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Threats To Biodiversity
Even though India is one of the 17 identified mega diverse countries of the world, it faces lots of threats to its biodiversity. Apart from natural causes, human activities, both directly and indirectly are today’s main reason for habitat loss and biodiversity loss.
Fragmentation and degradation due to agricultural practices, extraction (mining, fishing, logging, harvesting) and development (settlements, industrial and associated infrastructures) leads to habitat loss and fragmentation leads to formation of isolated, small and scattered populations and as endangered species.
Some of the other threats include specialised diet, specialized habitat requirement, large size, small population size, limited geographic distribution and high economic or commercial value. Large mammals by virtue of their size require larger areas to obtain the necessities of life – food, cover, mates than do smaller mammals. Individual home range of Lion can be about 100 square Km.
Mammals have specialized dietary needs such as carnivores, frugivores and the need to forage over much larger areas than general dietary herbivores and omnivores. Mammals also have low reproductive output other than small rodents.
Five main threats to biodiversity are commonly recognized in the programmes of work of the Convention: invasive alien species, climate change, nutrient loading and pollution, habitat change, and overexploitation.
The core threats to biodiversity are human population growth and unsustainable resource use. To date, the most significant causes of extinctions are habitat loss, introduction of exotic species, and overharvesting.
Climate change is predicted to be a significant cause of extinctions in the coming century.
Biodiversity boosts ecosystem productivity where each species, no matter how small, all have an important role to play. A larger number of plant species means a greater variety of crops. Greater species diversity ensures natural sustainability for all life forms.
Climate change, deforestation and loss of habitat and pollution are one of the factors affecting biological diversity. The greatest factor would be climate change wherein animals and other species fail to adapt in changing climate thus resulting to their death.
Biodiversity is an abbreviation for biological diversity. It generally means the ‘diversity of flora and fauna (plants and animals)’ (IB definition). It has three factors, ecosystem, species and genetics.
Biodiversity loss is caused by five primary drivers: habitat loss, invasive species, overexploitation (extreme hunting and fishing pressure), pollution, climate change associated with global warming.
The main threats facing biodiversity globally are: destruction, degradation and fragmentation of habitats reduction of individual survival and reproductive rates through exploitation, pollution and introduction of alien species.