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Biodiversity Conservation

Whatever we do to protect the number and variety of plants and animals is known as biodiversity conservation

Biodiversity Conservation


In-situ biodiversity conservation (Natural Home)

  • Identification of an area with high biodiversity (area having a lot of variety of plants and animals)
  • Isolation and protection of this area from human activities by establishing a natural park/sanctuary/biosphere reserve
  • Very essential for big animals like elephants, rhinos, tigers as they require huge area.

 

National Parks

  • Relatively large area consisting of one or more ecosystems, operates at National Level
  • No human activity or settlement allowed i.e. human interference is totally prohibited
  • Villagers cannot graze their animals
  • Extremely strict rules about jungle produce collection for ex. Honey

National Parks India

National Parks
State
Key Species
Dachigam National Park J & K Hangul/Kashmiri Stag
Great Himalayan National Park Himachal Pradesh Blue sheep, Snow leopard, Musk Deer
Rajaji National Park Uttarakhand Tigers
Valley of flowers National Park Uttarakhand Snow Leopard, Flora
Corbett National Park Uttarakhand Tigers
Nanda Devi National Park Uttarakhand
Chandra Prabha National Park UP
Dudhwa tiger Reserve UP Tigers
Ranthambore National Park Rajashthan Tigers
Keoladeo National Park Rajashthan Birds & Deers
Sariska National Park Rajashthan Tigers
Desert National Park Rajashthan

National Parks in India

National Parks
State
Key Species
Palamu National Park Jharkhand Tigers
Betla National Park Jharkhand  bison, elephant, tiger, leopard, axis-axis
Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary Jharkhand Elephants
Sundarbans National Park West Bengal Tigers
Kanchenjunga National Park Sikkim Musk Deer, Snow Leopard
Balpakhram National Park Meghalaya Elephants, Golden cat
Manas National Park Assam Tigers, Elephants
Kaziranga National Park Assam One-Horned Rhinoceroses
Nameri National Park Assam Elephants
Mouling National Park Arunachal Pradesh Red Panda
Namdapha National Park Arunachal Pradesh Red Giant Flying Squirrel
Keibul Lamjao National Park Manipur Only floating park in the world, Famous for Sangai or Dancing Deers
Bandhavgarh National Park MP Tigers
Kanha National Park MP Tigers
Pench National Park MP Tigers
Madhav National Park MP
Panna National Park MP Tigers
Indravati National Park Chhattisgarh Tiger & wild Buffalo
Gir National Park Gujrat Asiatic Lion
Marine National Park Gulf of Kutch
Wild Ass Wildlife Sanctuary Rann of Katch Wild Ass
Simlipal National Park Odisha Tigers
Chilka Lake Bird Sanctuary Odisha
Melghat Tiger Reserve Maharashtra Tigers
Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary Goa
NagarJuna National Park Andhra Pradesh Tigers
Bandipur National Park Karnataka Tigers
Nagarhole National Park Karnataka Tigers & Elephants
Banerghatta National Park Karnataka Tigers
Silent Valley National Park Kerala
Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary Kerala Tigers
Periyar National Park Kerala Tigers & Elephants
Parambikulam Tiger Reserve Kerala Tigers

Wildlife Sanctuary

  • Regulated human activities are allowed → Grazing of animals, Firewood collection, Tourism
  • can be created for a particular specie which is not the case with national; operates at State Level
  • A sanctuary can be upgraded to a National park but not vice versa

 

Biosphere Reserve

  • Unique ecosystem of terrestrial & coastal areas internationally recognized by UNESCO under Man and Biosphere (MAB) programme
  • People are allowed to live, own private land & carry own traditional activities but only in outer zone

 

Biosphere reserves are globally considered as:
  • Sites of excellence where new & optimal practices to manage nature & human activities are tested & demonstrated;
  • Tools to help countries implement the results of the World Summit on Sustainable Development in particular, of CBD & its Ecosystem Approach;
  • Learning sites for the UN Decade on Education for Sustainable Development

 

After their designation, biosphere reserves remain under national sovereign jurisdiction, yet they share their experience and ideas nationally, regionally and internationally within the World Network of Biosphere Reserves

To carry out the complementary activities of biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of natural resources, biosphere reserves are traditionally organized into three interrelated zones:

Man and Biosphere

Core zone
  • Central area that has to be kept undisturbed of all activities
  • Research activities allowed, which don’t disturb wildlife
  • No human activity is allowed in this zone
Buffer zone
  • Limited human activity is permitted viz. tourism, fishing, grazing etc.
  • Only activities are allowed which don’t disturb the core zone
  • Research activities are encouraged here
Transition zone
  • Outmost part & not delimited
  • Greater activities are allowed viz. Settlements, cropping, forestry, recreation etc.

Man and the Biosphere Programme

  • Launched in 1971, UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) is an Intergovernmental Scientific Programme that aims to establish a scientific basis for the improvement of relationships between people and their environments along with rational and sustainable use & conservation of the resources of the biosphere
  • Predicts the consequences of today’s actions on tomorrow’s world and thereby increases people’s ability to efficiently manage natural resources for the well-being of both human populations and the environment
  • Promotes the exchange and transfer of knowledge on environmental problems and solutions, and to foster environmental education for sustainable development

Biosphere reserves have three main aims viz.

  • Conservation
  • Economic development
  • Research & education

 

Thus, biosphere reserves serve as living laboratories for testing & demonstrating integrated management of land, water and biodiversity.


Biosphere reserves of India

Name State Key Fauna
Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka Lion-tailed macaque
Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve TamilNadu Sea Cow
Sundarbans Biosphere Reserve West Bengal Bengal Tiger
Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve Uttarakhand
Nokrek Biosphere Reserve Meghalaya Red Panda
Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve Madhya Pradesh Giant Squirrel, Flying Squirrel
Simlipal Biosphere Reserve Odisha
Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve Chhattisgarh, MP
Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve A & N Saltwater Crocodile
Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve Sikkim Snow Leopard, Red Panda
Above 10/18 Biosphere reserves are under MAB of World Network of Biosphere Reserves under UNESCO
Manas Biosphere Reserve Assam Golden Langur, Red Panda
Dibru-Saikhowa Biosphere Reserve Assam Golden Langur
Dihang-Dibang Biosphere Reserve Arunachal
Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve Kerala, Tamilnadu Nilgiri Tahrs, Elephants
Great Rann of Kutch Biosphere Reserve Gujrat Indian Wild Ass
Panna Biosphere Reserve MP (Latest one in 2011) Tiger, Chital, Chinkara, Sambhara, Sloth bear
Seshachalam Hills Biosphere Reserve Andhra Pradesh
Cold Desert Himachal Snow Leopard

 Ex-Situ biodiversity conservation (Artificial home)

Seed Banks

  • Store seeds at extremely low temperature & humidity
  • Advantage → can save large variety of plant species in a very small space
  • Problems   → Every seed has an expiry date; you cannot store it for an indefinite time. So every once in a while, you have to take out the seeds, germinate them and get new seeds and store them again
  • Multinational companies such as Monsanto have excellent infrastructure for these activities, but they care for only storing the seeds of commercially viable species like Wheat, maize, rice, potato etc.
  • They have no interest in protecting some unknown grass or jungle fruits which are on the verge of extinction, hence this duty falls under the government agencies

 

Central Zoo Authority of India

  • Enforces minimum standards and norms for upkeep and health care of animals in Indian Zoos
  • Restrains mushrooming of unplanned and ill-conceived Zoos that were cropping up as adjuncts to public parks, industrial complexes and waysides

 

Zoos

  • Bring some endangered species in zoo, breed them, and reintroduce their offspring in jungle ex. Pandas, Orangutans etc.

 

Problems

  • Not all species can breed in captivity
  • Life expectancy of Caged Ex-situ animal is less than its in-situ cousin
  • Offspring born in captivity, have problems in adjusting & surviving in jungles
  • Zoos require huge land, lot of funds, trained personnel.
  • Zoos concentrate on protection and breeding of big and popular species such as Tiger, Panda, orangutans, etc. as it brings more public support and funds, But small and unknown species such as frogs and birds gets neglected.

 

Botanical Gardens

  • An establishment where plants are collected, cultivated and displayed off to public with their botanical names for scientific study purposes

 


Other Prominent Related Reserves

Reserved Forest
  • An area notified under the provisions of Indian Forest Act or State Forest Act
  • It has full degree of protection
  • All activities are prohibited unless permitted
Protected Forest
  • An area notified under the provisions of Indian Forest Act or State Forest Act
  • It has limited degree of protection
  • All activities are permitted unless prohibited
Conservation Reserves
  • Can be declared by the State Governments in any area owned by the government
  • Particularly the areas adjacent to National Parks and Sanctuaries and those areas which link one Protected Area with another
  • Such declaration should be made after having consultations with the local communities
Community Reserves
  • Can be declared by the State Government in any private or community land
  • Not comprised within a National Park, Sanctuary or a Conservation Reserve
  • Particularly where an individual or a community has volunteered to conserve wildlife and its habitat

 


Legal Aspects

Reserve Forests & Protected Forests 
  • covered under the Indian Forest Act, 1927
  • focus here is not really on protecting flora/fauna, but on protecting forests and their economic wealth
National Parks, Sanctuaries, Conservation Reserves and Community Reserves
  • covered under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972
  • focus on conservation on flora/fauna
National Parks and Conservation Reserves
  • boundaries cannot be altered except by a law passed by the State Legislature, so the Executive can’t freely alter boundaries
  • other protected areas do not have this protection
All of the above are notified by state governments (even National Parks- the name can be misleading). Central government is involved in the notification only if the protected area includes territorial waters or when the land belongs to the Central government.
Biosphere Reserves 
  • not specifically defined by any Parliamentary law
  • derived from UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere Program (1972)
  • a combination of Reserve Forests / Protected Forests / National Parks / Sanctuaries
Tiger Reserves
  • legally protected areas, covered under Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Act, 2006
  • notified by state governments, but on the recommendation of a Central Authority- the National Tiger Conservation Authority
India Yearbook English India Yearbook Hindi Economic Survey 2017

2 Comments

  1. List of Indian biosphere reserve in the UNESCO’s world network of biosphere reserve is not correct….

    • Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve Added!!!

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