India Biodiversity Profile

India, a megadiverse country with only 2.4% of the world's land area, accounts for 7-8% of all recorded species, including over 45,000 species of plants and 91,000 species of animals. It is situated at the tri-junction of the Afrotropical, Indo-Malayan and Palaearctic realms, all of which support rich biodiversity. Being one of the 17 identified megadiverse countries, India has 10 biogeographic zones and is home to 8.58% of the mammalian species documented so far, with the corresponding figures for avian species being 13.66%, for reptiles 7.91%, for amphibians 4.66%, for fishes 11.72% and for plants 11.80%. Four of the 34 globally identified biodiversity hotspots, namely the Himalaya, Indo-Burma, the Western Ghats-Sri Lanka and Sundaland, are represented in India. India is an acknowledged centre of crop diversity and harbours hundreds of varieties of crop plants such as rice, maize, millets etc. The diverse physical features and climatic conditions have resulted in a variety of ecosystems such as forests, grasslands, wetlands, desert, coastal and marine ecosystems which harbour and sustain high biodiversity and contribute to human well-being.




Faunal and floral diversity


Taxonomic group

Number of species

  World India Percentage in India
Protista (Protozoa) 31,250 3500 11.20
Animalia 1,53,122 3,033 1 8.51
Mesozoa 71 10 14.08
Porifera 5000 500 10.00
Cnidaria 10,105 1042 10.31
Ctenophora 100 12 12.00
Platyhelminthes 17,511 1,650 9.42
Rotifera 2500 330 13.20
Gastrotricha 3000 100 3.33
Kinorhyncha 100 10 10.00
Nematoda 30,028 2902 9.66
Acanthocephala 800 229 28.63
Sipuncula 145 35 24.14
Mollusca 66,535 5169 7.77
Echiura 127 43 33.86
Annelida 17,000 1000 5.88
Onychophora 100 1 1.00
Arthropoda 11,81,398 74,175 6.28
Crustacea 60,000 3549 5.91
Insecta 10,20,007 63,423 6.22
Arachnida 73,451 5850 7.96
Pycnogonida 600 17 2.83
Chilopoda 8000 101 1.26
Diplopoda 7500 162 2.16
Symphyla 120 4 3.33
Merostomata 4 2 50.00
Phoronida 11 3 27.27
Bryozoa (Ectoprocta) 4000 200 5.00
Entoprocta 60 10 16.67
Brachiopoda 300 3 1.00
Chaetognatha 111 30 27.03
Tardigrada 514 30 5.84
Echinodermata 6600 779 11.80
Hemichordata 120 12 10.00
Chordata 64,669 5,665 8.76
Protochordata 2106 119 5.65
Pisces 32,120 3,022 9.41
Amphibia 6771 342 5.05
Reptilia 9230 526 5.70
Aves 9026 1,233 13.66
Mammalia 5416 423 7.81
Total (Animalia) 13,99,189 92,873 6.64
Grand total (Protista + Animalia) 14,30,439 96,373 6.74

 




The numbers of Indian plants in various IUCN (2013) threat categories


Plant group

Number of species described

  India
Algae 7,244  
Bryophytes 2,504
Pteridophytes 1,267
Gymnosperms 74
Angiosperms 17,926
Total 29,015

 




Faunal and floral diversity


Sl. No.

Category

Number of Number of cultivated plants

Number of cultivated plants wild relatives

       
1 Cereals 15 37
2 Millets 13 33
3 Grain 18 36
4 Vegetables 105 168
5 Fruits and nuts 117 176
6 Oilseeds 19 13
7 Sugar-yielding plants 3 18
8 Fibre crops 12 23
9 Forage/fodder crops 96 33
10 Spices and condiments 46 123
11 Plantation crops 20 21
12 Medicinal and aromatic plants 89 58
13 Ornamental plants 182 90
14 Agro-forestry species 35 31
15 Other crops 41 42
  Total 811 902