THREATS TO BIODIVERSITY: HABITAT LOSS, POACHING OF WILDLIFE, . Areas that are rich in species diversity are called 'hotspots' of diversity. India. PART I. I. An update on biodiversity status, trends and threats in India and implications for human well-being. Biodiversity profile of India. rich in biological diversity offers the broadest array of . Biodiversity conservation in India is also impeded by a GEF has led to a PDF-B project on strength-.
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PDF | The Pride of India lies in its nearly native plants which are still used in the indigenous healthcare systems. It is a country with rich. Biodiversity in India. *. E. Somanathan+. * Prepared for the Oxford Companion to Economics in India. I am grateful to V. B. Eswaran, Jagdish. Krishnaswamy and. In this exhibition we have posters on different Ecosystems of India,. Biodiversity of Terrestrial, freshwater and marine, the protected areas of the.
Among plants. Only 55 bird species are endemic to India. The local tribes and villagers who have in-depth knowledge of a medicinal or herbal plant can be easily absorbed into processing and collecting plants with little training. A full list of these species is given in Appendix ces. Biodiversity Species Diversity India contains a great wealth of biological diversity in its forests. Indian Ocean. The highest mountain in the Indian Himalayas is Khangchenjunga m which is located in Sikkim on the border with Nepal.
Does it belong to farmers, plant-breeders 4, tribal people, the indigenous communities who have been living in harmony with their natural surroundings for centuries, nurturing them and using the resources for food, shelter, medicine and clothing thereby maintaining a structured ecosystem or does it belong to resettled who are displaced from their natural habitat by industrial or economic activity and have made a new home in another forest or island, or, does it belong to people like us to whom it does not matter where the food comes from, as long as it is on table, who are used to getting all they want, can afford everything irrespective of whether it grows in our own backyard or is airlifted from the remotest corner of the country, carbon footprint and bio-destruction notwithstanding5.
Powledge, F. Patenting them was out of the question. Farmers produced improved varieties, called landraces, through trial-and-error field research, saving seed from season to season and freely trading it among themselves.
In the s, scientists and policymakers abruptly awoke to the fact that pollution, rampant development, and population growth were causing an unprecedented loss of biodiversity. The awakening stimulated a surge in plant collecting, especially in the economically poorer but biologically wealthier regions of the tropics. Such rights exclude other researchers from producing or commercializing the genetic material of a specific plant variety for up to 20 years.
To this category belong tribals and nomadic herders, peasants and agricultural labourers. These are termed as Ecosystem people who are most likely to practice prudence while using resources. A proportion of these have been alienated by their natural resource base, by submersion of their lands under dams or by compulsions of population growth. They have encroached upon forests and termed as Ecological Refugees. The minority who hold the power: Loss of natural habitat due to rapid industrialization, monoculture, indiscriminate use of pesticides and insecticides, deforestation leading to soil erosion, flawed Govt.
Taking long time measures which are result oriented but not popular are harder to make and this is the reason for successive Government apathy. Many of plant and animal species in these hotspots are rapidly zooming towards vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered lists.
To give one example, a genotoxic study conducted in Noyyal river basin, which originates from the biological hotspot of Western Ghats of Coimbatore district, showed that fish and earthworm had extensive damage to their DNA due to polluted water7. As more and more land is being claimed for rapidly expanding cities and industries, natural forest cover is being reduced.
The effects of deforestation on biodiversity are mainly destruction of habitat causing extinction of endemic species, fragmentation and creating edge effects between the boundary of a forest and deforested land 8.
Rajaguru P. Mutagen, vol. Whitmore, T. Available at http: Total export figures in USD Million are given below: Medicinal herbs This opportunity can be utilized only when there is a stringent system of checks and balances at every step of providing patents and licenses to companies for producing herbal and natural food supplements.
Along with benefit sharing, there can be a mandatory provision for biotech and pharma companies to provide employment to villagers and communities. The local tribes and villagers who have in-depth knowledge of a medicinal or herbal plant can be easily absorbed into processing and collecting plants with little training.
Instead of using outsiders who have little or no knowledge of the existing ecosystem and are prone to inflict substantial harm while gathering herbs, local people has a greater incentive to keep their natural surrounding intact.
This will provide employment opportunities as well as conservatory benefits. India has a long history of environment and habitat protection laws.
The Constitution of India expressly mandates the protection and improvement of environment and safeguarding of forests and wild life in article 48A and Article 51A g The Act is to be implemented through a three-tiered institutional structure: It provides a framework for access to biological resources and sharing the benefits arising out of such access and use.
The Act also includes in its ambit the transfer of research results and application for intellectual property rights IPRs relating to Indian biological resources Constitution of India, Article 48A: The State shall endeavor to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wild life of the country. Article 51A g: As per CBD rules, it is mandatory: To put in place systems that facilitates access to genetic resources for environmentally sound purposes 2. To ensure that the benefits resulting from their use are shared fairly and equitably between users and providers14 ABS agreements under the Biological Diversity Act are divided into four categories.
Each of these categories necessitates the completion of four forms. The table below shows the total no. Article 15, CBD http: Access and Benefit Sharing: Experiences from India available at http: The Act also provides other forms of benefit sharing such as transfer of technology, which are more long- lasting than financial compensation.
In cases where benefit-sharing is allocated in the form of money, the authority can direct the payment to a Biodiversity Fund, and the proceeds from this fund can then either be channeled to the benefit claimers or used generally for biodiversity management activities.
Coral reefs occur along only a few sections of the mainland. The dominant species is Dipterocarpus grandiflorus in hilly areas. It embraces evergreen and semi-evergreen rain forests. In the Assam Valley the giant Dipterocarpus macrocarpus and Shorea assamica occur singly. Malabar Kino Pterocarpus marsupium. Figure 4 shows the distribution of forest in Kerala State. The tropical evergreen rain forest is only slightly less grand in stature and rich in species than on the mainland.
The Andamans and Nicobar islands have tropical evergreen rain forests and tropical semi- evergreen rainforests as well as tropical monsoon moist monsoon forests IUCN.
Nicobar Figure 5. These forests contain several tree species of great commercial significance e. Clumps of bamboo occur along streams or in poorly drained hollows throughout the evergreen and semi-evergreen forests of south-west India. Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Semi-evergreen rain forest is more extensive than the evergreen formation partly because evergreen forests tend to degrade to semi-evergreen with human interference.
In it was estimated that there were approximately In the rain forests there is an enormous number of tree species. Indian rosewood Dalbergia latifolia. Incidental netting is widespread. Other notable marine areas are seagrass beds. Madras and Mandapam Commercial exploitation of aquarium fishes from Indian coral reefs has gained importance only recently and as yet no organised effort has been made to exploit these resources.
Olive Ridley Lepidochelys olivacea. Hawksbill Eretmochelys imbricata and Leatherback Dermochelys coriacea. Indian coral reefs have a wide range of resources which are of commercial value. In the Gulf of Mannar turtles are still reasonably common near seagrass beds where shrimp trawlers operate.
Reef fisheries are generally at the subsistence level and yields are unrecorded. Biodiversity Species Diversity India contains a great wealth of biological diversity in its forests. In the Gulf of Mannar the green tiger prawn Penaeus semisulcatus is extensively harvested for the export market. Seagrass beds are also important feeding areas for the dugong Dugong dugon. Loggerhead Caretta caretta. This richness is shown in absolute numbers of species and the proportion they represent of the world total see Table 1.
Figure 6 shows known turtle nesting areas in the Andaman Islands. Table 1. Sea fans and seaweeds are exported for decorative purposes. The principal reason for the decrease in numbers is deliberate human predation. Five species of marine turtle occur in Indian waters: Green turtle Chelonia mydas.
Turtles are netted and speared along the entire Indian coast. India has a great many scientific institutes and university departments interested in various aspects of biodiversity. Exploitation of corals. A large number of scientists and technicians have been engaged in ces. Most of the marine turtle populations found in the Indian region are in decline. In south-east India the annual catch is estimated at 4.
They include. Eight amphibian genera are not found outside India. They are the Lion- tailed macaque Macaca silenus. The Gangetic plains are generally poor in endemics.
Areas rich in endemism are north-east India. Only 44 species of Indian mammal have a range that is confined entirely to within Indian territorial limits.
Endemism among mammals and birds is relatively low. A full list of these species is given in Appendix ces. Knowledge of special interest groups such as primates.
Among plants. Brown palm civet Paradoxurus jerdoni and Nilgiri tahr Hemitragus hylocrius. The importance of these biological resources cannot be overestimated for the continued welfare of India's population. They are located mainly in eastern India along the mountain chains where the monsoon shadow occurs.
The known endemic higher vertebrate species identified by WCMC from source references are listed in Appendix 2. Perhaps most notable among the endemic amphibian genera is the monotypic Melanobatrachus which has a single species known only from a few specimens collected in the Anaimalai Hills in the s Groombridge. Inventories of birds. Nilgiri leaf monkey Trachypithecus johni locally better known as Nilgiri langur Presbytis johnii.
Endemic Species India has many endemic plant and vertebrate species. Only 55 bird species are endemic to India.
These include 53 species of mammal. These centres are shown in Figure 7. These areas. It is possibly most closely related to two relict genera found in the mountains of eastern Tanzania. There are around endemic reptiles. In contrast.
Nannobatrachus and Nyctibatrachus. Four endemic species of conservation significance occur in the Western Ghats. Five locations have so far been issued for India: As examples see Appendix 3 for a list of the birds of India. The general state of knowledge about the distribution and richness of the country's biological resources is therefore fairly good. Gegeneophis and Uraeotyphlus.
Marbled Cat. Wild Asiatic Water Buffalo etc. Switzerland and Cambridge. Asiatic Cheetah. As more and more land became settled or cultivated. Appendix 7 provides a conservation status listing of many of these plants.
India contains globally important populations of some of Asia's rarest animals. Table 2. Since then. Table 3. Asiatic Wild Ass. A workshop held in indicated that as many as 3. Asiatic Lion. Summary accounts for some of the globally threatened mammals found in India are given in Appendix 6.
The number of species in various taxa that are listed under the different categories of endangerment is shown below in Table 2. Indian Elephant. Many of ces.
Extensive clearance of forests accompanied the advance of agricultural and pastoral societies in subsequent millennia. Indian Rhinoceros. Wise use of natural resources was a prerequisite for many hunter-gatherer societies which date back to at least BC. The adoption of a National Policy for Wildlife Conservation in and the enactment of the Wildlife Protection Act in lead to a significant growth in the protected areas network. Tamil Nadu's Nilgiri wildlife sanctuary.
The small remaining extent of natural forest. These protected areas. The management status of the wildlife sanctuaries in this part of India varies enormously.
The protected areas of Kerala State are shown in Figure 9. Madhav now Shivpuri in Madhya Pradesh. Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Protected Areas of the Western Ghats The Western Ghats are a chain of highlands running along the western edge of the Indian subcontinent. Eravikulum in Kerala. Under this Act.
Simlipal in Orissa. Secondly the inclusion of protection of wild animals and birds in the concurrent list of the constitution. Covering an estimated area of Summary sheets describing some of the protected areas in Kerala State are given in Appendix 9.
Bandipur in Karnataka. Examples include Gir in Gujarat. The network was further strengthened by a number of national conservation projects.
The situation has since improved. Ranthambore and Sariska in Rajasthan. As the zone has already lost a large part of its original forest cover although timber extraction from the evergreen reserve forests in Kerala and Karnataka has now been halted it must rank as a region of great conservation concern. International Programmes and Conventions India participates with many international agreements and programmes concerned with aspects ces.
There have been two recent developments. This convention will provide a framework for the sustainable management and conservation of India's natural resources. These range from legal instruments such as the Convention on Biological Diversity. Examples of agreements and programmes with which India is collaborating include: These sites are: India has now six sites covering some These sites are.
World Heritage Convention India ratified the World Heritage Convention in and since then five natural sites have been inscribed as areas of 'outstanding universal value'. Natraj Publishers.
Government of India Putting biodiversity on the map: Conservation of the Indian Heritage. Indian Board for Wildlife. Cosmo Publishers. Dehra Dun. Wildlife in India.