Why in News ?
- Researchers from the University of Delhi have named a newly-discovered frog species after former vice chancellor and renowned plant geneticist Prof. Deepak Pental.
- The species was discovered from the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot.
- The newly-discovered species, named Minervarya Pentali, is endemic to the southern Western Ghats.
- Biodiversity hotspots are regions with high species richness and a high degree of endemism.
- The concept of biodiversity hotspots was developed by Norman Myers in 1988.
- To qualify as hotspot a region should contain
- It must have at least 1,500 vascular plants as endemics — which is to say, it must have a high percentage of plant life found nowhere else on the planet. A hotspot, in other words, is irreplaceable.
- It must have 30% or less of its original natural vegetation. In other words, it must be threatened.
- Conservation International (CI), an American based Non Governmental Organisation, founded in 1987 with the goal of protecting nature for the benefit of people.
- In 1989, CI formally committed to the protection of biodiversity hotspots around the world. It identified 36 biodiversity hotspots so far.
- They represent just 2.4% of Earth’s land surface, but they support more than half of the world’s plant species as endemics — i.e., species found no place else — and nearly 43% of bird, mammal, reptile and amphibian species as endemics.
- India hosts 4 biodiversity hotspots: the Himalayas, the Western Ghats and Srilanka, the Indo-Burma region and the Sundaland (Nicobar Islands and Others).