499 new species discovered in India’s biodiversity

  • On world environment day 499 new species have been discovered from various parts of our country.
  • 313 are animal species and remaining 186 are plant species.
  • Most of the new species of animals were from the four biological hotspots of the country — the Himalayas, the northeast, the Western Ghats and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  • India is one of the 17 megadiversity countries and it has about 6.42 per cent of the global fauna.

Organizations involved in discoveries

  • Animal discovery agency, the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) was established on 1st July, 1916 to promote survey, exploration and research leading to the advancement in our knowledge of various aspects of exceptionally rich life of the erstwhile ´ British Indian Empire ´ . The survey has its genesis in the establishment of the Zoological Section of the Indian Museum at Calcutta in 1875.
  • Plant discovery The Botanical Survey of India (BSI) is an institution set up by the Government of India in 1890 to survey the plant resources of the Indian empire. Objectives of botanical survey of India:- (i) To survey the plant resources of the country. (ii) To undertake and complete taxonomic studies of all the flora of the country. (iii) To enlist the endangered species, to undertake measures for the effective conservation and to collect and maintain germplasm and gene bank of endangerd, patent and vulnerable species.

Animals species that were discovered

  •  258 are invertebrates and 55 are vertebrates. Around 97 are insects, 27 are fish, 12 are amphibians, 10 are Platyhelminthes, nine are Crustacea, six species of reptiles, 61 species of moths and butterflies and 38 of beetles.

Plant species that were discovered

  •  186 new species, scientists have discovered seven new genera, four subspecies and nine new varieties from India, taking the number to 206.

Areas where new species were located.

Animals: 

  • The discoveries were made in the Western Ghats (17%), followed by the Eastern Himalayas (15%), the Western Himalayas (13%), the Eastern Ghats (12%) and the west coast (8%).

Plants:

  • The geographical distribution of the new plant species reveals that most discoveries were made in the Western Ghats (17%), followed by the Eastern Himalayas (15%), the Western Himalayas (13%), the Eastern Ghats (12%) and the west coast (8%).
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