India is world’s most diverse country both culturally and biologically. India is one of the seventeen Mega diverse countries identified By Conservation International. It has rich biodiversity with bulk of world’s flora and fauna species and many of them are endemic (native to India ;not found elsewhere).
What is a Mega Diverse Country?
There are 17 Mega Diverse countries in the world recognised by Conservation International: India, Australia, Brazil, China, Columbia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Indonesia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, South Africa, USA and Venezuela.
They control almost 70% of the World’s bioresources together. The selection of these countries is based on species richness and species endemism.
Why India is considered a Mega Biodiversity Hotspot ?
Biodiversity Hot spot: Biodiversity Hot spots are the areas that are extremely rich in species , have high endemism and are under constant threat.
- Four hot spots out of 34 global diversity hotspots are in India with its neighbouring countries :The Western Ghats , Indo-Burma region( covering the Eastern Himalayas), The Himalayas and Sundaland(covers Nicobar Islands).
- India has 26 recognised endemism centres that are home to nearly a third of all the flowering plants indentified and described to date in the country.
- India has two major realms called the Palaeretic and the Indo-Malayan and three biomes i.e, tropical humid forests, tropical deciduous forests and the warm deserts/semi-deserts.
- India is one of the 12 centres of origin of cultivated plants
- India has 10 biogeographical regions.
- In India there are 45,000 species of plants Or 7% of the world’s total and about 33% of them are considered endemic or native to the country. There are also 15,000 flower species or 6% of the world’s total .
- There are 91,000 animal species or 6.5% of the world’s fauna. 60,000 of these are insect species, 2,456 fish species , 372 mammals, 500 mollusks, over 440 reptiles, and 200 amphibians most of them are in the Western Ghats.
India’s biodiversity is really unique and truly splendid. But today it is facing many threats and concerns of extinction. Over growth of population and ever increasing need to exploit the nature can someday become very hazardous for our unique and sensitive bio diversity. Plants, animals and every species part of the worlds is important for the balance of ecosystem. We must grow sustainably to preserve our natural assests.