India adds 664 animal species to its faunal database in 2022, 339 taxa to its flora

Source: The post is based on the article “India adds 664 animal species to its faunal database in 2022, 339 taxa to its flora” published in The Hindu on 3rd July 2023

What is the News?

The Union Minister for Environment, Forest, and Climate Change has released data on the floral and faunal database in 2022.

What are the key highlights from the Flora and faunal database?

Faunal Discoveries: The faunal discoveries are compiled in a publication by the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) titled Animal Discoveries – New Species and New Records 2023.

According to the document, India has added 664 animal species to its faunal database in the year 2022. These comprise 467 new species and 197 new records [species found in India for the first time].

The maximum number of new faunal discoveries has been of invertebrates with 583 species, while vertebrates constitute 81 species.

In 2022, the maximum number of new discoveries were recorded from Kerala, followed by Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

Major faunal discoveries are:

– Two species of bats – Miniopterus phillipsi, a long-fingered bat and Glischropus meghalayanus, a bamboo-dwelling bat, both from Meghalaya. 

– Sela macaque (Macaca selai): It is a new macaque species discovered in western and central Arunachal Pradesh and named after the Sela Pass

– Macaca leucogenys: It is a white-cheeked macaque earlier found in Modog, southeastern Tibet, and sighted in India for the first time in 2022 in West Siang, Arunachal Pradesh.

– Ficedula zanthopygia: It is a yellow-rumped flycatcher, earlier known from Mongolia, Transbaikal, southern China, Korea, and western Japan, and found last year in Narcondam Island of the Andaman archipelago.

Floral Discoveries: The floral discoveries are contained in Plant Discoveries 2022 published by the Botanical Survey of India (BSI).

According to it, India has added 339 taxa to its flora during 2022. These comprise 319 species, and 20 infraspecific taxa as new to the Indian flora. 

The discoveries encompass seed plants, fungi, lichen, algae, bryophytes, microbes, and pteridophytes.

Western Himalayas and Western Ghats are prominent regions for plant discoveries.

Kerala recorded the highest number of plant discoveries (57), accounting for 16.8% of all discoveries.

Major new plant discoveries are:

– Nandadevia Pusalkar: It is common throughout the foothills and warm outer valleys of the Uttarakhand Himalayas. and 

– Nilgiriella Pusalkar: It is endemic to the southern Western Ghats of India and distributed in Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu.

— Calanthe lamellosa: It is an orchid species. It was earlier recorded in China and Myanmar, and found for the first time in India in the Japfu mountain range in Kohima, Nagaland.

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