Zee Media Bureau/Shruti Mishra
New Delhi: The steep decline in forest cover and gradual extinction of animal species is affecting all of us. It's very obvious that our home planet is on the verge of a carnage. With limited time and resources we can't save the entire planet all at once.
What we can do now is to preserve the regions that contain large varieties of endemic species of plants and animals. Scientists named such places as biodiversity hotspots.
What is biodiversity hotspot?
There are certain geographical areas on the Earth that are biologically rich but severely threatened. Such places are called biodiversity hotspots and need special protection.
Who developed this concept?
Norman Myer, a scientist, was the first person who came up with this unique idea in 1988. As per his study, to qualify as a hotspot the region must meet two strict criteria:
1. It must have 1,500 endemic species of plants.
2. It has to have lost 70% of its original vegetation .
Endemism plays an important role in identifying any hotspots. It is the degree which determines the uniqueness and irreplaceable nature of any species. This means that an endemic species are those which are found in a particular region and cannot be found anywhere else.
Conservation International formally recognizes 35 biodiversity hotspots on the Earth. These places are important for preserving the species that can have crucial impact in protecting our global diversity.
Why we need them?
The air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink- all comes from biodiversity. They are responsible for maintaining life on earth. In simple words, without species there would be no human societies at all. We need them for our survival.
The Amazon rain forests, Congo Basins and vast stretch of North American deserts are some of the world's highest biodiversity hotspots that are home to many biological important species.