VIJAYAWADA: List of 65 threatened species, which was sent by the Andhra Pradesh Biodiversity Board to the Ministry of Environment, which in turn sent it to the Government of India on November 6, 2017, is still pending for lack of formulation of conservation measures. The list contains names of 22 plants, 19 birds, 10 mammals, 12 fish, and two reptiles.
Among the mammals, Slender Loris, a subspecies inhabiting the lowland forests in India and Sri Lanka, has a divine significance, as oil extracted from its skin is used while offering candle-lit prayers to Lord Venkateswara temple in Tirupati.
Among the birds, there is Jerdon’s Courser, a nocturnal bird which is critically endangered as per International Union for Conservation’s (IUCN’s) red list. Lankamalleswara Wildlife Sanctuary in Kadapa is dedicated to its conservation, as there are only two or three birds of this species remaining. The Great Indian Bustard, categorised as critically endangered in IUCN’s red list, inhabits the scrub and bush lands in Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh and has a sanctuary dedicated for its conservation in Nandikotur, Kurnool as only 20 to 30 birds of this species remain.
Among the plant species Andrographis Beddomei is the most important species which is under threat as it is available only at Tirupati in the State. It is also threatened globally and is in the IUCN’s red list. Pimpinella Tirupatiensis is another plant found in Tirupati and Chittoor districts and is facing a habitat loss and is also in the IUCN’s red list. Albizia thompsonii is listed as ‘near threatened’ in IUCN’s red list.
V Srinivas, state coordinator of APBB, said, “The central government is yet to formulate measures to conserve these valuable species, some of which have been reduced to double and even single digit populations. It has been sitting on the proposal since November 2017.”
Murthy Kantimahanti, a wildlife expert and founder of Eastern Ghats Wildlife Foundation, said, “Threat-reduction programmes must be immediately initiated for these species and there are other species that require thorough assessment. There are precious animals, which are becoming victims of road accidents everyday.”