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Ambassador report

Ambassador report

[Ambassador report] (Thematic Report May: Biodiversity)- Biodiversity and causes of biodiversity loss with special reference to India

by Dharmendra Kapri | 15-08-2019 18:44 Comments 5 Comments recommendations 0 recommendations



Biodiversity refers to the importance of a wide variety of plants and animals that live in the world or in a specific habitat. It is important to maintain this level in order to balance the environmental harmony on our planet. Biodiversity, also referred to as biological diversity, is broadly the diversity or variability of different species of plants and animals on the Earth. It is essential to have high level of biodiversity to keep the natural surroundings in a harmonious state.


Biodiversity loss has always existed as a natural process but threats to biodiversity arise when the rate of extinction exceeds the rate of speciation. Biodiversity loss is primarily related with human interactions with natural resources. Biodiversity is under grave danger due to various human activities and now, biodiversity loss has become primarily human sourced phenomenon. In early phase of life, We humans remained as one component of ecosystem but, very recently, humans have become a factor of ecosystem and started reshaping the biodiversity.


 

Biodiversity and India-


India is one of the 19 mega- biodiversity countries in the world. That means it is one of the 19 countries with the greatest biodiversity. The eastern Himalayas and the Western Ghats are the richest in biodiversity in India. However, our plants and animals are under threat too. According to the Botanical Survey of India, 3000 of our plant species are under threat and as for animals, 20% our mammals and 5% of our birds are threatened.



The Himalayan region, a biodiversity hotspot that has about 30.16% of the country’s fauna faces multiple ecological threats due to a combination of pollution, climate change and unsustainable development. The 3.95 lakh square kilometers region is home to 133 endangered species, such as the snow leopard and the red panda.

 


The Western Ghats, considered among the world’s richest bio-diverse regions, is also at risks. The numbers are grave- I’ll take one example here, forest cover has declined almost 50% in Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka, exposing the already delicate biodiversity of the Western Ghats to more threats.

 

                                           Map


Major threats to Biodiversity are as follows-


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·    Human Population- Escalating human population us the root cause of biodiversity loss. Major threats to biodiversity not only emerge from ever-increasing human population but also multiplied by it. Typically, population and related threats are developed so rapidly and at such a large scale that species are not able to keep pace with these changes. Thus, species are not able to adopt genetically to these changes and are lost.  


                                       3




·    Development- the Industries, dams, roads and the expansion of agriculture and pastures lead to deforestation. Expanding human settlements also encroach on forests. Similarly, other natural habitats are destroyed by various development projects.


·    Overuse of Natural Resources- The hunting and harvesting of wild plants and animals is needed for survival of man.  As long as the human population was small and methods of collection were primitive, people could harvest the plants and animals in sustainable manner. Now, as humans become more numerous and widespread, they start killing species faster than those species can replace themselves, either through reproduction or immigration from elsewhere. Fish and other marine organism are threatened because of the use of trawlers. Trawlers not only harvest huge catches of fish but also harm other marine organism. Traditional fisherman in Kerala, for example claim that many species of fish have vanished since the introduction of trawlers.


·    Pollution- Pollution of soil, air and water is endangering many species. Pesticides and other harmful chemicals accumulating in water bodies, for example, kill fish and other aquatic animals. They also get carried down the food chain and affect birds.


·    Climate Change and Global Warming- Climate change is a significant driving force behind the loss of genes, species, speciation and critical ecosystem’s service. According to some scientific studies Global Warming is already affecting some species in the Polar regions.


·    Monoculture- The practice of planting one type of plants in an area is called monoculture. Replacing natural forests, rich in biodiversity, with monoculture plantations leads to the loss of biodiversity.



·    Natural Calamities- Natural calamities such as floods, cyclones, landslides and volcanism etc are also responsible for depletion of biological diversity. For example, during the monsoon season in 1998, entire Kaziranga National Park in Assam was heavily flooded which led to the death of 28 rhinos, 70-85 deer, 8 bears and 3 elephants and many more plant species were also lost.

 


·        Energy Resources- Development and utilization of various forms of energy resources, e,g., fossil fuel, biomass energy, nuclear energy, hydroelectricity and other non-conventional energy sources has direct implications on biodiversity. Development of these energy sources modifies natural habitat and alters the evolutionary process.

 

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Map and Table Reference- http://www.yourarticlelibrary.com http://www.biologydiscussion.com

Data and examples- Botanical, Zoological and Forest Survey of India. Biologydiscussion.com

 


5 Comments

Louis Mentor

  • Louis Mentor says :
    Hello Dharmendra,

    Thank you for writing about biodiversity in India and your report is highly impressive in a sense that this is really informative and well-written. Due to the rapid change in climate, it is sad to read that India's biodiviersity is currently in danger. I hope India government can take actions as soon as possible. Great report.

    Louis Mentor
    Posted 20-08-2019 00:43

Wonhee Mentor

  • Wonhee Mentor says :
    Hello Dharmendra!

    Thank you for the through report on biodiversity in India. As India is widely known for its abundant biodiversity and well preserved ecosystem, it's very sad that biodiversity in India is threatened due to those factors. I enjoyed reading your report and thank you for your time and effort taken in writing this.

    Wonhee Mentor
    Posted 19-08-2019 22:10

Rohan Kapur

  • Rohan Kapur says :
    Dear Dharmendra, your efforts are worth praise. Well written. Biodiversity is an integral part of our lives & survival. Thanks for the report.
    Posted 16-08-2019 12:21

Kushal Naharki

  • Kushal Naharki says :
    Hello Dharmendra

    I do hope that you are fine and doing great with your works.
    Thank you for your report about the biodiversity and causes of losses of biodiversity. This is really an wonderful piece of writing with great information and datas in it. Keep it up.

    Green Cheers from Nepal :)
    Keep writing great reports.
    We are eager to read more reports from you.

    Regards,
    Kushal Naharki

    Posted 15-08-2019 21:25

Rosa Domingos

  • Rosa Domingos says :
    Hey Dharmendra!

    I hope you are well today my fellow ambassador!

    I have noticed that the biodiversity in Taiwan, Brazil and India houses a lot of species from both the fauna and flora sides. Your report is a very good read because it sums up the concept of biodiversity and applying it to India.

    Thank you so much for the effort that you have put in writing this report I enjoyed reading this so much and I hope to read more of your work in the coming future!

    Keep on holding the fort!
    With gratitude,
    Ms Domingos
    Posted 15-08-2019 21:20

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