India to add 641 new animal species, 339 new plant species in 2023

India to add 641 new animal species, 339 new plant species in 2023


Union Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Bhupender Yadav with Zoological Survey of India Director Dhriti Banerjee and Botanical Survey of India Director AA Mao during an event to release Discovery of Animals and Plants 2023

Union Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Bhupender Yadav with Zoological Survey of India Director Dhriti Banerjee and Botanical Survey of India Director AA Mao during an event to release Discovery of Animals and Plants 2023

A new species of turmeric in Manipur and a new species of bat in Karnataka are among the plant and animal species likely to be discovered in India in 2023, according to data released by Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav on Sunday.

These are among the 641 new species added to the Indian fauna in 2023, including 442 entirely new species and 199 species that have been recorded recently in the country. India also added 339 taxa to its plant database, including 326 species and 13 infraspecific taxa. Of these, 171 taxa are new to science and 168 taxa are new distribution records from India. Taxa can refer to a subspecies or variety of a plant species.

The search for new plants in 2023 included Curcuma kakuchingenseA new species of turmeric was discovered in Kakching, Manipur, and Astasia wainuiA flowering plant discovered at the Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden in Howrah, West Bengal.

Important animal discoveries include: Capra himalayensisWhich proves that the Himalayan Ibex, distributed in the Trans-Himalayan ranges of Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh, is a different species from the Siberian Ibex. Miniopterus shriniA new species of folded-wing bat was also discovered in Kodagu district of Karnataka.

Kerala tops the list

Most of the new animal discoveries were from southern India. Kerala topped the list with 101 species (74 entirely new species, 27 new records), followed by West Bengal with 72 new species and Tamil Nadu with 64.

The vast majority of these new discoveries among organisms have been recorded in the invertebrate category, with 564 new species observed in 2023; only 77 vertebrate species, the majority of which were fish species, were discovered in 2023.

“The trend of new discoveries in different groups remained similar to that of previous years, with insects dominating invertebrates with 369 species, while fishes dominated in vertebrates with 47 species, followed by reptiles, amphibians, mammals and birds the least,” find animals 2023'Zoological Taxonomy', an annual publication published by the Zoological Survey of India, a premier institution dealing with animal classification, completed 109 years on Sunday.

new wild plants

West Bengal reported the highest number of new plant discoveries at 52, followed by Kerala and Uttarakhand. The new discoveries include several potential horticultural, agricultural, medicinal and ornamental plants such as Begonia, Impatiens or Balsam, legumes, Zingiber and wild relatives of orchids. Plant Discoveries 2023It is an annual publication published by the Botanical Survey of India, a premier institution working on plant taxonomy for about 120 years.

“This section recorded 106 angiosperms, 2 pteridophytes, 16 bryophytes, 44 lichens, 111 fungi, 50 algae and 10 microorganisms. Hotspot regions like Western Ghats and North Eastern regions contributed 14% of the total discoveries,” the publication said.

Detailed Checklist

Apart from these publications, the environment minister also launched the first-of-its-kind 'Fauna of India Checklist Portal'. It contains 121 checklists of all known taxa, covering 36 phyla, and provides information about all 1,04,561 animal species spread across India. The list also includes endemic, threatened and scheduled species.

Citing research, Mr Yadav said that the growth of specific trees in specific areas is not accidental, as they interact with their environment through specific characteristics. He also emphasised the importance of conserving not just endangered species, but also biogeographic regions across the country.


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