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India Host to Large Migratory Species

India Host to Large Migratory Species

Why in news?

  • Scientists say that the total number of migratory fauna from India comes to 457 species, with new additions to the wildlife list put out by the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS). Birds comprise 83% (380 species) of this figure.

Migratory species in India

  • The ZSI had put the number at 451. Six species were added later.
  • They are the Asian elephant, great Indian bustard, Bengal florican, oceanic white-tip shark, urial and smooth hammerhead shark.
  • Globally, more than 650 species are listed under the CMS appendices and India, with over 450 species, plays a very important role in their conservation.
  • The bird family Muscicapidae has the highest number of migratory species.
  • The next highest group of migratory birds is raptors or birds of prey, such as eagles, owls, vultures and kites which are from the family Accipitridae.
  • The estimate of 44 migratory mammal species in India has risen to 46 after COP 13.
  • The Asian elephant was added to Appendix I and the urial to Appendix II.
  • The largest group of mammals is definitely bats belonging to the family Vespertilionidae.
  • Dolphins are the second highest group of mammals with nine migratory species of dolphins listed.
  • Seven reptiles, which include five species of turtles and the Indian gharial and salt water crocodile, are among the CMS species found in India.

Flyways in India

  • India has three flyways (flight paths used by birds):
    • The Central Asian flyway,
    • East Asian flyway and East Asian,
    • Australasian flyway.
  • In India, their migratory species number 41, followed by ducks (38) belonging to the family Anatidae.

Zoological survey of India

  • The Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) was launched in 1916 to promote survey, exploration, and research to enhance the knowledge regarding the flora and fauna of the British Indian Empire. It is India’s apex organization on animal taxonomy.
  • The Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) is a premier Indian organization in zoological research and studies.
  • It originated as a Zoological Section of the Indian Museum in Kolkata.
  • Initially, the ZSI had eight regional centres across India. Currently, there are 16 regional centres spread across the country.
  • The headquarters are in Kolkata.
  • It has been declared as a designated repository for the National Zoological Collection as per Section 39 of the National Biodiversity Act, 2002.

Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS)

  • It is an environmental treaty under the aegis of the United Nations Environment Programme, CMS (also referred to as the Bonn Convention) provides a global platform for the conservation and sustainable use of migratory animals and their habitats.
  • It is the only global convention specializing in the conservation of migratory species, their habitats and migration routes.                India Host to Large Migratory Species
  • CMS brings together the States through which migratory animals pass, the Range States, and lays the legal foundation for internationally coordinated conservation measures throughout a migratory range.
  • India has signed non legally binding MOU with CMS on the conservation and management of Siberian Cranes (1998), Marine Turtles (2007), Dugongs (2008) and Raptors (2016).
  • India has been a Party to the CMS since 1983. The Conference of Parties (COP) is the decision-making organ of this convention.

Environment & Biodiversity