Biodiversity hotspots in India: Biodiversity is the collection of flora and funa of any region. Biodiversity hotspot is the region which is the main location for the existence of higher biodiversity (flora and fauna) but it is also faces the threat of destruction. We also know that biodiversity is very important to survive and thrive in the future as well.
India is one of the world’s most biodiverse region. We should conserve the biodiversity. The living population has been depended in biodiversity. Each biodiversity hotspot represent a remarkable place of floral and fauna endemism which are struggling to survive in the shrinking ecosystem.
Biodiversity hotspots in India
The idea of identifying a hotspot was started in 1988 and now a days at present time, total 35 biodiversity hotspots has been identified in which the most the lies in the tropical forests.
About 2.3% of the land surface is represented by hotspot. This is also said that about 50% of the world most common plant species and about 42% of terrestrial prevalent has been comprises but sadly this biodiversity hotspot have been decreasing day by day due to the climate change and and human activities.
A region can be called biodiversity hotspot if that region has to be able to fulfill at least two criteria. And these are :-
1. The region should comprise of at least 1500 species of vascular plant, simply more than 0.5% of total plant of the world.
2. Region should have lost more than or equal to 70% of their original habitat.
From the very beginning time, India has been on the list of richest country for its biodiversity in the world and that can easily be seen in the demography of its land.
The living population has been depended in biodiversity and now a days the population has been increasing day by day and their survival pressure too has increasing on the biodiversity.
There are five factors which are considered as hottest hotspot :-
1. Endemic plant
2. Endemic vertebrates
3. Endemic vertebrates per area ratio (species/100km²)
4. Endemic plant per area ratio (species/100km²)
5. Remaining primary vegetation as percent of original exent.
India has rich Biodiversity
As it has been mentioned in the above that India is the richest country for its biodiversity. Biodiversity in India situated in the indomalaya ecozone and it comprises of 2 hotspots out of the 35 biodiversity hotspots in the world. There is also third one that is Indo Burma biodiversity which lies partially in North East part of India.
In India there is about :-
>> 350 Mammals (7.6% of the total world species)
>> 1224 Birds (2.6% of the total world species)
>> 197 Amphibians (4.4% of the total world species)
>> 408 reptile (6.2% of the total world species)
>> 2546 fishes (11.7% of the total world species)
>> 15000 flowering plants (6% of the total world species)
Biodiversity in India
India belongs to Gondwana from where the many different different Indian species originated. There was a mass exchange of species which took place and it is just because of the collision of Peninsular India with the Laurasion landmass.
However, caused most turmoil was the eruption of climate change and volcanoes in the last 20 million years from which the extinction of many Indian forms, memmals were seen entering India from Asia through Himalayas.
Biodiversity hotspots in India
There are some biodiversity hotspots in India which includes :-
1. The Western Ghat and Sri Lanka
2. The Eastern Himalayas
3. Indo Burma
1. The Western Ghat and Sri Lanka
This biodiversity hotspot in present along with the western edge of Peninsular India. Because this biodiversity hotspots are situated near the ocean, they are likely to receive good amount of rainfall and there is high rainfall in this region. In this biodiversity hotspot most of the deciduous and rainforest are present in this region.
About 77% of the amphibians and 62% of the reptiles found in this biodiversity that cannot be spotted anywhere else in the other part of the world. Sri Lanka is situated in the south part of India and Sri Lanka is connected to India through a land bridge. This country is also rich in species too.
In the Western Ghat there are more than 7000 vascular plants are present which belongs to the 2500 genus, out of 7000 vascular plants 3000 plants are endemic. Black pepper and cardamom are the most important species which are believed that these are originated in the Western Ghat.
This biodiversity hotspot is also the home of around 450 species of birds, 140 mammals, 270 reptiles and 175 amphibians. This type of biodiversity is very beautiful as well as very rare. Vegetation in the biodiversity spread over 190,000 square but it has been reduced 43,000 square km today.
2. The Eastern Himalayan
This biodiversity hotspot is comprises of Bhutan, North East India South and Central and Eastern Nepal. We all know that Himalayan mountain are the highest in the world and abode to some of the highest peak of the world. It include Mount Everest and K2.
In India some of the major river such as Ganga, Yamuna, gandak are originated from the Himalayas. The Himalayas is comprises of more than 150 mountains.
The Eastern Himalayas has 163 endangered species including one-honed rhinoceros, wild Asia water buffalo as many as 45 memnals, 12 amphibians, 17 reptiles, 50 Bird species. There is one endangered species which is only found in Japan also found here and that species is relic dragonfly.
In the fauna, there is 10,800 species of plants in the eastern Himalayas, some of them are endemic and cannot be located anywhere else in the other part of world but there are also some species which are threatened ones including cheer pheasant, Western trogopan, Himalayas quail, vulture.
In the present time, memmals too can be spotted here with over 300 species such as sloth bears, wild dogs, snow leopards, blue seeps, water buffalo. Namadapha flying squirrel is the mammal which is almost on the stage of extinction in the eastern Himalayas biodiversity.
Indo-Burma consists of numerous countries including North East India, Myanmar, and china’s Yunan, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. It spread over a distance of 2 million square kilometres.
The Indo Burma biodiversity is rich in its biodiversity.
Indo Burma has been worsening over the past few decades. In the recent time there are 6 species of mammals have been found including Annamite muntjau, saola, annamite striped rabbit, leaf deer, gray shanked douc. and antlered muntjac. There are other species such as langurs, gibbons and monkeys too can be found here with a population as less then hundred.
There are 1300 species of birds spotted here including white-eared night-heron, gray crowned crocians and orange necked patridge. Most of these are endangered. There are about 13,500 species of plants found in the region, and out of this half are endemic and cannot be found in any other part in the world.
The Sundaland biodiversity lies in the south-east Asia and includes Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Nicobar Island. Nicobar Island represent the India. Nicobar Island and other region of sundaland biodiversity Were declared as the world biosphere reserve in 2013 by United Nations.
The sundaland biodiversity is rich in terrestrial as well as marine ecosystem like mangrove, seagrass, coral reefs etc. Species such as dolphins, whales, crocodile, prawns, lobsters comprises the marine biodiversity.
The main reason for loss of biodiversity hotspots in India are :-
1. Destruction of habitats
2. Climate change
3. Human activities
4. Population and environmental degradation
India losing the biodiversity hotspots :-
• In the report on state of India’s in government degraded that land in the India has decreased from 57% in 2001 to 45% in 2009.
• Eastern Himalayas and the Western Ghat which are the India’s hotspot of biodiversity are losing the forest cover.
• The domestic water supply demand will be double in next 20 years from 20 bilion cubic metre to 50 bilion cubic metre.
• 80% of domestic water supply comes from groundwater in the rural area.
• The frequency of flood has been increased in India due to deforestation and deforestation disturbing the biodiversity.
• Only a small percentage of the total land area in the biodiversity hotspot is conserved.
So we should conserve and save the biodiversity so that ecosystem and environmental condition will be in balance and every living species can survive.