Lazarus Taxon: Rediscovered Plant, Animal and Bird Species in India

Rediscovered Plant, Animal and Bird Species in India
Rusty-throated Wren Babbler/Image Credit: Mike Prince
In paleontology, a Lazarus taxon is a taxon that reappears after a period of disappearance from the fossil record.

The terms refers to the biblical story, when Jesus Christ raised Lazarus from the dead.

In India, there are many species from both plant and animal kingdom, which were assumed to be extinct, were later rediscovered or reappeared after a period of time.

Reappeared/Rediscovered species in India

Birds
Forest Owls (Athene blewitti), believed to be extinct in the 19th century but rediscovered in Central India in 1997.

Jerdon's courser (Rhinoptilus bitorquatus), an Indian wader, assumed extinct until rediscovered in 1986.

Rusty-throated Wren Babbler (Spelaeornis badeigularis) was rediscovered by two Americans after a gap of 58 years in Arunachal Pradesh.

Plants
In 2015, Indian researcher rediscovered four presumed species of Impatiens L. genus, the four species are Impatiens concinna, Impatiens sasidharanii, Impatiens neo-modesta, and Impatiens sasidharanii var hirsuta. The species are said to have great medicinal values.

Karnataka Sapota (Madhuca insignis), which was declared extinct, is being rediscovered in 2013.

Courtallum Wendlandia (Wendlandia angustifolia) is rediscovered in Tamil Nadu, when it was preassumed extinct.

Amphibians
Chalazodes bubble-nest frog (Raorchestes chalazodes) was rediscovered by Ganesan R, Sheshadri KS and SD Biju in Upper Kodayar Region in Tamil Nadu in 2011, 137 year after it was spotted in 1874. It is currently listed as critically endangered species in IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Also Read: List of Extinct Plants in India