The Andaman and Nicobar archipelago is situated in the Bay of Bengal off the southern coast of India, comprising over 350 islands, islets and rocky outcrops stretching out over a linear stretch of over 550 km. The islands harbour vast marine, forest and mangrove ecosystems and are a significant global biodiversity hotspot. Over 8300 species of terrestrial and marine animal species have been recorded, including a large number of endemics. Between 1985 and 2005 several lists of various groups of endemic species have been published, leading to the endemicity of many species being reconsidered as new species have been added.
In this publication, the authors have synthesised all the available literature to draw up an updated list of endemic species. This updated list contains 1032 species and subspecies of animals of major invertebrate and vertebrate groups, inhabiting terrestrial, freshwater and marine habitats. For the higher vertebrate groups such as mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish, common name, diagnostic features, habitat, distribution and current status are given. For invertebrate groups such as molluscs, crustaceans, meiofaunal elements, insects, etc. only their habitat, distribution and current status have been given. These smaller organisms can usually not be identified down to species level in the field by amateur naturalists.