Q. Which of the following are the reasons/factors for exposure to benzene pollution?

  1. Automobile exhaust
  2. Tobacco smoke
  3. Wood burning
  4. Using varnished wooden furniture
  5. Using products made of polyurethane

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1, 2 and 3 only
(b) 2 and 4 only
(c) 1, 3 and 4 only
(d) 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Correct Answer: (a) 1, 2 and 3 only

  • Benzene
    • Benzene is an aromatic compound with a single six-member unsaturated carbon ring.
    • It is a chemical that is a colourless or light yellow liquid at room temperature.
    • It dissolves only slightly in water and will float on top of the water.
    • It is highly flammable.
    • It is formed from both natural processes and human activities.
    • It is found in crude oils and as a by-product of oil-refining processes.
    • It is a known human carcinogen and is linked to an increased risk of developing lymphatic and hematopoietic cancers, acute myelogenous leukaemia, as well as chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. (NCI05)
  • Uses
    • It is used in very large quantities to make other chemicals that are used to make plastics, resins, nylon, and synthetic fibres.
    • It is used to make some types of rubbers, lubricants, dyes, detergents, drugs, and pesticides.
    • It is also used in paints, glues, and furniture wax.
  • Exposure
    • Benzene is degraded rapidly in the upper atmosphere.
    • Because of its solubility in water, a minor amount may be removed by rain to contaminate surface waters and soil.
  • Chronic exposure to benzene can reduce the production of both red and white blood cells from bone marrow in humans, resulting in aplastic anaemia.
  • Benzene is a by-product of the combustion of tobacco in cigarettes.
  • Benzene is also found in wood smoke and automobile exhaust.

Q. With reference to Indian elephants, consider the following statements:

  1. The leader of an elephant group is a female
  2. The maximum gestation period can be 22 months
  3. An elephant can normally go on calving till the age of 40 years only
  4. Among the States in India, the highest elephant population is in Kerala

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 4 only
(c) 3 only
(d) 1, 3 and 4 only

Answer: (a) 1 and 2 only

  • The leader of an elephant group is the oldest female. She leads the group in search of food and water.
  • The gestation period of the breeding pair is nearly 22 months which yields a single baby. During birth, females of the herd surround the mother for her protection.
  • The average life expectancy of an elephant is 70 years and at the age of 18 years, its adulthood starts.
  • South Indian states dominate in having a number of elephants. As per Elephant Census (2017), Karnataka has the highest number of elephants (6,049), followed by Assam (5,719) and Kerala (3,054).
  • Project Elephant is a Central Government sponsored scheme launched in February 1992.
  • It is implemented in 16 out of 29 states of the country.
  • World Elephant Day is celebrated on 12th August every year.
  • There are around 28,000 elephants in India with around 25% of them in Karnataka.

Must Read: Elephant Reserves in India

Q. Which of the following Protected Areas are located in Cauvery basin?

  1. Nagarhole National Park
  2. Papikonda National Park
  3. Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve
  4. Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 3 and 4 only
(c) 1, 3 and 4 only
(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

Answer: (c) 1, 3 and 4 only

  • Nagarhole National Park is in the Cauvery Basin.
  • Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve lies on the banks of the River Bhavani, a tributary of the River Cauvery in the foothills of the Eastern Ghats.
  • Kabini river (a tributary of Cauvery river) flows through the Wayanad wildlife sanctuary.
  • Where as Papikonda remains entirely inside the East and West Godavari districts near Godavari basin after 2014 and after the construction of Polavaram Dam.
Cauvery Basin

Must Read: National Parks

Q. With reference to India’s biodiversity, Ceylon Frogmouth, Coppersmith Barbet, Gray Chinned Minivet and White-throated Redstart are

(a) Birds

(b) Primates

(c) Reptiles

(d) Amphibians

Answer: (a) Birds

Ceylon Frogmouth
  • Ceylon Frogmouth is also known as Srilanka frogmouth.
  •  It is nocturnal and is found in forest habitats.
  • It is a bird species found in the Western Ghats and Sri Lanka.
  • Its IUCN status is the least concern.
Coppersmith Barbet
  • Coppersmith Barbet is also known as Crimson-breasted barbet is bird species found in the whole Indian Subcontinent.
  • Its IUCN status is the least concerned.
  • It is a resident bird in the Indian subcontinent and parts of Southeast Asia.
Grey Chinned minivet
  • Grey Chinned minivet is bird species found from the Himalayas to China.
  • Its IUCN status is least concerned.
  • It is found from the Himalayas to China, Taiwan and Southeast Asia.
  • Its natural habitat is forests about 1,000–2,000 m in elevation.
White-throated redstart
  • White-throated redstart is a bird species found in India, Nepal, Bhutan, and China.
  • It is also given the status of least concern by IUCN.
  • Its natural habitat is temperate forests.

Q. Which one of the following protected areas is well-known for the conservation of a sub-species of the Indian swamp deer (Barasingha) that thrives well on hard ground and is exclusively graminivorous?

(a) Kanha National Park

(b) Manas National Park

(c) Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary

(d) Tal Chhapar Wildlife Sanctuary

Answer: (a) Kanha National Park

  • Barasingha is the one of the rarest species of deer family spread across central and northern India only in small congregations.
  • The deer is native to India and Nepal. Barasingha are also known as swamp deer due to their nature to survive close to river valleys or swampy regions.
    • It is extinct in Pakistan and Bangladesh.
  • Kanha National Park is located in Madhya Pradesh and a renowned place for tigers. But the park’s major achievement is to save nearly extinct barasingha (swamps deers). It was a landmark achievement by preserve the highly endangered barasingha.
    • Once it only 66 of these in Kanha, but careful BarahsIngha conservation and management raised their population to over 500.
  • Barasingha can be seen in the following National Parks-
    • Dudhwa National Park, UP
    • Kanha National Park, MP
    • Pilibhit Tiger Reserve, UP
Kanha National Park
  • It is located in Madhya Pradesh and is the largest national park of MP.
  • The present-day Kanha area is divided into two protected areas, Hallon and Banjar.
  • Bengal tiger, Indian leopard, sloth bear, barasingha and dhole are important species found here.

Q. Which of the following are the most likely places to find the musk deer in its natural habitat?

  1. Askot Wildlife Sanctuary
  2. Gangotri National Park
  3. Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary
  4. Manas National Park

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 3 and 4 only
(d) 1 and 4 only

Answer: (a) 1 and 2 only

  • Musk deer largely can be seen in Himalayan states such as Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh.
  • It inhabits high alpine environments above altitudes of 2,500 m.
  • IUCN Status: Endangered.
Additional Information
  • Askot Wildlife Sanctuary
    • The Askot Musk Deer Sanctuary has located 54 km from the town of Askot, Pithoragarh in Uttarakhand.
    • As the name suggests, the sanctuary has been set up primarily for the conservation of musk deer and its natural habitat.
  • Gangotri National Park
    • Gangotri National Park is a national park in Uttarkashi District of Uttarakhand in India.
    • Various rare and endangered species like bharal or blue sheep, black bear, brown bear, Himalayan Monal, Himalayan Snowcock, Himalayan Thar, musk deer, and Snow leopard are found in the park.
  • The Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary 
    • The Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary is a part of the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve near Mailani in Uttar Pradesh, India.
    • It covers an area of 227 km2 (88 sq mi) and was founded in 1972.
    • The tiger, chital, hog deer, wild boars, otters, and many more animals find themselves a home here.
  • Manas National Park
    • Manas National Park or Manas Wildlife Sanctuary is a national park, UNESCO Natural World Heritage site, a Project Tiger reserve, an elephant reserve, and a biosphere reserve in Assam, India.
    • Located in the Himalayan foothills.

Q. In rural road construction, the use of which of the following is preferred for ensuring environmental sustainability or to reduce carbon footprint?

  1. Copper slag
  2. Cold mix asphalt technology
  3. Geotextiles
  4. Hot mix asphalt technology
  5. Portland cement

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1, 2 and 3 only
(b) 2, 3 and 4 only
(c) 4 and 5 only
(d) 1 and 5 only

Answer: (a) 1, 2 and 3 only

  • The use of copper slag in cement and concrete provides potential environmental as well as economic benefits for all related industries.
  • Particularly in areas where a considerable amount of copper slag is produced.
  • Production of cold asphalt mix does not require high investment in equipment.
  • This makes it economically relatively pollution-free (no objectionable fumes or odors). 
  • Cold asphalt mixes can be used both for initial construction (100% virgin mixes) and for recycling of asphalt pavements.
  • Geotextiles are mostly used in road construction, especially to fill gaps between the roads to improve soil structure.
    • Geotextile makes poor soil more beneficial for use and then easy to build in difficult places also.
    • It helps to prevent the erosion of soil but allows the water to drain off.
  • Portland cement and hot asphalt mix are the major CO2 emitters.
  • Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) is a combination of approximately 95% stone, sand, or gravel bound together by asphalt cement, a product of crude oil.

Q. Steel slag can be the material for which of the following?

  1. Construction of base road
  2. Improvement of agricultural soil
  3. Production of cement

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1, 2 and 3

  • Steel slag, a by-product of steel making, is produced during the separation of the molten steel from impurities in steel-making furnaces. Steel slag can also be produced by smelting iron ore in a basic oxygen furnace.
  • One of the ingredients of asphalt is steel slag, a by-product of the steel and iron production processes.
  • Asphalt roads are made of a mixture of aggregates, binders, and fillers.
  • The aggregates are typically iron or steel slag, sand, gravel, mixed with asphalt that produces bitumen.
  • The bitumen, produced by the refineries, plays an important role in road construction.
  • Steel slags can be used in several activities, such as construction and paving, and also in the agricultural sector
  • Steel slag has the ability to correct soil acidity, as it contains some nutrients for the plants and also as silicate fertilizer that is capable of providing silicon to the plants. 
  • Steel slag, another waste from the Iron & Steel Industry, has shown potential for use as a raw mix component up to 10% in the manufacture of cement clinker.
  • Steel slag can also replace granulated blast furnace slag up to 10% in the manufacture of Portland Slag Cement. Steel slag has been used successfully to treat acidic water discharges from abandoned mines.

Q. Consider the following statements:

  1. Coal ash contains arsenic, lead and mercury.
  2. Coal-fired power plants release sulphur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen into the environment.
  3. High ash content is observed in Indian coal.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1, 2 and 3

  • Coal itself isn’t a particularly toxic material.
  • But after it’s burned for domestic or commercial purposes it produces ash.
  • Ash includes lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium, arsenic, and selenium, etc.
    • All in levels that may threaten human health.
  • Thermal power plants produce large amounts of nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide.
    • The pollutants that cause acid rain—when they burn fossil fuels, especially coal, to produce energy.
  • India’s domestic coal reserves have a high ash content of up to 40 to 45 percent. 

Q. What is the use of biochar in farming?

  1. ‘Biochar can be used as a part of the growing medium in vertical farming.
  2. When biochar is a part of the growing medium, it promotes the growth of nitrogen fixing microorganisms.
  3. When biochar is a part of the growing- medium, it enables the growing medium to retain water for longer time.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1, 2 and 3

  • Biochar, a charcoal-like material produced by heating biomass in the absence of oxygen.
  • It is the direct thermal decomposition of biomass in the absence of oxygen (preventing combustion).
    • The use of biochar in vertical farming can increase output significantly.
  • Biochar is a stable, carbon-rich form of charcoal that is applied to the soil.
  • Biochar has the potential to boost the natural ability of legumes to fix nitrogen in the soil.
    • Biochar supporting the life of nitrogen-fixing microorganisms, biochar can also decrease soil nitrogen emission.
    • And also increase nitrogen use efficiency and nitrogen retention in the soil.
  • Because of its porous nature, biochar can improve your soil’s water retention.
    • Thereby plants will have more water available to them for a longer period of time. 

Q. If a particular plant species is placed under Schedule VI of The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, what is the implication?

(a) A licence is required to cultivate that plant

(b) Such a plant cannot be cultivated under any circumstances

(c) It is a Genetically Modified crop plant

(d) Such a plant is invasive and harmful to the ecosystem

Answer: (a) A licence is required to cultivate that plant

Must Read: Wildlife Protection Act 1972

Q. What is/are the advantage/advantages of zero tillage in agriculture?

  1. Sowing of wheat is possible without burning the residue of the previous crop
  2. Without the need for the nursery of rice saplings, direct planting of paddy seeds in the wet soil is possible.
  3. Carbon sequestration in the soil is possible.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1, 2 and 3

  • Tillage is an agricultural land preparation through mechanical agitation which includes digging, stirring, and overturning.
  • Zero-till farming is a way of growing wheat crops without tillage or disturbing the soil in harvested fields.
    • Zero tillage (ZT) also called No-Tillage or Nil Tillage.
  • Happy Seeder is one of the unique techniques which is used for sowing seed without any burning of crop residue.
  • Zero tillage not only reduces the cost of cultivation it also reduces soil erosion, crop duration, and irrigation requirement, and weed effect which is better than tillage.
  • Direct Seeded Rice Zero-Tillage (DSR) is an alternative crop establishment method for rice. Where seeds are sown directly without raising them in a nursery and can be done in zero-tillage conditions. 
  • Adopting no-tillage before cultivation has been widely recommended as a means of enhancing carbon sequestration in soils.
  • If crops are not burnt and the land is prepared through mechanical agitation, carbon sequestration remains possible.​

Q. According to India’s National Policy on Biofuels, which of the following can be used as raw materials for the production of biofuels?

  1. Cassava
  2. Damaged wheat grains
  3. Groundnut seeds
  4. Horse gram
  5. Rotten potatoes
  6. Sugar beet

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1, 2, 5 and 6 only
(b) 1, 3, 4 and 6 only
(c) 2, 3, 4 and 5 only
(d) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6

Answer: (a) 1, 2, 5 and 6 only

  • According to the National Biofuel policy among all the raw materials used for biofuel production.
  • The Policy expands the scope of raw material for ethanol production by allowing the use of Sugarcane Juice, Sugar containing materials like Sugar Beet, Sweet Sorghum, etc.
  • Starch containing materials like Corn, Cassava, Damaged food grains like wheat, broken rice, Rotten Potatoes, unfit for human consumption for ethanol production.
National Policy on Biofuels

Q . Which one of the following statements best describes the term ‘Social Cost of Carbon’? It is a measure, in monetary value, of the

(a) long-term damage done by a tonne of CO2, emissions in a given year

(b) requirement of fossil fuels for a country to provide goods and services to its citizens, based on the burning of those fuels

(c) efforts put in by a climate refugee to adapt to live in a new place

(d) contribution of an individual person to the carbon footprint on the planet Earth

Answer: (a) long-term damage done by a tonne of CO2, emissions in a given year

  • The social cost of carbon (SCC) is an estimate, in monetary value (dollars), of the economic damages that would result from emitting one additional ton of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere
    • Greenhouse gas is a gas that has the property of absorbing infrared radiation (net heat energy) emitted from Earth’s surface and reradiating it back to Earth’s surface like Carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, and water vapour.
  • The social cost of carbon puts the effects of climate change into economic terms to help policymakers and other decision-makers understand the economic impacts of decisions that would increase or decrease emissions.
    • A benefit-cost analysis is done to estimate the social cost of carbon.  
    • A benefit-cost analysis compares the total economic benefits of a proposed policy to its total economic costs.
    • The SCC is used in benefit-cost analysis to quantify the dollar value of a policy’s effect on climate change due to changes in greenhouse gas emissions.

Q. In the context of India, which of the following is/are considered to be of practice(s) of eco-friendly agriculture?

  1. Crop diversification
  2. Legume intensification
  3. Tensiometer use
  4. Vertical farming

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1, 2 and 3 only
(b) 3 only
(c) 4 only
(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

Answer: (d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

  • Crop diversification
    • Crop diversification refers to the addition of new crops or cropping systems to agricultural production on a particular farm taking into account the different returns from value-added crops with complementary marketing opportunities.
  • Legume Intensification:
    • Legumes fix the atmospheric nitrogen, release in the soil high-quality organic matter, and facilitate soil nutrients’ circulation and water retention.
    • Based on these multiple functions, legume crops have a high potential for conservation agriculture, being functional either as a growing crop or as crop residue.
  • Tensiometer Use:
    • A tensiometer in soil science is a measuring instrument used to determine the matric water potential in the soil.
    • When the water pressure in the tensiometer is determined to be in equilibrium with the water pressure in the soil, the tensiometer gauge reading represents the matric potential of the soil.
    • Such tensiometers are used in irrigation scheduling to help farmers and other irrigation managers to determine when to water.
  • Vertical farming 
    • Vertical farming is the practice of growing crops in vertically stacked layers.
    • Vertical Farming which aims to optimize plant growth, and soilless farming techniques such as hydroponics, aquaponics, and aeroponics.
    • In vertical farming, crops are grown indoors, under artificial conditions of light and temperature.
    • Japan has been one of the early pioneers in vertical farming.
    • It holds the largest share in the global vertical farming market.
    • According to FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) of the United Nations, vertical farming consumes 75% less raw material as compared to traditional farming. It also has loweer carbon footprints and has greater crop yields.

Q. Consider the following minerals:

  1. Bentonite
  2. Chromite
  3. Kyanite
  4. Sillimanite

In India, which of the above is/are officially designated as major minerals?

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 4 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 2, 3 and 4 only

Answer: (d) 2, 3 and 4 only

  • On 10th February 2015, Bentonite has been declared as ‘Minor Mineral’ hence the production is not available with IBM.
    • Bentonite is exploited mainly by manual and at places by semi-mechanised methods by deploying shovels and dumpers for mining, haulage, etc.
  • The major minerals cover fuel minerals consisting of coal, lignite, petroleum & natural gas and other major minerals i.e. metallic minerals including atomic minerals and non-metallic minerals.
  • The Central Government has declared the following minerals as minor minerals:
    • Boulder, shingle, chalcedony pebbles used for ball mill purposes only, lime shell, kankar.
    • And limestone used in kilns for the manufacture of lime used as a building material.
    • Murrum, brick-earth, fuller’s earth, bentonite, road metal, reh-matti.
    • Slate and shale when used for building material, marble, stone used for making household utensils.
    • Quartzite and sandstone when used for purposes of building or for making road metal and household utensils, saltpeter, and ordinary earth
    • Used or filling or leveling purposes in construction or embankments, roads, railways, building.

Q. With reference to Ocean Mean Temperature (OMT), which of the following statements is/are correct?

  1. OMT is measured up to a depth of 26°C isotherm which is 129 meters in the southwestern Indian Ocean during January — March.
  2. OMT collected during January – March can be used in assessing whether the amount of rainfall in monsoon will be less or more than a certain long-term mean.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (b) 2 only

  • Ocean heat content (OHC) and Ocean Mean Temperature (OMT) are important climatic parameters required for atmospheric and oceanic studies like cyclone and monsoon predictions and ocean heat transport estimations.
  • Sea surface temperature (SST) is routinely used for predicting whether the total amount of rainfall that India receives during the monsoon season will be less or more than the long-term mean of 887.5 mm.
  • Now, scientists from Pune’s Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) find that ocean means temperature (OMT) that has a better ability to predict this than the sea surface temperature.
  • Compared with SST which has a 60% success rate of predicting the Indian summer monsoon, OMT has an 80% success rate.  
  • The SST is restricted to a few millimeters of the top ocean layer and is largely influenced by strong winds, evaporation, or thick clouds.
  • In contrast, OMT, which is measured up to a depth of 26 degrees isotherm, is more stable and consistent, and the spatial spread is also less.
  • The 26 degrees isotherm is seen at depths varying from 50–100 meters.
  • During January–March, the mean 26 degrees C isotherm depth in the Southwestern Indian Ocean is 59 meters
Ocean Mean Temperature (OMT)

Q. With reference to India’s Desert National Park, which of the following statements are correct?

  1. It is spread over two districts.
  2. There is no human habitation inside the Park.
  3. It is one of the natural habitats of the Great Indian Bustard.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (c) 1 and 3 only


Desert National Park, Rajasthan

  • Desert National Park, Rajasthan, India, is situated in the west Indian state of Rajasthan near the towns of Jaisalmer and Barmer.
  • This is one of the largest national parks, covering an area of 3162 km².
  • The Desert National Park is an excellent example of the ecosystem of the Thar Desert.
  • The Desert National Park (DNP) covers an area of 3162 km² of which  1900 km² is in the Jaisalmer district, and the remaining 1262 km² is in the Barmer district of Rajasthan State.
  • The Desert National Park (DNP) is the most important site for the long-term survival of the Globally Threatened Great Indian Bustard.
    • Other birds of significance include the endangered Oriental White-backed vulture Gyps bengalensis and Long-billed Gyps indicus, etc.
    • Bird species representative of Biome has been identified by BirdLife International.
  • Normally human activities are not allowed in National Park but many villagers lived inside Desert National park, and they did not have access to even basic facility like road, electricity and water.
    • In 2017, Supreme Court ordered the government to provide such facilities to them.

The Great Indian Bustard

  • The great Indian bustard or Indian bustard is a bustard found on the Indian subcontinent.
  • A large bird with a horizontal body and long bare legs, giving it an ostrich-like appearance,
  • This bird is among the heaviest of the flying birds.
  • IUCN Status: Critical Endangered.

Q. Consider the following statements :

  1. 36% of India’s districts are classified as “overexploited” or “critical” by the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA).
  2. CGWA was formed under the Environment (Protection) Act.
  3. India has the largest area under groundwater irrigation in the world.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 2 only
(d) 1 and 3 only

Answer: (b) 2 and 3 only

  • Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) was constituted under Section 3(3) of the Environment (Protection) Act, (1986).
  • It regulates the extraction of groundwater through guidelines that are updated regularly.
  • At 39 million hectares (67% of its total irrigation), India has the world’s largest groundwater well-equipped irrigation system.
  • Out of the 5723 assessment units assessed jointly by State Ground Water Departments and CGWB in the country, as per the report of Niti Aayog, the following is the data –
    • Safe-71%,
    • Semi-critical-10%, 
    • Critical-4%, and 
    • Over Exploited-15%.
Central Ground Water Board
  • Central Ground Water Board was established in 1970 by renaming the Exploratory Tube wells Organization .
  • It is the National Apex Agency entrusted with the responsibility of providing scientific inputs for the management of groundwater, exploration, monitoring, assessment, augmentation, and regulation of groundwater resources of the country. 
  • CGWB is under the Ministry of Jal Shakti, Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.

Q. Among the following Tiger Reserves, which one has the largest area under “Critical Tiger Habitat”?

(a) Corbett

(b) Ranthambore

(c) Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam

(d) Sunderbans

Answer: (c) Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam

Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve
  • The largest tiger reserve in India, NSTR encompasses an area of 3,568.09 sq. kilometres in the Nallamala hill ranges of Andhra Pradesh.
  • The landscape hosts a breathtaking stretch of thick forest and incredibly rich wildlife.
  • The reserve spreads over five districts, Kurnool District, Prakasam District, Guntur District, Nalgonda District and Mahabub Nagar district.
  • Here, the Bengal tiger shares its habitat with more than 60 species of reptiles, including an array of snakes.
  • These reptiles are unique in many ways: they have no eyelids, no external ears, no limbs and sense their surroundings using their tongue.
  • The forest also has the ‘Big Four’ species of venomous snakes — Russell’s viper, common krait, common cobra and the saw scaled viper.
  • The Krishna river cuts its basin.
  • The ancient temples at Srisailam of Lord Mallikarjuna and his consort goddess Bhramaramba, an incarnation of Parvathi as the fair-complexioned boon from Brahma, contain one of the twelve sacred Shaiva Jyotirlingas and one of the eighteen Maha Shakthi peethas in India.

Must Read: Tiger Reserves in India