499 More Species Added To India’s Biodiversity Riches

AP2TG Staff

In our day to day life, discoveries regarding the new species have become very common. But, this year, the list was fairly big. On the occasion of World Environment Day, the number of new species that has been discovered in last year was revealed, out of which 313 species are of animal and 186 of plants making it together 499.

This list is unleashed by the Animal Discoveries 2016, New Species and Records, brought out by the Zoological Survey of India on Monday, and Plant Discoveries 2016, by the Botanical Survey of India.

There is a huge diversity in the whole list, the wide varieties include 258 invertebrates, 55 vertebrates, as many as 97 species of insects, 27 of fish, 12 species of amphibians, 10 of Platyhelminthes, nine of Crustacea and six of reptiles have been discovered and described by the scientists.

Kailash Chandra, the ZSI Director has said that most of the new species were from the four biological hotspots of the country namely, the Himalayas, the Northeast, the Western Ghats and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Most importantly, the Animal Discoveries 2016 mentions that for the first time, the number of animal species in the country, including protozoa, has crossed one lakh, precisely 1,00,693. The count was 97,514 till last year.

“A lot of species in different groups have been updated during the past one year. India is one of the 17 megadiversity countries and it has about 6.42 per cent of the global fauna,” said Mr. Chandra.

Meanwhile, the Plant Discoveries 2016 says that along with 186 new species, scientists have discovered seven new genera, four subspecies and nine new varieties from India, taking the number to 206, and the publication lists 113 new records from India.

Out of the total new plants’ species, 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%), apparently.