Biodiversity Current Affairs for IAS Prelims Exam

2019 ias preliminary exam test series

NEW SPECIES OF DAZZLING, NEON-COLORED FISH

On a recent expedition to the remote Brazilian archipelago of St. Paul’s Rocks, a new species of reef fish — striped a vivid pink and yellow — enchanted its diving discovered. First spotted at a depth of 400 feet beneath the ocean’s surface, this cryptic fish inhabits rocky crevices of twilight zone reefs and is found nowhere else in the world.

ANCIENT MICE DISCOVERED BY CLIMATE CAVER

The fossils of two extinct mice species have been discovered in caves in tropical Queensland by scientists tracking environment changes.

Fossils of Webb’s short-tailed mouse (Leggadina webbi) were found at Mount Etna near Rockhampton, while Irvin’s short-tailed mouse (Leggadina irvini), was discovered near Chillagoe at the base of Cape York Peninsula.

SCIENTISTS DISCOVER 20 NEW GNAT SPECIES IN BRAZIL

Brazil is thought to hold 15 to 20 percent of the biodiversity on planet Earth. The Atlantic Forest ecoregion in Brazil is an area with diverse nature, following the coastline of the country and embracing tropical, subtropical and mangrove forests, also shrubland and grassland, described Olavi Kurina. There are many endemic species known in this region.

In addition to the known biodiversity, the researches described in these rainforests 20 gnat species in the genus Manota that were new to science. The described species belong to the family of fungus gnats (Mycetophilidae) and are small flies, from 1.5 to 3mm long, with specific differences lying mainly in terminal morphology of the male specimens, specified Olavi Kurina.

NEWLY IDENTIFIED AFRICAN BIRD SPECIES

Central Africa’s Albertine Rift region is a biodiversity hotspot consisting of a system of highlands that spans six countries. Recent studies have shown that the population of sooty bush-shrikes occupying the region’s mid-elevation forests is a distinct species.

The newly identified mid-elevation species has been dubbed Willard’s Sooty Boubou, as opposed to the previously recognized high-elevation species, the Mountain Sooty Boubou.

Willard’s Sooty Boubou is found at approximately 1200-1900 meters and the Mountain Sooty Boubou at 1800-3800 meters.

In Burundi, Rwanda, and Uganda, 70% of the potential for Willard’s Sooty Boubou lies outside of protected areas and has been converted to agriculture, and the numbers for the Democratic Republic of Congo are only slightly better.

Willard’s Sooty Boubou joins several other imperiled bird species that depend on the region’s mid-elevation forests, which have been largely overlooked by conservation efforts.

RARE WILD GOAT SPECIES SIGHTED IN AFGHANISTAN

Based on field surveys in northern Afghanistan, ecologists found that they have for the first time documented by direct observation the presence of two rare Asian wild goat species in the country.

The species, both of concern to conservationists, are the markhor (Capra falconeri) or screw-horned goat, and the Siberian ibex (Capra sibirica), which occur in several countries. Both have been reported in Afghanistan, but few studies have been made there in recent years and their distribution is largely unknown.

THREE NEW SPECIES OF FISH DISCOVERED

An exploration to one of the deepest places on earth has captured rare footage of what is believed to be three new species of the elusive Snailfish.

Temporarily named ‘the pink, the blue and the purple Atacama Snailfish’, these fish are part of the Liparidae family and do not conform to the preconceived stereotypical image of what a deep-sea fish should look like.

AUSTRALIAN FUR SEAL POPULATION IS SHRINKING

A census of annual pup production by Australian fur seal populations revealed the first reduction since species-wide protection was implemented in 1975, according to a study. The study also shows that the long-term monitoring program for the Australian fur seal has effectively tracked population trends over time.

Fur seals, Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus, are important upper trophic level predators that, in Australia, are a protected marine species facing specific challenges related to fisheries and aquaculture management, ecotourism, potential impacts on seabirds, and response planning for oil spills and other emergencies.

The brown fur seal (Arctocephalus pusillus), also known as the Cape fur seal, South African fur seal and the Australian fur seal is a species of fur seal.

The brown fur seal is the largest and most robust fur seal. It has a large and broad head with a pointed snout that may be flat or upturned slightly.

The Southern African subspecies is on average slightly larger than the Australian subspecies.

Current Affairs for IAS Exam