WII Herbarium Dataset

Occurrence dataset published by Wildlife Institute of India

  • 4,591

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Geographic coverage

Distribution all over India. India is the seventh largest country in the world, bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the west, and the Bay of Bengal on the east with coastline of 7517km. It borders Pakistan to the west; China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the north-east; and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east, while. Sri Lanka, Maldives and Indonesia in the Indian Ocean are in close vicinity and provide the country a distinct geographical entity. The country is characterized by its diverse physical units, which includes Himalayan mountain chain; plains of river Indus, Ganga and Brahmaputra; peninsular plateau; Western ghats; Eastern ghats and the coastal plains and the Islands. In general four major river systems, the Himalayan, deccan, coastal and rivers of the inland drainage basin are there. The Himalayan rivers are generally snow-fed and flow throughout the year. During rainy and winter seasons Himalaya receives very heavy rainfall and snow fall, respectively, causes frequent floods. Maximum deccan and coastal rivers are non-perennial and generally rain-fed. The rivers of the inland drainage basin are lost somewhere in its own basin. The altitude ranges from coastal region to the highest peak Kanchenjunga (8598m asl). Despite the country's size the entire country has a tropical climate marked with relatively high temperature during summer and dry winters and seasonal rhythm of the monsoon is apparent throughout. Although, much of northern India lies beyond the tropical zone, the north-eastern region receive very heavy rainfall followed by Western Ghats and western Himalaya (>2000mm annually). However, eastern peninsula extending up to the northern plains receives rainfall between 1000 to 2000mm in a year, while the area from Western Deccan up to the Punjab plains receives rainfall between 100-500 mm a year. Parts of Run of Kachchh, Rajasthan and Trans-Himalayan region (Ladakh) have hardly any rainfall. Yearly the country has to face various kinds of natural hazards, viz., droughts, flash floods, wide spread and destructive flooding from seasonal rains, severe thunder and hail storms and earthquakes. Rodgers and Panwar (1988) divided India into 10 biogeographic zone, which were further divided into 25 biogeographic provinces considering the factors such as altitude, moisture, topography and rainfall for the planning of wildlife protected areas in India. At present there are 665 Pas in the country, of which 15.3% National Parks, 77.4% Wildlife Sanctuaries, 6.6% Conservation Reserves and 0.6% Community Reserves. Champion and Seth (1968) classified the forests of India into 6 major ecological classes depending upon their ecological functions, which are as follows: Eco class I: Tropical wet evergreen forests, Tropical semi-evergreen forests and tropical moist deciduous forests; Eco-class II: littoral and swamp forests; Eco-class III: tropical dry deciduous forests; Eco-class IV: tropical thorn forests and tropical dry evergreen forest; Eco-class V: sub-tropical broadleaved hill forests, sub-tropical pine forest and sub-tropical dry evergreen forests; and Eco-class VI: montane wet temperate forests, Himalayan moist temperate forests, Himalayan dry temperate forests, sub-alpine forests, moist alpine scrub and dry alpine scrub.