Deccan Chronicle

Hyderabad records improvement in biodiversity since 2012

Deccan Chronicle.| Sanjay Samuel Paul

Published on: April 19, 2023 | Updated on: April 19, 2023
Municipal Administration and Urban Development Minister KT Rama Rao released the City Biodiversity Index of Hyderabad on Tuesday. (Twitter)

Municipal Administration and Urban Development Minister KT Rama Rao released the City Biodiversity Index of Hyderabad on Tuesday. (Twitter)

 Hyderabad: Hyderabad recorded a score of 57 of 92 across 23 parameters in the City Biodiversity Index, marking a sharp improvement from a score of 36 of 92 in 2012 — the last time the index was calculated — as per a release shared by minister K.T. Rama Rao on Tuesday.

With the release of the index, the city becomes the first in the country to update its score since the first release.

The 23 indicators of the index measure native biodiversity, ecosystem services provided by biodiversity, and governance and management of biodiversity based on guidelines. It is a self-assessment tool that helps gauge important parameters.
One of the best performances of the city was in the ‘Native Biodiversity’ section, wherein it scored 27 of 40, as compared to 15 of 40 in 2012.

The city also improved its scores in indicators related to ‘Ecosystem Services Provided by Biodiversity in City’, with seven of 16 points, which was an improvement from a score of four of 16 in 2012.

Under ‘Governance and Management of Biodiversity in City’, Hyderabad scored 23 of 36, again posting a marked rise from 2012, when it scored 17 of 36.

Improvement across the parameters has led to a better all-round score this time around.

Among other information made available was that Hyderabad currently has around 1,350 water bodies, covering 2,000 hectares and important rock formations across 1,600 hectares. The city also has two protected areas in the form of national parks, the Kasu Brahmananda Reddy (KBR) Park and Mahavir Harina Vanasathali National Park, which host considerable biodiversity.

In this context, the University of Hyderabad (UoH) campus has also been marked as a host for the ‘Deccan shrub jungle’, hosting 39 globally threatened species of semi-arid tropical trees. Overall, UoH hosts a whopping 734 plant species.

The city, in all, has 1,305 species of plants, comprising 577 native and 728 imported ones.

Institutional areas like the UoH, Osmania University and International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) were identified to host diverse species on their campuses.

The release also stated that Hyderabad was home home to 30 species of odonates, 141 species of butterflies, 42 species of spiders, 60 species of fish, 16 amphibian species, 41 reptile species, 315 bird species, and 58 mammalian species.

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