Haritima : The Environmental Society Of Hansraj College

Biodiversity of India

Biodiversity meaning

Biodiversity means a variety of organisms available in any environment.

  • Bio (Biological) + diversity (variety)

Definition:- The sum total of various types of microbes, plants, and animals (producers, consumers, and decomposers) in a system.


Geography of India has ingrained India with a rich diversity of biological organisms. Mountains, oceans, rivers, different types of soils, geographic locations, and features are some common mentioning when it comes to attribution of mega diversity in India. India is included in the top 10 rich biodiversity nations in the world.

India has 350 different mammals (rated eight highest in the world), 1,200 species of birds (eighth in the world), 453 species of reptiles (fifth in the world), and 45,000 plant species, of which most are angiosperms (fifteenth in the world).

Many species of plants and animals are endemic to India.  Also, the cultivation of large numbers of diverse crops is one of its rich biodiversity factors.

  • India has different climates and topography in different parts (like cold in North, deserted in West, mountainous in East, coastal in the south) hence is termed as a mega diversity country.


India is classified into 10 biological zones which have their geographic features, contributing to Biodiversity in the region.


Biodiversity hotspots are the areas that are exceptionally rich in biodiversity but highly threatened at the same time.

Many countries across the world have a higher proportion of biodiversity (especially developing countries like Brazil, South Africa, India, etc.) Due to its great significance, developed countries came together to form various conventions like CITES, CMS etc. to protect such hotspots from extinction.

  • Near about 200 areas are supposed to have rich diversity together termed as Global200.

In India, North East and the Western Ghats are one such example of Global Hotspot. Andaman and Nicobar islands also have very rich biodiversity, coral reefs of India are another such example.

Many wildlife centuries, national parks, and reserves have been made for preserving biodiversity in an in-situ mode of conservation.

At the global level, many forests of Africa and South America are treated as biodiversity hotspots.Lungs of Earth– Amazon forest is also very rich in biodiversity but treated by anthropogenic factors.


1.Endangered species:- The flora or fauna which are at the risk of becoming extinct are called endangered species.

Many species of flora like teak, babul, jammun, sandalwood, medicinal plants and many other herbs and shrubs are endangered in India.

Fauna species like tigers, gharial, golden langur, husk, etc. are few endangered species.

2.Endemic species:- Those species of flora and fauna that are found only at a particular place or native to one place are called Endemic species.

In India, more than 50% of endemic species are found in Eastern and Western Ghats.Few flora species like Sapria himalayana, Uvaria lurida, Nepenthes khasiana, etc. are endemic to India.Fauna species like Nilgiri Langur, Lion-tailed macaques, Nilgiri tahr, etc. are some examples of endemic species.

India has passed acts like Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 to protect these species. This includes lists of plants and animals categorised according to the threat to their survival.

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