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Indo-Malay

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Indo-Malay Biogeographic Realm

Indo-Malay Biogeographic Realm

The Indo-Malay is one of the most biodiversity rich ecological realm and pose considerable magnitude of conservation issues that are at stake hence one of the primamry goals of the Species Ecology is to provide sceince bound information pertainign to this ecologically unique mega diversity biome. Indo-Malay extends across most of South and Southeast Asia and into the southern parts of East Asia. Also called the Oriental Realm by biogeographers, Indomalaya extends from Afghanistan through the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia to lowland southern China, and through Indonesia as far as Java, Bali, and Borneo, east of which lies the Wallace line, the ecozone boundary named after Alfred Russel Wallace which separates Indomalaya from Australasia. Indomalaya also includes the Philippines, lowland Taiwan, and Japan’s Ryukyu Islands. Most of Indomalaya was originally covered by forest, mostly tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests, with tropical and subtropical dry broadleaf forests predominant in much of India and parts of Southeast Asia.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) divides Indomalaya into three bioregions, which it defines as “geographic clusters of ecoregions that may span several habitat types, but have strong biogeographic affinities, particularly at taxonomic levels higher than the species level (genus, family).”

Indian Subcontinent : The Indian Subcontinent bioregion covers most of India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Bhutan, and Sri Lanka. The Hindu Kush, Karakoram, Himalaya, and Patkai ranges bound the bioregion on the northwest, north, and northeast; these ranges were formed by the collision of the northward-drifting Indian subcontinent with Asia beginning 45 million years ago. The Hindu Kush, Karakoram, and Himalaya are a major biogeographic boundary between the subtropical and tropical flora and fauna of the Indian subcontinent and the temperate-climate Palearctic ecozone.

Indochina : The Indochina bioregion includes most of mainland Southeast Asia, including Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia, as well as the subtropical forests of southern China.

Sunda shelf and the Philippines: Malesia is a botanical province which straddles the boundary between Indomalaya and Australasia. It includes the Malay Peninsula and the western Indonesian islands (known as Sundaland), the Philippines, the eastern Indonesian islands, and New Guinea. While the Malesia has much in common botanically, the portions east and west of the Wallace Line differ greatly in land animal species; Sundaland shares its fauna with mainland Asia, while terrestrial fauna on the islands east of the Wallace line are derived at least in part from species of Australian origin, such as marsupial mammals and ratite birds.

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