Biodiversity - Are we Valuing It?

Tropical Rain Forests
Tropical Rain Forests
Temperate Forests
Temperate Forests
Greater-one- horned Rhino
Greater-one- horned Rhino
Pesticides!!!! Beware!
Pesticides!!!! Beware!
Vegetables ! Are they herbicide- free?
Vegetables ! Are they herbicide- free?
Coral reefs the Carbondioxide Sinks
Coral reefs the Carbondioxide Sinks
Gulf of Manar -the Blue Whale.
Gulf of Manar -the Blue Whale.
Dugong dugong
Dugong dugong | Source
Pemphis acidula
Pemphis acidula

Biodiversity- Are we valuing it?

Nature with its teeming beauty and biodiversity created by God, with its built-in gene pool has given rise to a mega-diversity which is so strikingly evident today. The staggering variety of plant and animal species, is brought about by the variations in the built-in mechanisms of the gene pool; and the frequency of the genetic expressions.

The term biodiversity was coined by a biologist, E.O Wilson, in 1985. The wide range of diverse habitats ranging from tropical rain forest to the Alpine region, and temperate forest to the coastal land, makes our country a rich source of biodiversity. India ranks twelfth among the mega-diversity nations of the world.

Herein lies our wealth and prestige. An ardent and enormous work of research can enable us to step higher. We need to be equipped with a willing heart to save nature; delve into our treasure and scale the utmost heights. It requires a team work, weaved in with a spirit of unity. India has 350 species of mammals ranking eighth in the world; 1200 species of birds, eighth in the world; 453 species of reptiles- fifth in the world; 45000 plant species majority being angiosperms with fifteenth position in the world.

Both flora and fauna have a significant role to play. They have to be recognized and their species conserved. The picturesque scenario of the diverse variety of flora and fauna is a provision for consumptive uses at the local level; and the productive uses at the national and international market level. Other values like the aesthetic value adds beauty to our country: India has a wealth of about 80 National parks and 441 sanctuaries. However man’s encroachment and misuse of forests and oceans has led to disastrous results.

The Punjab Agricultural University had reported the adverse effects of vegetables contaminated with pesticides and heavy metals that lower a child’s intelligence. Deforestation for infrastructure facilities have damaged several endangered plant species; and due to timber exploitation and commercial activities, forests are turning barren. The build-up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere due to consumption of fossil fuels has had a direct threat on the world’s tropical coral reefs: The oceans absorb carbon dioxide gas directly from the atmosphere. Calcium carbonate gets accumulated during formation of coral; its saturated state is decreased, as the level of carbon dioxide in the water increases. Thus changes in the production of calcium effects the reefs. Besides, the decrease in calcium carbonate level and its threat on the reefs, overfishing is another threat to its colonies; particularly in those areas where dynamite is used to kill fish. The Gulf of Mannar one of Indian’s most biologically diverse Costal regions, where the mangroves, sea grass and corals reefs exist. The globally endangered Dugong dugong and the endemic species Pemphis acidula also inhabit in this area. Reefs are extremely vulnerable to changes in their environment. They are being destroyed by sewage pollution. Silt run-off into the sea due to deforestation also poses a threat. Even in Antarctica penguins, far from any agricultural activities contain DDT; shore lines that have been fouled by oil spills, cause blue whales to be critically endangered.

Oceans are not the cesspool of the earth. There is a voluminous store of marine wealth. We ought to restrain our universe exploitations; probe on in our discoveries of the wild life species and make this issue a high profile by our awareness programmes in schools, and educational institutes; through educational film and various other media. Rolling all into one let us learn from the beaver, who are the nature’s best home builders, in their toil they never change the environment nor harm it.

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