White-cheeked Dancing Frog, Andaman Smoothhound shark and Yellow Himalayan Fritillary are among 29 new species assessed in India that are under threat, according to the latest update to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List unveiled during the COP15 biodiversity conference here in Canada.
- Over 15,000 scientists and experts from around the world are part of the IUCN Commission.
- They found 1,355 of over 9,472 species of plants, animals, and fungi across India’s land, freshwater, and seas assessed for the Red List are considered to be under threat, classed as critically endangered, endangered, or vulnerable to extinction.
- According to the data shared by IUCN, 239 new species analysed in India have entered the list. Of these, 29 are threatened.
- The IUCN Red List now includes 150,388 species, of which 42,108 are threatened with extinction. Over 1,550 of the 17,903 marine animals and plants assessed are at risk of extinction, with climate change impacting at least 41% of threatened marine species.
- For instance, globally, populations of dugongs—large herbivorous marine mammals—and 44% of all abalone shellfish species have entered the IUCN Red List as threatened with extinction.
- Data shows the pillar coral has deteriorated to Critically Endangered due to accumulated pressures.
About Dancing Frog (Micrixalus candidus)
- According to IUCN, the white-cheeked Dancing Frog (Micrixalus candidus), which has entered the Red List as endangered, is only known from a small range with an extent of occurrence of 167 square kilometers (km2) in the Western Ghats of Karnataka, a biodiversity hotspot.
- “It is considered to be uncommon. Its habitat is threatened by the conversion of forest to areca nut and coffee plantations.
- They are endangered with extinction due to loss of their habitat, pollution, changes in temperature, diseases, pests, invasive species among others.
About Andaman Smoothhound (Mustelus andamanensis)
- The Andaman Smoothhound (Mustelus andamanensis) has been included in the Red List as Vulnerable. This recently described shark is found in the Andaman Sea in the Eastern Indian Ocean off the coast of Myanmar, Thailand, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
- It is subject to fishing pressure across its spatial and depth range. It is taken as a bycatch in industrial and artisanal fisheries with multiple fishing gears including trawl, longline, and gillnet.
- This new species is currently only known from the Andaman Sea and endemic to India.
Yellow Himalayan Fritillary plant (Fritillaria cirrhosa)
- The Yellow Himalayan Fritillary plant (Fritillaria cirrhosa), which has been included in the Red List as Vulnerable, is mostly found in the Himalayas. It occurs in Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan.
- In the Indian Himalayas, the species is threatened due to unorganised harvest, over-extraction, unsustainable and premature harvesting of bulbs, coupled with illegal hidden markets
- Over the last few years, a rapid decline has been reported and raised high conservation concerns on the rapid population decline of Fritillaria cirrhosa in the Western Himalayas.
- Harvested and traded with a new trade name i.e., ‘Jangli lehsun’ probably to disguise common Allium species, the species is facing tremendous decline in wild populations due to its illegal harvesting and trade in Himachal Pradesh.
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