Wild Life - Biodiversity


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Biodiversity


The word ‘biodiversity’ appeared in mid 1980s, basically to mean ‘biological diversity’ and is inseparably linked to wildlife definition. As in the case of wildlife concept, biodiversity definition varies. For instances, biodiversity is defined as the variation of life forms within a given ecosystem (complex of a community of organisms and its environment functioning as an ecological unit – c.f. Mass, 2008), biome (a living community characterized by distinctive plant and animal species and maintained under the climatic conditions of the region – c.f. PrairieU, 2008) or for the entire Earth. Biodiversity is often used as a measure of the health of an ecosystem. Biodiversity is also defined as the number and variety of organisms found within a specified ‘geographic region’ (a demarcated region on earth). It includes the variability among living organisms on the earth, including the variability within and between species and within and between ecosystems. Biodiversity is the ‘variation of life at all levels of biological organization.’ It is a measure of the relative diversity (within a species and among species, and comparative diversity among ecosystems) among organisms present in different ecosystems. Biodiversity refers to the totality of genes, species, and ecosystems of a region. It is, therefore, defined at three different levels: 1) genetic diversity - diversity of genes within a species, genetic variability among the populations and the individuals of the same species; 2) species diversity - diversity among species in an ecosystem  (biodiversity hotspots are excellent examples of species diversity), and 3) ecosystem diversity - diversity at a higher level of organization, the ecosystem.