The conservation of biodiversity refers to Protection, Reproduction and Rehabilitation or restoration of species in natural habitat in order to maintain a sustainable ecological system for present and future generation.

There are mainly two methods of Biodiversity Conservation.

  1. In-situ conservation
  2. Ex-situ conservation

In-situ Conservation

In-situ conservation is the Conservation within the natural habitat It is an effective and convenient method of conservation of biodiversity.

The National parks, wildlife sanctuaries and biosphere reserves serve the in-situ conservation.

National Parks

National parks are maintained by government.  It has clear boundaries set by government. Human activities such as hunting, fishing, grazing, cultivation is prohibited in National parks. For example: Kaziranga National Park, Kanha National Park etc. it is designed to focus on more than one species.

Wildlife Sanctuaries

Wildlife sanctuaries are more or less same in size of the National Park. Human activities such as collection of fire woods, collection of NTFP (Non timber forest products) etc., are allowed. Agriculture is also allowed in its surrounding areas. Seasonal tourism is allowed in Wildlife Sanctuaries. The wild life sanctuaries are maintained to focus on a certain species of plants or animals.


Biosphere Reserves

Biosphere reserve forests occupies a wide area that may include National Parks and Wild life Sanctuaries. It represents the whole ecosystem. Biosphere reserve can be divided into three parts: The Core area, Buffer zone and transition area. The core area is a fully protected area where human activities are not allowed. Tourism and animal grazing is allowed in the Buffer zone. The outer region of biosphere reserve is the Transition zone where human habitation including domestication of farm animals and plants are allowed.

Ex-situ Conservation

Ex-situ conservation refers to the conservation of species as germplasm outside the natural habitat. It is a conservation method used to protect endangered species transferred from its threatened habitat to an artificial manmade safe habitat similar to its natural habitat. For example, Zoo, Botanical Garden, Aquariums, Nurseries, Gene banks etc. The species are kept under care and protection to provide a non-competitive environment for food and reproduction.

Difference between In-situ and Ex-situ Conservation

In situ Conservation

Ex situ Conservation

The biodiversity is conserved in natural habitat

The biodiversity is conserved outside the natural habitat

The habitat is originated naturally

The habitat is created artificially by humans such as zoos, botanical gardens, aquariums etc.

The condition of the habitat is dependent on the nature

The condition of the habitat is dependent on human care.

No assistance of any technology is applied.

Technology such as tissue culture, assisted reproduction, gene bank etc., are applied.

Germplasm in the form of living organism is conserved

The germplasm in the form of non-living state such as gene and DNA is also preserved along with the living organisms.

All the species ranging from tiny creature to the huge animals available in the natural habitat is conserved.

Only the targeted or suitable species are conserved.

Food chain is naturally maintained

Food chain is not maintained.

National parks, Sanctuaries, Biosphere reserves serve the In-situ conservation

Zoos, Botanical gardens, Aquarium, gene bank, Nursery etc serve ex-situ conservation