Biodiversity: Threats and Conservation

Biodiversity is the result of 3.5 billion years of evolution. Biodiversity is the occurrence of different types of ecosystems, different species of organisms, and their variants like biotypes, ecotypes, and genes adapted to different climates and environments of different regions. In our biosphere immense diversity exists at all levels of the biological organization. It is hard to believe that there are more than  20,000 species of ants, 28,000 species of fishes, 3,00,000 species of beetles, and nearly 20,000 species of orchids.

The Term Biodiversity is popularized by sociobiologist Edward Wilson to describe the combined diversity at all levels of biological organization.


A number of species are becoming extinct resulting in a loss of biodiversity. The various factors of the threat to biodiversity are:

  1. Habitat loss and fragmentation:– It is due to overpopulation, urbanization, industrialization, deforestation, etc.
  2. Disturbance and degradation: – Disturbance and degradation are of two types, Natural and Man-made. Natural Disturbance and degradation are caused by spontaneous jungle fire, pest infection, defoliation by insects, etc. whereas Man-made disturbance and degradation include the felling of trees, use of fire for clearing forests over-exploitation of economically important products. It results in the loss of biodiversity
  3. Pollution:– Air pollution caused the death of many sensitive plants. Excessive use of pesticides has polluted both groundwater and surface water bodies. Due to biomagnifications of pesticides, their concentration rises at each trophic level. It has resulted in a drastic decline in the population of fish-eating birds. Spill over of oil in the sea causes the death of several marine algae, fishes, and sea birds.
  4. Over exploitation:- Excessive exploitation of a species reduces the size of its population so that it becomes vulnerable to extinction.
  5. Intensive agriculture:- Agricultural intensification has resulted in the loss of biodiversity. For example, at one time about 308 varieties of maize were growing in the USA. Today their number is only 12.
  6. Introduction of exotic species:- Exotic species are often introduced for their economic uses. These exotic species have proved harmful to both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.


Conservation of biodiversity is the protection, uplift, and scientific management of biodiversity so as to maintain it at its optimum level. Conservation can be divided into two types.

  1. In situ conservation:- Conservation of habitat species and ecosystem where they naturally occur. For example national parks and sanctuaries etc.
  2. Ex-situ conservation:- The conservation of elements of biodiversity out of the context of their natural habitats is known as Ex-situ conservation. For example seed banks, botanical gardens, zoological gardens, etc.

The presence of biodiversity is beneficial for the maintenance and sustainable utilization of useful products and services of various ecosystems. Biodiversity increases the stability of the Ecosystem. It is essential for natural pest control, maintenance of populations of various species, pollination by insects and birds, nutrient cycling, conservation and purification of water, formation, and protection of soil, etc.

So there is a great need to become aware of the threats to biodiversity and make efforts to conserve it.

Blog By :- Dr. Arti Gupta

Department Of Education

Biyani Group Of Colleges, Jaipur

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