Genetic Reservoir - Conservation of Wildlife
Despite the present and future economic and health importance to human beings, very little is known about most of the earth's 1.7 million identified species. Less than 1% of the earth's identified plant species have been thoroughly studied to determine their possible usefulness. Loss of this biological and genetic diversity reduces our ability to respond to new problems and opportunities-as though we have thrown away millions of gifts without unwrapping them. The maintenance of large gene pool is also of great interest to agriculturists. All domestic crops and live stocks originated from native plants and animals. And those native species are still needed to provide the new genetic characteristics that we need to help solve our present and future food production problems.
For example, the new varieties of wheat and rice, which have significantly increased food production in the recent years, have been produced by breeding experiments that utilised thousands of native and domesticated varieties of rice and wheat. Because pests, disease-causing organisms and technology evolve over a number of years, many challenges that we cannot predict are certain to present themselves- challenges that will require genetic resources of other varieties and breeds.