,
Climbers Smilax zeylanica, , Clittoria turnatea, Marsidenia, Cocculus hirsutus

Tropical thorn forest

A thorn forest is a dense, scrub like vegetation characteristic of dry subtropical and
warm temperate areas with a seasonal rainfall averaging 250 to 500 mm (9.8 to 19.7 in).
This vegetation covers a large part of southwestern North America and southwestern
Africa and smaller areas in Africa, South America, and Australia. In South America,

thorn forest is sometimes called Caatinga, and consists primarily of small, thorny trees
that shed their leaves seasonally. Trees typically do not exceed 10 metres (33 ft) in
height, usually averaging between 7 and 8 metres (23 and 26 ft) tall. Thorn forest grades

into savanna woodland as the rainfall increases and into desert as the climate becomes

The major thorn forest flora species found in Yamuna Biodiversity park are:

Top Canopy- Acacia sp., Prosopis cineraria, Anogeissus pendula

Underwoods- Zizyphus mauritiana, Maytenus emarginatus, Wrightia
Herbs and Grasses- Vicovestata, Vico auriculata, Desmostachya bipinnata,
Climbers- Valletia, Leptochloa fusca, Tinospora cordifolia

Tropical Dry Deciduous forest with Teak as a dominant species

Top Canopy Tectona grandis, Butea monosperma, Sterculia urens, Terminalia chebula,
Middle storey Emblica officinalis, Bauhina variegata, Cochlospermum religiosum
Shrub layer Gardenia turgida, Randia dumetorum, Grewia asiatica
Herbs & Grasses Barleria prionitis, Bothriochloa pertusa, Dicanthium Hetropogo
Climbers Abrus pulchellus, Cocculus hirsutus

Scrub jungle

Shrubland, scrubland,
scrub or brush is a plant
community characterised by
vegetation dominated by
shrubs, often also including
grasses, herbs, and
geophytes. Shrubland may
either occur naturally or be
the result of human activity.
It may be the mature
vegetation type in a particular
region and remain stable over
time, or a transitional community that occurs temporarily as the result of a disturbance.

Top Canopy- Acacia catechu, A. senegal, A. leucophloea

Underwoods- Euphorbia neriifolia, Cassia auriculata, Maetenus emarginatus
Herbs- Tephrosia purpurea, Justicia simplex, Cyperus rotundus, Eragrostis tenella
Climbers Cocculus laurifolius, Rhynchosia minima

Visitor Zone tour of Yamuna Biodiversity Park

Upon entry into the park we were made familiar with all the various species of flora and
fauna that we might encounter.

The first plant that came to observation was a halophyte Salicornia bigelovii commonly
known as dwarf glasswort or pickleweed. These plants were first found when the park
acquired the place in 2002. Given the high salt content of the soil in the area, these were
used in a process called phytoremediation, to help lower the salinity of the soil and thus,
helping in growing other plants as well.

Salicornia bigelovii

Salicornia bigelovii is a species of flowering plant in the amaranth family known by the
common names dwarf saltwort[2] and dwarf glasswort. It is native to coastal areas of the
eastern and southern United States, as well as southern California, Belize, and coastal
Mexico (both the east and west coasts). Since dwarf glasswort is a halophytic coastline
species which grows in saltwater, it can be irrigated with seawater, making it a
potential crop for landscapes that can support few other crop plants.

Pickleweed in Yamuna
Biodiversity Park

The next plant of interest belonged to the genus ficus, Ficus carcia. The importance of
presence of the Ficus Carcia, or the common fig, as it is commonly known, is of the
prime level in any biodiversity.
We were told that the presence
of any tree from the ficus
family is enough to sustain an
entire ecosystem on its own.

The plant can tolerate seasonal

drought, and the Middle
Eastern and Mediterranean
climate is especially suitable
for the plant. Situated in a
favorable habitat, old
specimens when mature can
reach a considerable size and
form a large dense shade tree. Its aggressive root system precludes its use in many urban
areas of cities, but in nature helps the plant to take root in the most inhospitable areas.
The common fig tree is mostly a phreatophyte that lives in areas with standing or running

Ficus carica

Ficus carica is an Asian species of flowering plants in the mulberry family, known as the
common fig (or just the fig). It is the source of the fruit also called the fig, and as such is
an important crop in those areas where it is grown commercially. Native to the Middle
East and western Asia, it has been sought out and cultivated since ancient times, and is
now widely grown throughout the world, both for its fruit and as an ornamental plant.
The species has become naturalized in scattered locations in Asia and North America.

water. It grows well in the valleys of the rivers and ravines saving no water, having
strong need of water that is extracted from the ground. The deep-rooted plant searches
groundwater, in aquifers, ravines, or cracks in the rocks. The fig tree, with the water,
cools the environment in hot places, creating a fresh and pleasant habitat for many
animals that take shelter in its shade in the times of intense heat.

We were next told about the importance of preserving the endemic species, and how
certain plants when brought from foreign lands can act as an invasive species, and
threaten the very existence of the local flora and fauna. One such plant, Prosopis
juliflora, locally known as vilayti kikar(literally-foreign kikar).

Prosopis juliflora

Prosopis juliflora is a shrub or small tree in the family Fabaceae, a kind of mesquite. It is
native to Mexico, South America and the Caribbean. It has become an invasive weed in
several countries where it was introduced. It is considered a noxious invader in Ethiopia,
Hawaii, Sri Lanka, Jamaica, the Middle East, India, Nigeria, Sudan, Somalia, Senegal and
southern Africa. It is also a major weed in the southwestern United States. It is hard and
expensive to remove as the plant can regenerate from the roots. In Australia, mesquite has
colonized more than 800,000 hectares of arable land, having severe economic and
environmental impacts. With its thorns and many low branches, it forms impenetrable
thickets which prevent cattle from accessing watering holes, etc. It also takes over
pastoral grasslands and uses scarce water. Livestock which consume excessive amounts
of seed pods are poisoned. It causes land erosion due to the loss of the grasslands that are
habitats for native plants and animals. It also provides shelter for feral animals such as
pigs and cats. In the Afar Region in Ethiopia, where the mesquite was introduced in the
late 1970s and early 1980s, its aggressive growth leads to a monoculture, denying native
plants water and sunlight, and not providing food for native animals and cattle. The
regional government with the non-governmental organisation FARM-Africa are looking
for ways to commercialize the tree's wood, but pastoralists who call it the "Devil Tree"
insist that P. juliflora be eradicated. In Sri Lanka this mesquite was planted in the 1950s
near Hambantota as a shade and erosion control tree. It then invaded the grasslands in and
around Hambantota and the Bundala National Park, causing similar problems as in
Australia and Ethiopia.[3] This mesquite Prosopis juliflora native to Central and South
America, is also known as katu andara. It was introduced in 1880 and has become a
serious problem as an invasive species.

Vilayti Kikar

Courtesy: www.wikipedia.org


Ashwagandha is one of the most powerful herbs in Ayurvedic healing. It is referred to as

the Indian ginseng because of its rejuvenating properties. Native to the dry regions of
India, Northern Africa, and the Middle East, this plant boasts of exceptional medicinal uses
such as:

It protects the immune system and helps combat the effects of stress. It has proven to be
very effective in improving learning, memory, and reaction time. Reduces anxiety and
depression without causing drowsiness. It also helps to reduce brain-cell degeneration.
Stabilizes blood sugar and helps lower cholesterol. It offers anti-inflammatory benefits. It
also contains anti-malarial properties.

Wild Egg-Plant
Solanum torvum ,commonly known as wild brinjal or wild egg-plant, is a bushy, erect and spiny
perennial plant used horticulturally as a rootstock for eggplant. Grafted plants are very vigorous
and tolerate diseases affecting the root system, thus allowing the crop to continue for a second year.

is native from Florida and southern Alabama through the West Indies and from Mexico through
Central America and South America through Brazil (Little and others 1974). Because of its rapid
spread as a weed in disturbed lands, it is difficult to tell which populations are native and which are
introduced. Turkey berry has been introduced and naturalized throughout tropical Africa, Asia,
Australia, and the Pacific Islands including Hawaii, Guam, and American Samoa. Turkey berry is
being crossed with eggplant to incorporate genes for resistance to Verticillium wilt into the

Lavendula Angustafolia

Lavandula angustifolia , commoly known as Lavender is a flowering plant in the family

Lamiaceae, native to the Mediterranean (Spain, France, Italy, Croatia etc.).

English lavender is commonly grown as an ornamental plant. It is popular for its

colourful flowers, its fragrance, and its ability to survive with low water consumption.

The flowers and leaves are used as an herbal medicine,[16] either in the form of lavender
oil or as an herbal tea. The flowers are also used as a culinary herb, most often as part of
the French herb blend called herbes de Provence.

Lavender essential oil, when diluted with a carrier oil, is commonly used as a relaxant
with massage therapy.


Salvadora persica (Arak, Galenia asiatica, Meswak, Peelu, Plu, Salvadora indica, or
toothbrush tree, mustard tree, mustard bush), is a species of Salvadora. This plant is
native to several countries such as Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Iran, Israel,
Jordan, Kenya, Libya, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka,
Tanzania, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and many more.

It is one of the best-known host plant for butterfly eggs. It is a traditional and natural
alternative to the modern toothbrush. Apart from their antibacterial activity which may help
control the formation and activity of dental plaque, such sticks are effective, inexpensive,
common, available, and contain many medical properties. Its extract is also used as a paste
for teeth and gum pastes.

Acacia, commonly known as the wattles or acacias, is a large genus of shrubs, lianas and
trees in the subfamily Mimosoideae of the pea family Fabaceae. It has great many
importance in our day-to-day life.

Individual flowers are arranged in inflorescences that may be either globular heads or
cylindrical spikes.
Flowers can vary in colour through cream, pale yellow to gold.
Acacia make excellent garden plants. Acacia are a good source of pollen making some
species popular with bee-keepers. The seeds are also an important source of food for birds.
Acacia is found in Australia, Africa, Madagascar, throughout the Asia - Pacific region
and in the Americas.

The next feature of the biodiversity park was rather interesting, as it was the one of
the many beautiful fauna we had encountered.


The swallows are a group of

passerine birds in the family
Hirundinidae that are characterised
by their adaptation to aerial feeding.
Swallows are excellent flyers, and use
these skills to feed and attract a mate.
Some species, like the mangrove
swallow, are territorial, whereas
others are not and simply defend their
nesting site. In general, the males
select a nest site, and then attract a
female using song and flight, and
(dependent on the species) guard their
territory. The size of the territory
varies depending on the species of
swallow; in colonial-nesting species it
tends to be small, but it may be much
larger for solitary nesters. Outside the
breeding season, some species may
Courtesy: allaboutbirds.com form large flocks, and species may
also roost communally. This is
thought to provide protection from
predators such as sparrowhawks and hobbies. The swallows have a cosmopolitan
distribution across the world and breed on all the continents except Antarctica. It is
believed that this family originated in Africa as hole-nesters.

Purple Sunbird

The purple sunbird (Cinnyris asiaticus) is a

small sunbird. Like other sunbirds they feed
mainly on nectar, although they will also take
insects, especially when feeding young. They
have a fast and direct flight and can take nectar
by hovering like a hummingbird but often
perch at the base of flowers. The males appear
all black except in some lighting when the
purple iridescence becomes visible. Females
are olive above and yellowish below.

It is also called as the indian hummingbird due to its similarity in feeding on the nectar
like the hummingbird. One of the most fascinating thing about this bird is that it uses
spider webs to build its nest by modifying and lining the cobweb structures formed by
colonial spiders like Stegodyphus sarasinorum (Eresidae).

The species is distributed widely from West Asia through the Indian subcontinent and
into Southeast Asia. They are resident birds in most parts of their range and do not move
large distances. They are found in thin forest and garden land, including those in dense
urban areas.


The blue or Indian peafowl originally of

India and Sri Lanka are birds in the
genera Pavo and Afropavo of the
Phasianidae family, the pheasants and
their allies, known for the male's piercing
call and, among the Asiatic species, his
extravagant eye-spotted tail covert
feathers which he displays as part of a
courtship ritual. Peafowl are best known
Image courtesy: for the male's extravagant display
animaldreams.com feathers which, despite actually growing
from their back, are thought of as a tail.
The "train" is in reality made up of the
enormously elongated upper tail coverts. The tail itself is brown and short as in the
peahen. The colours result not from any green or blue pigments but from the micro-
structure of the feathers and the resulting optical phenomena.

Black Crowned Night Heron

The black-crowned night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax), commonly abbreviated to just

night heron in Eurasia, is a medium-sized heron
found throughout a large part of the world, except in
the coldest regions and Australasia. The breeding
habitat is fresh and salt-water wetlands throughout
much of the world. The subspecies N. n. hoactli
breeds in North and So uth America from Canada as
far south as northern Argentina and Chile, N. n.
obscurus in southernmost South America, N. n.
falklandicus in the Falkland Islands, and the
nominate race N. n. nycticorax in Europe, Asia and
Africa. Black-crowned night herons nest in colonies on platforms of sticks in a group of

trees, or on the ground in protected locations such as islands or reedbeds. Three to eight
eggs are laid.

This heron is migratory in the northernmost part of its range, but otherwise resident (even
in the cold Patagonia). The North American population winters in Mexico, the southern
United States, Central America, and the West Indies, and the Old World birds winter in
tropical Africa and southern Asia.

Red Crusted Poachard

The red-crested pochard (Netta rufina) is a large diving duck. The scientific name is
derived from Greek Netta "duck", and Latin rufina, "golden-red" (from rufus, "ruddy").[2]
Its breeding habitat is lowland marshes and lakes in southern Europe and Central Asia,
wintering in the Indian Subcontinent and Africa.

It is somewhat migratory, and

northern birds winter further south
into north Africa. Red-crested
pochards build nests by the
lakeside among vegetation and lay
812 pale green eggs. The birds'
status in the British Isles is much
confused because there have been
many escapes and deliberate
releases over the years, as well as
natural visitors from the continent.

The adult male is unmistakable. It

has a rounded orange head, red
bill and black breast. The flanks are white, the back brown, and the tail black. The female
is mainly a pale brown, with a darker back and crown and a whitish face. Eclipse males
are like females but with red bills.


The nilgai or blue bull (Boselaphus tragocamelus) is the largest Asian antelope and is
endemic to the Indian subcontinent. It is the sole member of the genus Boselaphus. A
sturdy thin-legged antelope, the nilgai is characterised by a sloping back, a deep neck
with a white patch on the throat, a short crest of hair along the neck terminating in a tuft,

and white facial spots. A column of pendant coarse hair, hangs from the dewlap ridge
below the white patch. While females and juveniles are orange to tawny, males are much
darker their coat is typically bluish grey, hence the name, Nilgai.

Indian Hare

The Indian hare is distributed

throughout India, except the high
reaches of the Himalayas and
mangrove areas within the Sundarbans
in the state of West Bengal. The
geographic distribution extends into
eastern Pakistan, southern Nepal, Sri
Lanka, and Bangladesh excluding the
Sundarbans . It is thought to occur in
Bhutan as well, but exact locations are
not known. This species can be found
at elevations ranging from 50-4,500 m.

This species has been introduced to many islands of the Indian Ocean like Mauritius,
Gunnera Quoin, Anskya, Runion, and Cousin. Lepus nigricollis is considered native to
Java, but its origin is considered uncertain.


A bumblebee (also written bumble

bee) is a member of the genus
Bombus, part of Apidae, one of the
bee families. Many bumblebees are
social insects that form colonies
with a single queen. The colonies
are smaller than those of
honeybees, growing to as few as 50
individuals in a nest. Female
bumblebees can sting repeatedly,
but generally ignore humans and
other animals. Cuckoo bumblebees
do not make nests; their queens
aggressively invade the nests of
other bumblebee species, kill the resident queens and then lay their own eggs, which are
cared for by the resident workers.

Bumblebees have round bodies covered in soft hair (long branched setae) called pile,
making them appear and feel fuzzy. They have aposematic (warning) coloration, often
consisting of contrasting bands of colour, and different species of bumblebee in a region
often resemble each other in mutually protective Mllerian mimicry. Harmless insects
such as hoverflies often derive protection from resembling bumblebees.


A dragonfly is an insect belonging to the order Odonata, infraorder Anisoptera (from

Greek anisos "uneven" and pteron, "wing", because the hindwing is
broader than the forewing). Adult dragonflies are characterized by large multifaceted
eyes, two pairs of strong transparent wings, sometimes with coloured patches and an
can be
mistaken for
the related
which are
similar in
though usually
lighter in build;
however, the
wings of most
dragonflies are
held flat and away from the body, while damselflies hold the wings folded at rest, along
or above the abdomen. Dragonflies are agile fliers, while damselflies have a weaker,
fluttery flight. Many dragonflies have brilliant iridescent or metallic colours produced by
structural coloration, making them conspicuous in flight. An adult dragonflys compound
eye has nearly 24,000 ommatidia.

Loss of wetland habitat threatens dragonfly populations around the world. Dragonflies
are represented in human culture on artifacts such as pottery, rock paintings, and Art
Nouveau jewellery. They are used in traditional medicine in Japan and China, and caught
for food in Indonesia. They are symbols of courage, strength, and happiness in Japan, but
seen as sinister in European folklore.

Common Moorhen

The common moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) (also

known as the swamp chicken) is a bird species in
the family Rallidae. It is distributed across many
parts of the world.

The common moorhen lives around well-vegetated

marshes, ponds, canals and other wetlands. The
species is not found in the polar regions or many
tropical rainforests. Elsewhere it is likely the most
common rail species, except for the Eurasian coot in some regions.

The common moorhen is one of the birds (the other is the Eurasian coot, Fulica atra)
from which the cyclocoelid flatworm parasite Cyclocoelum mutabile was first described.
The bird is also parasitised by the moorhen flea, Dasypsyllus gallinulae.


The darters or snakebirds are mainly tropical waterbirds in the family Anhingidae
having a single genus Anhinga. There are
four living species, three of which are very
common and widespread while the fourth is
rarer and classified as near-threatened by the
IUCN. The term "snakebird" is usually used
without any additions to signify whichever
of the completely allopatric species occurs in
any one region. It refers to their long thin
neck, which has a snake-like appearance
when they swim with their bodies
submerged, or when mated pairs twist it
during their bonding displays. Darters are
mostly tropical in distribution, ranging into
subtropical and barely into warm temperate
regions. They typically inhabit fresh water
lakes, rivers, marshes, swamps, and are less often found along the seashore in brackish
estuaries, bays, lagoons and mangrove. Most are sedentary and do not migrate; the
populations in the coolest parts of the range may migrate however.


Porcupines are rodentian mammals with a coat of sharp spines, or quills, that protect
against predators. The term covers two families of animals, the Old World porcupines of
family Hystricidae, and the New World porcupines of family Erethizontidae. Both
belong to the
within the
diverse order
Rodentia and
similar coats
of quills:
despite this,
the two groups
are distinct
from each
other and are
not closely
related to each
other within
Hystricognathi. Porcupines are the third-largest of the rodents, behind the capybara and
the beaver. Porcupines' quills, or spines, take on various forms, depending on the species,
but all are modified hairs coated with thick plates of keratin, and embedded in the skin

Purple moor-hen

The western swamphen or commonly known as

purple moor-hen (Porphyrio porphyrio) is a
"swamp hen" in the rail family Rallidae. From its
French name talve sultane, it is also known as
the sultana bird. This chicken-sized bird, with
its large feet, bright plumage and red bill and
frontal shield is easily recognisable in its native
range. It is found in Iberia, France, Sardinia and
North Africa to Tunisia.

The western swamphen in the Mediterranean has

declined due to habitat loss, hunting and
pesticide use, and requires strict protection. In
Portugal the species declined greatly in the 19th and 20th centuries, but has increased
more recently thanks to protection and some reintroduction schemes, although it remains
rare and has a fragmented distribution.


The leopard (Panthera pardus) is one of the five "big cats" in the genus Panthera. It is a
member of the family Felidae with a wide range in sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia.
Compared to other
members of Felidae, the
leopard has relatively
short legs and a long
body with a large skull.
It is similar in
appearance to the
jaguar, but has a
smaller, lighter
physique. Its fur is
marked with rosettes
similar to those of the
jaguar, but the leopard's
rosettes are smaller and
more densely packed,
and do not usually have
central spots as the jaguar's do. Both leopards and jaguars that are melanistic are known
as black panthers. The leopard is distinguished by its well-camouflaged fur, opportunistic
hunting behaviour, broad diet, and strength (which it uses to move heavy carcasses into
trees), as well as its ability to adapt to various habitats ranging from rainforest to steppe.
Due to the leopard's superlative stealthiness, people often remain unaware that big cats
live in nearby areas.

On the 18th
February,2017, we,
the students of Shiv
Nadar University paid
a visit to Yamuna Bio
Diversity Park located
in Wazirabad, New
Delhi. It was a treat to
our eyes to see such
exotic flora and fauna.
I could understand the
classification system
of organisms much better. Various varieties of plants varying from non-flowering
bryophytes and gymnosperms to flowering angiosperms made me feel how each
organism was important and how each one of them played a role in the eco-system.
Although the plants are useful for
mak ing various products like
jute and ropes one should use
them sensibly for the
sustainability of resources. The
flora and fauna are also
aesthetically appealing thus
attracting tourism thereby
increasing the revenue of the
state. Multiple sectors are
affected if these creatures are not protected.

Each and everything

in the surroundings
of an organism is
important for its
For example, a tiger
a carnivore, has no
intentions of eating
grass that surround
him, but he does
need to wait
patiently for its prey
to hunt and eat, and

ultimately survive. Thus grass, though not for eating but for hiding in plain sight to hunt,
is essential for a tiger.
The question then arises as
to why have carnivores at
all who feed on poor
helpless animals?
Carnivores help to
maintain a balance of
nature by keeping a check
on the population of
herbivores. In case of
absence of carnivores, the
population of herbivores
would explode, and they would consume all the small plants and grass, thus effectively
turning a said region into an ecological desert. Not only this, but predators segregate the
weaker members of the herd while hunting and help in survival of the fittest and thus the
strongest genes will be passed on to the next generations.

Humans through their

undesirable activities
like destroying forests
for their habitat end up
exposing animals to
threat to such an extent
that the animals reach
the verge of extinction;
Dodo being one such
bird that no more exists
and is merely found in
museums, dictionaries,
encyclopaedias and in list of extinct birds category. Forest area in India has come down
by a drastic amount only to
satisfy the wants of Homo
sapiens. In my visit to the park
I saw various number of plants
like Euphorbia that is majorly
found in North America. Such
plants give bio-diversity parks
educational importance and it
was a nice experience to see
such plants that were
mentioned in my textbook.

Information given by the guides like a particular variety of plant that survives in salt rich
areas turns red from green on utilising the salt in that area for nutrition and can be used to
check soil quality and salt indicator, how a tree is able to produce oxygen for 5 people
and how we are recklessly cutting down trees for our own selfishness which eventually

results in our loss as O2 s cost (about 13lakh per person per year) compared to the cost
of growing a tree. Such details cannot be found on the internet easily, made me
understand in this visit. Getting to know so much about the environment and about how
recklessly we have been using it makes my jaw drop. The Yamuna Biodiversity Park was
built ground up on saline land by methods of bioremediation- phytoremediation etc. The
flora and fauna found in it are not local flora and fauna, instead they are mostly brought
from different places and planted
inside the biodiversity park
premises where there exists a
coexistence of multiple natural
creatures. Its success was reflected
when birds which resided in the
locality 100years before started
coming back as the bio-diversity
was set up. The final stage of the
complete rehabilitation of the ark
was said to be completed when a
leopard was found in the late
monsoons of 2016. This incident
effectively indicated that predators

have arrived
and that the
food chain is
establishing a
fact that all
necessities of
survival for
the Animalia
of the lower
order is

The Parks specialty is the host of birds that

come to it during their seasonal migration-
birds that never stopped at that point befo
re. Its importance is not just a symbolic
representation of what kind of biodiversity
exists, but also a concerted effort to
preserve it and strive to make the
environment sustainable. Another awe-
inspiring fact is that from a piece of barren
land, where nothing grew, the park has
wetlands where the water is obtained
through a very natural process and thus
making the water in wetlands completely
potable, thus re-establishing the order of
nature in a very pristine form.

Yamuna bio-diversity park is rather first

such a model. Such models would bring
back the natures working in its pace. Ideas
like sustainable use of resources, planting
four trees for every tree cut down, use of
renewable resources and alternate ideas
should be brought up and promoted to save
these organisms. Although Darwins theory of survival of the fittest makes humans feel
that they are in the top of the food chain they also need to understand that to survive itself
we organisms need to live in harmony. We need to protect our biome and Mother Nature.

Its better to use other alternate, effective and renewable resources than land up alone on
an alternate planet.

National Geographic Kids