Vanishing wildlife: 22 species have gone extinct in India

  1. According to the data tabled in the Lok Sabha by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change,4 species of fauna and 18 species of flora have gone extinct in India in the past few centuries.
  2. The data has shown that among mammals,the following are considered extinct in India (a)Cheetah(Acinonyx jubatus) (b)Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) (c)Pink-headed duck (Rhodonessa caryophyllacea) and (d)Himalayan quail (Ophrysia superciliosa).
  3. The factors like competition, predation, natural selection and human induced factors like hunting, habitat degradation are some of the important reasons that have led to these extinction.
  4. However,these four animals can be found in other parts of the world. India has about 6.49% of all the fauna species in the world.
  5. Further,the 18 species of plants which consists of 4 non-flowering and 14 flowering plants have also gone extinct. 
  6. Notable among them are Lastreopsis wattii,a fern in Manipur discovered by George Watt in 1882 and three species from the genus Ophiorrhiza (Ophiorrhiza brunonis,Ophiorrhiza caudate and Ophiorrhiza radican) all discovered from peninsular India. 
  7. Corypha taliera Roxb, a palm species discovered in Myanmar and the Bengal region by William Roxburgh is also extinct.India is home to 11.5% of all flora in the world.