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What is Biodiversity?

The term “biodiversity” refers to the types or variety of life present on the earth's surface. The earth is surrounded by various types of living organisms, including both zooplankton and phytoplankton. The biodiversity term was coined by Thomas Lovejoy in 1985. There is an immense variety of organisms present in biodiversity and all organisms are dependent on each other. The number of organisms of individual species varies from place to place depending on various atmospheric and environmental factors. These are the major factors that determine the density of an organism in any particular area. This shows the richness of biodiversity in any particular area. 

 

Along with ecological significance, it also has economical significance. As biodiversity is a source of food, housing, fuel, clothing, and many more sources. Some of the famous biodiversity areas are also declared as tourist places for economical benefits. 

 

Introduction to Biodiversity Conservation

"Biodiversity conservation, restoration, and management in order to gain long-term benefits for current and future generations." "The whole of genes, species, and ecosystems in a specified area," according to another definition. Protecting and managing biodiversity resources is essential in order to maintain equality in an organism to secure them for future generations so that they can spend their life in a very healthy way. Conservation of biodiversity is important as people have destroyed the majority of biodiversity and if we continue this in the same way, our future generations will pay for this loss. 

 

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Goals of Biodiversity Conservation

There are various objectives behind the conservation of biodiversity, some of the important objectives are listed below:

  • To preserve different varieties of species present in the ecosystem

  • For proper flow of the food chain and food web.

  • To maintain the proper mixture of air in the atmosphere, the release of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and many more gases are totally dependent on the density of biodiversity.

  • To preserve resources like wood, coal, etc for the future generation.

  • To balance equality in both zooplanktons and phytoplanktons. 

 

Methods Used For Biodiversity Conservation

As there are innumerable varieties of living organisms existing in an ecosystem, depending on their existence and density they are conserved by various methods. Some of these methods are discussed below:

 

In-Situ Conservation

In-situ type conservation species are being conserved in their natural surroundings. Everything in in-situ conservation is maintained as per the natural habitat of an organism. There are so many positive sides of in-situ conservation and some of their advantages are discussed below.

  • It does not require so many expenses on maintenance, so it is easy to conserve species of different varieties.

  • Large numbers of species can be conserved in one area as they have natural surroundings. 

  • Areas that are protected under in-situ conservation are known as national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, and biosphere reserves.

 

Types of In-Situ Conservation:

Mainly there are three types of in situ conservation, they are:

 

Wildlife Sanctuaries: These are the environmental areas where only wildlife can be kept by providing them with natural habitat. Some of the human activities are allowed in this region like timber harvesting, cultivation of crops, collection of wood by people who are living near to that area and along with that tourist activities are also allowed in this area. All these activities are allowed only when they are not creating any hindrance in the conservation process.

 

Some of the examples of wildlife sanctuaries are Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand, Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan, Bandipur National Park, Karnataka, Keoladeo Ghana National Park – Bharatpur, Rajasthan, Nagarhole National Park, Karnataka, Sariska National Park, Rajasthan, etc.

 

National Park: It is mainly a small area that is maintained and controlled by the government. In this region, human activities like cultivation, forestry, grazing, etc are strictly prohibited as these activities will create disturbances.

 

Some of the examples of national parks are Kanha National Park, Bandhavgarh National Park, Kaziranga National Park, Nagarhole National Park, Ranthambore National Park, Periyar National Park, Gir National Park, Sundarbans National Park, etc. 

 

Ex-Situ Conservation 

Under this conservation process, endangered species are being conserved to save them from extinction. In this conservation, artificial surroundings are being prepared depending on the organism’s habitat. Some examples of ex-situ conservation are zoos, nurseries, botanical gardens (for endangered plants), gene banks( for the preservation of seeds of any particular gene), etc. In this type of conservation competition among different organisms is usually avoided. 

 

Benefits of Ex-Situ Conservation

  1. There is very little competition between organisms. 

  2. Various new techniques are being used to conserve endangered species. 

  3. Species that breed in ex-situ conservation can be reintroduced in the wild to increase their population in the ecosystem.

 

Strategies Needed For Conservation of Biodiversity

There are so many strategies that can be implemented for biodiversity conservation. Some of the major strategies are discussed below:

  • Species that are endangered should be conserved first as they are at high risk of extinction. 

  • Poaching and hunting should be restricted to avoid a tremendous decrease in the number of organisms.

  • Pollution should be reduced so that animals are not affected by this. 

  • Deforestation should be stopped and strict action should be taken against those who are practising this for their self-benefit.

  • Various national parks and wildlife sanctuaries should be set up to preserve organisms. 

  • Various environmental laws should be implemented to preserve biodiversity. 

  • Endangered species should be given extra care and safe environmental conditions. 

  • Ecosystems that are highly endangered should be given higher priorities. 

  •  Resources should be consumed or utilised very carefully.

  • Public awareness programs should be launched for spreading the importance of ecosystems among human beings. 

 

The Advantages of Biodiversity Conservation

Biodiversity contributes to food security and long-term economic viability by preserving genetic variation.

  • Genes control all biological processes on Earth and improve organisms' ability to cope with environmental challenges.

  • Preserving genetic diversity supports the survival of a diverse range of crops that may be disease resistant, as well as potentially beneficial biochemicals like those used in medicine. It also refers to the availability of pollinating and pest-control species. Loss of genetic diversity reduces organisms' ability to cope and puts them in danger of losing potentially useful biological knowledge.

 

Biodiversity has made a significant contribution to modern medicine and human health study and therapy.

  • Taxol, an antitumor agent developed from the Pacific yew tree, artemisinin, an antimalarial generated from sweet wormwood, and digoxin, a cardiac medicine derived from the digitalis plant, are just a few examples of current pharmaceuticals created from plants.

  • Pharmaceuticals can also be created from non-plant species, such as the drug ziconotide, which is derived from the venom of predatory cone snails and has been shown to be beneficial in treating nerve discomfort and severe pain in cancer patients.

  • Treatments for diseases including malaria, tuberculosis, malignant tumours, congestive heart failure, and a variety of other disorders may never have been found if not for the species that give these drugs.

  • As habitats are converted and biodiversity is lost, the risk of losing remedies for some of the world's most debilitating diseases increases.

 

The tremendous benefits that biodiversity provides for all species are preserved through conserving biodiversity and safeguarding a diverse range of habitats. Yellowstone National Park, for example, is a prime ecosystem that supports numerous species while also being an aesthetically pleasing, informative, and intriguing recreation place.

 

Reason Behind Conservation of Biodiversity

Stability in an ecosystem is the reason behind rich biodiversity. The more the density of organisms of different species, the more will be the stability in the ecosystem. All of us are directly or indirectly dependent on biodiversity for our needs. If we keep destroying biodiversity in a similar way then one day our future generation is going to pay for this loss.

 

There are so many reasons including the exploitation of ecosystems: over-exploitation of resources, climatic changes, pollution, invasive exotic species, diseases, hunting, etc. Because of these factors, organisms lose their habitats which finally lead to the extinction of an organism. 

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FAQs on Biodiversity Conservation

1. Explain the Term Biodiversity?

Biodiversity can be defined as species richness or the wide variety of species in an ecosystem. The wide diversity of zooplanktons and phytoplanktons leads to the formation of biodiversity. These phytoplanktons and zooplanktons measure the variation of species in an ecosystem.

2. What Does the Term Biodiversity Conservation Mean?

Biodiversity conservation means protecting and managing biodiversity resources in order to maintain ecological balance and safeguarding organisms’ future generations so that they can spend their life in a very healthy way.

3. What is the Difference Between In-Situ and Ex-Situ Conservation?

In-Situ Conservation: This method helps in the conservation of biodiversity within the natural habitat of the animals and plants by creating protected areas such as national parks and wildlife sanctuaries.


Ex-Situ Conservation: This method refers to the conservation of biodiversity in the areas outside their natural habitat such as zoos and botanical gardens.

4. What exactly is biodiversity loss?

The depletion of the environment is caused by a variety of human actions, interventions, and natural factors. This is referred to as biodiversity loss. Biodiversity loss has a negative influence on the ecosystem. It has a direct impact on the food chain and ecosystem. It has an impact on agriculture and diminishes the ability to withstand natural calamities such as floods and droughts.


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