Flora and Fauna of Andaman and Nicobar Islands

10 Jun 2024
Flora and Fauna of Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Posted by: Sumeet Chopra

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands is a union of land situated in the Bay of Bengal is famous for its biodiversity and natural beauty. The Flora and Fauna of Andaman and Nicobar Islands include the various species of plants and animals and most of them are endemic types. Reading this article will help you to uncover the flora of andaman and nicobar islands. The natural resources of Andaman Islands focus on the importance of their timber, mangroves, mammals, birds, corals, fishes, and marine aquariums.

Picking up the Andaman Tour Package from Delhi will allow you to explore the Flora and Fauna of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and also take to the best places tourist destinations and different Andaman and Nicobar beaches where you can enjoy with you family and partner and do some fun activities. 

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Flora of Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Marine Life in Andaman and Nicobar Islands | SOTC

The vegetation and Food of Andaman and Nicobar Islands is mainly tropical trees and plants and it covers nearly 86% of the total geographic area. These forests contain all sorts of plants with timbers, fruits, herbs for medicine, and ornamental plants among others. When we talk about the flora of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, you will see the following beauty of nature.

1. Timber

One of the main products derived from the forests of Andaman and Nicobar Islands is high quality timber. Some of the prominent species include the Andaman Padauk, Pterocarpus dalbergioides, a highly valued timber in furniture and construction industries due to its hardness and quality. Gurjan (Dipterocarpus spp. is another timber species used frequently for strength and pest resistance timber. This Satinwood (Chloroxylon swietenia) found here has good grain size for its valuable use in furniture and cabinet making.

2. Fruit-Bearing Plants

The vegetation of Andaman and Nicobar Islands is composed of many fruit bearing trees among which are mangoes, jackfruit and bananas. Coconut palm (Cocos nucifera) is the dominant plant type and has significant uses, including food, oil, and fiber in the local community. Also, the islands contain some local unknown fruits that are very important to the indigenous people of the islands; these include Andaman wild guava (Psidium guajava) and pandanus fruit.

3. Medicinal Plants

The flora observed in the ocean islands is extensive and diverse, and many of them contain cure properties. They use these plants in order to cure some diseases Traditional healers use these plants to cure different diseases. The plants have medicinal value also with some trees like neem tree (Azadirachta indica) having effective antibacterial and antiviral properties and nux-vomica tree (Strychnos nux-vomica) which is used in small portions to heal certain diseases/ologists.

4.  Ornamental Plants

The variety of floral species in Andaman and Nicobar enhance the beauty of the place and contain the following flowers. Orchids, bougainvillea, and hibiscus are some of the most familiar flowering plants found both in domestic gardens and micro habitats. These plants contribute not only to the visuals but also help sustain local pollinator populations in a city setting.

Mangroves: A Unique Ecosystem

Mangrove Forest, Havelock Island - Know about How to Reach, Best Time to  Visit, Things To Do, Nearby Hotels & More

Mangrove vegetation that is commonly found in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands form a basic part of the coastal environment. The intertidal zones in the islands are mainly covered with salt-tolerant trees and shrubs which provide important sources of food and shelter especially to those living near the forestry areas.

Ecological Significance: Such forests help to avert washing away of the coastlines and the terrible effects of hurricanes and earthquakes like marine troughs. Mangrove plants prevent sedimentation in nearby marine habitats thus keeping corals and seagrass beds clear, fresh and healthy by its dense root structure that helps in consolidating the ground.

Fauna of Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Habitat for Marine Life

Mangroves also support the young populations of various fishes, crabs and shrimps which seek the protection in the environment the mangroves offer. These species, which develop complex roots, provide food and nesting sites, allowing them to feed and breed before moving into the vast sea.

Biodiversity Hotspot: 

The vegetation plant and animal life of Andaman and Nicobar Islands depend on the mangrove vegetation of this natural forest. This comes in variety; the red mangrove includes Rhizophora, the black mangrove consists of Avicennia, while mangrove apple is from Sonneratia. These are special trees that have the ability to grow in saline and waterlogged areas of a landscape, which have physiological and structural characteristics like pneumatophores, salt secreting leaves etc.

Mammals: 

The present wildlife of Andaman and Nicobar Islands is quite rich and diverse in comparison to other islands of the same regions and mammals play a very important role in this context. The islands are home to the terrestrial and marine mammals of which many of which are endemic and where some mammals adapt to the environmental challenges prevailing within the islands.

Terrestrial Mammals

There are different Terrestrial mammals found in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Though not many. Among them are: Andaman wild pig (Sus scrofa andamanensis), which might be endemic to these islands and serves as an important seed dispersal element and soil divider, thus promoting the healthy development of the forest biotope. There is also but one more relatively small inconvenience; they are the spotted deer or Axis axis that is usually sighted feeding in the open spaces of the forest.

Other large terrestrial mammals were the Indian elephant- this species was introduced apparently and later the animal adjusted to the environment of the islands. These are beautiful animals that are found in North and Middle Andaman forest. It’s an endemic species in the region and it lives in the treetops of the Nicobar Islands; its scientific name is Tupaia nicobarica.

Marine Mammals

While the Andaman and Nicobar islands boast of varieties of dolphins and whales, the surrounding sea is indeed a treasure house of marine life. Sousa chinensis is found in the shallow waters along the coast and Stenella longirostris is also quite common in the area. The islands also promote conservation of the endangered dugong (Dugong dugon), a sea cow that feeds on seagrass, and it is often referred

Birds in Andaman and Nicobar Island

It is a mecca for birdwatchers because of the extensive avian variety which is also evident in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The Andaman island has a rich variety of birds, more than 270 species of which a sizable number are endemic or migratory.

Endemic Birds

Various avian species, most of which have breeding grounds in these islands, are native to these islands and thus you’re unlikely to find any of them in other parts of the world. The Andaman woodpecker (Dryocopus hodgei) is one such example of an indigenous bird that is found in just these small regions of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and is well known for the distinctly marked black and white coloured bird along with a highly unique drumming sound. Another rare bird, known as the Nicobar pigeon (Caloenas nicobarica) having a characteristic green and bronze plumage.

Migratory Birds

The islands also help migrant birds find a pit stop to rest during their migrations. For example there are migratory birds such as the Eurasian curlew (Numenius arquata) and the Pacific golden plover (Pluvialis fulva) that move thousands of kilometers into the islands during the winter. Relatively the rich and complex ecosystems including mangroves, wetlands, forests, grasslands used for feeding and nesting afford these birds with every opportunity they need.

Conservation Efforts

Since these islands are core breeding grounds for birds, there are several protected areas present. For instance, it is seen in the Mount Harriet National Park and the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park where endeavors are provided to maintain the original ecosystems for birds and shield the avian species.

Flora and Fauna of Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Coral reefs of Andaman and Nicobar Islands are most flamant and represent one of the most bio diverse deltas of the world. These underwater ecosystems are very rich and most dive and snorkeling centers use this as their biggest selling point.

Coral Diversity: 

Andaman and Nicobar boast of a rich coral fauna and features a layout of both hard and soft corals. Some of the significant hard corals that one is likely to come across when studying the coral reefs are Acropora, Porites, and Montipora since these are responsible for creating the skeletal frameworks of the reefs. One of the most important slices of soft coral include Dendronephthya and Sinularia, focusing the seascape with vivid colors and many figures.

Marine Biodiversity: This reef complex hosts a densely populated marine fauna population consisting of fish, crustacea, mollusks, and Echinodermata. These reefs serve as a source of food and a haven and breeding place for a lot of species, which is the reason why these reefs play a large role in the holistic health of the seas. Some of the most famous fish that are blooming can be seen at this site include Amphiprioninae (Clownfish), Scaridae (Parrotfish), and Epinephelinae (Groupers).

Threats and Conservation: However, there are some challenges that these fascinating and, indeed, biologically valuable organisms have to endure, for example due to climate change, ocean acidification, and anthropogenic pressures such as fishing and coastal constructions. Initiatives have been made to ensure that these small ecosystems are preserved. Some measures that have been put in place to protect the reefs include; marine protected areas and no take zones, to keep the reefs for the future.

Fishes and Marine Aquarium

This region is schooling with different types of fishes, making waters around Andaman and Nicobar Islands one of the most important GI centers. Lemont, D. (2010) explained that these fishes have a vital role in supporting the wellbeing of the coral reefs and the sea environment.

Reef Fishes: It is enjoyed by a lot of people owing to the beautiful corals and the different colored reef fishes that can be found there. These include boat-shaped butterfly fish, angel fish, and wrasses swimming in between the coral formations. These fishes are not only of exciting interests for divers and snorkelers but also with many vital functions, including grazing on algae on the reefs.

Pelagic Fishes: Pelagic fish, which are fish found in the oceanic and coastal waters and include tuna (Thunnini), mackerel (Scombridae), and barracuda (Sphyraenidae), also abound in these islands . These swift moving fishes are schooling and are of great importance both in the commercial and Sports fisheries.

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In conclusion, it would be pertinent to mention that the variety and endemism of species that populate the forests of Andaman and Nicobar Islands cannot be overstated. As for the natural appeal, its blend of the finest quality woods and well-preserved flora, a palette of bright and vocal birds, and the terrific coral reefs alone create a uniquely engaging encounter. This explanation shows that the Flora and Fauna of Andaman and Nicobar Islands are very important in the extent to which this ecosystem is balanced, and the various mammals and birds present in the region contribute to the richness of the ecosystem. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands have exceptional and astonishing underwater corals and the various creatures found in this place make it a joyful place for those interested in nature.