New discoveries and new records of fauna and flora

In year 2021, India added on 540 species to its faunal database. Thus, total number of animal species now stands at 1,03,258. 315 taxa were also added on the Indian flora in 2021, taking the number of floral taxa to 55,048.

Key Facts

  • Out of 540 faunal species, number of newly discovered species were 406 and 134 were new records to India.
  • In 2021, 13 new genera were also discovered.
  • Among the new species, 1 species is from mammal, 19 from pisces and 35 reptiles.
  • 315 taxa of flora includes 298 species as well as 17 intraspecific taxa which are new for Indian flora. Out of total, 204 taxa are new for science and 125 are new distributional records from the country.

Newly discovered Mammal

Crocidura narcondamica is the newly discovered species of mammal.  It is a white-toothed shrew. It was discovered from Narcondam Island of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Newly discovered Reptile

Boiga whitakeri is the newly discovered species of reptiles in 2021. It is also called as Whitaker’s cat snake. It was discovered from Western Ghats in Tamil Nadu.

Hymenoptera Group

The greatest number of new discoveries belonged to faunal group Hymenoptera. It is an order of insects, which includes wasps, sawflies, ants and bees. In this group, a total of 80 species were discovered. One new genus was also discovered.

Contributions of scientists

According to Director of Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), Dhriti Banerjee, ZSI scientists have contributed 68% of animal discoveries in 2021.

India’s contribution to World’s species

With the number of faunal species at 1.03 lakh, India accounts for 6.1% of faunal diversity worldwide.

Zoological Survey of India (ZSI)

ZSI was established on July 1, 1916 by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. It was established as a premier organisation in zoological research & studies for the promotion of survey, exploration and research of  fauna in India.

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