A&N Islands: home to a tenth of India’s fauna species (The islands,…
A&N Islands: home to a tenth of India’s fauna species
The islands, comprising only 0.25% of country’s geographical area, has 11,009 species, according to a publication by the Zoological Survey of India
The Narcondam hornbill, its habitat restricted to a lone island
the Nicobar megapode, a bird that builds nests on the ground
the Nicobar treeshrew, a small mole-like mammal
the Long-tailed Nicobar macaque
and the Andaman day gecko
are among the 1,067 endemic faunal species found only on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and nowhere else.
The total area of the A&N Islands, which comprises of 572 islands, islets and rocky outcrops, is about 8,249 sq. km
Of the ten species of marine fauna found on the islands, the dugong/sea cow, and the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin, are both classified as Vulnerable under the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List of Threatened Species.
Among the 46 terrestrial mammalian species found, three species have been categorised as Critically Endangered — Andaman shrew ( Crocidura andamanensis ), Jenkin’s shrew ( C. jenkinsi ) and Nicobar shrew ( C. nicobarica ).
Five species are listed as Endangered, nine species as Vulnerable, and one species as Near Threatened, according to the IUCN.
A recent publication by the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) titled Faunal Diversity of Biogeographic Zones: Islands of India has for the first time come up with a database of all faunal species found on the island, putting the number at 11,009.
The population of the islands, which includes six particularly vulnerable tribal groups (PVTGs) is not more than 4 lakh
In a recent development, the Government of India relaxed the Restricted Area Permit (RAP) norms for some foreign nationalities notified under the Foreigners (Restricted Areas) Order, 1963, to visit 29 of its inhabited islands, till December 31, 2022.