Biodiversity – A Major Concern

The term ‘Biodiversity’ first used by wildlife scientist and conservationist Raymond F. Desman and was not so much in use until the 1980s.Initially the concept was mainly used to define the number of animal and plant species present in a given area. But more recently, it has been extended to include all the flora and fauna, including their genes, of a particular area.


From time immemorial, nature and its vast resources have been the source of man’s needs and greed. A support system has been in existence and all that is exploited or rather used up from nature is continuously replenished. The energy passes on from one trophic level to the other and therefore nature sustains. But, the present times(esp. after the Industrial revolution)have put nature under immense pressure. The rate at which the man is exploiting the resources of nature has far exceeded the rate at which nature could replenish itself. Further man’s devious activities like indiscriminate hunting, introduction of exotic species, over exploitation of natural resources disturbance in migratory routes, destruction and fragmentation of habitats by deforestation, environmental pollution, human settlements et al have knowingly or unknowingly added a great deal in the loss of ‘biodiversity’. And, this loss has resulted in the extinction or endangering of species of more than one trophic level, thereby causing a big hindrance, by breaking the Nature’s energy cycle to replenish itself.


Today, it is the need of the hour that everyone be made aware of the results of even their most basic actions which might adversely affect the environment. We need to conserve the biodiversity. It is being threatened by the reduction in space, smaller and fragmented habitats, human sponsored ecosystems etc. Biodiversity is vital at all levels-then be it genetic diversity, species diversity, or community and ecosystem diversity. There are various ways by which each one of us can contribute either in the in-situ (at the place of origin) or the ex-situ (away from the place of origin)conservation of biodiversity


It is important that the present generation derive its economic and other functional benefits from the nature. But we must not forget the equally important issue of the future generations being able to derive at least the same from the environment. Hence, the conservation of biodiversity, which essentially means the protection, improvement and scientific management of the biodiversity must be made an issue of major concern for one and all.


Harshit Narang

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