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Chapter 4.

Biodiversity
and its conservation
-Jyoti Jadhav

Biodiversity is that part of the nature


which includes the differences in
genes among the individuals of a
species.
Three types of diversity namely:

1. Genetic diversity
2. Species diversity
3. Ecosystem diversity

1.Genetic diversity

When there is a variation of genes within


the same species (single population) and
also among geographically separated
population it is called genetic variation
Change in external or internal factors is
responsible for genetic variations
There are about 10,000,000,000 different
genes

2. Species diversity

The number of species of plants and


animals that are present in a region
constitutes its species diversity.

Approximately 13.92 million species


on earth
It is the most basic way to keep an
account of biodiversity

3. Ecosystem diversity

It is described for a specific geographical


region or country or state or a district.
It includes landscapes like forests,
grasslands, deserts, mountains, etc. as
well as aquatic ecosystems like rivers,
lakes and seas. Also there are manmodified areas such as farmlands or
grazing pastures.

Indias Bio geographic Zones:

1. Trans Himalayan region of Ladakh


2. Himalayan ranges and valleys of
Kashmir, HP, Uttrakhand, Assam
and other NE states
3. Terai-lowland where the Himalayan
rivers flow into the plains
4. The Gangetic and Brahmaputra
plains
5. The Thar desert of Rajasthan

6.

7.
8.
9.
10.

Semi-arid grassland of Deccan,


including Gujarat, Maharashtra,
Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and
Tamil Nadu.
The NE states
The Western ghats in Maharashtra,
Karnataka and Kerala
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands
The long western and eastern coast
belt with sandy beaches, forests and
mangroves.

Value of Biodiversity
Consumptive use value
e.g. direct utilization of timber, food, fuel
wood and fodder by local communities.
Productive use value
e.g. marketable goods
Social value
Ethical and moral values
Aesthetic value
Option value

Hotspots in Biodiversity

British ecologist, Norman Myers,


devised the concept of biodiversity
hotspots
According to him, certain ecosystems
despite their small size, account for a
high percentage of global biodiversity.
Biodiversity hotspots are
environmental emergency rooms of
the earth.

1.

2.

E.g., a terrestrial biodiversity


hotspot is based on plant diversity
that has:
At least 0.5 percent or 1,500 of the
worlds 3,00,000 species of green
plants
Has lost 70 percent of its primary
vegetation


1.
2.
3.

4.
5.
6.

7.
8.
9.
10.

The identified hotspots around the world are:


Tropical Andes
Meso-American forests
Caribbean
Brazils Atlantic forests
Choco Darien/western Ecuador
Brazils Cerrado
Central Chile
California Floristic Province
Madagascar
Eastern Arc and Coastal forests of
Tanzania/Kenya

11. Western African forest


12.Cape Floristic Province (South Africa)
13.Succulent Karoo
14.Mediterranean Basin
15.Caucasus
16.Sunderland
17.Wallace(Eastern Indonesia)
18.Phillipines
19.Indo-Burma(Eastern Himalayas)
20.South-central China
21.Western Ghats of India and the island of Sri Lanka
22.South West-Australia
23.New Caledonia
24.New Zealand
25.Polynesia and Micronesia Island complex including
Hawaii

1.
2.

3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

8.
9.

Nine new hotspots are:


East Melanesian Island
Madrean Pine-Oak Woodland on the USMexico border
Japan
Horn of Africa
Iran-Anatolian region of Iran and Turkey
Mountains of Central Asia
Maputaland- Pondoland Albany in
southern Africa
Himalayan region
Eastern afro-Montana along the edge of
Africa along Saudi Arabia to Zimbabwe

Threats to Biodiversity
1.

2.
3.
4.

5.

Loss/degradation of habitat
Overexploitation of resources
Pollution
Extinction of species due to
aggressive non-native species
Global environmental changes

1. Loss/degradation of habitat

It is the greatest threat to the world


According to IUCN in 2000, 89% of birds,83%
of mammals and 91% of plants are affected by
loss or degradation of habitat
Causes are natural disasters and human
intervention with natural resources
Agricultural practices is the main cause
120 of 620 primates will be extinct
Animals requiring larger areas for survival will
be extinct
e.g. Tigers, mountain gorillas, pandas, Lions,
owls.

2. Overexploitation of resources

Unlimited extraction (through


mining, fishing, logging, harvesting
and poaching)
Development work (human
settlement, industry and associated
infrastructure)
Because of these factors animals like
Tigers, giant pandas, black
rhinoceros, musk deer, cod and
whale are on the verge of extinction

3. Pollution
Biodegradable waste degrades
Non-biodegradable or less
biodegradable waste remains in the
environment and enters our food
chain
These wastes are very toxic
e.g. DDT which affects all types of
birds (peacocks, hawks, kites, etc.)
Pollution in various forms is
responsible for global climatic
changes and for extinction of the
species

4. Extinction of species due to


aggressive non-native species

When two or more species are interdependent or a particular species has


strong links with another, the Domino
Effect takes place causing extinction of
the weaker species
This is the cause of extinction of almost
50% species on islands all over the
world since 1600 A.D.

5. Global Environmental Change

35% of worlds terrestrial habitat


may face extinction due to global
warming
Global warming is caused due to
GHG s
Leads to global environmental
changes and leads to extinction of
many species which fail to adapt and
acclimatize to the changing
environmental changes

Combating the problem


1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

Worldwide reduction of industrial and


domestic pollution
Controlling overexploitation of natural
resources
Agricultural activities with conservation
measures should be encouraged
Parks and reserves to be set up to protect
and rehabilitate wildlife and natural
vegetation
Formulate and implement strictly
conservation legislations
Progress in alarming loss of biodiversity on
the actions of the government.

Man-Wildlife Conflict

1.

2.

3.

The main reason for this conflict is the


growing anthropogenic pressure which
results in:
Fragmentation and honeycombing of
animal habitat
Loss of corridors and migratory routes
for long range animals such as
elephants, big cats, etc.
Loss of food and water in their habitat
due to the shrinking of forest cover and
loss of biodiversity

The problem can be solved by:


Good management practices
Low cost strategies like electric
fencing, community based natural
resource management schemes
Insurance programs along with
regulated harvesting and wildlife or
human translocation

Conservation of Biodiversity

1.

2.

3.

4.
5.
6.

It includes:
Protection of all critically endangered,
endangered, vulnerable, rare and other
species of life present in the ecosystem
Preservation of all varieties of old and new
flora, fauna and microbes
Protection and preservation of critical
habitats, unique ecosystems
Regulation of international trade in wildlife
Reduction of pollution
Increase in public awareness

Process of conservation can be


broadly divided into two types:

I.) In-situ Conservation


II.) Ex-situ Conservation

I.) In-situ Conservation

In this type of conservation, the


natural process and its interaction
with the habitat as well as with all
the elements of biodiversity are
conserved
Basic principle is the protection and
management of components of
biological diversity through a
network of protected areas in their
natural habitat

It is done in the following ways:


National Parks and Sanctuaries
Natural Reserve or Biosphere
Reserve
Project Tiger
Disadvantage of in-situ conservation
is that it requires a large area for the
complete protection of bio diverstiy

II.) Ex-situ Conservation

1.

2.

a)
b)

c)
d)

There are two main steps:


Identification of the species to be
conserved
The selection of method to be
followed for its ex-situ conservation
Long-Term Captive Breeding
Short-Term Propagation and
Release
Animal Translocation
Animal Reintroduction

Bio prospecting and Bio piracy

Bio prospecting is the


collecting, cribbling of
biological samples (of
plants, animals and
micro-organisms) and
gathering indigenous
knowledge to help in
discovering genetic or
biochemical resources

Thank you!