MCQforum

UPSC IAS Prelims Topicwise Questions : Environment


4. 
Environment
CSP 2017

From the ecological point of view, which one of the following assumes importance in being a good link between the Eastern Ghats and the Western Ghats?

A. Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve
B. Nallamala Forest
C. Nagarhole National Park
D. Seshachalam Biosphere Reserve

Answer: Option A

Sathyamangalam forest range is a significant wildlife corridor in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve between the Western Ghats and the rest of the Eastern Ghats and a genetic link between the four other protected areas which it adjoins, including the Billigiriranga Swamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary, Sigur Plateau, Mudumalai National Park and Bandipur National Park.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sathyamangalam_Wildlife_Sanctuary

Why: UPSC has the habit of picking up options from questions of its past year papers and asking new questions after improvising them. Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve can be found occasionally mentioned in CSP and CAPF papers; hence the question.


6. 
Environment
CSP 2017

Consider the following statements in respect of Trade Related Analysis of Fauna and Flora in Commerce (TRAFFIC):
1. TRAFFIC is a bureau under United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
2. The mission of TRAFFIC is to ensure that trade in wild plants and animals is not a threat to the conservation of nature.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?

A. 1 only
B. 2 only
C. Both 1 and 2
D. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: Option B

Statement 1: It is a NGO, not a bureau under UNEP. So, 1 is wrong.

TRAFFIC is governed by the TRAFFIC Committee, a steering group composed of members of TRAFFIC's partner organizations, WWF and IUCN.

Statement 2: It is working globally on Wildlife trade monitoring network.

It specializes in investigating and analysing wildlife trade trends, patterns, impacts and drivers to provide the leading knowledge base on trade in wild animals and plants.

http://www.traffic.org/overview

Why: WWF and related agencies/schemes/initiatives are a hot favourite of UPSC, one example being Earth hour. Try to cover WWF website comprehensively to answer such questions.


14. 
Environment
CSP 2017

In the context of solving pollution problems, what is/are the advantage/advantages of bioremediation technique?
1. It is a technique for cleaning up pollution by enhancing the same biodegradation process that occurs in nature.
2. Any contaminant with heavy metals such as cadmium and lead can be readily and completely treated by bioremediation using microorganisms.
3. Genetic engineering can be used to create microorganisms specifically designed for bioremediation.
Select the correct answer using the code given below:

A. 1 only
B. 2 and 3 only
C. 1 and 3 only
D. 1, 2 and 3

Answer: Option C

Statement 1: Bioremediation uses naturally occurring organisms to break down hazardous substances into less toxic or non toxic substances.

Statement 2: Always be cautious of extreme statements and words as we have repeatedly pointed out in our 2017 Prelims Test Series. Completely and readily (quickly) are such words here.

Bio-remediation is a slow process, so. Heavy metals such as cadmium and lead are NOT readily absorbed or captured by microorganisms. UPSC had lifted this straight from Wikipedia.

Statement 3: This will be a standard practice in the industry in coming years. For e.g. Alcanivorax, a bacteria with oil-eating abilities, can be used to create species that are much more capable of cleaning oil spills.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/05/160509115556.htm

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-microbes-clean-up-oil-spills/

Why: Expect around 6-8 standard conceptual questions on Eco-engineering every year. Bioremediation, biofuels, genetic engineering are some such standard concepts.


21. 
Environment
CSP 2017

Due to some reasons, if there is a huge fall in the population of species of butterflies, what could be its likely consequence/consequences?
1. Pollination of some plants could be adversely affected.
2. There could be a drastic increase in the fungal infections of some cultivated plants.
3. It could lead to a fall in the population of some species of wasps, spiders and birds.
Select the correct answer using the code given below:

A. 1 only
B. 2 and 3 only
C. 1 and 3 only
D. 1, 2 and 3

Answer: Option C



Statement 1: Bees and butterflies play a vital role in the pollination of plants and the production of crops by transporting pollen grains from one place to another.

Statement 2: This is an absurd statement.

Statement 3: These are some of the common predators of butterflies: wasps, ants, parasitic flies, birds, snakes, toads, rats etc. The decline in butterfly population would therefore adversely affect the food chain. http://www.thebutterflysite.com/what-eats-butterflies.shtml#sthash.PPoslJj4.dpuf


22. 
Environment
CSP 2017

It is possible to produce algae based biofuels, but what is/are the likely limitation(s) of developing countries in promoting this industry?
1. Production of algae based biofuels is possible in seas only and not on continents.
2. Setting up and engineering the algae based biofuel production requires high level of expertise/technology until the construction is completed.
3. Economically viable production necessitates the setting up of large scale facilities which may raise ecological and social concerns.
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: Option B

Statement 1: Algaculture (farming algae) can be initiated on land unsuitable for agriculture or saline water or wastewater. So, 1 is wrong.

Statement 2: Producing algae for bio-fuels (excluding simple seaweed production) requires significant capital investments, which may be a significant barrier in developing countries that have a weak investment climate.

Producing biofuels from algae is still in a pre-commercial state of technology development. Most production plants are therefore prototypes, and the development and engineering of such plants requires a high level of expertise.

Statement 3: Using the land allotted to food crops to algal biofuel reduces the amount of food available for humans, resulting in an increased cost for both the food and the fuel produced. This is an ecological as well as economic concern.

http://www.climatetechwiki.org/technology/algae