Friday, July 19, 2024

Researchers discover 21 new species of fauna in M’laya


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By Our Reporter

SHILLONG, July 1: Twenty-one new species of fauna were discovered in Meghalaya last year, a report titled “Animal Discoveries 2023: New Species and New Records” said. The report was released by Union Minister of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change, Bhupender Yadav on Monday.
He announced that India is the first country to compile a comprehensive checklist of its entire fauna, encompassing 1,04,561 species, thereby establishing its leadership in global biodiversity documentation.
Among the discoveries from Meghalaya, 21 new species and 4 new records were noted. The most remarkable finding was Neolissochilus pnar, the world’s largest cave fish. It was discovered in the limestone caves. The species is named after the Pnar sub-tribal group of the Khasi people in East Jaintia Hills where it was found.
Meghalaya’s limestone caves, such as Krem Um Ladaw and Krem Chympe in Jaintia Hills, are known for their rich subterranean biodiversity. The entrance to Krem Um Ladaw is a large, open pitch head in a seasonally dry streambed within a forest, while Krem Chympe is a horizontal river cave with deep water tunnels and small waterfalls. The Neolissochilus pnar was collected from these locations in 2019 and 2020.
Another significant discovery in Meghalaya was the amphibian species Amolops siju, described so by researchers Bhaskar Saikia, Bikramjit Sinha, A Shabnam and KP Dinesh. This species was found in the dark and twilight zones of Siju Cave in South Garo Hills and its name is derived from the locality where it was discovered.
In 2023, Indian scientists, academicians, and researchers documented 641 discoveries, including 442 new species, 199 new records for India, and 19 new genera.
Yadav emphasized that India’s commitment to biodiversity conservation is reflected in its traditions and values, positioning the country as a global leader in this field.
Out of the 641 new species and records documented across the country, 138 new species and records were found in the Northeast.


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