Saturday, 6 October 2012

MOP6/COP11 - biodiversity: hyderabadensis & osmaniensis: At least 50 plant, animal, microflora named after Hyderabad

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: The erstwhile nobility of Hyderabad may have
caused irreparable damage to the fragile habitat of big cats, but the
city played a key role in adding at least 60 new animal and plant
species to the list of world flora and fauna in the last half a
century. They are from all “fields” of life – water, soil, air and
even in space.

Incidentally, about 50 of the animals and plant species discovered in
the city have been named after Hyderabad. They bear the species
nomenclature, hyderabadensis. Two of the species discovered in
Hyderabad are named after one of the city’s famous landmarks, Osmania
University (osmaniansis).

Hyderabad’s contribution to the enhancement of biodiversity of the
Deccan plateau include spiders, worms, bacteria (both soil living and
thriving in the space), aquatic plants, snails, crabs, weeds and
herbs. Some of the bacteria are quite useful, while others are of
pathogenic (disease-causing) nature. The bacteria discovered in the
space provide clues to extraterrestrial life and the origin of life on
the earth.

While one can take pride in the city’s contribution to Mother Nature,
it is also responsible for the extinction of the Indian Cheetah.
Indiscriminate hunting of big cats including Cheetahs by former rulers
and nobles had put these beautiful animals that occupy the niche of
the food chain, in danger of extinction. Uncontrolled real estate has
taken a heavy toll of Hyderabadi grapes while climate change, a
resultant of pollution, has pushed the season of Hyderabadi sitaphal
(custard apple) by a month.

Other animals that had almost disappeared from twin cities include the
house sparrow, vulture, leopards, scaly anteaters, and hyenas. The
brighter side, however, is the conservation of endangered species by
scientists attached to the Laboratory for Conservation of Endangered
Species (LaCones), a unit of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular
Biology.

Hyderabad has also contributed to the discovery of tiny worms that
parasite commercially important fresh water fishes. Called Philometra
hyderabadensis, the worm has created interest in international
scientists. Dr Frantisek Moravec of the Biology Centre of the Academy
of Sciences of the Czech Republic Institute of Parasitology, who is
one of the re-discoverers of this worm, told this correspondent a
detailed study would be of great help to science. “Though Philometrids
are not transferable to man, there were recorded two cases of
Philometrids as human pseudo-parasites in Japan and the Philippines”,
he said.

1 comment:

Dennis (landzone) said...

We wish to bring into focus during COP11, the preserving of biological diversity through ages in sacred pockets of lands by families, in India especially in the State of Kerala. Within the family land holding, a certain part is kept NO GO zone. Sometimes these protected land could be several acres in size. Someone enters to light lamp on a ritualistic basis, once in a year. These pockets brim with rare plants and small creatures, snakes and small mammals. UN need to find ways to support the families which take care and preserve these land pockets through generations!

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