30 March, 2020
7 Min Read
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III- Environment
A recent study by scientists of the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) has proved that Himalayan Ibex is a distinct species from the Siberian Ibex.
Siberian Ibex (Capra sibirica)
Himalayan Ibex (Capra sibirica hemalayanus)
Zoological Survey of India (ZSI)
Endemic species are those that are found in just one region and nowhere else in the world. For example, kangaroos are originally endemic to Australia and are found nowhere else in the world. The cases where they have been spotted outside their natural habitat is due to humans introducing them when the animal was in captivity.
There are also other marsupials that are endemic only to Australia and its surrounding islands. The Tasmanian Tiger is one such animal that was endemic to Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea. But now, it is extinct.
Endemic Species of India
A list of the endemic species of India is mentioned below:
Asiatic Lion, Gir Forest
Asiatic Lion is also known as the Indian Lion and can be only found in and around Gir Forest National Park of Gujarat. These are listed as endangered species. These are one of the five big cats found in India, the others being Indian Leopards and Bengal Tigers.
Kashmir Stag, Kashmir Valley
Also known as Hangul, Kashmir Stag is found in the dense forests of Dachigum National Park, Kasmir Valley and Chamba district, Himachal Pradesh.
Lion-Tailed Macaque, Western Ghats
It is the rarest and the most threatened and endangered primate species found only in the Western Ghats of Southern India.
Purple Frog, Western Ghats
The purple frog, also known as Pignose frog is only found in the rainforests of western ghats in India. It spends most of its life underground.
Sangai Deer, Loktak Lake
It is also known as Brow Antlered Deer exclusively found in Keibul Lamjao National Park of Manipur. This park is a marshy wetland located in the southern parts of Loktak lake.
Nilgiri Tahr, Nilgiri Hills
It is a wild sheep species, endangered and endemic to the Nilgiri Hills of Western Gats.
Other endemic species of India include:
Name some plant species that are endemic.
Some of the endemic plant species include- Nevada primrose, Waxflower, Pennell’s whitlowgrass, Intermountain wavewing, Mt. Wheeler sandwort, etc.
Examples of Endemic species
There are several ways in which a species may come to be endemic to a particular area. A broadly distributed population may disappear from several habitats due to changes which have occurred in their natural habitat. The changes could be an influx of predators, human activities, and climate changes.
All other species that were widely distributed around the world starts to die out until the species becomes forcefully restrained to just one region.
For example, Endemic species, such as the tortoises of the Galápagos and the lemurs of Madagascar can be found small islands. Big islands also provide the same isolation but on a larger scale.
Antarctica Hawaii and Australia are all huge land masses where we can find a lot of endemic species. Kangaroos, koalas, and polar bears are all endemic to these places.
In the case of endemic plants, sometimes species become endemic due to habitat destruction as discussed above.
The Redwood Forest on the West Coast of the United States has become endemic as it is now almost entirely limited to California. While there was a time when Redwoods used to cover much of the United States but have been destroyed by logging and are now limited to a small conservation area.
Diseases, on the other hand, can also be endemic. An endemic disease may be geographically isolated or it may be isolated to a certain group. Malaria is an example of an endemic disease because it is mostly limited to small pockets of infection in Africa.
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