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FLORA

The shivalik areas have maximum floral and faunal diversity in Punjab. Parker (1921) reported 1121 floral species in Punjab west of river Yamuna. The floral diversity includes Algae, Fungi, Bryophytes, Pterydophytes, Gymnosperms and Angiosperms (Grasses, Weeds, Medicinal plants & Forest trees). Some of the important flora endemic and rare to Shivaliks is as follows:-

Ougenia, Butea, Caesulia, Glassocardia, Hibiscus hoshiarpuriensis (Paul & nayar), Argyrolobium album, Rumex punjabensis, Polycarposs prostratum, waltheria indica, Zoxyphylla, Campylotropus ericarpa. Acer oblongum wall ex. D.C. var. membranaceum Bannerji is identified as endangered species and Coropegia pusilla (wight el Arn) as rare in the red Data Book of Indian Plants volume. (Nayar and Sashtri, 1987). “International Union for Nature Conservation” recommended ‘insitu’ conservation of these species by declaring them protected, preventing their uprooting, attempting regeneration in similar ecological habitats and preservation of their seeds.

FAUNA

The faunal diversity reported by Parker (1921) includes Protozoans (84 species), Platylelminthes (47 species), Nematodes (140 species), Annelids (36 species), Arthropods (1206 species), Pisces (143 species), Amphibians (14 species),Reptiles (30 species), Aves (461 species) and Mammals (30 species). The state of Punjab has 13 Wildlife Sanctuaries, 4 Conservation Reserves and 3 Community Reserves. There is a zoological park and a tiger safari park, as well as three parks dedicated to deer.

A few of the rivers in Punjab have crocodiles. The extraction of silk from silkworms is another industry that flourishes in the state. Production of bee honey is done in some parts of Punjab. The southern plains are desert land; hence, camels can be seen. Buffaloes graze around the banks of rivers. The north-eastern part is home to animals like horses.

Wildlife sanctuaries have many more species of wild animals like the otter, wild boar, wildcat, fruit bat, hog deer, flying fox, squirrel, and mongoose. Naturally formed forests can be seen in the Shivalik ranges in the districts of Ropar, Gurdaspur and Hoshiarpur. Patiala is home to the Bir forest while the wetlands area in Punjab is home to the Mand forest.

The endangered species of fauna in Punjab accordingly to Prasad (1984) of ZSI are Desert cat, Caracal and those belonging to Vulnerable category are wolf, clawless otter, Leopard cat, Panthat, Black buck and Chinkara. 29 species are under schedules of Indian Wild Life Protection Act 1972 and 8 species are under CITES.

Indian pangolin, Wolf, Chital, Chinkara olter and smooth Indian olter are rare and long eared hedgehog, Flying fox, Indian porcupine, Indian fox, Hog deer, Barking deer are reported to have low populations.

Some birds such as yellow welted lapwing, Painted stork, Crested honey buzzard, Golden eagle, King Vulture, Horned owl have become rare.

The STATE BIRD is the Northern Goshawk (BAAZ) (Accipiter gentilis), the STATE ANIMAL is the BLACK BUCK (Antilope cervicapra), the STATE AQUATIC ANIMAL is INDUS RIVER DOLPHIN (Platanista minor), and the STATE TREE is the SHISHAM (Dalbergia sissoo).

STATE BIRD is the Northern Goshawk (BAAZ) (Accipiter gentilis)

The state bird of Punjab is Baaz. Northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis), the State Bird of Punjab has cultural association and significance in the sikh religion. It is locally known as “Baaj” and has been traditionally revered as a symbol of strength

STATE ANIMAL is the BLACK BUCK (Antilope cervicapra)

The blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra) is a diurnal antelope and inhabits grassy plains and slightly forested areas. Due to their regular need of water, they prefer areas where water is perennially available. The vernacular name "blackbuck" is a reference to the dark brown to black colour of the dorsal (upper) part of the coat of the males. The long, ringed horns that resemble corkscrews, are generally present only on males, though females may develop horns, as well. The horns diverge forming a "V"-like shape.

In India, hunting of blackbuck is prohibited under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972

STATE AQUATIC ANIMAL is INDUS RIVER DOLPHIN (Platanista minor)

The Indus river dolphin (Platanista minor), also known as the "bhulan" in Urdu and Sindhi, is a species of toothed whale in the family "Platanistidae". It is endemic to the Indus River basin of India.

STATE TREE is the SHISHAM (Dalbergia sissoo)

Shisham is the state tree of Punjab. Shisham (Dalbergia sissoo) or Indian Rosewood is commonly known as Sissoo is a deciduous tree that grows in Punjab, Haryana and some other parts of India, Pakistan and Nepal. Dalbergia sissoo has been declared as State Tree of Punjab vide Govt. notification on 15-3-1989