Ecology | VOL. 15, ISSUE 91, July-August 2015

Are there still more? Discovering New Species

Discovering new species in India

It may be a wonder of sorts that India’s rich biodiversity periodically still manages to throw up new species of flora and fauna that was hitherto undiscovered, unreported, and unclassified. The species discoveries, perhaps stands testimonial to the alluring natural wealth of the country. The Botanical Survey of India (BSI) and the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) revealed on the World Environment Day on June 5, 2015 that a total number of 349 plants and animals have been discovered in the year 2014. Of these 173 are plant species and genera and 176 are animal species. Of the several discoveries we have brought forth four, to whet your appetite and drive you to ferret out discoveries in the still protected bastions of India. Dancing Frogs A great run for frog lovers—14 new species of ‘dancing frogs’ have been discovered by scientists in the Western Ghats last year. The striking haul pulled up the number of recognised Indian dancing frogs to 24 species. The spectacular discovery was a result of the unrelenting efforts of eminent amphibian biologist and wildlife conservationist Sathyabhama Das Biju and his team of young researchers. Fondly known as the ‘Frogman of India’, Biju has been scouring the Western Ghats for almost a decade in search of newer species of amphibians. The miniature amphibians earned their name from the peculiar side-kicks and leg stretching...

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