Before we discuss the way to achieve biodiversity conservation, we first need to know the reason why we actually need to conserve the existing biodiversity. It is believed that an area with higher species abundance has a more stable environment compared to an area with lower species abundance. We can further claim the necessity of biodiversity by considering our degree of dependency on the environment. We depend directly on various species of plant for our various needs. Similarly, we depend on various species of animals and microbes for different reasons. Biodiversity serves our need for different types of food, raw materials, fuel, etc.
How to Conserve Biodiversity?
There are two major ways in which biodiversity conservation is practiced, namely – in-situ conservation and ex-situ conservation. Let us discuss each of these in detail.
As the name suggests, it is carried out locally. It is basically impossible to save the entire ecosystem for protecting a few endangered species. Hence, came the requirement of localizing the process of conservation. This gave rise to the identification of areas known as ‘biodiversity hotspots’. They are the regions of high species diversity and the species are distinctively specific to that region. Thus, conservation becomes relatively easier for a limited area of land. It can be considered as a process of optimizing the process of conservation as many species can be protected with fewer efforts. There are 34 biodiversity hotspots identified all over the world which occupy a very small area but comparatively account for a huge species diversity.
In India, we have legally protected areas which help in conservation of various species that includes – National parks, sanctuaries, biosphere reserves, etc.Here animals live in their natural habitat and have freedom of movement. Hunting and other means of animals exploitation in such regions are banned. Many of these regions today are struggling to save the endangered animals. The most common example that we see is that of tiger protection at places like the Corbett National park.
It is majorly a man-made technique in which the endangered species are usually put in enclosures, away from their natural habitat. For examples, Zoological parks and wildlife safaris are such areas in which the animals are bound in an area and are taken care off. With recent advancement in technology, ex – situ conservation has taken a whole new meaning. With the help of cryopreservation techniques, gametes of some endangered species are conserved for fertilization in labs to give rise to new organisms.
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