It is said that birth of human has been considered as superior to all others. Contrary, there is another fact which is also true that human beings are great or superior in their own eyes but not in the eyes of nature.
It means Nature is always above any living creature and it is provided by the Almighty God as a precious Gem or treasure to us. Therefore its maintenance is also necessary. A good and natural environment given by nature should not be destroyed and must be protected at high levels. The surroundings full of voices like chirping of birds, buzzing of mosquitoes, or of grasshoppers or other such creatures, thousands of green plants and blowing of cool air is a little bit, which can be described about the Nature. As even a long description won’t be sufficient for its full definition.
Therefore a term named Biodiversity comes into focus in relation to nature. Basically, Biodiversity refers to the variety and variability among all groups of living organisms and the ecosystem complexes in which they occur. In the conservation of Biological Diversity(1992), biodiversity has been defined as the variability among living organisms from all sources including terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems.
Now, let us consider some of the major causes and issues related to threats to biodiversity:
1. Loss of Habitat:
Destruction and loss of natural habitat is the single largest cause of biodiversity loss. Billions of hectares of forests and grasslands have been cleared over the past 10,000 years for conversion into agriculture lands, pastures, settlement areas or development projects. These natural forests and grasslands were the natural homes of thousands of species which perished due to the loss of their natural habitat.
Poaching is another major threat to biodiversity. Despite international ban on trade in products from endangered species, smuggling of wildlife items like furs, hides, horns,tusks, live specimens and herbal products worth millions of dollars per year continues. The trading of such wildlife products is highly profit making for the poachers who just hunt these prohibited wild animals and smuggle it to the other countries connected to mafia.
3. Man-Wildlife Conflicts:
Sometimes conflicts between man and wildlife also takes place, which destroys biodiversity. e.g.: In Odisha, since last 5 years, 195 humans were killed by elephants. And in retaliation the villagers killed 98 elephants and also 30 elephants were badly injured. Several instances of killing the elephants in the border regions of Kote-Chamarajangar belt in Mysore have been reported recently.
Now, the 2 approaches for the conservation of Biodiversity are:-
a) In situ conservation: In this conservation, protection of wild flora and fauna in nature itself is done. e.g.: Biosphere Reserves, National Parks, Sanctuaries, Reserve Forests etc
b) Ex situ conservation: This is done by establishment of gene banks, seed banks, zoos, botanical gardens, culture collections etc.
Along with it, a number of measures have been taken all over the world to conserve biodiversity including plants and wildlife.