The occurrence of different types of genes, gene pools, species, habitats...
Conservation of Biodiversity
Biodiversity can be conserved by protecting its whole ecosystem.
There are two basic approaches for conservation of biodiversity.
In situ conservation (On-site conservation)
This approach involves protection of species in their natural habitat.
a) Biodiversity hot spots
These are regions of high levels of species richness and high degree of endemism.
Endemic species are species confined only to a limited region.
There are 34 hot spots in the world.
In India, the three hot spots are Western Ghats and Sri Lanka, Indo—Burma and Himalaya.
These reduce mass extinction by 30%.
b) Protected areas
India has 14 biosphere reserves, 90 national parks and 448 wildlife sanctuaries.
Jim Corbett National Park was the first to be established in India.
c) Ramsar sites
Ramsar sites are wetlands which are considered to be of international importance.
Ramsar Convention is an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable utilisation of wetlands.
There are 26 Ramsar sites in India. Some of these are Ashtamudi wetland, Sambhar lake, Rudrasagar lake, Chilika lake, Bhitakanika wetland, etc.
d) Sacred groves
These are forest patches set aside for worship. All the trees and wildlife within are given total protection by tribal people.
Large number of rare and threatened plants can be found in these regions.
Some of the sacred groves in India are as follows:
- Khasi and Jaintia Hills in Meghalaya
- Western Ghat regions of Karnataka and Maharashtra
- Aravalli Hills of Rajasthan
- Sarguja, Chanda and Bastar areas of Madhya Pradesh.
Ex situ conservation (Off-site conservation)
This approach involves placing threatened animals and plants in special care units for their protection.
India has 35 botanical gardens and 275 zoological parks where animals which have become extinct in wild are maintained.
By using cryopreservation (preservation at —196 oC) technique, sperms, eggs, animal cells, tissues and embryos can be stored for long period in genes banks, seed banks, etc.
Plants are propagated in vitro using tissue culture methods (micropropagation).
It is the desirable approach when urgent measures to save extinction are required.