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:

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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:
  1. 200 plant species in Arunachal Pradesh
  2. 526 from Nagaland
  3. 194 species in Tripura
  4. 834 found in Meghalaya
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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

Deforestation:

Cutting down trees is the primary issue faced by various wildlife resources. With deforestation, the forest cover is disappearing gradually.

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Encroachment:

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.

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Forest Fire:

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.

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Also read: Inferno amid a pandemic: Tezpur’s Chowk Bazar still counting losses



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