endangered and endemic species of India

Category Species Enlisted Highly Endangered Species
Higher plants 15,000 135 (As per list prepared
Mammals 372 69 by BSD
Birds 1,175 40 As per schedule of
Reptiles & Amphibians 580 22 wildlife Act, 1972,
Fish 1,693 N.A updated up to 1980.

Equally disturbing and the matter of far more consequence is that we have till now not explored even 10% of the existing biodiversity, and with such an alarm­ing rate of extinction, we have even been destroying species, the potential of which is either not studied or less studied. In other words, species are being destroyed with being even discovered or classified.

The causes for loss of species are complex and varied and prominent among these could be listed as follows:

(1) Modification, degradation and loss of habitats due to colonization and clear­ing of forest areas for settlement or agricultural expansion, commercial lodg­ings, large hydel schemes, fire, human and livestock pressure etc.

(2) Over exploitation, mainly for commercial (and often illegal) purposes like meat, fur, hides, body organs, medicinal etc.

(3) Accidental or deliberate introduction of exotic species which can threaten native flora and fauna directly by predation or by competition and also indi­rectly by altering the natural habitat or introducing diseases.

(4) Pollution (both air and water) stresses ecosystem, mismanagement of in­dustrial and agriculture wastes threaten both terrestrial and aquatic eco­system.

(5) Increase in the global surface temperature by 2° C to 6° C (global warming).

(6) The other possible reasons for loss of species could be improper use of agro- chemicals and pesticides, a rapidly growing human population, inequitable land distribution, economic and political policies and constraints