The combined diversity at all levels of biological organisation ranging from biomacromolecules to biomes is known as biodiversity. The term biodiversity was given by Edward Wilson. As per IUCN report of 2004, total number of species of both plant and animal species are more than 1.5 million, but exact number is not yet discovered. More than 70 percent of all species recorded are animals and among animals insects occupy a maximum portion. This data shows that out of every 10 animals, 7 are insects. The number of fungi in the world is more than the combined total species of fishes. Whereas plants occupy more than 22 percent of the total species.
Reason to Converse Biodiversity
There are many reasons to converse biodiversity we can group them into three categories:
Narrow Utilitarian: It is concerned with direct economic benefits from nature for food, firewood, fibre, construction material, industrial products of medicine importance, etc.
Broad Utilitarian: It is concentrated with indirect benefits from nature like photosynthesis, pollination, oxygen, etc.
Ethical: It is our moral duty to care for the well being of biodiversity and pass on our biological legacy in good order to future generations.
Methods of Biodiversity Conservation
A. Ex-situ Conservation
In this type of conservation the threatened animals and plants are taken out from their natural habitat and placed in a special area or location where they can be protected and given special care. Zoological parks, botanical gardens and wildlife safari parks serve this purpose. There are many animals that have become extinct in the wild but few of them are kept in zoological parks. Some of the examples of ex-situ conversation are gene banks, germplasm banks, seed banks.
Gametes of threatened species can be preserved in viable, fertile conditions for long periods using cryopreservation techniques, eggs can be fertilised in vitro, and plants can be propagated using tissue culture methods. Seeds of different genetic strains of commercially important plants can be kept for long periods in seed banks.
B. In-situ Conservation
In this species are protected in their natural habitat by making their habitats protected areas for example- National parks, Sanctuaries, Biosphere reserves, etc.
National Parks: They are areas maintained by the government and reserved for betterment of wildlife, cultivation, grazing, forestry and habitat manipulation are not allowed.
Sanctuaries: They are tracts of lands with or without lake share where wild animals/fauna can take refuge without being hunted. Other activities like collection of forest products, harvesting of timber, private ownership of lands, tilling of land, etc. are allowed.
Biosphere Reserve: They are multipurpose protected areas which are meant for preserving genetic diversity in representative ecosystems of various natural biomes and unique biological communities by protecting wild population, traditional lifestyle of tribals and domesticated plant/animal genetic resources. It is a specified protected area in which multiple use of the land is permitted.