In-situ conservation

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In-situ conservation in India

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.[1] 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

Waterton Biosphere Reserve in Canada

Nature reserves (or biosphere reserves) cover very large areas, often more than 5000 km2. They are used to protect species for a long time.

National parks

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.

Wildlife sanctuaries

A wildlife sanctuary is an area which is reserved for the conservation of animals only.

Biodiversity hotspots

Biodiversity hotspots across the world

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.

Gene sanctuary

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,

ex situ conservation
may be used on some or all of the population, when in situ conservation is too difficult, or impossible. The species gets adjusted to the natural disasters like drought, floods, forest fires and this method is very cheap and convenient.


Wildlife and livestock conservation is mostly based on nothing.[

adapt and evolve
over time. This reserve size can be calculated for target species by examining the population density in naturally occurring situations. The reserves must then be protected from intrusion or destruction by man, and against other catastrophes.


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.[2]

In India

About 4% of the total geographical area of India is used for in situ conservation.

There are 18

in West Bengal.

There are 106

one-horned rhino, Periyar National Park conserving the tiger and elephant, and Ranthambore National Park
conserving the tiger.

There are 551

wildlife sanctuaries in India

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.

See also


  1. .
  2. ^ G. Avila, L. Guzmán, M. Céspedes 2004. Estrategias para la conservación in situ de razas de maíz boliviano. SINALERC, Mar del Plata

Further reading

External links