In situ and Ex situ Conservation

AIPMT Biology Aspirants, read next AIPMT Biology Study material/ Notes of In-situ and Ex-situ Conservation, important for AIPMT Biology.Free online notes for AIPMT. Biodiversity Conservation, Types of biodiversity conservation: In situ and Ex situ.

Biodiversity conservation may be in situ as well as ex situ.

 In situ conservation: Endangered species are protected in their natural habitat so that the entire ecosystem is protected. Like in case of tigers, we save the entire forest to save the tiger. Conservation and protection of whole ecosystem is done, its biodiversity at all levels is protected. This approach is called in situ (on site) conservation.

  • At present 34 ‘biodiversity hotspots’ in the world have been proposed for intensive conservation efforts, in which three cover India’s rich biodiversity regionsWestern Ghats and Sri Lanka, Himalaya and Indo-Burma.
  • Under in situ conservation efforts, there are 14 Biosphere Reserves, 90 National Parks, 448 Wildlife Sanctuaries are present in India.
  • Biodiversity hotspots: Regions with very high levels of species richness and high degree of endemism (that is, species are confined to that region and not found anywhere else). Maximum protection of biodiversity hotspots is required as hotspots are also regions of accelerated habitat loss.Hotspots cover less than 2 % of the earth’s land area but the number of species they collectively harbour is extremely high.
  • Sacred groves: These are the regions of forest which are protected by people due to cultural and traditional values, e.g., Khasi and Jaintia Hills in Meghalaya, Aravalli Hills of Rajasthan, Western Ghat regions of Karnataka and Maharashtra and the Sarguja, Chanda and Bastar areas of Madhya Pradesh.

Ex situ conservation: Under situations where an animal or plant is endangered or threatened and needs urgent measures to save it from extinction, ex situ (off site) conservation is the desirable approach.

  • Threatened animals and plants are taken out from their natural habitat and placed in special protective environment for care.
  • It includes Zoological Parks, Botanical Gardens and Wildlife Safari Parks, where protective maintenance of threatened species is done.
  • Sometimes more elaborated and advanced procedures are adopted to conserve threatened species of plants and animals in viable and fertile conditions like in vitro fertilisation, tissue culture propagation of plants, cryopreservation of gametes, and use of seed-banks for long period storage.

Convention on Biological Diversity ‘The Earth Summit’: held in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro. Its purpose is to call all nations to take appropriate measures for conservation of biodiversity and sustainable utilisation of its benefits.

World Summit on Sustainable Development: held in 2002 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Purpose is to achieve a significant reduction in the current rate of biodiversity loss at global, regional and local levels by 2010.

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