Q: I often see forest fires in wildlife sanctuaries and National parks during the dry season. How damaging are these?

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Answer from Dr. K. Ullas Karanth: Fire in a large, natural landscape has a lot of complex effects, some of which are definitely positive. But the annual fires that happen in our tiny protected areas are very different. In India most wild landscapes are not large enough to mediate the long-term impacts of fires. Our protected areas form less than 4% of our land area and they are being repeatedly subjected to fires caused by humans. These are not lightning … Read More