Threat for survival
Loss of biodiversity implies the loss of species diversity and consequent imbalance in the delicate pattern of food chains and food webs of any ecosystem. Nowadays, when the numbers of extinct, endangered, and vulnerable species are unabated rising, the corrective measures to control and conserve respective species become indispensable. In this article, loss of biodiversity and measures” I have discussed possible aspects of this issue…
Meaning and definition of 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.
Relations 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 the loss of biodiversity
Compare to physical or natural factors, anthropogenic factors are more responsible for the degradation of the natural habitats and consequent loss of biodiversity
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.
Current state of biodiversity
According to International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), around 16,000 species are listed as a threatened and endangered. 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
The continuous stagnating or declining rate of ecological productivity and efficiency has already hampered the carrying capacity of each tropic level to support large number of animals in each tropic level.
Species diversity = ecological productivity = ecological efficiency = carrying capacity of ecosystem = origin of new species..
The depletion in the species richness and the present loss of biodiversity is the ultimate outcome of all these things.
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.
Measures for conservation of biodiversity
Here are some workable solutions to control the ongoing pace of loss of biodiversity in india and outside world.
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 as well. 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.
Biological regions in India
National Biodiversity Authority of India is the apex body to decide and protect the biological regions within country at the centre. And, within every state, the role is assigned to State Biodiversity Authority.
So far, National Biodiversity Authority of India has been identified and declared 10 biological regions for conservational purpose.
- Trans Himalayan
- Western Ghats
- Deccan Peninsula
- Gangetic plain
- Northeast India
Further, identification and their sequencing is essential to give priority in protection and conservation of such as vulnerable, critically endangered species. For this, Red data book is the best epitome.
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.
Impacts of faulty agricultural practices on environment
Today, we, out of the several thousand species of edible plants, use less than 20 plant species 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 for species diversity. Even though the growing adverse climatic conditions are proliferating many diseases, utilization of within the carrying capacity of ecosystem should be prescribed by respective authorities.
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.
Lack of environmental literacy
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.
Why Integrated pest management
Hereafter, excessive use of chemical pesticides should be minimized. Use of excessive amounts of chemical pesticides is proven threat for species through food chain and food webs in the ecologically rich regions. Hence, for this to avoid, natural pest control might prove beneficial, as well as sustainable alternative.
By introducing integrated pest, nutrient management programs, we can not only save large number of sensitive yet fragile organisms from being extinct, but also protect many more food chains from the threat of contamination. After all, bacterias, and other microorganisms are very necessary for the growth of plants.
Threats of Invasive species
Exotic species are those species which are introduced from outside regions. Comparatively, these species are more active than endemic in terms of nutrition.
It is noticed that such exotic species are posing threat for native organisms due to competition for nutritions. Hence, it is better to avoid such experiments .
As per research reports, 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.
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.