ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Biodiversity and Green Industry

Greening methods should maintain the native flora and fauna to prevent biodiversity loss.

While the impact of urbanisation and industrialisation on climate change and biodiversity loss is clearly established, the role of the means adopted for addressing it is less explored. The dominant mode of urbanisation replaces large natural ecosystems with concrete jungles and the remaining open areas—isolated and fragmented—are converted to manicured parks, dominated by lawns with ornamental trees and minimal native shrubs and herbs. The resultant altered and homegenised habitat enables thriving of only a few species that can adapt in multiple habitats. The State of India’s Birds (SoIB2023 report observes that 60% of the bird species that were assessed for long-term trend, show a decline. It lists 101 species of high conservation concern in India, out of which 34 are not considered as globally threatened in the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List. However, Asian koel, Indian peafowl, feral rock pigeon, house crow, and ashy prinia are rapidly increasing, crowding out other species, since urban landscapes are conducive to their diet and habitat.

Due to their ubiquity and ecological importance, birds are excellent indicators of the health of the planet. They provide significant ecological services, such as seed dispersal, pollination, scavenging, and predating. In the last three decades, they have been exposed to multiple threats, including habitat loss, diseases, free-ranging dogs and cats, illegal hunting, pollution, diet quality as well as quantity. The declining tropical and other rainforests have been a major concern for long, and the consequent compensatory afforestation programmes, through policy and action, are converting grasslands into plantations or artificial forests. The depleting open natural ecosystems put “specialist” birds like blue rock thrush, bustards, hornbills, stork, and the like in high conservation priority. Long-term trend shows that 98 bird species are on a rapid decline. Grassland generalists have declined by 50%. The decline of forest specialists—large-bodied frugivores and understorey insectivores—modifies the species composition.

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Updated On : 16th Sep, 2023
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