- Earth's plentiful, beautiful, bountiful, vast and mysterious, lively and lovely variety of life is known as Biodiversity. Diversity is a combination of a number of species and the number of individuals of each species in a community.
THREATS TO BIODIVERSITY
- With its unique biodiversity in habits at least 10 million species of plants and animals. Globally 5 million species one sixth of the existing variety will vanish by the end of 2050. Globally, 36% of Loss of biodiversity are due to habitat destruction and 15% of loss is due to hunting.
- Remaining is due to various reasons are discussed below.
The main threats to biodiversity are:
- Extinction of species is a natural process, a wild law of nature. Everything that is born has to die. About 50% of the flora and fauna are likely to face extinction by 2100. About 12% of plant species and 11% of bird species are on the brink of extinction. Approximately 5 mass extinctions occur in Earth's history, they will all naturally mainly due to crashing of meteorites on Earth and 6th will be by humans.
2.ENHANCED AGRICULTURE ACTIVITY
- White Revolution, Blue revolution, and Green revolution; monoculture as an agriculture practices. 'No Till Farming' followed by extensive use of fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides. Shifting cultivation destroys local flora and fauna and also soil fertility and increase the rate of soil erosion. Monoculture also causes a dress changing food habits and herbivores and may lead to mass extinction because of the food chain crisis.
- Habitat loss on a massive scale for developing a network of roads, railways, parks, grounds satellite towns, garden cities and urbanization. Mangrove forest loss is mainly because of destruction for firewood and tourism projects. Mangroves are the nesting site of several birds and marine animals. Habitat destruction by deforestation, desertification and urbanization is a major threat to biodiversity. Indonesia and California in the USA lost the majority of biodiversity due to forest fires.
4.DEFORESTATION, DESERTIFICATION AND URBANIZATION
- Any area with less than 250 mm rainfall per year is called a desert. Due to desertification the desert area is increasing the process of denuding and degrading a once fertile land is called desertification. Deserts have a natural self expensive tendency, exemplified by the deserts of Rajasthan India. Desertification is mainly due to overpopulation,over cultivation, overgrazing, deforestation open mining, expensive pumping of groundwater, acid rains Ozone holes, nuclear explosions and so many other man made activities.
- It was completely covered by forest and currently the rate of desertification is exponential. Every year 60,000 sq.km. of productive lands are lost globally affecting the lives of nearly 10 million people worldwide.
- Poaching II legal business in the world after Narcotics is Poaching. Animals are killed for sport or for their meat or for products of skins, furs, feather bones, tusks, horns, venom, oil, teeth, body parts etc. Tusks of elephants for ivory products, legs of elephants as wastepaper baskets or flower vases, skin, nails and teeth of tigers, lions and bears, skin and poison of snake and are very costly. Rhinoceros for horns, sharks and whales for oil, Birds of paradise for feather. Poaching is also involved in trees for sandalwood, timber and firewood, causing forest fires, destruction of medicinal plants. International trade of animals and plants like leeches, pitcher plants this products like their leather products, for coats.
- Approximately 5000 species of animals and 28000 species of plants in 172 countries are protected by CITES ( Conventional of International Trade in Endangered Species of wild flora and fauna).
- Climate change from global warming, ozone holes, and acid rains have affected several biomes and tropical forests on a mega scale. Man callousness and disregard towards nature. The paradise fly catcher and many sparrows have faced extinction due to destruction of habitats and feeding grounds like Mangroves.
- Pollution due to water, air, thermal, nuclear, radiation and soil pollution.
8.MAN ANIMAL CONFLICTS
- As many animals have lost their habitat they encroach into human settlements. About 100 tigers were killed as they entered, into towns and cities. Elephants strayed into agricultural fields, sugarcane fields and destroy them. Animals like deer, gaur, chital and sambar also are killed by hunting, poisoning or blasting them off. Human encroachment and development is responsible for loss of 50% of forest cover which forces the species to perish.
- Population Explosion is exerting an immense impact on all the resources and increasing population levels. All other parameters responsible for loss of biodiversity originate from this single stem of the population explosion and exploitation of resources.
10.EXPLOITATION OF RESOURCES
- In the exploitation of resources Sumerian, Deccan and Mayan civilization are deserts but were thick forests earlier. They have become barren only due to exploitation of land for cultivation. An installation of the huge number of deep wells had polluted 1000s of km of coastal zone with sea water intrusion.