What is Biodiversity

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Information about What is Biodiversity

Published on January 5, 2009

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Slide 1: Biodiversity Profile of India Dr. Vinod Khanna Zoological Survey of India, Dehra Dun Slide 2: WHAT IS BIODIVERSITY? Ever since the happening of the earth summit at Rio De Janeiro, Brazil the term biodiversity has become a buzzword. In fact it is the contracted form of Biological Diversity .   The term 'biodiversity' encompasses the variety of all life on earth. It is identified as the variability among living organisms and the ecological complexes of which they are part, including diversity within and between species and ecosystems. Quite simply it can be defined as “variety, variability,between genes, species and ecosystems” Slide 3: Biodiversity manifests itself at three levels: Species diversity which refers to the numbers and kinds of living organisms Genetic diversity, which refers to the genetic variation within a population of species. Ecosystem diversity, which is the variety of habitats, biological communities and ecological processes that occur in the biosphere. Slide 4: Why Conserve Biodiversity? Biological diversity affects us all. Biological diversity has direct consumptive value in food, agriculture, medicine, industry. It also has aesthetic and recreational value. Biodiversity maintains ecological balance and continues evolutionary process. The indirect ecosystem services provided through biodiversity are photosynthesis, pollination, transpiration, chemical cycling, nutrient cycling, soil maintenance, climate regulation, air, water system management, and waste treatment and pest control. Quite Often asked Question ? Slide 5: Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) The three preambles of Biodiversity are: Conservation of Biodiversity Sustainable use of Biodiversity and leaving enough for the future generations. Fair and equitable sharing of Profits arising out of the use of biodiversity Slide 6: MEGABIODIVERSITY COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD India is one of the twelve-mega biodiversity countries of the world and one of the four in Asia. Megabiodiversity? :Countries that contain as much as 7-8% per cent of the world's species. The twelve Megabiodiversity countries that have been identified are : India,Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Mexico, Madagascar, Zaire, Australia, China, Indonesia and Malaysia. Slide 7: I- Since India lies at the confluence of African, European and Indo-Malaysian region the biota therefore, includes African,European , Eurasian and Mediterranean elements, which together with Indian and endemic elements contributes to the richness of the characteristic Indian biodiversity. Why India has a rich biological diversity? Slide 8: India has ten biogeographic regions 1.The Trans- Himalayan, 2. The Himalayan, 3.The Indian desert, 4.The Semi-arid zone(s), 5.The Western Ghats 6. The Deccan Peninsula, 7. The Gangetic Plain, 8. The Northeast India, 9. The Islands and 10. The Coasts NE Himalyas Western Ghats II-Biogeographic Diversity in India Slide 9: III-Habitats and Ecosystems: India has a rich and varied heritage of biodiversity, encompassing a wide Spectrum of Ecosystems from Tropical rainforests to alpine vegetation Temperate forests to coastal, Marine to freshwater wetlands ,Rivers, Lakes,Ponds,Mangroves, Corals etc., Semi-arid to Arid, Plains to Himalaya, to Islands. Slide 10: IV. The other important features that contribute to India’s rich biodiversity are 1 Physiography of India: Although nearly half of India lies outside tropics in the middle latitudes, it is customary to speak of India as a tropical country, since the region is shielded of by the Himalayas in the north from the rest of Asia and has the same general type of tropical monsoon climate throughout the land. 2.Variety in elevation and local climate 3. Wetlands: India has a rich variety of wetland habitats, may be manmade or natural where the soilremains waterlogged or submerged for whole or part of year upon which the wetland biota depends. 4. Forests: The panorama of Indian forests ranges from evergreen tropical rain forests in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the Western Ghats, and the northeastern states, to dry alpine scrub high in the Himalaya to the north. . Between the two extremes, the country has semi-evergreen rain forests, deciduous monsoon forests, thorn forests, subtropical pine forests in the lower montane zone and temperate montane forests 5. Marine Environment :rich fishing grounds.,Coral reefs and a number of islands opposite Sri Lanka. Hot Spots : Hot Spots India figured with two hotspots in an identification of 25 of the world's biologically richest and most threatened ecosystems. These 2 hotspots that extend into India are the Western Ghats/Sri Lanka and the Indo-Burma region (covering the Eastern Himalayas); and they are included amongst the top eight most important hotspots. The hotspots are the areas with higher concentration of endemic species and which usually experience rapid rate of habitat modifications and loss. Slide 13: 1. Western Ghats: Faced with tremendous population pressure the forests of Western Ghats and Srilanka have been dramatically impacted by demands for agriculture and Timber.The Region is home to rich endemic assemblage of Plants, reptiles and amphibians as well as elephants, tiger and endangered Lion tailed Macaque Slide 14: 2. NE Himalayas: Himalayas is home to world’s highest mountains , including Mt.Everest. Abrupt rise in rise of mountains results in diversity of ecosystems that range from Alluvial grasslands and subtropical broad leaved forests to alpine meadows above the tree line. It’s a home to a variety of large birds, mammals, including tiger, elephants rhinos and wild water buffaloes. Slide 15: WORLD HERITAGE SITES IN INDIA UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 State Parties (countries) aims to catalogue, name, and preserve sites of outstanding cultural or natural importance to the common heritage of humankind. The Programme was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on 16 November 1972. Since then, 182 State Parties have ratified the convention. As of 2006, a total of 830 sites are listed: 644 cultural, 162 natural, and 24 mixed properties, in 138 States Parties. Each World Heritage Site is the property of the country on whose territory the site is located, but it is considered in the interest of the international community to preserve each site for future generations of humankind. The protection and conservation of these sites are a concern of all the World Heritage countries. Slide 16: World Heritage Sites in India The world body has listed 23 Heritage Sites in India, which includes following five Protected Areas of great conservation significance to be a part of World Culture and Heritage: 1.Kaziranga National Park, Assam 2.Manas Wildlife Sanctuary, Assam 3.Keoladaeo National Park, Rajasthan 4.Sunderbans National Park,West Bengal and 5.Nanda Devi National Park, Uttaranchal * Five Protected Areas in India as World Heritage Sites Slide 17: Biosphere Reserves in India were created under the 'Man & Biosphere' (MAB) Programme by UNESCO in 1971 to conserve in situ all forms of life, along with its support system, in its totality, so that it could serve as a referral system for monitoring and evaluating changes in natural ecosystems.  The first biosphere reserve of the world was established in 1979, since then the network of  biosphere reserves has increased to 425 in 95 countries across the world (MAB, 2003).  Presently, there are 14 existing biosphere reserves in India. Slide 18: Presently, there are 14 existing Biosphere Reserves in India Date of Notification : Area (Sq.Kms) States 1.Nilgiri 01-09-1986  5,520.00 Karnataka, Kerala & T.N 2.Nanda Devi 18-01-1988   5,860.69  Uttaranchal 3.Nokrek 01-01-1988 80.00 Meghalaya 4.Great Nicobar 06-01-1989 885.00 Andaman & Islands Nicobar 5.Gulf of Mannar 18.02.1989    10,500.00 Tamil Nadu  6.Manas 14-03-1989   2,837.00 Assam 7.Sunderbans 29-03-1989  9,630.00 West Bengal 8.Simlipal 22-06-1994  4,374.00 Orissa 9.Dibru-Sikhowa 28-07-1997  765.00 Assam 10.Dehang-Debang 02-09-1998  5,111.50 A.P. 11.Pachmarhi  03-03-1999  4,926.00 M.P. 12.Khangchendzonga07-02-2000 2,619.92 Sikkim 13.Agasthyamalai 12-11-2001 1,701.00 Kerala 14. Achanakamar -  Amarkantak2005 3,835..51 M.P. and Chhattishgarh Slide 19: Himalayan Biosphere Reserves Operational: 1. Nanda Devi, Uttaranchal 2. Manas, Assam 3.Dibru-Shikowa, Assam 4.Dehang-Debang, Arunachal Pradesh 5. Kangchendzonga, Sikkim Proposed: 6. Namdhapa,Arunachal Pradesh 7.Kaziranga, Assam 8.Cold Desert, J & K Slide 20: Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially Waterfowl Habitat ( Ramsar Convention,1971) Held at Ramsar, Iran, the treaty provides for international collaboration on wetland conservation, including Mangroves and Coral reefs. The contracting parties have four obligations Incorporate the consideration of wetlands conservation within their national land-use planning Designate at least one wetland of international importance (Ramsar Sites) according to the specified criteria. Promote wetland conservation by creating nature reserves and Train staff in wetland wardeneing, research and management and consult other countries especially for species or areas . there are 116 countries participating and over a thousand Ramsar Sites.. Ramsar Provides small grants from a fund, international expertise and resources. Ramsar Convention Beaureu, rue Mauverney 28, CH-1196, Gland, Switzerland E mail: ramsar@hq.iucn.org Slide 21: Ramsar Convention (1971) An inter-governmental treaty on wetlands for conservation and wise use of Natural resources as also conservation of Waterfowl habitats (Ramsar,Iran,1971). There are 19 wetlands in India that have been identified as Ramsar Sites. Slide 22: Ramsar Sites in India 1. Chilika Lake, Orissa 2. Harike Wetland, Punjab 3. Keoladeo National Park, Rajasthan 4. Loktak Lake, Manipur 5. Sambar Lake, Rajasthan 6. Wular Lake, Jammu and Kashmir 7. Kanji Lake Punjab 8. Ropar Lake, Punjab 9. East Kolkata wetlands,WB 10. Deepor Beel, Assam 11. Astamudi Lake, Kerala 12. Pong Dam Lake, H.P. 13. Kolleru Lake, Andhra Pradesh 14. Bhitakanika Mangroves, Orissa 15. Tsomoriri, J & K 16.` Point Calimere WLS, TN 17. Sasthamkota Lake, Kerala 18. Bhoj Wet;land, MP Vembanad-Kol Wetland, Kerala 20. Hokera Wetland, J. & K 21. Chandertal Wetland, H.P. 22. Renuka Wetland, H.P. 23. Rudrasagar Lake, Tripura 24. Surinsar-Mansur Lakes J .& K 25. Upper Ganga River (Brijghat to Narora Stretch) Slide 23: More Wetlands to be Designated as Ramsar Sites: The Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, has identified more new wetlands and started the process of designation as Ramsar Sites in consultation with the World Wide Fund for Nature-India (WWF-India). These are: 1.Lali Sanctuary (Arunachal Pradesh) 2. Kabar Tal (Bihar), 3.Pulicat Lake (Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh), and 4. Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Slide 24: Location of Ramsar Sites in India Slide 25: Protected Area Network (PA Network) The protection of wildlife has been a long tradition in Indian history. Wise use of natural resources was a pre-requisite for many hunter-gatherer societies, which dates back to at least 6000 BC. The adoption of a National Policy for Wildlife Conservation in 1970 and the enactment of the Wildlife (Protection) Act in 1972 lead to a significant growth in the protected areas network. To maintain rich biological diversity of the Indian Himalayan Region a Protected area network (PAN) has been established and biodiversity rich areas have been conserved as Sanctuaries, National Parks and Biosphere Reserves India has 95 national parks and 500 sanctuaries covering an area of 1.56 lakh sq. km with a plan to further expand this . The network was further strengthened by a number of national conservation projects, notably Project Tiger( initiated in April 1973)and the Crocodile Breeding and Management Project (Launched in April 1975 ) Slide 26: Presently , India has a Total number of 595 Wildlife Protected Areas: with an area of 155,978 km2 or 4.70% of the area, which constitutes 95 National Parks: with an area of 38,024.10 km2 or 1.14% of the area and 500 Wildlife sanctuaries: with an area of 118,913.45 km2 or 3.56% of the geographical area of India. Conservation Reserves  =  2   with  Area Covered  = 40.50 km2 Protected Areas In India ( Statistics) Slide 27: Conservation Reserves Slide 28: Proposed Expansion of PA Network: National Parks to 163 with an area of 54789 km2 or 1.67% of the geographical area. Wildlife sanctuaries to 707 with an area of 133,975.11 km2 or 4.07% of the countries geographical area. After Expansion the total number of Protected Areas will be 870 with an area of 188,764.35 km2 or 5.74% of the countries geographical areas. With the proposed pattern of NPs and Total PAs The State of Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh will be best covered while J & K will have the highest Total area of NPs( 5109.07 km2 or 2.29% ( WII , Rodgers,Pawar and Mathur,2002) Slide 30: Tiger Reserves in India Slide 31: Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES) A successful international conservation treaties in restricting international trade in in endangered species Main Functions:To maintain its three appendices of species , for each of which a different extent of trade is allowed. Species in App-I are forbidden for international trade except with special permission. App-II species have controlled international trade. App.III species lists species whose trade is forbidden by certain countries but are not listed in other two appendices CITES members have to create National Management Authority, which co-ordinates with CITES Secretariat in Switzerland Slide 32: Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (1979) ( Bonn Convention or CMS, 1979) Provides strict protection for a list of species and also provides a frame work for collaborative conservation agreements between the states through which each species on second list migrate. Mainly applied to birds, but also has bats and dolphins. The Bonn convention also calls for research and surveys Slide 33: Wildlife (Protection )Act 1972 Provides for protection of-Wild animals , Animal articles , and - Plants. The WL (P) Act regulates sale, barter etc of notified wild plants and animal species. It also provides control over keeping of wild animals in captivity. The 1991 amendment covers the possession of notified plant species. The Act exercise control under the Schedules I-VI. Schedule I lists rare and endangered totally protected species. Schedule II includes game species for which licenses can be issued under special circumstances. Schedule III and Schedule IV comprises species of small games. Schedule V includes vermin, common crow, fruit bats, mice and rats. Amendment 1991: Bird trade was stopped in 1991 following an amendment to the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. Amendment 2006: The creation of a National Tiger Conservation Authority Slide 34: India’s Zoogeography and Geological History The whole of the Indian sub-continent is not rich only in biological or ecological diversity but because it lies at the confluence of African, European and Indo-Malayan realms, the biota, therefore, includes, African, European, and Eurasian and Mediterranean elements. T The very idea for the above concept also came from the theory of continental drift that the continents of south and north America, Africa, Peninsular India, Australia and Antarctica once united in one land mass (Gondwanaland) are now widely separated by southern Ocean and bear striking similarity of geological history and distribution of ancient and modern organisms. In early tertiary, the breakaway Gondwanaland in a northward drift first hit the Asian landmass at what is presently northeast India, served as the biogeographic gateway, “ the Assam Gate”, for dispersal and migration of much of the fauna and flora. The Northeast Zone is richest of biological resources, and has affinities with Indo-Chinese and Indo-Malayan regions in the east and southeast. From west came the Palaearctic and Ethiopian elements. Relatively young Himalayan mountain ranges opened up new southwards route of migration and acted as a two-way link between West Africa to South Asia. In peninsula there may be some cross over points between southern - Western Ghats and Eastern Hills. Slide 35: Status of Total diversity of Indian Fauna Taxa Species in India Species in World % in India Protista 2577 31259 8.24 Mollusca 5072 66535 7.62 Arthropoda 68389 987949 6.90 Ot. Invertebrates8329 87121 9.56 Protochordata 119 2106 5.65 Pisces 2546 21723 11.72 Amphibia 240 5150 4.66 Reptilia 460 5817 7.84 Aves 1232 9026 13.66 Mammalia 397 4629 8.42 Total 91206 12,28,103 7.43 Source: UNEP-GBA (1995), MOEF (1997 and 1998), ZSI (1999), Kumar and Khanna, 2003 and Ramakrishna and Alfred, 2007 Slide 36: Endemic Species: India has many endemic vertebrate species. Areas rich in endemism are northeast, the Western Ghats and the northwestern Himalayas. A small pocket of local endemism also occurs in the Eastern Ghats . The Gangetic plains are generally poor in endemics. Endemic Species are those whose distribution is restricted to certain limited area. Table : Endemic Indian Fauna Group No. of species % Land Molluscs 878 Freshwater Molluscs 89 Insects 16,214 23.00 Amphibia 110 52.63 Reptilia 214 46.92 Aves 69 0.56 Mammalia 38 9.74 Source: MoEF (1999), Kumar and Khanna, 2003 Slide 37: Name of the Group No. of species 1. Protista 750 2. Animalia 3. Porifera 500 4. Cnidaria 790 5. Ctenophora 10 6. Platyhelminthes 350 7. Gastrotricha 88 8. Kinorhyncha 99 9. Annelida 440 10. Mollusca 3370 11. Bryozoa 170 12. Entoprocta 8 13. Phoronida 3 14. Brachiopoda 3 15. Arthropoda Crustacea 2430 Pycnogonida 16 Merostomata 2 16. Sipunculida 38 17. Echiura 33 18. Tardigrada 33 19. Chaetognatha 5 20. Echinodermata 30 21. Hemichordata 12 22. Chordata Protochordata 116 Pisces 1800 Amphibia (in esturines/mangroves) 3 Aves 145 Mammals 29 Total 12456 Data for other phyla not available Source: ENVIS Newsletter, ZSI, 4(1&2), 1997 Table : Marine Biodiversity of India Slide 38: Threatened Species What are Threatened Species? The Threatened species are those that are often impoverished of low fecundity, dependent on patchy or unpredictable resources, extremely variable in population density, persecuted or otherwise prone to extinction in human dominated landscapes. Red Data Book (RDB) was developed during 1960s and the species were placed under various threatened categories according to the severity of the threats faced by them and the estimated eminence of their extinction. World Conservation monitoring Centre (WCMC) in collaboration with IUCN Species Survival commission network of the specialist groups compiles the IUCN Red list every two years since 1986. Slide 40: IUCN Red List Categories: Extinct (EX) - A taxon is Extinct when there is no reasonable doubt that the last individual has died. Extinct In The Wild (EW) - A taxon is Extinct in the wild when it is known only to survive in cultivation, in captivity or as a naturalized population (or populations) well outside the past range. Critically Endangered (CR) - A taxon is Critically Endangered when it is facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild in the immediate future, as defined by any of the criteria. Endangered (EN) - A taxon is endangered when it is not Critically Endangered but is facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild in the near future, as defined by any of the criteria. Slide 41: Vulnerable (VU) - A taxon is Vulnerable when it is not Critically Endangered or Endangered but is facing a high risk of extinction in the wild in the medium-term future, as defined by any of the criteria. Lower Risk (LR) - A taxon is Lower Risk when it has been evaluated, does not qualify for any of the threatened categories Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable or Data Deficient (LR/nt- near threatened, Lr/lc- least concerned, LR/cd-conservation dependent). Near Threatened (NT): A taxon is Near Threatened when it has been evaluated against the criteria but does not qualify for Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable now, but is close to qualifying for, or is likely to qualify for, a threatened category in the near future. Least Concern (LC) A taxon is Least Concern when it has been evaluated against the criteria and does not qualify for Critically Endangered, Endangered, Vulnerable or Near Threatened. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category. Slide 42: Data Deficient (DD) A taxon is Data Deficient when there is inadequate information to make a direct, or indirect, assessment of its risk of extinction based on its distribution and/or population status. Not Evaluated (NE) A taxon is Not Evaluated when it is has not yet been assessed against the criteria. Endemics (E) Species restricted to a particular geographical area or ecosystem. Slide 43: Kumar and Khanna (2006) in their overview of the threatened Indian fauna have listed 648 species of animals categorized as “ Threatened “ by IUCN (2002); it is approximately 8.91 % of the world's total (7266 species) number of threatened faunal species . Threatened Species Slide 44: Threatened Fauna from India by Taxonomic Groups Group No. of Species % Mammalia 213 32.87 Aves 149 22.99 Reptilia 33 5.09 Amphibia 03 0.81 Pisces 75 11.57 Mollusca 05 0.77 Crustacea 12 1.85 Other Invertebrates 13 2.00 Total 648 Source: Kumar and Khanna (2006), Globally Threatened Indian Fauna. Slide 45: : On analysis of the threat categories by groups (at global level), it is found that out of 648 species of threatened Indian fauna, Analysis of threat Categories Slide 46: Faunal Diversity in India India has a total of 89,451 animal species accounting for 7.31% of the faunal species in the world (MoEF 1997) and the flora accounts for 10.78% of the global total. The endemism of Indian biodiversity is high - about 33% of the country's recorded flora are endemic to the country and are concentrated mainly in the North-East, Western Ghats, North-West Himalayas and the Andaman and Nicobar islands. However, this rich biodiversity of India is under severe threat owing to habitat destruction, degradation, fragmentation and over-exploitation of resources. Slide 47: Forest Owlet Some Critically Threatened Indian Birds Slide 48: Some Critically Threatened Indian Mammals Slide 49: RAPID POPULATION Reduction:Decline >80% in 10 years or 3 generations (CR): >50% in 10 years or 3 generations (EN); Decline >20% in 10 years or 3 generations (VU) Decline in Extent of occurrence, Area of occupancy, and or quality of habitat(A1c) B. SMALL RANGE AND FRAGMENTED, DECLINING OR FLUCTUATING: Extent of Occurrence estimated<100 km2 (CR); <5,000 km2 (EN); <20,000 km2 (VU) Decline in Extent of occurrence, Area of occupancy, and or quality of habitat(B2a,B2b,B 2c) C. SMALL POPULATION AND DECLINING: Population <250 mature individuals (CR); <2,500 mature individuals (EN); <10,000 mature individuals (VU) None D1. VERY SMALL POPULATION : Population <50 mature individuals (CR);Population <250 mature individuals (EN);Population <1,000 mature individuals (VU) None D2. VERY SMALL RANGE: Typically, Area of Occupancy <100 km 2 or <5 locations None The IUCN Threatened Category thresholds at a glance Slide 50: are those which are non native or alien to the particular area and whose introduction, deliberate or accidental may be detrimental to the health of the natural fauna or flora. The impact of invasive species is second only to that of human population growth and associated activities as a cause of loss of biodiversity throughout the world. The invasions of non-native plants, animals and microbes are thought to be responsible for the decline of native species now listed as endangered or threatened. Invasive species Slide 51: Major Threats to Biodiversity: 1. Habitat Loss and Degradation: 2.Exploitation:Exploitation, including hunting, collecting, fisheries and fisheries by catch, and the impacts of trade in species and species’ parts, constitutes a major threat. 3.Alien Invasive Species: 4.Disturbance, persecution and uprooting, including deliberate eradication of species considered to be pests 5. Incidental take, particularly the drowning of aquatic reptiles and mammals in fishing nets Slide 52: 6. Disease, both exotic and endemic, exacerbated by the presence of large number of domestic livestock or introduced plant species 7. Limited distribution, which may compound the effects of other factors. In the majority of cases individual species are faced by several of these threats operating simultaneously, and it is often difficult or impossible to identify with confidence the primary cause of decline. However, the major category of threat, which affects 76% of species, is habitat loss and modification frequently due to cultivation and settlements. Slide 53: Thank you Dr.Vinod Khanna Zoological Survey of India Dehra Dun

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