Last Updated on July 12, 2022
India has consistently ranked among the wealthiest nations for its incredible biodiversity, as seen in the country’s population statistics. But do you know what precisely a biodiversity hotspot means?
A hotspot must contain more than 0.5 percent of all plant species in the world, or at least 1500 species of vascular plants, and the portion of its original habitat that has been lost should be greater than or equal to 70%.
In this article, we have come up with all you need to know about these biodiversity hotspots in India. Keep reading.
Many Indian species (descendants of taxa) are descendants of Gondwana, which once belonged to India. Peninsular India collided with the Laurasian landmass, which resulted in a massive exchange of species. However, the 20 million years ago volcanic explosion and temperature change that resulted in the extinction of numerous Indian forms caused the most havoc.
Following this, mammals were observed crossing into India from Asia via the Himalayas; 12.6 percent of Indian species were mammals, 4.5 percent were endemic birds, 45.8 percent were reptiles, and 55.8 percent were amphibians. Here is some biodiversity hotspot in India.
The four biodiversity hotspots in India
The Western Ghats
The Western Ghats are hills found along peninsular India’s western border and get a lot of rain as they are close to the coast. Hence, this area contains most of the deciduous trees and rainforests.
Around 62% of the reptiles and 77% of the amphibians are unique to this area and cannot be found anywhere else in the globe. Initially covering 190,000 square kilometers, the vegetation in this area now only covers 43,000 square kilometers.
- More than 6000 vascular plants from more than 2500 genera are present here. Out of them, 3000 plants are endemic.
- Most spices, including cardamom and black pepper, are said to have their origins in the Western Ghats.
- There are also about 450 birds, 140 mammals, 260 reptiles, and 175 amphibians in these ghats. Such diversity is lovely and uncommon, but it is currently in danger of extinction.
Bhutan, Northeast India, and Southern, Central, and Eastern Nepal are included in this Himalayas region. Some of the highest peaks in the world, including Mount Everest and K2, are located in these Mountains, which are the tallest in the world.
In addition, the Himalayas serve as the source of some of the world’s largest rivers. More than 100 mountains higher than 7200 meters can be found in the Himalayas.
- One-horned rhinoceros
- Asian wild water buffalo
- Forty-five mammals, 50 birds, 12 amphibians, 17 reptiles, three invertebrates, and 36 plant species are among the nearly 163 endangered species found here.
- The relict dragonfly, which only exists in one other species in Japan, is one such endangered species that can be found here.
The Indo-Burma region covers a surface area of 2 million square kilometers. North-Eastern India (to the south of the Brahmaputra River), Myanmar, the southern Yunnan province of China, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand are just a few of the nations that make up this region.
Unfortunately, although the biodiversity in this area is vibrant, it has been worsening over the past few decades.
- Recently, six new animal species, including the large-antlered muntjac, Annamite muntjac, grey-shanked douc, leaf deer, saola, and Annamite striped rabbit, were found in the Indo-Burma region.
- You may find species like monkeys, langurs, and gibbons, all of which have populations under 100.
- The endemic freshwater turtle species can be found in the area.
- About 1300 birds may be seen here, many of which are endangered, including white-eared night-heron, Grey-crowned Crocias, and orange-necked Patridge.
- It is home to almost 13,500 plant species, half indigenous and unique to that area of the world.
Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, and Malaysia are part of this biodiversity hotspot located in Southeast Asia.
In addition, India is represented by the Nicobar Islands, and the United Nations designated these islands as a global biosphere reserve in 2013.
- These islands contain a diverse terrestrial ecology, including mangroves, seagrass beds, coral reefs, and rich marine habitats.
- Marine biodiversity includes dolphins, whales, turtles, crocodiles, fish, prawns, lobsters, and seashells.
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