In view of the International Biodiversity Meet (CoP-11), Tirumala hills and four other sites have been selected as the biodiversity heritage sites (BHS) for their effective conservation in the state.
According to the AP Biodiversity Board's (APBB) new list, the BHS are Veerapuram, which attracts a number of water birds, Timmamamba Marri Chettu (banyan tree) at Kadiri Taluk in Anantapur district, Agro-biodiversity site in Zaheerabad, Tirumala Hills and Talakona herbs and medicinal plants in Chittoor district.
The list of the BHS, endangered, vulnerable and threatened flora and fauna has been sent to the ministry of forest and environment for further discussion during the biodiversity meet, said APBB member secretary SN Jadhav. The list has been prepared with the help of forest and environment officials, said state biodiversity board chairman R Hampaiah, adding that, "We received studies from several agencies in the state as well as officials of the Zoological Survey of India and Botanical Survey of India. The list will be finalised after clearance from the state government and the National Biodiversity Authority." According to the officials, hundreds of species of flora and fauna are facing extinction including medicinal plants, King Cobra, Golden Gecko, Slender Loris and Leopards. It was found that other than tigers and elephants many other species have been under constant threat and kept under protection under various conservation programmes in the country.
The APBB has also sent the list of endangered species to forest minister S Vijayaramaraju, and suggested that special awareness programmes are needed for effective implementation of conservation policies by taking all the stakeholders on board including tribals and locals. Andhra Pradesh houses a network of three zoological parks, 21 sanctuaries, and six national parks spread over an area of 4.57 percent of the total geographical land. It has integrated scientific methods for the conservation of species facing extinction. However, the measures have not proved effective so far.