Andaman & Nicobar Islands are to home to a tenth of India’s fauna species and hosts 1,067 endemic faunal species found nowhere else. It was revealed by Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) publication titled Faunal Diversity of Biogeographic Zones: Islands of India. This publication for the first time has come up with the database of all faunal species found on the island. It has the database of species found in particular category of animals and also highlights most vulnerable among them.
The total area of A&N Islands, which comprises of 572 islands, islets and rocky outcrops, is about 8,249 sq. km has around total 11,009 species. It comprises only 0.25% of India’s geographical area but is home to more than 10% of the country’s fauna species. Thus, the presence of such a large number of species in such a small area makes A&I Islands one of the richest ecosystems and biodiversity hotspots in India.
Tourism, illegal construction and mining are posing threat to the islands’ biodiversity, which is already vulnerable to volatile climatic factors. Some of the species in A&N Islands are restricted to a very small area and thus more vulnerable to any anthropogenic threat.