Major Threats to Biodiversity

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Overview

Soil erosion has been one of the factors which lead to the desertification and low productivity. This note has information about major threats to biodiversity.
Major Threats to Biodiversity

The major threats to biodiversity can be discussed by considering the following aspects: -

  1. Threats to ecosystem

    There is a great threat to the ecosystem because of conversion of natural environment like forest, grassland, wetland and hill into agricultural land, residential or industrial development, and road and to other purposes. In Nepal, initially the forest areas used to cover most of the Terai region of the country but they are destroyed for various reasons. The major causes of deforestation are illiteracy, poverty, rapid population growth and improper forest management.

  2. Threats to species loss

    The threat to species loss are due to cutting of trees at a very rapid rate. The majority of the people in Nepal depend mostly on forest resources for their livelihood. The forest products are used as fuelwood, food products, timber for construction, fodder for cattle, etc. the over-exploitation of the forest has anegative impact on the loss of species as well as a threat to the remaining species due to habitat destruction.

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  3. Threats to genetic reserves

    The threat to genetic resources are also due to the destruction of natural habitat, over-grazing, land fragmentation, planting of high-yielding crop varieties, indiscriminate use of pesticides, rapid population growth and lack of awareness among farmers.

Major threats to biodiversity

Though the problems of threats to biodiversity have been identified, the root causes of the problems will remain the same unless the problems are properly addressed.

The three main causes of threats to biodiversity namely, socio-economic, natural and anthropogenic are described as follows: -

  1. Socio-economic causes

    Nepal is a developing country. Many people are facing the problem of poverty which is related to the environmental degradation and loss of biodiversity. People have to collect and sell forest products for their subsistence. People in Nepal consider green forests as their wealth. More forests are destroyed for fuel wood, food production, settlement, and for other needs. This trend continues with the rapid population growth. The heavy pressure is destroying the forest ecosystem and habitats and thus, driving many species of plants and animals to the threatened existence.

  2. Natural causes

    With fast clearing of forests, the incidents of landslides and soil erosion result in the loss of life and property. Landslides generally occur during the monsoon, when the topsoil gets soaked with water and loosens. Thus, soil erosion has been one of the factors which lead to the desertification and low productivity.

  3. Human causes

    Human beings are playing a vital role to causea threat to biodiversity. The various activities have done by human beings are unignorable. The activities of human beings such as deforestation, forest fire, over-grazing their cattle in the forest and pastureland, illegal hunting and trade have been one of the factors that threaten the biodiversity.

Things to remember
  • The threat to species loss is due to the cutting of trees at a very rapid rate.
  • Many people are facing the problem of poverty which is related to the environmental degradation and loss of biodiversity.
  • Human beings are playing a vital role to cause the threat to biodiversity.
  • Soil erosion has been one of the factors which lead to the desertification and low productivity.
  • It includes every relationship which established among the people.
  • There can be more than one community in a society. Community smaller than society.
  • It is a network of social relationships which cannot see or touched.
  • common interests and common objectives are not necessary for society.
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Questions and Answers

The major threats of biodiversity are:

  1. Threats to ecosystem
  2. Threats to species loss
  3. Threats to genetic reserves

There is a great threat to ecosystem because of conversion of natural environment like forest, grassland, wetland and hill into agricultural land, residential or industrial development, and road and to other purposes. In Nepal, initially the forest areas used to cover most of the Terai region of the country but they are destroyed for various reasons. The major causes of deforestation are illiteracy, poverty, rapid population growth and improper forest management.

The threat to species loss is due to cutting of trees at a very rapid rate. Majority of the people in Nepal depend mostly on forest resources for their livelihood. The forest products are used as fuel wood, food products, timber for construction, fodder for cattle etc. The over-exploitation of forest has negative impact on the loss of species as well as threat to the remaining species due to habitat destruction.

The threat to genetic resources are also due to destruction of natural habitat, over-grazing, land fragmentation, planting of high-yielding crop varieties, indiscriminate use of pesticides, rapid population growth and lack of awareness among farmers.


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