Coasts are transition zones between land and sea and coastal ecosystems that provide a wide spectrum of goods and services in terms of biological, ecological, and commercial aspects. The geomorphology of Indian coastal areas consists of 43% sandy, 36% muddy, 11% rocky and 10% marshy beaches. The variety of habitats, together with latitudinal and longitudinal differentiation, mean that the faunal communities of the coastal region show spatial assortment which needs to be documented to ensure a comprehensive species database of Indian coastal regions.
The generation of a species database is required not only to understand biodiversity but also fulﬁl the need of achieving an international framework for the conservation of biodiversity and sustainable development under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). As the coastlines of the world are facing tremendous pressure in recent times, coastal species face massive threats and are in decline.
Coastal and marine ecosystems provide a broad range of ecosystem goods and services to human society because they are one of the most productive ecosystems on Earth. Recently, most services provided by oceans and coastal zones have more rapidly deteriorated than other ecosystems due to high population densities but also to development pressures in the coastal zones. In India, along 66 districts in 10 maritime States and UTs, about 34% of the coastline is under varying degrees of coastal erosion, 23% is of accreting nature condition and the remaining 38% is in a stable state.
Given this, the Zoological Survey of India published Faunal Diversity of Biogeographic Zones: Coasts of India which contains 61 chapters and covers 54 major faunal groups from lower to higher taxa. The book depicts the distribution of 12,756 species, including 11,181 animals, 702 protozoans, and 873 plants found along the Indian coast. The book is a first-of-its-kind attempt to collate all the information available on coastal biodiversity and it will serve as a tool for biodiversity conservation in India, specifically its coastal belt.