1. Agriculture World

214 Species are Threatened with Extinction in Kerala, as per a Study

Dr. Sureshan stated that the programme drew 45 experts from more than 18 research organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) both within and outside the state. The study discovered that 20 species of birds, 54 species of reptiles, 35 species of freshwater fishes, 49 species of butterflies, 38 species of odonates, 15 species of freshwater crabs, and three species of non-marine mollusks are all under threat in varying degrees.

Shivam Dwivedi
Grizzled Giant Squirrel
Grizzled Giant Squirrel

During a regional level assessment conducted in Kerala, the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) discovered that 214 species are facing extinction. The study report was submitted to the Kerala State Biodiversity Board (KSBB), which has been tasked with preparing a document on the animals facing extinction in the state.

P.M. Sureshan, former Joint Director and Officer in Charge of ZSI, K.A. Subramanian, scientist, ZSI, Chennai, and Jafer Palot, scientist, ZSI, Pune, prepared the report, which was submitted in January of this year. The research was carried out between 2019 and 2021 in all 14 districts of Kerala.

Findings of Study:

Dr. Sureshan said that the study, which was funded by the KSSB, was carried out in response to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) assessment, which identified 234 animal species in the State as facing various levels of extinction.

He stated that the programme drew 45 experts from more than 18 research organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) both within and outside the state. The study discovered that 20 species of birds, 54 species of reptiles, 35 species of freshwater fishes, 49 species of butterflies, 38 species of odonates, 15 species of freshwater crabs, and three species of non-marine mollusks are all under threat in varying degrees.

Experts recommended a total of 37 species for notification under Section 38 of the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 in order to ensure their conservation by the KSBB, including three species of mammals, seven birds, two reptiles, three amphibians, nine freshwater fishes, five butterflies, two odonates, and four species of freshwater crabs.

Aside from these, experts discovered that eight species of mammals, 15 species of birds, ten species of reptiles, three species of frogs, seventeen freshwater fishes, and five species of butterflies face serious threats as a result of wildlife trade, illegal hunting, over-exploitation for food, and habitat destruction.

According to Dr. Sureshan, populations of many animal species are declining in the state as a result of increasing anthropogenic pressure and habitat destruction, which is not being properly assessed in order to initiate appropriate conservation measures.

The study is significant because several animal species listed as least concerned on the global IUCN red list are frequently threatened with extinction in Kerala for a variety of reasons.

Dr. Sureshan stated that the program's main objectives were to prepare a red data book of threatened animal species in the state using IUCN guidelines at the regional level, to prepare a priority list of species for conservation and local action, and to notify species under Section 38 of the Biological Diversity Act, and to prepare a list of species commercially traded, and to suggest recommendations for sustainable development.

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