The International Day for Biological Diversity is marked on May 22 to raise and create awareness about biodiversity issues. The theme of the day this year is – “We’re part of the solution #ForNature.”
The biodiversity of the Northeast is a genetic treasure of various forms of plants and animals. The region comes under the Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspot which ranks 6th among the 25 biodiversity hotspot of the world. Most of the North-Eastern states have more than 60% of their area under forest cover.
The following facts and figures from a research article, “Northeast India: A Unique Biodiversity Hotspot” by Jeev Prabha and Dr. Anju Jain (Daulat Ram College, DU) prove that the title of biodiversity hotspot given to North East India is quite appropriate:
Flora in the Northeastern region:
- 6 out of 9 important vegetation type in India is found in this region.
- Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim have the highest diversity of floral species.
- Out of 1,500 endangered floral species, 800 are present in North East India.
- It has a wide coverage of mountains adding to the beauty of the region and supporting some rare species.
- Many medicinal plants are found in the North East region that has been proven to cure several diseases. They are as follows:
- 200 plant species in Arunachal Pradesh
- 526 from Nagaland
- 194 species in Tripura
- 834 found in Meghalaya
Fauna in the Northeastern region:
- The NE region comprises of 3,624 species of insects, 236 fishes, 541 birds, 160 mammalian species etc, making it rich in the diversification of species.
- New species like leaf deer and Tawang macaque are found in this region.
- This area has the prestige of having all the bear species present in India.
- This region holds the esteem of being home to Asian elephants, one-horned rhinoceros, brow-antlered deer (Sangai) and wild water buffalo.
- Snakes are found in abundance in Northeast.
Prevailing threats to biological diversity
Cutting down trees is the primary issue faced by various wildlife resources. With deforestation, the forest cover is disappearing gradually.
Encroachment of forestland is a serious threat to forests and their conservation. This is not only leading to the loss of the forest areas but our wildlife is also in danger.
Forest fires are now common, and having a terrible impact on the forest cover of the Northeast. Wildlife is also affected negatively by this issue.