Indian Cheetah among other animal species extinct due to desertification, say researchers

The researcher also said that desertification not only impacts animals but the entire biodiversity, which includes microscopic animals to human beings.

Published: 10th September 2019 02:58 PM  |   Last Updated: 10th September 2019 03:00 PM   |  A+A-

Great Indian Bustard, Indian Cheetah and pink-headed duck. (Photo | EPS)


NEW DELHI: At least three to four species of animals, such as the Indian Cheetah, pink-headed duck, and the Great Indian Bustard, have become extinct due to desertification in India, researchers warned at the 14th meeting of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP 14).

"We have a database for more than 5.6 million specimens, collected from all over India and also from the neighbouring countries before independence. They give a lot of information about how things have changed in more than 100 years. If you see their distribution in geo-special platforms, you'll realise how much changes have occurred because of the impact of deforestation and desertification," Kailash Chandra, Director of the Zoological Survey of India, told ANI.

He said, "A minimum of three to four species have already become extinct in India, such as India Cheetah, pink-headed duck, and the Great Indian Bustard," adding, "Many more are on the verge of becoming extinct and therefore fall into the category of critically endangered species."

"These specimens have reduced to less than 150," the researcher stressed. "This is a matter of great concern," he noted further.

Chandra stressed that desertification may be caused due to insecticides, pesticides, conversion to agricultural land, industries and chemicals, indiscriminate development but "everything has to be regulated so that it could be minimised and we can reverse this process back."

The researcher also said that desertification not only impacts animals but the entire biodiversity, which includes microscopic animals to human beings.

"The entire food chain is affected due to this (desertification)," Chandra stressed.

It was also stated in the forum that India faces a growing crisis of land degradation. More than 30 per cent of its land area has been degraded through deforestation, over-cultivation, soil erosion and depletion of wetlands.

The Convention, started earlier this week, came at a critical juncture when not only India but the entire world is facing problems regarding soil aridity, where some of the most vulnerable ecosystems can be found.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp