BIODIVERSITY IN INDIA

India is one of the world’s most biologically and culturally diverse countries. It is also one of the poorest in terms of per capita income. The existence of mass poverty and enormous scale lies upon two important facts; first that the country exports natural products that command highly prices in overseas market, such as Basmati rice and Darjeeling tea, as well as products like medicinal and aromatic plants that are major inputs in rapidly expanding industries, and second that India has achieved significant capabilities in Industrial chemistry and life sciences. India is one of the world’s mega diversity countries. It is ranked ninth in the world in terms of higher plant species richness. At the ecosystem level, India is also well endowed, ten distinct bio-geographic zones. India is considered to be the center of origin for the following crop species, pigeon, eggplant cucumber, possibly cotton and sesame. But for millennia, numerous other crop species have been introduced to India and adapted to localized conditions. As a consequence of both the diversity of these conditions and of the various ethnic populations living in India, the country has become and important center of diversity of a great many domesticated species, including various cereals, millets, legumes, vegetables, temperate tropical fruits, fiber crops, medicinal and aromatic plants.

MORE SPECIFICALLY, THE THREATS ARE INTER ALIA DUE TO THE FOLLOWING:

  1. Large scale development products such as mining and dam and road construction
  2. Conversion of biodiversity rich ecosystems, such as tropical forests to farm lands and industrials and residential sites
  3. Poaching of wild life and over harvesting of forest products

While there has been no comprehensive assessment of biodiversity laws, 3 of 4 mammal species have been lost since 1950, and so also 15-20 plant species have become extinct. In one district of the state of Andhra Pradesh Odessa and West Bengal, 95% rice varieties previously cultivated are no longer found. Although the causes are various, the situation is primely due to the replace of low input poly cultural agricultural system with higher input monocultures.

ENDANGERED PLANTS AND ANIMALS: Due to rapid habitat loss, and over exploitation in particular large number of epiphytes, herbs, climbers, disappear from their native regions over the years. Many orchids, tree, ferns, medicinal herbs of hills, cicadas were considered as major endangered plant species. Identically large number of mammals, birds, reptiles, corals, and fishes were demarked as threatened in our country. A good number of conversation sites were declared for protection of such endangered plants and animals. It includes country wide 28 tiger project sites, several crocodile conservation programs, elephant conservation sites and various bird conservation sites. International union for conservation of nature categorized different pretend species of the world for the better recognition and subsequent action plan for their conservation. On the basis of survey carried out by botanical survey of India and also by zoological survey of India, the red data book with respect to endangered plants and animals were already published.

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