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In situ conservation is the on-site conservation or the conservation of genetic resources in natural populations of plant or animal species, such as forest genetic resources in natural populations of tree species. This process protects the inhabitants and ensures the sustainability of the environment and ecosystem.
Its converse is ex situ conservation, where threatened species are moved to another location.
Nature reserves (or biosphere reserves) cover very large areas, often more than 5000 km2. They are used to protect species for a long time.
A national park is an area dedicated for the conservation of wildlife along with its environment. A national park is an area which is used to conserve scenery, natural and historical objects. It is usually a small reserve covering an area of about 100 to 500 square kilometers. Within biosphere reserves, one or more national parks may also exist.
A wildlife sanctuary is an area which is reserved for the conservation of animals only.
Several international organizations focus their conservation work on areas designated as biodiversity hotspots.
According to Conservation International, to qualify as a biodiversity hotspot a region must meet two strict criteria:
- it must contain at least 1,500 species of vascular plants (∆ 0.5% of the world's total) as endemics,
- it has to have lost at least 70% of its original habitat.
A gene sanctuary is an area where plants are conserved. It includes both biosphere reserves as well as national parks.
One benefit of in situ conservation is that it maintains recovering populations in the environment where they have developed their distinctive properties. Another benefit is that this strategy helps ensure the ongoing processes of evolution and adaptation within their environments. As a last resort,
Wildlife and livestock conservation is mostly based on nothing.[
In agriculture, in situ conservation techniques are an effective way to improve, maintain, and use traditional or native varieties of agricultural crops. Such methodologies link the positive output of scientific research with farmers' experience and field work.
First, the accessions of a variety stored at a germplasm bank and those of the same variety multiplied by farmers are jointly tested in the producers field and in the laboratory, under different situations and stresses. Thus, the scientific knowledge about the production characteristics of the native varieties is enhanced. Later, the best tested accessions are crossed, mixed, and multiplied under replicable situations. At last, these improved accessions are supplied to the producers. Thus, farmers are enabled to crop improved selections of their own varieties, instead of being lured to substitute their own varieties with commercial ones or to abandon their crop. This technique of conservation of agricultural biodiversity is more successful in marginal areas, where commercial varieties are not expedient, due to climate and soil fertility constraints, or where the taste and cooking characteristics of traditional varieties compensate for their lower yields.
About 4% of the total geographical area of India is used for in situ conservation.
There are 18
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Biodiversity hotspots include the
India has set up its first gene sanctuary in the Garo Hills of Meghalaya for wild relatives of citrus. Efforts are also being made to set up gene sanctuaries for banana, sugarcane, rice and mango.
Community reserves were established as a type of protected area in India in the Wildlife Protection Amendment Act 2002, to provide legal support to community or privately owned reserves which cannot be designated as national park or wildlife sanctuary.
Sacred groves are tracts of forest set aside where all the trees and wildlife within are venerated and given total protection.
- Arid Forest Research Institute
- Food plot – the practice of planting crops specifically to support wildlife
- Genetic erosion
- Habitat corridor
- Habitat fragmentation
- Refuge (ecology)
- Regional Red List
- Restoration ecology
- Wildlife corridor
- G. Avila, L. Guzmán, M. Céspedes 2004. Estrategias para la conservación in situ de razas de maíz boliviano. SINALERC, Mar del Plata
- WILDLIFE INSTITUTE OF INDIA DEHRADUN
- Scheldeman, X.; van Zonneveld, M. (2010). Training Manual on Spatial Analysis of Plant Diversity and Distribution. Bioversity International. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011.
- In-Situ Conservation, The Convention on Biological Diversity
- Ex-Situ Conservation, The Convention on Biological Diversity
- IUCN/SSC Re-introduction Specialist Group
- IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
- The Convention on Biological Diversity
- In situ conservation
- Guidelines: In vivo conservation of animal genetic resources, Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN