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India 2007 - 2009

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India comprises the bulk of the Indian subcontinent, stretching from the toe in the Indian Ocean and culminating in the north in the Himalayas. Major Himalayan-origin rivers that substantially flow through India include the Ganges and the Brahmaputra, both of which drain into the Bay of Bengal. Coastal features include the marshy Rann of Kutch of western India and the alluvial Sundarbans delta of eastern India; the latter is shared with Bangladesh. India has two archipelagos: the Lakshadweep, coral atolls off India's south-western coast; and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, a volcanic chain in the Andaman Sea.

The Himalayas and the Thar Desert, drive the economically and culturally pivotal summer and winter monsoons. Four major climatic groupings predominate in India: tropical wet, tropical dry, subtropical humid, and montane. India lies within the Indomalaya ecozone and contains three biodiversity hotspots.[134] One of 17 megadiverse countries, it hosts 8.6% of all mammalian, 13.7% of all avian, 7.9% of all reptilian, 6% of all amphibian, 12.2% of all piscine, and 6.0% of all flowering plant species. Endemism is high among plants, 33%. The medicinal neem, widely used in rural Indian herbal remedies, is a key Indian tree. The luxuriant pipal fig tree, shown on the seals of Mohenjo-daro, shaded Gautama Buddha as he sought enlightenment.

45.8% of reptiles and 55.8% of amphibians are endemic, only 12.6% of mammals and 4.5% of birds are. Among them are the Nilgiri leaf monkey and Beddome's toad of the Western Ghats. India contains 172 IUCN-designated threatened animal species. hese include the Asiatic lion, the Bengal tiger, the snow leopard and the Indian white-rumped vulture, which, by ingesting the carrion of diclofenac-laced cattle, nearly became extinct.

The pervasive and ecologically devastating human encroachment of recent decades has critically endangered Indian wildlife. In response, the system of national parks and protected areas, first established in 1935, was substantially expanded. In 1972, India enacted the Wildlife Protection Act and Project Tiger to safeguard crucial wilderness; the Forest Conservation Act was enacted in 1980. India hosts more than five hundred wildlife sanctuaries and thirteen biosphere reserves, four of which are part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves; twenty-five wetlands are registered under the Ramsar Convention.

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They are very vivid Marlene. Glad you enjoyed it. Jayne


What a gorgeous puzzle this is. Beautiful stamps.