Conservation of Biodiversity
Biodiversity is the variability of life on Earth. Conservation of biodiversity refers to the preservation, protection and management of ecosystems and ensuring that all the organisms are healthy and safe.
Methods for the conservation of biodiversity
- IN – SITU conservation
- EX – SITU conservation
- It means protecting the natural species in their habitat.
- It refers to the conservation of genetic resources in the natural population of flora and fauna. It involves the management of biodiversity in the same area where it is found.
In situ conservation consists of Wildlife sanctuaries, Natural parks, Biosphere reserves, Sacred Groves for better preservation of biodiversity ia a certain region.
In the past years, many projects were started for the conservation of major wildlife species.
1) Project Tiger
It was started in 1973 and it was the first project aimed at preserving key species. There were nine Tiger reserves under it covering an area of 16339sq.km. This area goes on increasing with time.
It was recognised that for preserving tigers, their habitat should be preserved.
2) Crocodile conservation
It was started in 1975 and it was necessary as the skin of crocodiles is used for making leather articles. It was one of the most successful In- Situ conservation projects in-country. Thousands of crocodile are preserved in 20 natural water bodies.
3) Project Elephant
It was initiated in 1992 to ensure the long life of elephants in their habitat in many parts of India. It was started because due to human activities, elephants are at threat and their migration routes are disrupted.
Wildlife sanctuaries, National Parks, Biosphere reserves, Sacred Groves of India.
There are 566 Wildlife sanctuaries and 104 National parks 97 Conservation Reserves and 214 Community Reserves.
These include a variety of systems acc. to the species. Some famous wildlife sanctuaries, biosphere reserves and national parks are:
- Wildlife Sanctuaries
- Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary Bharatpur, Rajasthan
- Periyar Sanctuary, Kerala
- Manas Wildlife Sanctuary Kamrup, Assam
- National Parks
- The Great Himalayan National Park
- Kaziranga National Park, Assam
- Kanha National Park, M.P.
- Biosphere Reserves
- Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, Uttranchal
- Sunderbans Biosphere Reserve, West Bengal
- Agasthymalai Biosphere Reserve, Kerala
Integrated Protected Area System (IPAS)
Protected areas must be established in every region so that the variety of species can be protected. India has a rapid growth of human population due to which it is not possible to get more land for protected areas.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural resources states that it is necessary to include atleast 10% of ecosystems as protected areas. India has 5% of land used in protected areas. It can be achieved by a large number of environmental education programs.
Ex- Situ Conservation
- It means preserving species outside their natural habitat or at the place of occurrence. In it, the endangered species are taken from their natural habitat and are preserved in protected areas.
- It is much expensive than In-Situ
- Many programs come under In these programs, when a species is on the end of extinction then breeding is done to preserve the species. Modern breeding programs are done in protected areas like zoos and botanical gardens.
- Other examples., of Ex-Situ conservation are gene banks, germ plasma banks, seed banks.
The most important step of a successful breeding program is to reintroduce the species into its original habitat and removal of many causes which leads to extinction of species.