262 new faunal species discovered in India in 2015: Official

Kolkata:  India has enriched the faunal biodiversity of the world with the discovery of 262 new species in 2015 while 105 species were recorded in the country for the first time, a Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) official said here on Tuesday. "The 262 species are new discovery to India and new to science as well. As many as 105 were found in other countries but were recorded for the first time in India in 2015 (January to December). The realised diversity including the new discoveries is 97,515," said ZSI director Kailash Chandra. Out of these, 70 species were discovered by ZSI scientists in 2015. "From 1975 to 1985, the number of discoveries was maximum. Earlier, there were more than 100 discoveries by ZSI scientists per year and number of scientists was also more. Now we have 80 people, earlier there used to be 120 to 130," said Chandra. ZSI senior scientist K.C. Gopi said the new discoveries are "biodiversity currencies" in terms of a resource for the future. A book documenting the new species would be launched by Union Forest, Environment and Climate Change Minister Prakash Javadekar here on July 1.