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India welcomes 599 new species to its biodiversity5 min read

October 23, 2020 4 min read


India welcomes 599 new species to its biodiversity5 min read

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Have you ever seen a monkey out on the road? Or a peacock dancing in your backyard? A parrot sipping water from the puddle outside your home? A ladybird stealthily climbing onto your sleeve? The chances are that you have had one of these experiences because India shared its land (water and sky) with multiple species.

This variety of living species (plants and animals) is called biodiversity.
What’s great is that the word biodiversity covers animals, insects, birds, and also plants! 

India accounts for 2.4% of the total land mass of the world but hosts a whooping 7-8% of the world’s species (including 45,000 species of plants and 91,000 species of animals).

So, don’t be surprised
if you have a friendly neighbourhood
macaque paying
you a visit!

The year 2019 was a boon for biodiversity in India. On October 9, the Zoological Survey of India and the Botanical Survey of India released their reports on animal and plant discoveries of 2019, respectively.
The lists indicated the addition of 599 new species to India’s biodiversity!

Here are some important numbers:

Let’s get to know some of our fellow inhabitants!

1. The Gecko who is fond of tea:

Sourced from The Hindu

Cnemaspis anandani is a rock dwelling Gecko endemic to the Western Ghats found close to tea plantations.
Named after the wildlife conservationist Anandan Sethuraman, Anandan’s Day Gecko is comfortable to live close to humans. The gecko lives in crevices made by old wooden logs and near road side culverts.

2. The Dung Beetle who likes recycling:

Sourced from The Hindu

Enoplotrupes (Enoplotrupes) tawangensis is a new species of dung beetle found in Tawang. Measuring up to 27 mm, this dung beetles species is a shiny blue in colour. It feeds on dung and digs it deep into the soil adding to the fertility of the land. Thus, they are the markers of the ecological health of a particular system!

3. The Frog with a distinct song:

Sourced from The Hindu

While out for a walk Koderna district of Jharkhand, Vishal Kumar Prasad discovered the Sphaerotheca magadha, the burrowing frog. Prasad is a researcher with Wildlife Institute of India. He heard a distinct sound coming from the fields and identified the creator as the Magadha frog. The frog gets its name from the Magadha empire in Southern Bihar. 

4. The plant from the wild:

Sourced from The Hindu

Researchers discovered Eugenia sphaerocarpa in large portions in the Kakkayam area of the Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary In Kerala. It belongs to the rose apple family. No wonder it looks so pretty!

5. The Hobbit of the Sea:

Sourced from The News Minute

Named after the character from
J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, Gollum, this species is the first underground dwelling fish from the snakehead family.
Gollum was discovered in Malappuram in Kerala.

Isn’t it exciting to think of all the fascinating creatures we share the world with. And every survey brings with it the promise of the discovery of more!

This world is made for and by more than humans. In fact, most of the other species help sustain the world we live in.
Bees’ movement from one food crop to the other ensures that humans get food. The dung beetles ensure that soil remains fertile. Beavers can help prevent floods and droughts. Squirrels keep trees alive by forgetting about the food they stored in them. All of these are tiny efforts for our big home!
We are walking on the balance rope supported by our diverse co-inhabitants.

Let’s celebrate their presence amongst us with a big thank you by taking care of the environment.

Think with Owliver
Some of these names are really interesting and quirky.
A new species of fish was given the name ‘bhujia’ because of its resemblance to the Indian snack!
How do you think scientists come up with a name for a species? Find out and let us know.
Leave your answers in the comment sections, below!
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