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Biodiversity Hotspots in India 

Biodiversity Hotspots in India 


  • The concept of biodiversity hotspot was put forward by Norman Myers in 1988.
  • To be qualified as a biodiversity hotspot, a region must fulfill the following two criteria:
  1. Species Endemism : The region must possess 1500 species of vascular plants as endemic (i.e. more than 0.5% of the world’s total species of vascular plants).
  2. Degree of threat: The region must have lost almost 70% of its original habitat. Thus, each biodiversity hotspot represents a remarkable biodiversity with significant threat.
  • So far, 34 biodiversity hotspots have been recognised in the world. It is estimated that 50% of world’s plant species and 42% of all vertebrate species are endemic to 34 biodiversity hotspots of the world.

Biodiversity Hotspots in India 

In India, there are two biodiversity hotspots: (1) Eastern Himalayas and (2) Western Ghats.

Eastern Himalayas

  • It comprises of Bhutan and North-Eastern India including Arunachal Pradesh, parts of Assam, Nagaland, Sikkim and South-Eastern Nepal.
  • This hotspot comprises of North-Eastern Himalayan region. Due to high altitudinal variation, this region experiences diversity of ecosystems.

Western Ghats and Sri Lanka

  • This biodiversity hotspot manifests a wide variation in rainfall patterns leading to a large variety of flora and fauna.
  • However, due to tremendous population pressure, less than 10% of this area is maintained in its original condition.
  • The above mentioned biodiversity hotspots, i.e., Western Ghats and Eastern Himalayas are located within India.
  • Apart from these two hotspots, parts of India are also included in the Indo-Burma hotspot.
  • The Indo-Burma hotspot encompasses parts of North-Eastern states in India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Yunan province of China.


  • A hope spot is an area of an ocean that needs special protection because of its wildlife and significant underwater habitats.
  • Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep Islands have recently been named as the new `hope spots’ by the IUCN and Mission Blue, an organization involved in the study of oceans.
  • The two group of islands, considered extremely rich in marine biodiversity, are the first places in India to have been added in the list of 50 global hope spots.

Need for Declaring Hope Spots

  • About 12 percent of land around the world is under some form of protection (as national parks, world heritage sites, monuments), while less than one per cent of the oceans is protected.
  • By identifying such hope spots, the IUCN wants to ‘scale up the marine protection necessary for the sustainable development of the ocean’.


Environment & Biodiversity

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