Biodiversity is the natural variety of living organisms in a specific ecosystem and the ways in which they interact with each other and with the physical environment. Conservation of biodiversity refers to managing the human use of the biosphere for the greatest sustainable benefit to current generations while maintaining its potential to meet the needs of future generations. Biodiversity is important for human survival therefore its decline is a major concern for sustainable human life.
Realizing the importance of conservation, the Life Sciences faculty at LUMS with the support of the Vice Chancellor, initiated ‘Flora of LUMS’, a project that aims to preserve the LUMS ecosystem for future generations. Lead by Dr. Syed Shahzad ul Hussan, Associate Professor of Biology, and assisted by Ms. Zaib Un Nisa, Post-Doctoral Fellow and the team of LUMS General Administration, the project is part of a broader initiative to build a complete inventory of life i.e. plants as well as animals, on campus. These findings may potentially serve numerous disciplines from other departments and also preserve information about wildlife on campus.
The LUMS Life Sciences department collaborated with the botany department at the Government College University to plant some rare species of endangered trees at LUMS. The department also teamed up with the Bioscan Project of a Canadian organization for DNA tagging of the plants. In the analysis and identification of plants taxonomic expertise and the more modern science of DNA sequencing was used. By the end of this year, LUMS will be the first University in Pakistan to set up a national biosurveillance system that would be tracking biodiversity at all documented sites with their GPS coordinates across the whole campus.
Explore the Natural Wonders of LUMS
LUMS despite being in a relatively small area contains a complete ecosystem. LUMS is the destination of around 20,000 migratory birds of around 15 different types. Now, every single specie of indigenous trees listed in the Flora of Punjab is present at LUMS; around 105 plant species including indigenous trees and some exotic plants can be found here. There is a tree, Pilcan Bhori, that single specie attracts over 15,000 central Asian/ Siberian birds called starlings (Tiliyars) during its fruit season of July/August.
The campus is also home to wild Honeybees, Apis florea and Apis Cerana due to the presence of a variety of flowers all around the year. LUMS is home to a huge population of Dragonflies. These flies are the natural control of mosquitoes as they feed on mosquitoes and their larvae feed on mosquito’s larvae due to sharing their breeding sites with mosquitoes.