Conservation of India's living resources through biosphere reserves

Gadgil, Madhav (1982) Conservation of India's living resources through biosphere reserves Current Science, 51 (11). 547 550. ISSN 0011-3891

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While many of our traditional conservation practices such as sacred groves and trees protected the plant resources, the modern approach to nature conservation has failed to do so. This approach based on wild life sanctuaries and national parks has emphasized the manipulation of the habitat in the interest of a few spectacular species such as the tiger or rhinoceros and consequently neglected the conservation of overall plant and animal diversity. These reserves have also tended to emphasize only certain vegetation types such as deciduous forests ignoring the exceedingly rich ecosystems of evergreen forests. The biosphere reserves correct this distortion by focussing on the preservation of overall plant and animal diversity including the wild relatives of domesticated plants and animals. These must therefore be ideally chosen so as to represent at least two examples of each of the vegetation types of the Indian sub-continent, preferably as a large habitat mosaic of substantial area since the long term potential for preservation of species critically depends on the total area available, The proposed Nilgiri biosphere reserve, with vegetation types ranging from dry scrub to wet evergreen forest meets these criteria. The biosphere reserves should also attempt to preserve the diversity of land races of cultivated crops and domesticated animals in situ by maintaining pockets of traditional agriculture through special incentives. Where the entire vegetation types have completely disappeared as with the moist deciduous forest of the Gangctic plains the biospheres should try to recreate the original vegetation in selected sites.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to Current Science Association.
ID Code:64219
Deposited On:05 Oct 2011 10:37
Last Modified:18 May 2016 12:42

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