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India ranks 16th in terms of highest number of impacted species in hotspots

Date: 13 March 2019 Tags: Biodiversity

In recently published study, India was ranked 16th in the world in terms of highest number of impacted species in biodiversity-rich zones (hotspots) due to human actions. In India, 35 species affected on an average in in biodiversity-rich zones.


It was recently published study in PLOS Biology, an international journal dedicated to biological science. It had mapped impact mainly due to eight human activities — including hunting and conversion of natural habitats for agriculture — in areas occupied by 5,457 threatened birds, mammals and amphibians worldwide. It had

Findings of Study

  • Human impacts on species occur across 84% of earth’s surface. Malaysia ranks first among countries with highest number of impacted species (on an average 125 spices).
  • Southeast Asian tropical forests — including India’s biodiversity-rich Western Ghats, Himalaya and north-east — also fall in this category.
  • 1,237 species are impacted by threats in more than 90% of their habitat; 395 species are affected by threats across their entire range.
  • Impact of roads is highest (affecting 72% of terrestrial areas), crop lands affect highest number of threatened species: 3,834.
  • Cool spots: These affected areas are also ‘cool-spots’ (the world’s last refuges where high numbers of threatened species still persist). They could be result of protection or because of intact habitat.
  • India related facts: On average number of species impacted in South Western Ghats montane rainforests is 60 and in Himalayan subtropical broadleaf forests it is 53.
  • Roads and croplands are extensive and conversion of habitat for such activities in India are main threat to biodiversity.
  • India still has crucial refuges for threaten species that needs protection. The main priority should be identifying such areas to aid conservation.
  • These refuge areas do not necessarily have to be protected from human development, but need to be freed of actions that directly threaten species there.
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