ZSI Current Affairs - 2019
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Scientists from Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) have discovered new frog species in the fast flowing streams in Talle Valley Wildlife Sanctuary (WLS) in Lower Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh.
The new species has been named Odorrana arunachalensis after the state Arunachal Pradesh were it was found. It is one of the five frog species discovered in India in recent times and the 59th in the world.
Odorrana Arunachalensis belong to genus Odorrana (commonly known as the odorous frog). Odorrana is a genus of true frogs (Ranidae) from East Asia and surrounding regions including India. There are over 50 species of frogs belonging to the genus Odorrana.
Odorrana Arunachalensis is medium-sized green frog adapted for life in torrential waters of Arunachal Pradesh. It dwells in moss and fern covered rocky section along hill streams in mixed wet tropical forest type
It has black band-like mark between the eyes which is its distinguishing character that separates it from all the other frog species of this genus.This new species is majorly sighted during the wet season from April to September. They are not seen in the dry seasons.
Talley Valley Wildlife Sanctuary
It is a wildlife sanctuary as well as a bio-diversity hotspot located in Arunachal Pradesh. It is situated at the altitude of 2400 metres with rivers like Pange, Sipu, Karing and Subansiri flowing through the Reserved Forest and Sanctuary.
It mainly comprises sub-tropical and alpine forests and has variety of flora and fauna, many of which are endangered. Talley is plateau with dense forest of silver fir trees, pine clad plateau of beautiful grandeur, and vast wasteland. It is home to highly endangered species like clouded leopard. Pleioblastus simone is a bamboo variety only found in Talley Valley.
Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) for the first time compiled a list of alien invasive animal species, totalling 157. This number excludes invasive microbe species.
This compilation was announced on the sidelines of National Conference on Status of Invasive Alien Species in India organised by the ZSI and Botanical Survey of India (BSI).
Alien invasive species
Alien species become ‘invasive’ when they are introduced deliberately or accidentally outside their natural areas, where they out-compete native species and upset ecological balance. Invasive animal species pose a threat to biodiversity and human well-being. They harm agriculture and biodiversity.
Common characteristics of invasive species are rapid reproduction and growth, high dispersal ability, ability to survive on various food types and in a wide range of environmental condition and ability to adapt physiologically to new conditions (phenotypic plasticity).
Of the total 157 listed species by ZSI, 58 are found on land and in freshwater habitats, while 99 are found in marine ecosystem. The 58 invasive species found on land and in freshwater comprises 19 species of fish, 31 species of arthropods, 3 of molluscs and birds, 1 of reptile and 2 of mammals.
Among alien invasive marine species, genus Ascidia accounts for maximum number of species (31), followed by Arthropods (26), Annelids (16), Cnidarian (11), Bryzoans (6), Molluscs (5), Ctenophora (3), and Entoprocta (1).
Some of alien species are
Achatina fulica (African apple snail): It is most invasive among all alien fauna in India. It is mollusc and was first reported in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Now it is found all across country and is threatening habitats of several native species.
Paracoccus marginatus (Papaya Mealy Bug): It is native to Mexico and Central America. It is believed to have destroyed huge crops of papaya in Assam, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu.
Phenacoccus solenopsis (Cotton Mealybug): It is native of North America. It has severely affected cotton crops in the Deccan.
Pterygoplichthys pardalis (Amazon sailfin catfish): It is responsible for destroying fish populations in the wetlands of Kolkata.