Experts under GHMC Commissioner N. Chandramohan Reddy have come out with a comprehensive book on the city's biodiversity

A hundred and twenty-one butterfly species, 58 mammal species and 332 bird species. Add to the list 58 fish species and 16 amphibian species.

On the flora front, 980 dicots and another 390 monocot species can be added to the inventory.

Compiling an exhaustive data on the city’s flora and fauna, a team of experts led by Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) Additional Commissioner (Urban Biodiversity) N. Chandramohan Reddy has come out with the ‘Biodiversity of Greater Hyderabad’.

The checklist of species brought out by the GHMC in association with the Centre for Environment Education (CEE) for the first time tried to enumerate species representing various families that have made the city their home. For the study and compilation, the team relied on varied biodiversity resources in the city including rocky areas, lakes and water bodies, Musi riverine system, reserved forests, national parks, institutional areas, layout open spaces and traditional knowledge and cultural beliefs.

According to the book, mammals in Greater Hyderabad are represented by 58 species distributed across 25 families and 332 bird species distributed across 67 families, some of which have been listed as ‘occasionally observed’ and some others as ‘turning rare’.

Reptiles

The presence of 39 reptile species distributed across 15 families, too, was documented, apart from 16 species of amphibians from four families.

Spiders, which are sensitive indicators of use of chemicals or presence of chemical residues in the ecosystem, have been listed out from 11 families with 42 species, while odonates, a class of insects that includes dragonflies and damselflies, were found to be represented by 31 species distributed across six families.

Plants

The book also recorded 1,370 species of plants among which 980 are dicotyledons and 390 are monocotyledons, with 50 per cent of these species believed to be native species.

Each city should have its biodiversity index documented by the flora and fauna present there, says Mr. Reddy. “This effort of ours will serve as a baseline for future references and studies and also to check on a later date on new species that join here or those disappearing from here due to urbanisation,” he adds.

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