176 New Species Discovered: India as a Biodiversity Hotspot

176 New Species Discovered: India as a Biodiversity Hotspot

Question: New species of animals are being discovered all over India even as climate change is causing a heatwave. Discuss the importance of the latest discoveries which make India a biodiversity hotspot.

• During the past year, field biologists have discovered 176 species of animals from India that are new to science, according to Zoological Survey of India(ZSI)

• According to ZSI officials, these species were discovered, described and reported from all over the nation

• Insects were the leading species and around 93 new species of invertebrates were found

• Also in the list of discoveries were the following:
- 23 species of fishes,
- 24 amphibian species like frogs, toads
- 2 species of reptiles,
- 12 species of arachnida/spiders
- 12 crustacean such as crabs, lobsters, shrimps

• Many of these discoveries were initiated by ZSI scientists

• The discoveries were confined to small geographical areas
• Scientists say India is a major biodiversity hotspot with rare species of flora and fauna

• It is important to view India as home to natural habitats which could be on the verge of destruction; conservation is very important

• Many of the new species have been found from three biodiversity rich areas in:

- Eastern Ghats
- Western Ghats
- Northeast states

• India is also home to two international biodiversity hotspots

- Western Ghats
- Eastern Himalayas

Facts and Stats

• India is one of the 17 megadiverse countries that contains 70 percent of the world’s biodiversity

• It has 2.4 percent of the land’s area with 7 to 8 percent of the species of the world

• India is home to 91,000 species of animals and 45,000 species of plants documented in 10 biogeographical areas

Of the diverse flora and fauna, 4.5 percent of birds, 12.6 percent of mammals, 45.8 percent of reptiles, 55.8 percent of amphibians and 33 percent of Indian plants are endemic to India
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