Biodiversity India

Category: Education

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Biodiversity special science express


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As we know , Earth is the only planet which is known to have life.


The life in the form of plants, animals over the millions of years made the planet fit for various forms of life we have today. They maintain the balance of Nature & stabilize the climate.


With the passage of time the processes of evolution produced on amazingly large variety of micro-organism, plant and animals - The B iological diversity or Biodiversity. As we know that life started with very few simple organism.

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The term Biodiversity has been derived from two words, “Bio” meaning life and “diversity” indicating variety. But a symposium in 1986 and the follow up book Biodiversity’ (Wilson 1988) made the world biodiversity popular . The term biodiversity was coined in a Convention of biological diversity in 1985.

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So, The term biodiversity refers to the variety of various life forms that are found on this Earth.


Hence all plants, animals, micro-organisms as well as genetic material (like seeds, spores, Rhizomes etc.) are components of biodiversity.

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(3) Ecosystem Diversity We can observe that Biodiversity exists at three different levels i.e. Genetic Diversity (2) Species Diversity

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Genetic Diversity (At gene Level) :- This refers to a variation in genes within a particular species. For example difference in body shape, size, height and colour of skin is because of Genetic variations in Human beings.

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2. Species diversity (At species level) :- The difference among various species found on earth is an example of this diversity. 1. “Human beings” & chimpanzees are two different species. 2. Pumpkin, bitter gourd, water melon etc. are different species of the cucumber family.

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Diversity At Ecosystem level : Different Ecosystem (aquatic & terrestrial) are formed due to different geological and environmental conditions prevailing on earth. These ecosystems are home to different types of plants & animals. Some species are found in a specific ecosystem only. These species are known as endemic. Different Plants and animals found in a particular ecosystem are known as a “community”.

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We as a human being are also part of Biodiversity, being one of the innumerable species of the life form on Earth.

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EARTH - A SINGLE UNIT BIOSPHERE On earth all living and their non living environment are inseparably interconnected and interact with each other.

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For convenience we divided the giant biosphere into smaller unit on certain basis including 3. Complete mechanism of recycling of material Prominent visible biotic diversity and their interaction with their environment. 2. Their is a definite flow of energy with clearly defined tropic structure and

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These small units are separated from each other with time and space but functionally they are linked with each other. Some of these visible units or Ecosystems are Together all, they formed single integrated whole.

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PRGC Communicators in action KKD Railway station

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The Science express “Science Express-Biodiversity Special”(SEBS) an innovative and unique mobile exhibition mounted on a specially designed 16 coach AC train travel across India to 52 locations from 9 th April to 26 th October 2013. Science Express a crowd puller at KKD

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The Science express “Science Express-Biodiversity Special”(SEBS) an innovative and unique mobile exhibition mounted on a specially designed 16 coach AC train travel across India to 52 locations from 9 th April to 26 th October 2013.

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SEBS aims to create awareness about the biodiversity of India, climate change and related issues among students, teachers and the general public. SEBS is a joint effort of ministry of environment of forest and dept.of science and technology and govt.of India.

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The express will be exhibited in Hyderabad during October 1 st -19 th ,during XI conference of parties to the convention of Biological Diversity(COP-11). It had 16 coaches, of these 8 coaches were supported by MoEF highlighted biodiversity found in different bio-geographical zones of India. 3 coaches had exhibits on climate change, water and energy conservation. A lab for experiments for students and a training facility for teachers was also provided .

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COACH-1 INTRODUCTION TO BIODIVERSITY Biodiversity usually described at 3 levels Eg: Humans Eg: Tiger

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India has ten biogeographic zones, which are species specific. Trans-Himalayas: snow leopard. Himalayas: musk deer. Gangetic plain: gharial , dolphin. North-east: one horned rhino, royal bengal tiger. Deserts: asiatic lion, black buck. Semi-arid: Ressells viper, flamingo. Western Ghats: Asian elephant, nilgiri tahr . Deccan peninsula: Indian wolf, tiger. Coasts: corals, sea turtles, salt water crocodile. Islands: corals, Andaman day gecho .

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Loosing Biodiversity! One species is lost for every 20 minutes due to loss habitats,exploitation,over consumption,unregulated trade,poaching,pollution,climate change etc…, IMPORTANCE OF BIODIVERSITY Ecosystem and ecological values Economic and scientific values Scientific Cultural and aesthetic values Recreation and education

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Coach 2 : Trans-Himalaya and Himalaya Also called frozen desert with varied ecosystems This region includes 20 National parks 74 Wildlife sanctuaries 5 Biosphere reserves 36 Conservation reserves 5 Snow leopard conservation landscapes This includes the Ladakh region of Jammu and kashmir,Himachal pradesh,Uttarakhand and small part of Sikkim

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Himalayan Zone States Included : Parts of Jammu and Kashmir, Arunachal Prades, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. Distinct Features : Mountains ranges and Dense forests in foothills. Flora : Trees like Conifers, Rhododendrons, Pine, Fir, Birch and Sal. Fauna : Tiger, Hog Deer, Swamp Deer, Leopard, Black Bear, Brown Bear, etc. Flora Fauna


Marmots,Wooly hare,Tibetan antelope,Tibetan sheep,Bharal,Wild yak,Wild ass,Snow leopard,Black-necked crane and Bar-headed goose are some characteristics animals of this region, which are highly adapted to the harsh conditions. Welcome to winged visitors The Indian himalaya is a popular destination for migratory birds. Birds migrate for various reasons such as availability of food and water,safe nesting and breeding locations,climatic conditions and protection.

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Trans Himalayan Zone States Included: Jammu & Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh Distinct Features: Cold, dry deserts and Mountains ranges. Flora : Alpine and Birch forests. Fauna : Wild Sheep, Goats, Tibetean Antelope, etc. Flora Fauna

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Saving monarch of the mountain : The snow leopard inhabits 1.5 lakh sq km of the Greater and trans-Himalayan regions. Many organizations such as Snow Leopard Trust(SLT), International Union for Conservation of Nature(IUCN). Saving the sanjeevani: medicinal plant conservation areas(MPCA).

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Coach -3:The Gangetic plain: India's largest river basin. The ganga is India's national river. It’s tributaries are Yamuna, Ramganga, Gomati, Ghaghra, Gandak, Kosi, Son. Forests to farmlands: The gangetic plain comprises a variety of habitat types. Forests: Sal(a tree that can be as tall as a ten storey building. Grass lands: Bamboo. Wet lands: Lotus,trapa. Canebrakes: cane or bent. Mangroves: rhizophora species(found mainly in sundarbans) Rivers: Aquatic plants. Farmlands: paddy, maize, wheat, pulses. Herbs for health: Ex: Tulsi, Belfruit, Brahmi, Palash, Amla, Ashwagandha

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Gangetic Plains States Included: Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Orissa. Distinct features: Plains, Grasslands, Small lakes and Seasonal Swamps, Important for migratory birds. Flora : Grasses and trees like Sal and Teak. Fauna : Hog deer, Nilgai, Black Buck, One-horned Rhinoceros, etc. Flora Fauna

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Freshwater turtles : They are two types depending on shell. They act as natural scavengers. Wetland birds : Migratory and Resident birds: Ex: spotbilled duck, sarus crane(tallest flying bird; state bird of UP). The gangetic plain is home to 5 species of deer. Ex: swamp deer, sambar.

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Coach-4 :North-East India: It comprises 8 states nestled in the eastern Himalayas, north-eastern hills and Assam plains. Two lakh hectares of wetlands which harbor a wide range of aquatic flora and fauna are present. It is a home for Magnificent mammals like Royal Bengal tiger, one horned rhino, Asian Elephant. It forms a paradise for birds like greater adjutant stork, bengal florican, green peafowl and bugun liocichla are found.

India has ten biogeographic zones, which are species specific. :

States Included: Tripura, Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur, Assam, Meghalaya and Aruanachal Pradesh Distinct features: Mountain ranges and Dense forests. Rainfall is between 2000-4000mm annually. Flora : Orchids, Mosses, Epiphytes, Fens, Pines and Herbs. Fauna : Wild Elephants, Gaur, Giant Langur, Wolf, Hyena, Leopards, Assam Macaque, Leaf Monkey etc. Northeast India Flora Fauna

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Plenitude of plants The region accounts for nearly 50% of the total number of plant species in india . many of the flora found here are endemic to the region. Pitcher plant(Nepenthes khasiana ) It is a carnivorous plant found only in the khasihills of megalaya . Human activities are posing a serious threat to the biodiversity of the region.

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Home at semi-Arid zone : It is home to 1200 species of animals and 682 species of flowering plants. It is the largest grassland area in India, the banni grasslands. Flamingo city in the rann of kachchh is amongst the few places in the world,where flamingos congregate in such large number to breed. The little rann of kachchh is the only natural home of the Asiatic wild ass.

Himalayan Zone:

States Included: Gujarat and Rajasthan Distinct features: Deserts with rainfall of 250mm/annum. Flora : Xerophytes. Fauna : Desert Fox, Caracal, Desert Lizard, and Spiny Tailed Lizard, Viper, Civet and Raptors. Desert Zone Flora Fauna

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States included: Haryana, Punjab, parts of Gujarat and Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh Distinct Features: Deserts and Barren Lands. SEMI ARID ZONE Flora : Cacti and Shrubs. Fauna : Black Buck, Sambar, Spotted Deer, Nilgai, Four Horned Antelope, Caracal, Flamingo, etc. Flora Fauna

Trans Himalayan Zone:

Communicator with Tiger Tiger Goose/Crane/Flemingoes

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There are 6 Ramsar sites or wetlands “Harike lake, Kanjli and Ropar wetland in Punjab, Keoladeo National park and sambhar lake in Rajasthan, and Bhoj wetland in madhya Pradesh. The semi-arid zone is a home for 3big cats- the Asiatic lion, tiger and leopard. The famous bird sanctuary Keoladeo Ghana national park at Bharatpur is a heritage site. The Rann of kuch is the Flamingos breeding place.

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Coach-6 western Ghats The western ghates,or sahyadris, are the ancient chain of mountain ranges that run fro Gujarat down to kanyakumari, at 30 to 50 km inland along the west cost. They are identified as one of the world’s 8 (hottest hotspot) which makes it a critical bio-geographical region for conservation. 126 key biodiversity areas are identified and delineated in the western Ghats .

Gangetic Plains:

The Western Ghats States Included: Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Kerela Distinct features: Mountains ranges (a stretch of 1500km), dense tropical forests, grasslands. Rainfall of 2000-4000mm/annum. Flora : Trees like Sal, Nilgiri and several types of Grasses. Fauna : Elephant, Leopard, Malabar Civet, Barking Deer, Lion Tailed Macaque, Rusty Spotted Cart, Nilgiri Langur, Slender Loris, Slow Loris, etc. Flora Fauna

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The coasts and the islands Coast means the place where sea Mets with land An island means the land mass surrounded by water Islands are 2 types continental e:Sri Lanka,java,sumatra. Oceanic ex: Andaman & Nicobar

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COASTS States Included: Coastal parts of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Orissa, West Bengal, and Tamil Nadu. Distinct Features: Sandy shores, Rocky shores and Mangroves, Estuaries, Swamps and in0shore lagoons. Flora : Mangroves like Avicenna and Rhizophora Halophytes. Fauna : Invertebrates, Fishes, Prawns, Dolphins, Whales, Crocodiles, etc. Flora Fauna

Northeast India:

Islands States Included: Islands of Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshwadeep Distinct features: Dense evergreen forests and Coastal areas. Rainfall ranges between 2750-4450mm per annum.. Flora : Dipletocarpus, Terminalia, Largerstomia. Fauna : Dolphins, Whales, Macaques, Pythons, Fruits Pigeons and Salt water Crocodiles.. Fauna Flora

Plenitude of plants:

The indian coasts host, among others; More than 180 species of benthic algae. 14 species of sea weeds. 12 species of sea grasses. 108 species of sponges. 4 species of lobsters. 600 species of crabs. 103 species of echinoderms. 2546 species of fishes.

Home at semi-Arid zone::

Exhibits in Science Express

Desert Zone:

Science Express Gharial Rice Varieties

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Animals found in oceans; Horseshoe crab, humboldt squid, dugong, puffer fish and jelly fishes.

Communicator with Tiger:

This biome includes open seas, coasts, coral reefs, etc. Flora : Mangroves is the distinctive vegetation of this biome. Fauna : Octopus, Dolphin, Sea Horse, Giant Sea Turtles, Sharks, Whales, Corals etc. Birds like the Gulls and Terns. THE OCEANS OR COASTAL ZONE Fauna Flora

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Life is impossible without Biodiversity

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Sea turtles; 5 species- olive Ridley, green turtle, hawksbill, leatherback and loggerhead-come to the Indian coasts for nesting every year. Gahirmatha in the state of odisha is the worlds largest rookery for olive Ridleys. Guests from Abroad: The Indian coasts are host to lakhs of migratory birds arriving from siberia, Asia, Europe, Arabia and Mongolia.

The Western Ghats:

In SEBS Biodiversity is Life Variety is the Spice of Life

The coasts and the islands:

PRGC Communicators With School students Demonstration in SEBS


Floral Paradise: There are 338 species of coastal sand dune flora found in Indian coasts. The predominant species-Beach sedges, Beach Morning Glory, Giant milk weed, Horse tail sea oak, coconut and palm tree. Mangroves: Are found on the place where sea mets the river. Mangroves covering area in India is 4639sq kms Mangrove duties- protection from erosion.


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The indian coasts host, among others;:

FRESHWATER WETLAND This biome includes lakes, ponds, rivers and freshwater bodies. Flora : Aquatic plants like water lilies, Lotus, Water Hyacinth, Ipomoea, etc. Fauna : Fresh Water fishes, Water Snakes, Molluscs and Water birds like Ducks and Geese. Flora Fauna

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This biome includes areas near the northern temperate zone to the Arctic zone and remains covered by snow throughout the year. Flora : Lichens, Ephemerals Fauna : Includes Snow Leopard, Polar bears, Penguins, etc. THE TUNDRA REGION Flora Fauna

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This biome includes forests in which trees shed their leaves in winter or autumn, they are generally broad-leaved forests and grow in regions with distinctive summer rainfall and severe winter. Flora : Teak, Oak, etc. Fauna : Tigers, Leopards, Spotted Deer, Lion, etc. FORESTS (DECIDUOUS) Flora Fauna

Animals found in oceans;:

This biome is found near the equator where the rainfall is high and occurs throughout the year. It is one of the most biodiverse biomes in the world and houses maximum species of flora and fauna. Flora : Evergreen trees, Orchids, Mosses, Ferns, etc. Fauna : Bisons, Elephants, Hornbills etc. FORESTS (TROPICAL RAIN) Flora Fauna

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This biome includes grasslands interspersed with dry and thorny trees. The climates is extreme, ranging from semi-arid to arid. Flora : Dominated by Acacia trees, Grasses Fauna : Frugivorous Birds, Lion, Deer, etc . FOREST (SCRUB) Flora Fauna

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The biome is found at high altitudes where the temperature is low. Flora : Cone shaped trees like Pine, Birch, Deodar, etc. and hence the name “conifer”. Fauna : Birds like the Himalayan Monal Pheasant, the Tragopans and Animals include Wild Sheep, Himalayan Hog Deer, etc. FORESTS (CONIFEROUS) Flora Fauna

Sea turtles;:

This biome includes huge expanses of land covered with grasses and sparsely interspersed with tree. Flora : Different types of grasses, etc. Fauna : Birds like the great Indian Bustard, Hubara Bustard, Lesser Florican and ungulates like Blackbucks, Rabbits, Squirrels etc. GRASSLANDS Flora Fauna


This biome receives less than 50mm of rains annually and is prone to extreme climates. The land mass is covered mostly with sand. Flora : Cacti, Succulents and other Xerophytes. Fauna : Desert Gerbils, Spiny Tailed Lizards, etc. DESERTS Flora Fauna

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Floral Paradise::

Besides life supportive water and air, it provides Since time immemorial, biodiversity has been in continuous service of humanity

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GRAINS VEGETABLES FRUITS Food like grains, vegetables, milk, fruits, meat etc. Meat and milk

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CLOTHING like cotton, wool, silk, skins & hides  

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MATERIAL FOR SHELTER like Bamboo, different grasses and timbers, HOUSING BAMBOO GRASSES TIMBER

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MEDICINES like Neem, Sarpgandha and Amla MEDICINES

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MEANS OF RECREATION like forests and wild life, birds etc. RECREATION

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Purification of Air and Water (ie. nitrogen fixing) Detoxification of Wastes Regeneration of Soil Fertility Regulation of Climate “Non-Economic” Benefits of Biodiversity

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These all are precious gifts of biodiversity to us. The importance of biodiversity for food security is well established; therefore, it is every individual’s responsibility to conserve it.

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Interestingly life is not distributed uniformly on Earth Certain areas are rich in life form and other are poor. On the basis of richness in life form certain countries of the world has been designated as Mega Biodiversity Country India is one of such country.

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India has immense biological diversity which can be attributed to the variety of physiographic & climatic situations, resulting in a diversity of ecological habitats like forests, grasslands, wetlands, coastal, marine and desert ecological systems. These ecological systems harbour a wide variety of plants and animals. India A Country of Mega Biodiversity

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India is one of the “Hotspots countries”. Two hotspots that extend to India are: The Western Ghats/Sri Lanka and the Indo-Burma region (covering the Eastern Himalayas), which have been included amongst the top eight most important hotspots.

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As per the famous Russian Botanist, N.I. Vavilov, India is one of the 12 centres of the origin of cultivated plants known as the “Hindustan Center of Origin of Crops and Plants Diversity”.

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India has 26 recognized endemic centres that are home to nearly one third of all the identified flowering plants.

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India has 2.4 percent of world’s total area and accounts for 7.31 percent of Earth’s biodiversity. India’s Share In World’s Biodiversity

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About 18 percent of the country’s recorded plants and animals are endemic to the country.

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Estimated Number of Animal Species Taxonomic Group World India Percentage Chordata 48,451 4,952 10.22 Protochordata 2,106 119 11.80 Pisces 21,723 2546 12.00 Amphibia 5,150 219 17.80 Reptilia 5,817 456 08.46 Aves 9,026 1,166 08.53 Mammalia 4,629 397 07.00 Total (Animalia) 11,96,903 86,874 07.25 Protista 31,250 2,577 09.24 Total 12,28,153 89,457 07.29

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Recorded Number of Plant Species in India Taxonomic Group India World Percentage Algae 6,500 40,000 16.25 Fungi 14,500 72,000 11.80 Lichens 2,021 17,000 12.00 Bryophyta 2,850 16,000 17.80 Pteridophyta 1,135 13,000 08.46 Gymnosperms 64 750 08.53 Angiosperms 17,500 2,50,000 07.00

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Endemic Species of Plants Group No. of species Pteridophyta 200 Angiosperms 4950

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Endemic Species of Animals Group No. of species Mollusca 878 Land 89 Freshwater 110 Insects 16,214 Amphibia 214 Reptilia 69 Aves 69 Mammalla 38 Amongst fauna, exceptional diversity is found in amphibians (62% species are endemic), butterflies , moths, and birds.

Interestingly life is not distributed uniformly on Earth:

Indian Land has been divided into different zones according to physiographic and climatic conditions having similar flora and fauna.

India A Country of Mega Biodiversity:

Deccan Peninsula States Included: Parts of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Orissa, West Bengal, Bihar, and Tamil Nadu. Distinct features: Plains, Deciduous Forests, Plateaus and Hilly Regions. It covers about 43% of the total land mass of India. Flora : Trees like sal, Teak, Thorny Shrubby Plants, Savannah Grasses. Fauna : Gaurs, Muntjak, Sambar, Mouse Deer, Wild Boar, Swamp Deer, Wild Dog, Leopard, etc. Flora Fauna

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Equally impressive is the range of domesticated biodiversity. At least 66 species of crops and 320 species of wild relatives of crops are known to have originated in India. Other crops with rich diversity include wheat sugarcane, legumes, sesame, egg plant (brinjal), citrus fruits and cardamom, etc. There are an estimated 50,000-60,000 varieties of rice grown in India. Crop No. of wild relatives Millets 51 Fruits 104 Spices and condiments 27 Vegetables and pulses 55 Fibre crops 24 Oil seeds, tea coffee Tobacco and sugarcane 12 Medicinal plants 3000

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Today due to human actions, species and ecosystems are threatened with destruction to an extent rarely seen in Earth history. Probably only during the handful of mass extinction events have so many species been threatened, in so short a time. Dirty Yamuna

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The human actions that threaten biodiversity Over-hunting Over-hunting has been a significant cause of the extinction of hundreds of species and the endangerment of many more, such as whales and many. Most extinctions over the past several hundred years are mainly due to over-harvesting for food, fashion, and profit. Commercial hunting, both legal and illegal (poaching), is the principal threat. The snowy egret, passenger pigeon, and heath hen are US examples. Passenger Pigeon While over-hunting, particularly illegal poaching, remains a serious threat to certain species which can be almost extinct in the near future.

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Habitat loss, degradation, fragmentation Habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation are important causes of known extinctions. As deforestation proceeds in tropical forests, this promises to become the main cause of mass extinctions caused by human activity. In the future, the only species that survive are likely to be those whose habitats are highly protected, or whose habitat corresponds to the degraded state associated with human activity (human commensals).

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Invasion of non-native species Invasion of non-native species is an important and often overlooked cause of extinctions. The African Great Lakes--Victoria, Malawi and Tanganyika--are famous for their great diversity of endemic species, termed "species flocks," of cichlid fishes. In Lake Victoria, a single, exotic species, the Nile Perch, has become established and may cause the extinction of most of the native species, by simply eating them all. Nile Perch Congress Grass Water lily Argentine Ants It was a purposeful introduction for subsistence and sports fishing, and a great disaster.

Estimated Number of Animal Species:

Domino effects are especially likely when two or more species are highly interdependent, or when the affected species is a "keystone" species, meaning that it has strong connections to many other species. Domino effects Domino effects occur when the removal of one species (an extinction event) or the addition of one species (an invasion event) affects the entire biological system. Oriental bittersweet A keystone species is one whose presence or absence both directly and indirectly influences other species through food web connectivity. (Like a starfish in inter tidal zone , facilitated the coexistence of many other invertebrates by selectively consuming mussels .

Recorded Number of Plant Species in India:

Pollution Pollution from chemical contaminants certainly poses a further threat to species and ecosystems. While not commonly a cause of extinction, it likely can be for species whose range is extremely small, and threatened by contamination. Several species of desert pupfish, occurring in small isolated pools in the US Southwest, are examples. Desert Pupfish

Endemic Species of Plants:

Introduction of exotic species The great majority of the exotic species do not become established in the introduced new places. However, some of the species are able to establish in new area. Such successful exotic species may kill or eat native species to the point of extinction, or may so alter the habitat that many natives are no longer able to persist. The effect of exotic species is maximum on islands. Disease causing microorganisms, if introduced to new virgin areas may cause epidemics and native species are eliminated completely.

Endemic Species of Animals:

Diseases Human activities may increase the incidence of disease in wild species. The extent of the disease increases when animals are confined to a nature reserve rather than being able to disperse over a large area. Also, animals are more prone to infection when they are under stress. Animals held in captivity are also more prone to higher level of disease.

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Shifting or Jhum cultivation In shifting cultivation , plots of natural tree vegetation are burnt away and the cleared patches are formed for two or three seasons, after which their fertility goes down to a point where adequate crop production is no longer possible. The farmers then abandons this patch and cuts down a new patch of forest trees elsewhere for crop production. This system is also called as Jhum Cultivation.

Deccan Peninsula:

Climate change A changing global climate threatens species and ecosystems. The distribution of species (biogeography) is largely determined by climate, as is the distribution of ecosystems and plant vegetation zones (biomes). Climate change may simply shift these distributions but, for a number of reasons, plants and animals may not be able to adjust. The pace of climate change almost certainly will be more rapid than most plants are able to migrate.

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Why Should We Care for Biodiversity? Human well-being rests on ecosystem function how does ecosystem function depend on biodiversity Biodiversity provides market goods and services agriculture (50% of yield increases from genes from native plants) pharmaceuticals (25% from native plants) recreation and tourism Aesthetic value to humans (enjoyment, study) Intrinsic value (species? populations? individuals?)

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Ecosystem Goods and Services Gas regulation Climate regulation Disturbance regulation Water regulation Water supply Erosion control and sediment retention Soil formation Nutrient cycling Waste treatment Pollination Biological control Food production Raw materials Genetic resources Recreation Cultural But only 20-50% of species are needed to maintain ecosystem functions

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International Initiative to save Biodiversity

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International Union for Conservation of Natural Resources Conservation Union ( IUCN ) Red Data Books IUCN, with headquarters at Gland, Switzerland, is the premier coordinating body for international conservation efforts. To highlight the legal status of rare species for the purpose of conservation, (IUCN) has established the five main conservation categories. These are extinct, endangered, vulnerable, rare and insufficiently known species. Using the IUCN categories, the World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC) has evaluated and described threats to about 60,000 plant and 2,000 animal species in its series of Red Data Books. Threatened species include those which are endangered, vulnerable, and rare in IUCN categories. The great majority of the species on these lists of Red Data Books are plants. However, there are also species of fish (343), amphibians (50), reptiles (170), invertebrates (1355), birds (1037) and mammals (497). The IUCN system has been applied to specific geographical areas as a way to highlight conservation priorities. Malaysia is an example.

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Germplasm Bank Germplasm Banks, also called gene banks are established for ex situ conservation of the species. Such gene banks include botanical gardens, animal zoos, genetic resource centres, culture collections etc. In plant species seeds, pollen grains, vegetative propagative parts (corm, bulb, tuber etc.), tissues etc. are collected and stored in such germplasm banks. Several international organisations in different parts of the world are setting up the gene Bank (International Plant Genetic Resources Institute) with it Headquarters at Rome. A number of germplasm banks have also been established in Europe and North America. A network of gene banks to conserve a variety of medicinal and aromatic plants has also been established by the G-15 countries (Argentina, Algeria, Brazil, Egypt, India, Jamaica, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, Senegal, Venezuela, ex-Yugoslavia and Zimbabwe). This network would ensure conservation of seeds, embryos, pollen and cultured tissues of important plant species.

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Ex situ conservation strategies The Best strategy for the long-term protection of biodiversity is the preservation of natural communities and population in the wild, known as in situ or on-site preservation. In EX Situ preservation is maintaining individual species in artificial condition under supervision like captive breeding programme in research institutes. Examples of ex situ facilities for animal preservation include zoos, game farms, aquaria, and captive breeding programs, while plants are maintained in botanical gardens, arboreta, and seed banks. An intermediate strategy that contains elements of both ex situ and in situ preservation is the monitoring and management of populations of rare and endangered species in small, protected areas; such populations are still somewhat wild, but human intervention may be necessary on occasion to prevent population decline.

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Legal Protection of species and habitats National resources can be legally protected at local, national as well as international levels. In many countries, there are private conservation organizations which acquire land for conservation efforts. National governments and national organizations play a leading role in conservation. There are also international agreements for the protection of habitats. Three of the most important conventions are the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (1971) especially as Waterfowl Habitat; the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (1984) and the UNESCO Biosphere Reserves Programme (1971). Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

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Other International Conventions Convention on Migratory Species (1979) list, prohibit taking, and take measures to protect endangered species crossing borders UN Convention to Combat Desertification (1994)

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OUR TRADITION & CULTURE National Initiatives to Save Biodiversity We have a very strong tradition & culture of attaching reverence to plants & animals. Cow, Pipal Tree and Tulsi are considered sacred and worshipped all over the country. The purpose has always been to save these resources from being plundered & destroyed. The Bishnoi community in Rajasthan does not cut green trees and kill animals.

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Sacred groves (Dev Vana) Similar to sacred groves, there are ponds and small lakes created with Temples, Dargahs or Gurudwaras. They provide protection to a wide variety of aquatic life forms (mainly fishes).

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State Sacred Groves Jharkand Sarnas Maharashtra Devari Madhya Pradesh Dev Karnataka Sidharavana Rajasthan Orance Tamilnadu Sarppakavu Kerala Kav Sacred groves (Dev Vana) are certain identified areas of forest, which are considered sacred in our country. All forms of life (Plants & Animals) receive full protection in these groves. They are known by different names in different parts of the country.

Why Should We Care for Biodiversity?:

CHIPKO MOVEMENT - 250 YEARS AGO IN Garhwal (U.P.), 363 people including men, women, and children gave their lives to save trees. This movement was revived in March 1973 in Garhwal (Now Uttranchal) & spread to many areas. Sunder Lal Bhuguna and Chandi Prasad Bhatt were the prominent figures of this movement. SAVE SEED CHAMPAIGN - From the past few years, rural women of Uttrakhand have started this movement to save traditional seed varieties. This is an effort to conserve our seed biodiversity.

Ecosystem Goods and Services:

CONSITUTIONAL, LEGISLATIVE AND POLICY FRAME WORK In wake of the 1972 Stockolm conference, the focused articulation of environment concerns began to be seen in different legislations, policies & programme. In 1976, the Indian Constitution was amended to include two articles relating to environment. Article 48-A of the Directive Principles of State Policy states that ‘The State shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife in the country’, Article 51 (A) (G), states that it is the fundamental duty of each citizen ‘To protect and improve the national environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife’. Since then, numerous and wide-ranging policies, programmes and projects have been initiated which directly or indirectly serve to protect and conserve the country’s biological resources.

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FOREST POLICY AND LAW India is one of the few countries which has a forest policy since 1894. It was revised in 1952 and again in 1988. The main plank of the forest policy is protection, conservation and development of forests. Its aims are: Maintenance of environmental stability through preservation and restoration of ecological balance. Conservation of natural heritage. Check on soil erosion and denudation in catchments area of rivers, lakes and reservoirs. Check on extension of sand dunes in desert areas of Rajasthan and along coastal tracts.

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Substantial increase in forest tree cover through massive afforestation and social forestry programmes. Steps to meet requirements of fuel wood, fodder, minor forest produce and soil timber of rural and tribal populations. Increase in productivity of forests to meet the national needs. Encouragement to efficient utilization of forest produce and optimum substitution of wood. Steps to create massive people’s movement with involvement of women to achieve the objectives and minimize pressure on existing forest.

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Declaration of certain areas as National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries, Biosphere Reserves or Ecologically Fragile and Sensitive Areas: At present we have 92 national parks and 500 wildlife sanctuaries covering 15.67 million hectare area. 13 Biosphere Reserves 19 Wetlands (of international significance under Ramsar Convention) . PROTECTED AREAS

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BIOSPHERE RESERVES Biosphere Reserves are areas of terrestrial and coastal ecosystems, which are internationally recognized within the framework of UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere (MAB) Programme. They are representative of world’s major ecosystem types and landscapes and are devoted to conserving biological diversity, promoting research and monitoring, as well as seeking to provide models of sustainable development in the service of humankind.

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List of operational Biosphere Reserves in the country S. No. Name of Biosphere Reserve Date of Notification State 1 Nilgiri 01.08.1986 Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala 2 Nanda Devi 18.01.1986 Uttranchal 3 Nokrek 01.09.1988 Meghalaya 4 Great Nicobar 06.01.1989 Andaman and Nicobar Islands 5 Gulf of Mannar 18.02.1989 Tamil Nadu 6 Manas 14.03.1989 Assam 7 Sunderbans 19.03.1989 West Bengal 8 Similipal 21.06.1994 Orissa 9 Dibru-Saikhowa 28.07.1997 Assam 10 Dehang Debang 02.09.1998 Arunachal Pradesh 11 Panchamrhi 07.02.1999 Madhya Pradesh 12 Kanchanjunga 07.02.2000 Sikkim 13 Agasthyamalai 12.11.2001 Tamil Nadu and Keral

Other International Conventions:


National Initiatives to Save Biodiversity:

Coringa Mangrove Forest

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Some Mangrove roots in Coringa Root adaptations Pneumatophores

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Types of Mangroves

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Caspian Tern Sterna caspia Migratory Birds

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Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago

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Grey-headed Lapwing Vanellus cinereus

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Lesser Sand Plover Charadrius mongolus

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SPECIAL ATTENTION TO WETLANDS, MANGROVES AND CORAL REEFS WETLANDS Wetlands are transitional lands between terrestrial and aquatic system, where the soil permanently or most of the time remains water logged. They are life support systems for people living around and are effective in flood control, reducing sediments, recharging of aquifers and also act a winter resorts for a variety of birds for shelter. They provide ideal habitats for fish and other plants and animals.

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MANGROVES Mangrove plants survive high salinity, tidal extremes, strong wind velocity, high temperature and muddy anaerobic soil-a combination of conditions hostile for other plants. They also serve as a repository of a wide range of salinity tolerant plants and animals. Mangroves not only help in stabilizing the costal line but also reduce the devastating impact of the tsunamis.

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Asian Openbill-Stork Anastomus oscitans Water Birds of Coringa

Coringa Mangroves in Kakinada :

White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus

Coringa Mangrove Forest:

Pheasant-tailed Jacana Hydrophasianus chirurgus

Some Mangrove roots in Coringa:

Black Ibis Pseudibis papillosa

Types of Mangroves:

Purple Heron Ardea purpurea

Caspian Tern Sterna caspia Migratory Birds:

Blue-tailed Bee-eater Merops philippinus Forest Birds in Coringa

Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago :

Common Hoopoe Upupa epops

Grey-headed Lapwing Vanellus cinereus :

House Crow Corvus splendens

Lesser Sand Plover Charadrius mongolus :

Mangrove Crabs

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Godavari Mangroves 1986 Landsat 5 TM 2001 IRS 1D LISS III Extent : 33,263. 32 ha

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State-wise list of Mangroves areas identified by the Ministry State/UT Mangrove Area West Bengal 1. Sunderbans Orissa 2. Bhaitarkanika, 3. Mahanadi, 4. Subernarekha, 5. Devi, 6. Dhamra, 7. MGRC, 8. Chilka Andhra Pradesh 9. Coringa, 10. East Godavari, 11. Krishna Tamil Nadu 12. Pichavram, 13. Muthupet, 14. Ramnad, 15. Pulicat, 16. Kazhuveli Andaman & Nicobar 17. North Andamans, 18. Nicobar Kerala 19. Vembanad Karnataka 20. Coondapur, 21 Dakshin Kannada/Honnavar Goa 22. Karwar Maharashtra 24. Achra-Ratnagiri, 25. Devgarh Vijay Dur, 26. Veldur, 27. Kundalika Ravdana, 28. Mumbra-Diva, 29. Vikroli, 30. Shreevardhan, 31. Vaitarna, 32. Vasassi-Manori, 33. Malvan Gujarat 34. Gulf of Kutch 35.

Asian Openbill-Stork Anastomus oscitans :

Coral Reefs Coral reefs are shallow-water tropical marine ecosystems, characterized by High biomass production and rich floral and faunal diversity. Large number of species of plants and animals including beautiful and varied corals are found in these areas. To conserve biodiversity, the preservation of these specialized ecosystems is very important. Four coral reefs, namely, Gulf of Mannar, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep Islands

White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus :

The Indian Forest Act 1927 The Forest (Conservation) Act 1980 The Wildlife Act 1972 (Protection) Amendment Act 1991 The Environment (Protection) Act 1986 5. Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 6. Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD):- India ratified the international convention on 18 February and became party to the convention in May 1994. It recognized in clear terms the importance of Biodiversity and its role in human welfare. It suggests suitable measures to be adopted for conservation of sustainable utilization of the same. So, apart from our own benefit, we also have an international obligation to protect the biodiversity in our country. Central Acts having relevance to Biodiversity

Pheasant-tailed Jacana Hydrophasianus chirurgus :

BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY ACT 2002 The main intent of the legislation is to protect India’s rich biodiversity and associated knowledge against their use by foreign individuals and organizations without sharing the benefit arising out of such use, and to check biopiracy.

Black Ibis Pseudibis papillosa :

PRGC BIODIVERSITY CLUB INITIATIVE Free Fish Virtual Dissections   SalmonDissection )   ( ) ·          Blue Mackeral

Purple Heron Ardea purpurea :

PRGC BIODIVERSITY CLUB INITIATIVE Dissection  ( )   VirtualSharkLab   ( )  

Blue-tailed Bee-eater Merops philippinus:

PRGC BIODIVERSITY CLUB INITIATIVE Free Frog Virtual Dissections      Virtual Frog DissectionKit  ( )     NetFrog   ( ) ·                 

Common Hoopoe Upupa epops:

PRGC BIODIVERSITY CLUB INITIATIVE Virtual FrogLab  ( )     Froguts (demo version)   ( )   Frog Dissection Video   ( instructions/PUCAAdxAwFdKUGPa1w4-7A

House Crow Corvus splendens :

PRGC BIODIVERSITY CLUB INITIATIVE Free Rabbit and Other Small Mammal Virtual Dissections     The Virtual Heart's Cardiac Anatomy (includes rabbit heart)  ( ) ·     

Mangrove Crabs:

PRGC BIODIVERSITY CLUB INITIATIVE Rat Anatomy Review  ( ) E-Rat (urogenital system)   ( )    Rat Dissection (circulatory system)  ( ) 

Godavari Mangroves:

PRGC BIODIVERSITY CLUB INITIATIVE Free Pigeon Virtual Dissections      Vertebrate Anatomy Pigeon Dissection   ( ) ·        

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PRGC BIODIVERSITY CLUB INITIATIVE Pigeon Dissection Images  ( ) ·  Dissections Online: Pigeon  ( )  

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The prudence dictates that we must maintain as much variety of biodiversity as possible. Conclusion….. Plants and animals evolving over millions of years have made the planet fit for the various forms of life we have today. They help maintain the balance of mature and stabilize the climate. They protect watersheds and renew soil. High diversity in an area is an indicator of good ecosystem health.

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So, we must make every effort to preserve, conserve, and manage biodiversity .

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Our Sincere Thanks due to SEBS-2013/DST/MoEF/COP11 NCSTC/VASCSC/CEE/DST/PETA Commisioner of Collegiate Education SAPNET Studios UGC P.R.Govt.College(A)Kakinada


Reports and Publications Of Ministry Of Environment And Forest. Reference Prepared By Dr. P. Anil Kumar Lecturer in Zoology,PRGC In association with Science Express


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