In Situ Conservation in India

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In-situ conservation is the on-site conservation or the conservation of genetic resources in natural populations of plant or animal species, such as forest genetic resources in natural populations of tree species.[1] It is the process of protecting an endangered plant or animal species in its natural habitat, either by protecting or restoring the habitat itself, or by defending the species from predators. It is applied to conservation of agricultural biodiversity in agro ecosystems by farmers, especially those using unconventional farming practices. e.g., Nilgiri biosphere in India.

Methods

Laughing 4% of the total geographical area of the country is used for in situ conservation. The following methods are presently used for in situ conservation.

In-situ conservation Number available
Biosphere reserves 18
National parks 104
Wild-life sanctuaries 543
Biodiversity hotspots 4

Biosphere reserves

Biosphere reserves cover very large areas, often more than 5000 km2. They are used to protect species for a long time. Currently, there are 18 Biosphere Reserves in India.

Name State
Nanda Devi Uttarakhand
Nokrek Meghalaya
Manas Assam

National parks

A national park is an area dedicated for the conservation of wildlife along with its environment. It is usually a small reserve covering an area of about 100 to 500 square kilometers. Within biosphere reserves, one or more national parks may also exist. Currently, there are 103 national parks in India.

Name State Important wildlife
Kaziranga Assam One-horned rhino
Gir National Park Gujarat Asiatic lions
Bandipur Karnataka Tiger, Elephant
Dachigam J & K Hangul
Kanha M.P Tiger
Periyar Kerala Tiger, elephant

Wildlife sanctuaries

A wildlife sanctuary is an area which is reserved for the conservation of animals only. Currently, there are 543 wild sanctuaries in India.

Name State Major wildlife
Hazaribagh sanctuary Jharkhand Tiger, leopard
Ghana Bird sanctuary Rajasthan 300 species of Birds
Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary Haryana Migratory birds
Abohar Wild life Sanctuary Punjab Black buck
Nal sarovar Bird Sanctuary Gujarat Water birds
Mudumalai Wild life Sanctuary Tamil Nadu Tiger, elephant, leopard
Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary Tamil Nadu Water birds


According to Conservation international, to qualify as a hotspot a region must meet two strict criteria :

Biodiversity Hotspots

According to Conservation international, to qualify as a hopspot a region must meet two strict criteria :

• it must contain at least 1,500 species of vascular plants (∆ 0.5% of the world's total) as endemics,

• it has to have lost at least 70% of its original habitat.

Name
The Himalaya
The Western Ghats
The North-East
The Nicobar Islands

Gene sanctuary

A gene sanctuary is an area where plants are conserved. It includes both biosphere reserves as well as national parks. India has set up its first gene sanctuary in the Garo Hills of Meghalaya for wild relatives of citrus. Efforts are also being made to set up gene sanctuaries for banana, sugarcane, rice and mango.

Community reserves

It is the type of protected area introduced in Wildlife Protection Amendment Act 2002 to provide legal support to community or privately owned reserves which cannot be designated as national park or wildlife sanctuary.

Sacred groves

They are tracts of forest set aside where all the trees and wildlife within are venerated and given total protection.

Benefits

One benefit of in situ conservation is that it maintains recovering populations in the environment where they have developed their distinctive properties. Another benefit is that this strategy helps ensure the ongoing processes of evolution and adaptation within their environments. As a last resort, ex-situ conservation may be used on some or all of the population, when in situ conservation is too difficult, or impossible. The species gets adjusted to the natural disasters like drought, floods, forest fires and this method is very cheap and convenient.

Reserves

Wildlife and livestock conservation is mostly based on in situ conservation. This involves the protection of wildlife habitats. Also, sufficiently large reserves are maintained to enable the target species to exist in large numbers. The population size must be sufficient to enable the necessary genetic diversity to survive within the population, so that it has a good chance of continuing to adapt and evolve over time. This reserve size can be calculated for target species by examining the population density in naturally occurring situations. The reserves must then be protected from intrusion or destruction by man, and against other catastrophes.

Agriculture

In agriculture, in situ conservation techniques are an effective way to improve, maintain, and use traditional or native varieties of agricultural crops. Such methodologies link the positive output of scientific research with farmers' experience and field work.

First, the accessions of a variety stored at a germplasm bank and those of the same variety multiplied by farmers are jointly tested in the producers field and in the laboratory, under different situations and stresses. Thus, the scientific knowledge about the production characteristics of the native varieties is enhanced. Later, the best tested accessions are crossed, mixed, and multiplied under replicable situations. At last, these improved accessions are supplied to the producers. Thus, farmers are enabled to crop improved selections of their own varieties, instead of being lured to substitute their own varieties with commercial ones or to abandon their crop. This technique of conservation of agricultural biodiversity is more successful in marginal areas, where commercial varieties are not expedient, due to climate and soil fertility constraints. Or where the taste and cooking characteristics of traditional varieties compensate for their lower yields.[2]

See also

References

  1. ^ Negi, Sharad Singh (1993-01-01). Biodiversity and Its Conservation in India. Indus Publishing. p. 40. ISBN 9788185182889. 
  2. ^ G. Avila, L. Guzmán, M. Céspedes 2004. Estrategias para la conservación in situ de razas de maíz boliviano. SINALERC, Mar del Plata

Further reading

  • Scheldeman, X.; van Zonneveld, M. (2010). Training Manual on Spatial Analysis of Plant Diversity and Distribution. Bioversity International. 

External links

  • In-Situ Conservation, The Convention on Biological Diversity
  • Ex-Situ Conservation, The Convention on Biological Diversity
  • IUCN/SSC Re-introduction Specialist Group
  • IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
  • The Convention on Biological Diversity
  • In situ conservation
  • The World Wide Fund for Nature
  • African Wild Dog Conservancy
  • Guidelines: In vivo conservation of animal genetic resources, Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN
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