Population explosion is shrinking the forest which in turn is wiping off the rich flora and fauna, observed Dr. Harish R. Bhat, Scientist, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

Speaking at the 10th Conservation talk series on the topic ‘Challenges ahead towards conservation’ organised by Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens yesterday, Dr. Harish said that there are 80 to 120 lakh different species of living organism on earth today and only 16 lakh species are known to science or scientifically documented.

Stating that there are 88 National Parks and 490 sanctuaries in the country, he added that there were two hotspots in the country which are the Western Ghats and the Eastern Himalayas.

He said that Grassland Ecosystem is very important and habitat conservation is the need of the hour. Stating that grassland acts as a sponge to hold water and channel it, he added that conservation of Western Ghats is the biggest challenge today.

Dr. Harish said that Biodiversity supports ecosystem services including air quality, climate, water purification pollination and prevention of erosion. Since biodiversity affects every living being on this planet, the responsibility to protect it must be a shared goal of all nations and communities.

Dr. Harish said that rampant urbanisation, demand for infrastructure, power, natural resources, expansion of commercial crops, encroachments led to forest fragmentation and shrinking of pristine habitats were forcing animals to dwell outside forest areas for food and water.

Earlier, a minute’s silence was observed in memory of Wali, the chimp which passed away on Monday night.

Courtesy : Star Of Mysore