In news– Recently, the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) published a document called Animal Discoveries 2020.
About the report-
- The document reveals that India has added 557 new species to its fauna, which includes 407 new species and 150 new records.
- The number of faunal species in India has climbed to 1,02,718 species with the discovery of the news species.
- The scientists of the ZSI contributed to 34% (948 species) of the newly described and 68% (898) of the newly recorded species in the last 10 years.
- The ZSI has been publishing Animal Discoveries since 2007.
- The ZSI publication shows that India is a mega biodiverse country, with 23.39% of its geographical area under forest and tree cover.
- As per the document, India is positioned 8th in mega biodiversity countries in the world.
Among the new species, some interesting species discovered in 2020 are-
- Trimeresurus salazar, a new species of green pit viper discovered from Arunachal Pradesh.
- Lycodon deccanensis, the Deccan wolf snake discovered from Karnataka.
- Sphaerotheca Bengaluru, a new species of burrowing frog named after the city of Bengaluru.
- Xyrius anjalai, a new deep water species of snake eel from Kerala.
- Glyptothorax giudikyensis, a new species of catfish from Manipur and
- Clyster galateansis, a new species of scarab beetles from the Great Nicobar Biosphere.
- Myotis cf. Frater, a bat species earlier known from China, Taiwan and Russia, has been reported for the first time from Uttarakhand in India.
- Zoothera citrina gibsonhilli, an orange-headed thrush earlier known from southern Myanmar to south Thailand (central Malay peninsula), which was reported for the first time from India based on a collection made from the Narcondam island in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
- Of these 557 species, invertebrates constitute the majority with 486 species, while 71 species belong to vertebrates.
- Among invertebrates, insects dominated, with 344 species, whereas pisces and reptiles dominated among vertebrates.
State Wise discoveries-
- Among the States, the highest number of new species were discovered from Karnataka (66 species), followed by Kerala (51 species).
- Also in 2020, 46 new species were discovered from Rajasthan and 30 from West Bengal.
- In terms of new records or species recorded in the country for the first time, Arunachal Pradesh had the highest (20 new records).
- In the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, 25 new species were discovered and 16 new records documented in 2020.
Zoological Survey of India (ZSI)
- ZSI was set up by British zoologist Thomas Nelson Annandale in 1916 to encourage survey, discovery, and research in order to improve knowledge of the British Indian Empire’s flora and fauna.
- It is India’s top animal taxonomy organisation.
- The survey has its genesis in the establishment of the Zoological Section of the Indian Museum at Calcutta in 1875.
- The ZSI began with eight regional centres spread throughout India.
- There are currently 16 regional centres located throughout the country.
- Its headquarters-Kolkata.
- According to Section 39 of the National Biodiversity Act of 2002, it has been designated as a designated repository for the National Zoological Collection.