Biodiversity is the biological diversity which includes the variety of the whole species present on earth. It includes different animals, plants, micro-organisms and their genes, water ecosystems, terrestrial, and marine ecosystems in which they all are present.
Biodiversity is necessary for our existence as well as valuable in its own right. This is because it provides the fundamental building blocks for the many goods and services which provides a healthy environment to lead our life.
Biodiversity Conservation Methods
There are two main methods of biodiversity conservation
In-situ biodiversity conservation
In-situ conservation means the conservation of species within their natural habitats, this way of conserving biodiversity is the most appropriate method for biodiversity conservation. In this strategy you have to find out the area with high biodiversity means the area in which number of plants and animals are present. After that this high biodiversity area should be covered in the form of natural park/ sanctuary/biosphere reserve etc. In this way biodiversity can be conserve in their natural habitat from human activities.
Ex-Situ conservation methods
Ex-situ conservation involves the conservation of biological diversity outside of their natural habitats. This involves conservation of genetic resources, as well as wild and cultivated or species, and draws on a diverse body of techniques and facilities.
Ex-situ Biodiversity conservation can be done as following:
• By forming Gene banks: In this store seeds, sperm & ova at extremely low temperature and humidity.
• It is very helpful to save large variety of species of plants & animals in a very small space. e.g. sperm and ova banks, seed banks.
• Forming Zoo and botanical garden: for research purpose and to increase public awareness collecting living organisms for aquaria, zoos and botanic gardens.
• Collections of In vitro plant tissue and microbial culture.
• Captive breeding of animals and artificial propagation of plants, with possible reintroduction into the wild.
Ex-situ biodiversity conservation strategy also plays an important role in recovery programmes for endangered species. The Kew Seed Bank in England has 1.5 per cent of the world’s flora – about 4,000 species – on deposit.
In agriculture, ex-situ conservation measures maintain domesticated plants which cannot survive in nature unaided.
It provides good platform for research opportunities on the components of biological diversity. Some of the institutions also play a major role in public education and in increasing awareness among public by bringing members of the public into contact with plants and animals they may not normally come in contact with. It is estimated over 600 million people visit zoos every year worldwide.
National Park is a place designated for biodiversity conservation. National Park declared by the Central Government such animal or any article, trophy, uncured trophy or meat [derived from such animal or any vehicle, vessel, weapon, trap, or tool used in such hunting, ] shall be the property of Central Government.
National park is an area which is strictly reserved for the betterment of the wildlife & biodiversity, and where activities like developmental, forestry, poaching, hunting and grazing on cultivation are not permitted. In these parks, even private ownership rights are not allowed. Their boundaries are well marked and circumscribed. They are usually small reserves spreading in an area of 100 sq. km. to 500 sq. km. In national parks, the emphasis is on the preservation of a single floral or faunal species.
A biosphere reserve is an ecosystem with plants and animals of unusual scientific and natural interest. It is a label given by UNESCO to help protect the sites. The plan is to promote management, research and education in ecosystem conservation. This includes the ‘sustainable use of natural resources’. If, for example, fish or trees are taken for human use, this is done in ways which least damage the ecosystem.
Any area other than area comprised with any reserve forest or the territorial waters can be notified by the State Government to constitute as a sanctuary if such area is of adequate ecological, faunal, floral, geomorphological, natural. or zoological significance, for the purpose of protecting, propagating or developing wildlife or its environment. Some restricted human activities are allowed inside the Sanctuary area details of which are given in CHAPTER IV, WPA 1972.