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Tags Current Affairs

India host to large migratory species

Date: 03 March 2020 Tags: Biodiversity

Issue

Scientists say that the total number of migratory fauna from India comes to 457 species, with new additions to the wildlife list put out by the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS). Birds comprise 83% (380 species) of this figure.

 

Background

The Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) had for the first time compiled the list of migratory species of India under the CMS before the Conference of Parties (COP 13) held in Gujarat recently.

 

Details

  • The ZSI had put the number at 451. Six species were added later. They are the Asian elephant, great Indian bustard, Bengal florican, oceanic white-tip shark, urial and smooth hammerhead shark.

  • Globally, more than 650 species are listed under the CMS appendices and India, with over 450 species, plays a very important role in their conservation.

  • The bird family Muscicapidae has the highest number of migratory species. The next highest group of migratory birds is raptors or birds of prey, such as eagles, owls, vultures and kites which are from the family Accipitridae.

  • India has three flyways (flight paths used by birds): the Central Asian flyway, East Asian flyway and East Asian, Australasian flyway. Another group of birds that migrate in large numbers are waders or shore birds. In India, their migratory species number 41, followed by ducks (38) belonging to the family Anatidae.

  • The estimate of 44 migratory mammal species in India has risen to 46 after COP 13. The Asian elephant was added to Appendix I and the urial to Appendix II.

  • The largest group of mammals is definitely bats belonging to the family Vespertilionidae. Dolphins are the second highest group of mammals with nine migratory species of dolphins listed.

  • Fishes make up another important group of migratory species. Before COP 13, the ZSI had compiled 22 species, including 12 sharks and 10 ray fish. The oceanic white-tip shark and smooth hammerhead shark were then added.

  • Seven reptiles, which include five species of turtles and the Indian gharial and salt water crocodile, are among the CMS species found in India.

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