No other planet in the universe is as favourable as our earth. We know that it generously bestowed great endowments of habitats equally for many million organisms. But, in the recent decades, we have lost many precious species due to our own ambitions. Science suggests that species diversity is indispensable for the origin of newer species.Then what would happen when the species are on the verge of extinction. How could we as a human be the exception. It is the human who transgressed its limit. So, burden of regeneration cannot be assigned for anybody else. It is the genuine duty of most intelligent animal to find out corrective measures for bleeding biodiversity.
What is mean by biodiversity
Biodiversity means the totality of genes, species and ecosystems of a region. All totality isn’t an abrupt outcome, but has been evolved after a trial and tribulation of millions of years.
Moreover, it is the product of various fragile ecological processes coupled with environmental favourability. Currently, the predicted numbers of species on the earth are around 40 to 50 millions. These numbers incldes 60 percent insects, 2.7 lakh plants and around 5 thousands mammals.
Relationship between species diversity and biodiversity
No need to prove that our living world is abounds with enormous biodiversity. Naturally, such biodiversity depends on the species richness and species diversity.
Biologically, the amount of genetic variation enable a population to adopt to its environment and to respond to natural selection. Therefore, species diversity acts as a basis for speciation or evolution of new species.
Clearly, such species diversity is instrumental in maintaining food chains, food webs and entire biodiversity. In short, diversity of species is natural insurance against the vulnerability. Hence, the richness of community and ecosystems can be determined by species’ richness and theirs diversity. Only, then, we could keep our biosphere balanced and healthy.
Factors responsible for biodiversity depletion
Compare to physical or natural factors, anthropogenic factors are more responsible for the degradation of the natural habitats.
Naturally, richness of species depend on the set of favourable conditions which naturally help in creating favourable, productive habitats or niches.
If we have to sum up the bundle of factors, then we will do in the following way.
These factors are teeming numbers, concrete jungles, industrial emissions, dwindling forests, global warming and climate change, over-exploitation of rare, precious species, mono-species agricultural practices, and introduction of invasing species, are some of the responsible factors.
All these are ascribed to the habitat loss, dwindling pray base, and species fragmentation. And, this is the reason why our many multipurpose species have been heading to become vulnerable, endangered or even extinct in the world.
Present state of biodiversity
According to some surveys, our 11,000 species are listed as a threatened. Out of these numbers, the numbers of endangered animals and plants are 3079 & 2655 species respectively. As per the official sources, almost 905 have been totally extinct. Moreover, the numbers of low risk and vulnerable species are alarming.
Impacts of diminishing biodiversity
After this, we can conclude that the loss of biodiversity is casting deep impacts on the various aspects of the society.
The continuous stagnating or declining rate of ecological efficiency has already hampered the carrying capacity of each tropic level to support large number of animals in each tropic level. The depletion in the species richness and diversity is the ultimate outcome.
Our scientific knowledge is enough to justify our claim that the reduction in genetic diversity and speciation is the product of dwindling species diversity. Consequently, the numbers of vulnerable species are increasing due to fragmented nature of food chain and food webs.
What should we do ?
Management of information about the species
In the absence of human interventions, nature has master skill in checking and balancing all the processes on the earth. But, human interventions can be encountered by the corrective measures. Henceforth, we need to churn out some viable solutions in order to avoid looming danger over are desired species.
• We need to accelerate our on-going systematic work to identify and name our undiscovered or unexplored species which are in the far-flunged, rugged mountainous region.
• Need to collect authentic data about the number and nature of various species from our all 10 bio-geographical regions. It will help us to ensure their balanced use and conservation.These are:
1.Trans Himalayan, 2. Himalayan,
3. Desert, 4.Semi-arid, 5. Western Ghats,
6. Deccan Peninsula, 7.Gangetic plain,
8.Coasts, 9. Northeast India, 10.Islands.
• Identification and their sequencing is essential to give priority in protection and conservation of such as vulnerable, critically endangered, and near extinct, on the basis of red data book.
• Prepare a plan of action for different category and implement it in a phased or at a time according to its seriousness.
Use of Technology in protection
• So far, we have declared many programs like sanctuaries, national parks and biospheres to protect endangered species and theirs habitat.
But, even after stringent laws, we noticed many news about poaching, and other incidents which caused death for many fragile critically endangered species like big Cats, Tiger, Panther and herbivores like Deer, Elephants etc.
Therefore, technological interferences are very essential in monitoring, supervision for critically endangered species to arrest or control such incidents.
•Further, special training for forest officials is very essential.
Contribution of tribals in nature protection
• Having been recognized as the son of soil, the forest dwelling scheduled tribes are very instrumental in conservation and protection of fragile species and theirs richness.
• Tribal participation, instead of evacuation is utmost essential as they are the best knowledgeable about forests and theirs wildlife.
• Water is the most effective, powerful factor in protecting and preserving species diversity. For this purpose, water conservation measures must be empowered or accelerated in the drought prone or parched areas.
Whenever there is water scarcity, they will either die down or migrate in other areas with the help of various employment schemes including MGNAREGA, we can achieve both goal, conservation and regeneration of biodiversity. Furthermore, these efforts may provide livelihood for economically, socially backward tribals within their own habitat.
Faulty agricultural practices
• Today, we, out of the several thousand species of edible plants, less than 20 plant species are cultivated to produce about 58 p.c. of the world’s food.
Wheat, corn and rice the three major carbohydrate crops yield nearly two-third of food sustaining the human population. Fats, oils and fibres etc. are other uses for which more and more new species need to be investigated.
•For this purpose, we need to suggest and educate our farming community by providing certain incentives.
•In this field, we should assign greater role for our agricultural universities to educate farmers about the negative impacts of “Monoculture.”
Over-exploitation on the name of medicines
• Current over-exploitation of substances with therapeutic properties is a great concern. But, It is essential. We know that growing adverse climatic conditions are proliferating many diseases.
For this, we need to augment the productivity of such species and provide guidelines for just or balanced use.Statistic reveals that our 25 p.c. of drugs in the pharmacy are derived from a mere 120 species of plants.
• Moreover, by making plants and animals symbols of national pride and cultural heritage, we can also protect the species diversity.
•Apart from this, spreading awareness about vegetarian diet and its importance will prove useful in controlling diseases.
•Environmental illiteracy is a big cause of concern in our country despite environmental education. This is the gray area for improvement.
• Eco-tourism with proper guidelines may help to advance the intended cause.
Integrated pest, nutrition management
• Excessive use of chemical pesticides should be minimized. Use of pesticides may cause a large numbers of species either die down or become fragmented. Hence, natural pest control might prove beneficial alternative.
• By introducing integrated pest, nutrient management programs, we can save large number of fragile ecosystems and microorganism necessary for plants’ growth.
• To control construction activities in the ecologically sensitive zone. This will help in protecting endemic species in the ecologically very fragile zone.
•We need to impose reasonable limits on the introduction of exotic or alien species because these might invade native species. Invasive species are considered second only to habitat destruction as a major cause of extinction of species. So, It is essential to introduce in a strict supervision.
• Promote economic development which is culturally, socially and ecologically sustainable.
Cooperation with global community
• International co-operation is very essential in these endeavours. Through both means negotiations and actions, we must strive to push our cause further.
•Mere- non binding conventions will not work. Therefore, need is to be done legally binding principle.
In a nutshell
It is absolutely true that our rich, diverse biodiversity took many million years to reach at this stage. It gives values and meaning for barren landscape on the earth.
So far, we have given irreparable damage and are responsible for the present precarious condition of species. Being the guardians of this priceless endowments, our duty is to preserve it for the future generations as well. Suggested measures need to be implemented in spirit and deed.
In reality, those people who are lagging behind in the race of development are real protector and preserver of such diverse flora and fauna since historical times. Obviously, these people must have their first right on these biological resources for their development.
It is the poor tribal who exploited least in spite of protecting lot. Therefore, we cannot rehabilitate one by displacing or evacuating other. Therefore, judicious, harmonious co-existence between inter and intra species is in the interest of all, after all, everyone is the child of nature.