Situated on the genetic highway connecting the Western Ghats and the North East, two of the biodiversity hotspots in the country, the central Indian State of Madhya Pradesh is one of the richest repositories of biological diversity. The state houses a diversity of ecosystems including plateaus, ravines, ridges, valleys, riparian areas and flat plains. With four major forest types, nine National Parks and 25 Wildlife Sanctuaries, the Tiger state houses one of the richest faunal and floral diversity. With around 5000 plant species, these forests are habitat to as many as 500 bird species and 180 fish species. Thousands of rice cultivars, a rich diversity of minor millets, indigenous cattle and poultry landraces like Kadaknath boasts of the agro-biodiversity. Home to six tribes with distinct customs, practices and diverse cultures, the biological diversity sustains livelihoods and ensures food security to two-fifth of the states 66 million population. Indigenous health systems nurtured by rich traditional knowledge woven around over 1000 medicinal plants contribute significantly to health security in rural areas. A host of traditions, rituals, festivals and traditional knowledge have significant bearing on sustainability of the biodiverse resources. Such a richness of biodiversity provides unique opportunities to enrich people's livelihoods and in biotechnological advancement for food and livelihood security.

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Source: Madhya Pradesh State Biodiversity Board(