Biodiversity Status in Andhra Pradesh

Our state being strategically located in the central region of the Indian subcontinent, has some representatives of the biological wealth of India. Its varied topography from the hilly ranges of the Eastern Ghats, the Nallamalais to the shores of Bay of Bengal, support varied vegetation types enriched by a variety of flora and fauna. Deccan plateau represents about 53%, Central plateau 35%, Eastern Highland 11% and East Coastal Zone 1%. Rare and endemic plant species such as Cycas beddomei, Pterocarpus santalinus, Terminalia pallida, Syzygium alternifolium, Shorea talura, S. tumbaggaia, Psilotum nudum etc., are present in the state. A handy way of describing biodiversity is to describe the fauna and flora. There are communities, populations and species of plants and animals in our state which show a great degree of variation. Genetic diversity is bound to be greater but the work even on macro elements like the species is still incomplete. The variations are accentuated by the ecosystem diversity in the state, as each ecosystem tends to have its own niche as species of the same family evolve into branches as they adapt to the requirements of the ecosystem. The range is wide indeed. The hills (Eastern Ghats being prominent), the wetlands (millions of them with wetland systems like Kolleru and Pulicat being very large), and manmade systems like the Nagarjunasagar and Srisailam Reservoirs), mangroves (Coringa being an important one) Deccan and Central plateaus of Telangana and regions of Rayalaseema, rivers (mainly Krishna, Godavari and Pennar), the coasts, estuaries and forests, which are largely dry deciduous with variations from near moist deciduous of Eastern highlands to the scrub of Rayalaseema. There are also smaller groves which are sacred or protected. A work by WWF - AP in 1996 documented 800 such groves, also indicating that there must be more of them.

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