Urban Biodiversity

URBAN BIODIVERSITY

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Since urban habitats are different from a typical abode of wild animals, only the specialised ones can utilize the resources that an urban setup provides. Those species that can adapt to such challenges have a better chance of thriving as they have to withstand far less competition in the future. From the evolutionary perspective too, urban species are very important. Urban areas are evolutionary laboratories. For example, House Sparrows (Passer domesticus) introduced into the United States in 1879, evolved into new races within 50 years. Since only specialized organisms can live here, so either one has to be born specialized to take advantages or has to develop it, allowing some modifications in body design, food requirement and so on leading to change. In fact urban setup may provide high food supply (including feeding by people), a large varietyof new ecological niches and the lack of predators. The rate at which, urbanisation is griping the world, a well documented study is imperative to assess its impact on its biodiversity. Also urban biodiversity needs a frequent evaluation as the rate of alteration and destruction is high.

Interestingly, a search in IUCN redlist for Homo sapiens (Human) shows that we human beings are categorisedunder “least concern” group and our population shows an increasingtrend. From this we can summarise that our population is notgoing to decrease any time soon. So, the only way to minimise the effectof urbanisation on biodiversity is to reduce resource utilisation tothe extent possible so as to leave some for our neighbouring wild life. Itis been said that the battle for life on earth will be won or lost in urbanareas (Convention on Biodiversity, 2007) and as such this is the onlybiodiversity that many people experience. Furthermore, green patches inurban areas are very important for human beings as well, as they offervaluable and much appreciated opportunities for exercise, social interaction,relaxation and peace. If we fail to retain green areas, there willbe negative impact on ecological systems, to the extent that in comingdays we may face an ecosystem which is totally flawed in function. Notthat the deterioration has not already started, but the rate at which thewhole alteration process is going on, more drastic events awaits us in thenear future.