India’s biodiversity-rich zones also ‘hotspots’ of human impacts

  1. A study titled “Hotspots of human impact on threatened terrestrial vertebrates”, published in the journal PLOS Biology,  has reported human impacts on species occur across 84% of the earth’s surface.
  2. The study has mapped distribution of human activities in areas occupied by known 5,457 terrestrial birds, mammals, and amphibians.  The human activities taken into account are hunting, harvesting, and the conversion of natural habitats for agriculture, urbanisation, and other industrial activity.
  3. The study identified global hotspots of impacted species- regions were species are most impacted by anthropogenic activities. Malaysia has ranked first among the countries with the highest number of impacted species (125), followed by Brunei and Singapore. India has ranked 16th (35 threatened species affected on average). Forests in Western Ghats, Himalaya and north-east are particularly threatened.
  4. The study has also identified ‘coolspots’ that act as refuges from threats. The study has reported that the tundra and boreal forest are the only biomes where more species are unimpacted than impacted on average.