Natural Resources and Biodiversity

Natural Resources:

The substances that occur naturally and can be used for abstaining specific objectives like an economic gain. It can be considered as a combination of biodiversity and ago-diversity.
Example: Sunlight, water, soil, air, vegetation, and Animals.

Types of Natural Resources:

1. Perpetual Resources: Resources that are continuously present on the earth and their quantity will not be affected due to human Use.
For example: Solar energy, tidal energy, wind energy, etc.

2. Renewable Resources: Resources that can be replenished naturally.
For example, sail, water, wood, fresh air, etc.

3. Non-Renewable Resources: Resources that cannot be renewed through any means and once these resources are used up, they can’t be re-created.
For example, Minerals, Fossil Fuels, etc.

Concept of Biodiversity:

It is a contraction of “biological diversity” and refers to number and variety of plants and animals and others organism that exists per square unit of area of any place.

  • According to the Convention on Biological Diversity, 1992, biological diversity means the variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine, and other aquatic ecosystems.
  • Marine biodiversity is seen as the highest along coasts in the western pacific area where sea surface temperature is the highest and in the mid latitudinal band in all oceans.

Types of Biodiversity:

1. Ecosystem Diversity: It is the number and variations in the ecosystems found in any or over the whole planet, ecosystem diversity is the largest level of bio-diversity and encompasses the species and genetic diversity.

Nepal is rich in the ecosystem and most of the ecosystems found in the world are found in Nepal tools except the Marine and desert ecosystem, 118 ecosystems are found in Nepal. The richness in the ecosystem in Nepal is due to Geo-variations and climatic conditions.

2. Genetic Diversity: Genes are the segment of Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) that gives specific characters to the organisms.
Genetic Diversity is the variation in the genes of organisms within the same species.
For example, Human beings are of some species but there are also different types of human-like Mangolian, Caucasian, Negro.

3. Species Diversity: Species refer to the group of organisms composed of related individuals that resembles one another and can breed among them serve.
Species diversity contributes to the biological diversity because a single organism has different species and these varieties in species contribute in the bio-diversity of any place.

Status of Species Diversity in Nepal:

About 3.2% of vegetation and about 1.1% animals of the world are found in Nepal.

Importance of Biodiversity:

1. Agricultural production: The varieties of plants and animals can be used as a food source or even be used for economic purposes.
For Example, Fruits, vegetables, animals, and cereals pulses.

2. Animal production: People can rear animals for their meat or other product and trade them for economic benefits.

3. Plant production: Plant provide us food, blood for furniture and fuel, paper, color and other various useful products. Like clothes herbs and Medicine.

4. Improvement in Breeds: More variety of plants and animals are available, the higher will be the chance of production of new breeds.

5. Soil conservation: Soil helps different plants and tree to grow. It protect from landslide and soil erosion.

6. Watershed conservation: Plants absorb water through their and avert them in soil. They also vapid evaporation of water from the ground.

7. Production of Domestic Resources: Different domestic products such as fire-wood, medicinal plants, constructional Materials, doily used Materials, ornament, etc are obtained from different plants and animals.

8. Natural Beauty: Variety of plants and animals according to different geographical location have their own peculiarity and beauty in the Nature.

9. Tourism Development: Biodiversity provides a great opportunity for develop the country by inflow of tourists attracted by the varieties of flora and found.

10. Balance in Environment: Biodiversity is a major actor for maintaining the balance in the environment as it interacts with the biotic found to smoothly operate the ecosystem.

11. Functioning of natural Ecosystem: It is the collection of all the living beings of this interaction and thus, is an important aspect of ecosystem.

12. Economic products: Trade of agricultural products, anima, products, forest products and herbs, and tourism can aid in economic development of a country.

13. Study and Research: Because of the researches several inventions and discoveries are modes that promote the development of human beings, animals, and plants.

Need of Biodiversity Conservation:

  1. Biodiversity has to be conserved for the continuity of existence of all living beings.
  2. For the sustainability of resources, it must be conserved.
  3. Conservation of biodiversity helps in maintaining balance in natural process, ecosystem
  4. For social and economic development.
  5. If it is conserved, natural scenery and beauty are conserved too.
  6. It is beneficial also for providing scope for study and research.

Measures to Conserve Biodiversity:

  1. Awareness programmes: plants and animals can only be conserved when knowing about their importance on human life and in the ecosystem and environment.
  2. Partnership bet institutions and community: The institution working together with the community can make strategies plans and programs to conserve biodiversity.
  3.  Utilization of Religious Beliefs: Religious belief that some plants and animals are sacred and should not be harmed, have to be used for conservation purposes.
    Example: people, Bar, Tulsi, parijat, Rudrakshya to lotus, etc.
  4. Activating Local Bodies: When all the biodiversities are conserved locally, the overall biodiversity of a nation can be conserved.
  5. Emphasizing sustainable Use: Sustainable development teaches us to use resources in such a way that the required need is fulfilled through the utilization of minimum resources.
  6. Establishment of conservational Areas: in situ and Ex-situ conservation helps in the conservation of biodiversity.
  7. Formulation and effective Implementation of Laws: there should be strict provisions of punishment.
  8. The lows and their effective implementation must be done to protect biodiversity.

Biodiversity by Ecological Belts:

1. Terai Region:

a. Vegetation:

  • Tropical and sub-tropical vegetations are found.
  • Sol, sishau, Khayar, katus, uttis, chilaune, saaj,satisal,simal, emli (titri), bar, peepal etc.
  • Crops like rich wheat, maize, sugar cone, tobacco, oilseeds, and pulses.

b. Animal:

  • Tiger, elephant, rhinoceros, leopard, krishnasar, ratuwa arna,  ghoral, chital, laguna, nilgai, and gaurigai.
  • Common kite, king vulture, howk, dove pigeon, crow, fish, crane and gaint hora-bill.

2. Hilly Region:

a. Vegetation:

  • Deciduous, alpine and sub-tropical forests are mostly found.
  • Sal, solla, deodar, sishau, khayar, katus, uttis, chilaune, simal, khashru, bar, peepal.
  • Crops include rice, maize, wheat, potato, buckwheat, millet soyabean, sugar cane oilseeds.

b. Wildlife:

  • Leopard, tiger, fox, bear, deer, wolf, red monkey, and chital.
  • Dove, parrot, cow, sparrow, eagle, vulture, titra kalij, and Jureli.

3. Himalayan Region:

a. Vegetation:

  • Alpine forest and grassland are found.
  • Thigurasolla (fir), thuslesolla (spruce), gohresalla dhupi, deodar, different types of laligurash, bhojpatra, banlasun are different tree and other plants found.
  • Some of the herbs like Timur, chiraito , panchaunle, padomchal, Jatamasi, and yarshagumba.
  • Crops like barley, buckwheat, wheat, maize, and uwa.

b. Wildlife:

  • Ghoral (goat antelope), badel (Wild boar) Himalayan black bear, him chituwa (snow leopard) bharal (buue sheep).

Rare Animal and Plants of Nepal:

Description of some rare Animals of Nepal:

  1. Dhwansen chituwa (clouded leopard): It is found in the mind hill of Nepal and is conserved in Lamtang National park and Annapurna conservation area. The clouded leopard is about 60-120 cm in length and its tail is about 75-86 cm, it has a weight of about 16-20 kg, gestation period goes on for 85-93 days and litter size is 1-5, but commonly 2.
  2. Habre (Red panda): Found at an altitude of 1800-3800 meter from sea level, its habitat in Nepal is in Lamtang, Makalu, Barun, Dhorpatan, Rara, Sagarmatha, Kanchenjunga, and Gaurishankr areas, It is Measured 64cm in length and 28cm in height and tail is 28-48cm long. Average weight in 3-6 kilograms. The gestation period lasts for about 4 months and 1-4 babies are born.
  3. One-horned Rhinocerous: It is found in the shiwalih and the Terai region of Nepal. The habitat is swampy grassland and tropical Jungle with sal tree. Conserved in Chitwan N.P, Bardiya N.P, Parsa Wildlife Reserve and Suklaphata Wildlife Reserve, measure 180cm in height and 300-315cm in length and weight about 2000-2500 kilogram, Gestation of female lasts for 15-16 months litter size is 1. Nepal has just 645 one-horned rhinos as of 2015.
  4. Bengal tiger:  mostly found in Chitwan N.P, Parsa Wildlife Reserve, Bardiya, N.P, Banke N.P, and Suklaphata Wildlife Reserve. The average length is 240-310 cm, including the tail and the tail is typically 85 to 110 cm. average height is 90-110 cm. weight of an adult Bengal tiger is about 130-200 kg. Gestation goes on for 3-4 months and 3 cubes are born on average.
  5. Asiatic elephant: Plainland below churia range is the habitat for the Asiatic elephant in Nepal. Commonly found in Jhapa, Parsa wildlife reserve, Chitwan N.P Bardiya N.P, and Suklaphata wildlife reserve. The length of the body including the trunk is 5.5-6.5 meters with the tail being 1.2-1.5 meters and the average height is 2.4-2.75 meters. The average weight of an Asiatic elephant is about 4000 to 5000 kilograms. Gestation lasts for 22 months and one calf is born at a time.
  6. Giant pied hornbill (Thula Dhanes ): Its habitat is a dense forest of the terai and mostly found in Chitwan N.P, Banke N.P, Bardiya N.P, Parsa wildlife reserve, and Suklaphata wildlife reserve. 95-130 centimeters long and weigh 2-4 kilograms. The incubation period lasts for 38-40 days and 1-2 chicks are hatched.
  7.  Asiatic Rock python: Its habitat is near wetlands and water sources in forests and grasslands. The length is about 7 meters and weighs about 90 kilograms. The Colour pattern is whitish or yellowish with the blotched patterns varying from shades of and dark from.

Measure of conserving Rare Animals and Birds:

  1. Study and Research: The study of these animals and birds help us to know about their exact Number the losses that are causing a decrease in their number and the measure to protect them.
  2. Conservation of natural habitat: without the natural habitat creature cannot adapt to other environments and will die.
  3. Prohibition on Hunting and poaching: The Number of animals and birds is decreasing due to hunting and poaching.
  4. Public Awareness and participation in conservation: Must be created in order to conserve the animals and birds.
  5. Reduction of Effects of human Activities: The development activities conducted, human the wildlife either directly or indirectly.

Extinct and Endangered plants and Animals:

                   In 2012 AD, the IUCN red list showed 3079 animals and 2655 plant species as endangered worldwide. 9 species of plants, 55 species of mammals, 149 species of reptiles and amphibians, and 21 species of fish found in Nepal have been included as endangered species in IUCN Red List.

Causes of depletion of Nepalese biodiversity:

  • Increased destruction of biological resources.
  • Pollution caused by different sources.
  • Global warming and climate change.
  • Cultivation of new species of plants and animals without proper research.

Some rare plants of Nepal with descriptions:

1. Champ (Golden Michelia): It is a rare plant and is found in the mid-Hills and Tarai region of Nepal. It is found between 600 meters to 1500 Meters above sea level. Oil extracted from its flower is used for the treatment of the eye diseases gout. The bark is used as medicine for the treatment of leprosy, cough, rheumatism, and ulcer. The timber of this tree can be used for furniture.

Golden Michelia
Scientific name: Michelia champoca
Type: Evergreen tree
Species: two species (small/ Large)
Height: Between the range of 8-30 meters
Flower: Golden Yellow
Useful parts: Timber. Bark and flower
Distribution: Hilly region (Between the attitudes of 600-1500 meters.

2. Jatamasi (Spike-nard): Found in high hills of Nepal between the altitude of 300-500 meters above sea level in cool and high moisture place. Used as medicine for the treatment of the cholera, cough, cold, hemorrhoids, altitude sickness, high blood pressure, epilepsy linsomnia and heart diseases. By- product (dust) of the rhizome can be used to make incense.

Spike-nard at a Gland
Scientific Name: Nardostachys grandiflora
Type: Herd with thick aromatic rhizome covered e fibers.
Height: up to 2 feet
Flower: Pinkish white
Useful parts: Rhizome
Distribution: Mountain region (Between the altitude of 300-500)

3. Sarpaganda (serpentine): found in some parts of the Terai and the hilly region up to the altitude of 1200 meters above sea level. Mostly found in the forest with Sal trees. The average height is about half a meter and can grow up to a meter. The stem is dry and white- Leaves are long and broad. Used in the treatment of diarrhea, dysentery, and worm- infections.

Scientific Name: Rauwalfia Serpentina
Type: small erect perennial plant
Height: up to 45 cm
Flower: Reddish white blossom during summer.
Fruits: Pea like fruit in the early stage-I turns in to black when it is ripped
Useful parts: Rhizome
Distribution: sal forest in the Terai and Hilly region (up to 1,200).

4. Louthsolla (Himalayan yew): Found in Nepal hills and western parts of Nepal Betnthe altitude of 1700-3400 meters above sea level. Evergreen vegetation, leaves are dark green flat and are needs like. About 8 meters in height. Leaves are used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat epilepsy, alimentary diseases, headache, nervous and respiratory illness, blood pressure, and soon.

Himalayan yew
Scientific Name: Tarus Baccata Wallichana
Type: softwood small tree
Height: up to 8 meters tall
Leaves: shed during the month of Testha and Ashad
Seed: Bears small round shaped turns in to red color when it is ripped
Useful parts: Leaves
Distribution: Hilly region (At an altitude from 1,700-3,400 meters).

5. Pachaule (Doctylarhiza): Found at an altitude of 2300-3600 meters above sea level. Roots of the 3-4 years and the plant can be taken out for commercial purposes. Roots are used as energetic drugs and are also used to make different medicines for the treatment of the diseases like cough, stomach trouble, wound cuts, asthma, and anemia.

Monograph of panch Aunle
Scientific Name: Doctylorhiza hotagirea
Type: Herbal erect perennial plant
Height: up to 3 meter
Flower: Bears small purple colored flower.
Rhizame structure: polm shoped
Useful parts: Rhizome

6. Yarsagumba ( cordyceps): found at grassland which is covered with snow during winter at an altitude of 300- 500 meters above Sea level. It is the mixed structure of fungus and dead caterpillar. It can be used as tanic and cardioc tonics, for the treatment of kidney problems, pulmonary tuberculosis, chronic cough night sweating, tiredness, shortness of breathing, dizziness, anemia, weakness, and sexual impotence.

Monograph of yarsaumba
Scientific Name: Cordyceps sinensis
Size: 5-8 cm
Family: clovicipitaceae (Ascomycetes)
Characteristics: parasitic fungus, comes out from the anterior end of the caterpillar during monsoon, grows on moist opine meadow.
Colour: fruitification (Mushroom) dark brown and stalk (dead larva) yellowish-white.
Useful parts: whole parts
Market value: above 1.5 million per kg.

Conservation of Rare Plants:

  1. Conservation of Natural Habitat: The habitat of plants in Nepal is being deteriorated by various human activities like deforestation, overgrazing, forest fire, etc, and by Natural processes like landslides. The best method to conserve the rare plants is to conserve the natural habitat.
  2. Reduction of over gazing: overgrazing causes the depletion of herbs and young plants.
  3. Establishment of Nursery: One of the measures to protect the rare plants is to increase their number so, that they won’t be rare anymore.
  4. Proper Harvesting of Row Materials: During the harvesting of forest products, proper care must be given so that the valuable and rare plants are not destroyed by such activities.
  5. Conservation through Laws: formulation and implementation of different laws help in the conservation of rare plants.
  6. Awareness programs: It teaches people the importance of biodiversity for the environment and ultimately to the human.

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