Conservation of Biodiversity

The variability of life on Earth is called Biodiversity. Biodiversity takes into account all the living organisms present on Earth. Healthy and good biodiversity indicate a healthy and good ecosystem. Hence, biodiversity is very important. A healthy ecosystem also includes the availability of pure water, pure air, healthy land, good climate, and availability of nutrients on Earth. Therefore, biodiversity conservation plays an important role in the quality of life of all living organisms.

What is Loss of Biodiversity?

A number of factors like pollution, erosion, evolution, urbanization, industrialization, population, and depletion lead to the loss of biodiversity. Loss of biodiversity is very harmful to the ecosystem as it indicates either loss of species, or reduction of species in a natural habitat, or both of them on a global level. Loss of biodiversity has a poor impact on the ecosystem. Loss of biodiversity directly impacts the ecosystem and food chains in it. It affects agriculture and weakens the resistance to natural disasters like floods, drought, etc. 

Definition of Biodiversity Conservation

“Protection, restoration, and management of biodiversity in order to derive sustainable benefits for present and future generations.”. Or, it can also be defined as, “the totality of genes, species, and ecosystems in a defined area.”.

Conservation of Biodiversity

Biodiversity conservation refers to the protection, preservation, and management of ecosystems and natural habitats and ensuring that they are healthy and functional.

The three main objectives of Biodiversity Conservation are as follows-

  • To protect and preserve species diversity.

  • To ensure sustainable management of the species and ecosystems.

  • Prevention and restoration of ecological processes and life support systems.

Biodiversity Conservation Methods

Two types of methods are employed to conserve biodiversity. They are- In situ conservation and Ex-situ conservation.

In situ Conservation

In Situ Conservation refers to the preservation and protection of the species in their natural habitat. It means the conservation of genetic resources in natural populations of plant or animal species. In situ conservation involves the management of biodiversity in the same area where it is found.


In situ, biodiversity conservation has many advantages

  • It preserves species as well as their natural habitat.

  • It ensures protection to a large number of populations.

  • It is economic and a convenient method of conservation

  • It doesn’t require species to adjust to a new habitat.


Different methods of In-situ conservation include biosphere reserves, national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, biodiversity hotspots, gene sanctuary, and sacred groves.

Biosphere Reserves


These are national governments nominated sites, large areas (often up to 5000 square km) of an ecosystem where traditional lifestyle and natural habitat of the inhabitants of that ecosystem are protected. They are mostly open to tourists and researchers. Example- Sundarban, Nanda Devi, Nokrek, and Manas in India.

National Parks

These are limited reserves maintained by the government for the conservation of wildlife as well as the environment. Human activities are prohibited in national parks and they are solely dedicated to the protection of natural fauna of the area. They mostly occupy an area of 100-500 square km. There are a total of 104 national parks in India, right now. The national parks may even be within a biosphere reserve.

Example- Kanha National Park, Gir National Park, Kaziranga National Park, and so on.

Wildlife Sanctuaries.


Wildlife Sanctuaries are protected areas meant only for the conservation of wild animals. A few human activities such as cultivation, wood collection, and other forest product collection are allowed here, but they must not interfere with the conservation of the animals. Tourist visits are also allowed in these areas. There are a total of 551 wildlife sanctuaries in India.

Example- Ghana Bird Sanctuary, Abohar Wildlife Sanctuary, Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary, etc.

Biodiversity Hotspots

A biodiversity hotspot are the areas of conservation where there is strictly a minimum of 1500 species of vascular plants and a habitat that has lost its 70% cover.

Example- The Himalayas, The Western Ghats, The North East, and The Nicobar Islands.

Gene Sanctuary

Gene sanctuary is a conservation area reserved only for plants. India has its only gene sanctuary set up in Garo Hills of Meghalaya for the conservation of wild species of Citrus. Plans to open more such sanctuaries are underway.

Sacred Groves

Sacred Groves are conserved areas for wildlife protected by communities due to religious beliefs. It is mostly a part of the forest where its wildlife is given complete protection.

Ex Situ Conservation

Ex Situ Conservation means conservation of life outside their natural habitat or place of occurrence. It is the method in which part of the population or the entire endangered species is taken from its natural habitat which is threatened and breeding and maintaining of these species take place in artificial ecosystems. These artificial ecosystems could be zoos, nurseries, botanical gardens, etc. The living environments are altered in these conservation sites, so there are fewer survival struggles like scarcity of food, water, or space. 

Advantages of Ex Situ Conservation include

 

  • Essential life sustaining conditions like climate, food availability, veterinary care can be altered and are under human control.

  • Artificial breeding methods can be introduced leading to successful breeding and creating many more offspring of the species.

  • The species can be protected from poaching and population management can be efficiently done.

  • Gene techniques can be applied to increase the population of the species and they can again be reintroduced into the wild.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1.  What is biodiversity?

The variability of life on Earth is called Biodiversity. It refers to the variations of living organisms at species and genetic levels. Biodiversity takes into account all the living organisms present on Earth. Healthy and good biodiversity indicate a healthy and good ecosystem.

2. What is the loss of biodiversity?

Various human activities and interventions and natural factors lead to the depletion of ecosystems. This is called a loss of biodiversity. Loss of biodiversity has a poor impact on the ecosystem. It directly impacts the ecosystem and food chains in it. It affects agriculture and weakens the resistance to natural disasters like floods, drought, etc.

3. What are the various measures to conserve biodiversity?

Various measures that can be taken to conserve biodiversity may include- prevention of deforestation, preventions of species extinctions by poaching and killing, efficient use of natural resources, no human interventions on biologically affected lands, etc.