Endemic species are the species of plants and animals that remain in one particular geographical region. They can be endemic to a small or large area of a region, to a particular continent or even a single island.
Typically, such entities are isolated because of which they find it difficult to move across other areas else it has significant environmental characteristics to which they are adapted uniquely.
Endemic species stay confined to a particular area as they are highly adaptive to a selective niche. They eat a certain kind of plant found nowhere except that region, else they may be adaptive to a specific climate and soil type and hence thrive only there and nowhere else.
They are at the brink of becoming extinct because of such specializations and their inability to move to different habitats. More so, when they are afflicted with a new disease, their habitat is threatened. They may also go extinct because of the entrance of invasive species.
Listed below are 5 endemic species in India that are found nowhere else in the world except India.
- The Indian Purple Frog
They are a witness for the existence of the Gondwana – a supercontinent, as they are considered to be the only surviving member of an ancient amphibian family called the Nasikabatrachidae, which in 2006, got incorporated into the Sooglossidae.
The purple frog finds its closest relatives in 4 species of frogs in Seychelles in the Sooglossidae family.
- The Gooty Tarantula
These are found in a small area of less than 100 sq. Kms in Andhra Pradesh, India. Also, the Gooty Tarantula is a high-priced pet in the foreign pet trade though it is venomous in nature.
- The Fan-throated lizard
It is a species of the agamid lizard that is typically found in the south of India. The males of this species use their dewlap to charm its partner by enlarging it into a fan.
It is brought about by the expansion of a cartilaginous structure found under the skin.
- The Cochin Forest Cane Turtle
It is also known as Kavalai forest turtle or cane turtle and is rare from the Western Ghats. It inhabits in the dense forests, at an altitude of about 1,500 feet above the sea level.
- The Pygmy Hog
It belongs to the species of wild pigs and is the world’s smallest and rarest of its species. Previously, they were found across Bhutan and Nepal but now is limited to Assam only. Barely a foot tall and a few feet in length, they lack the characteristic squiggly tail as seen in other pigs.
Locally, it is called the Takuri Borah or NalGahori in Assamese and Sano Banel in Nepali. Currently, it is limited to a single effective population in the Manas Tiger Reserve and in a small community in the SonaiRupai Wildlife Sanctuary.
Apart from the animal kingdom, another major group of living organisms that shows extreme diversity is the plant kingdom. This diversity led biologists to group plant species into different subgroups and the overall classification of plants outnumber the classification of animals.
Plant classification is important as without it, the botanical world would just be considered as generic, green plants.
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