New list of endangered animals, plants likely soon
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The state government may soon come out with a new list of critically endangered, endangered, vulnerable and threatened birds, animals and plants as well as biodiversity heritage sites (BHS) of Gujarat.
The Gujarat Biodiversity Board (GBB) is preparing the list, officials said, adding that the process of identification of the species to be included in the list had been on for the past many years.
The list of endemic, rare and red-listed species of animals in Gujarat has been received from the Zoological Survey of India, Jodhpur while the Botanical Survey of India, Jodhpur, has provided the list of endemic, rare and threatened taxa of plants, said a highly placed source in the Forests & Environment Department.
"The GBB is examining and verifying the lists, following which necessary steps may be taken to notify the list in different categories. The new list of birds is also ready," added the official.
Dr H S Singh, additional principal chief conservator of forests, social forestry who also heads GBB, said, "We have received studies from agencies like the Zoological Survey of India and Botanical Survey of India... We are finalising the list. The notification will be issued soon after clearance from the state government and the National Biodiversity Authority."
Stating that the new list is "tentative", Singh said, "Only critically endangered and endangered categories are likely to be recommended for notifying as threatened species under the Biological Diversity Act 2002."
The Board has also identified three new species of reptiles as critically endangered. All the three are sea turtles.
At present, there are 109 mammal species in the "danger zone". Seven species are already extinct while three are in 'critically endangered' list, five in 'endangered' list, 16 in 'vulnerable' list and seven in 'near-to-threat' list.
On the identification of biodiversity heritage sites, Singh said the process was on. "Some mangrove sites in south Gujarat have been identified as rich area and work is in progress to prepare the list."
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