India’s Himalayan forests disappearing
May 17, 2006
A new report says Himalayan forests are disappearing at such a high rate that they could be gone by the end of the century.
In the May 20 issue of New Scientist Magazine Maharaj Pandit of the University of Delhi and a team of researchers report that widespread deforestation in the Indian Himalaya region threatens the region’s biodiversity which includes tigers, black bears, musk deer, leopards, golden eagles and bearded vultures.
Using high resolution satellite images and ground surveys, the team says that the region lost 15 percent of its forest cover since the 1970s. More importantly, the Indian government is apparently unaware to the problem because official figures erroneously say that forest cover will increase rather than decrease. The researchers say these “miscalculations” could affect land-use decisions.
In neighboring Nepal, deforestation is even worse. The country lost nearly 10 percent of its forest cover between 2000 and 2005, and 25 percent of its forest cover since 1990, according to U.N. figures.
This article used information from New Scientist Magazine.