Friday, 22 June 2012

Environment matters: The biodiversity wealth of India

By Syed Akbar


* The forest cover is estimated at 6.73 lakh square kilometres or just 20.64
per cent of the total geographic area of the country. But the percentage of
very dense forest is just 1.56.

* India's biodiversity wealth extends to 80,000 known species of animals and
45,000 species of plants including 15,000 medicinal plants.

* Almost 3,200 wild relatives of agricultural crops and 131 wild relatives of
domesticated animals are found in India.

* India has several endemic species (that are present only in India and not
elsewhere in the world). They include 5,150 plant and 1,837 species. One-
third of all these species are facing the threat of extinction.

* Endemic species like Narcondom hornbill, Andaman teal and Nicobar
megapod will be lost for ever, if immediate conservation measures are not
taken.

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