Biodiversity in Thar desert and its role in sustainable agriculture.
The country has both hot and cold deserts. The Thar Desert, seventh largest desert in the world, harbors several species that have adapted themselves to survive in the harsh desert conditions. The floral diversity includes 682 species (63 introduced species), belonging to 352 genera and 87 families. The degree of endemism of plant species in the Thar Desert is 6.4 percent, which is relatively higher than the degree of endemism in the world famous Sahara desert. The faunal diversity represents 755 invertebrate and 440 vertebrate species, including 140 bird and 41 mammalian species and the only known population of the Asiatic wild ass. It is highlighted that sustainable use and management of this biodiversity is necessary to support human and livestock needs besides conservation. The strategy should be such that it is supported by public.