India is home to a variety of species, and rich flora and fauna. This contrasting biodiversity is what makes our country, the Incredible India it is today! However, with all the species that we have, there are some that are on the brink of extinction and hence have been kept in the category of endangered species. Here is a list of some endangered species in India which you need to see before they disappear completely:
- Ganges Dolphin
o The Gangetic Dolphin is distributed in the Gangetic-Brahmaputra-Meghna and Karnaphuli-Sangu river systems of India, Nepal and Bangladesh.
o The total population of Ganges Dolphin is estimated to be between 2500 and 3000 out of which more than 80% is within Indian Territory!
o The reasons they are an endangered species are accidental killing, entanglement in fishing gear, poaching for its oil and meat, river pollution, constructions of dams and barrages etc.
o The Gharial is one of the three crocodilians found in India and is the longest of all living crocodilians. Their major population remain in three tributaries of the Ganges River: the Chambal and the Girwa Rivers in India, and the Rapti-Naryani River in Nepal.
o 1200 gharials survive in the wild in India and less than 100 in Nepal. About 1000 gharials are also being reared in various zoos and captive centres.
o River Pollution, human pressure on their habitat, stolen eggs, entanglement in fishermen’s nets are the reasons it is an endangered species.
- Snow Leopard
o The snow leopard is a large cat native to the mountain ranges in Central and South Asia.
o There are as few as 4000 snow leopards in the wild, and their numbers are declining.
o Habitat loss due to human practices, poaching for the bones, skin and organs of large cats to be used in traditional Asian medicine and the impact of climate change have been the driving force for the declining numbers.
- Red Panda
o Red Panda is also known as the lesser panda or red cat-bear. It is an arboreal mammal native to the eastern Himalayas.
o Red Panda’s population is on a decrease with the total numbers being around 10,000.
o Red pandas are often killed when they get caught in traps meant for other animals such as wild pigs and deer. They are also poached for their distinctive pelts, habitat loss and fragmentation, and inbreeding depression is the reasons why it is an endangered species.
- One Horned Rhinoceros
o The One-horned rhino is a large mammal, found in Assam.
o Despite numerous efforts to help increase their numbers, there are only 3,555 One Horned Rhinoceros.
o Excessive hunting has reduced the number of this species as these rhinos are killed to saw off their horn, which are sold at a very high value. Also, the disappearance of alluvial plain grasslands has driven the numbers down as the need for land by the growing human population is a threat to this endangered species habitat.
- The Nilgiri Tahr
o The Nilgiri Tahr is an ungulate, endemic to the Nilgiri Hills.
o The latest reports indicate their numbers to be around 1800-2000.
o Principal threats are habitat loss due to domestic livestock, the spread of invasive plants, and also poaching.
- Kashmir Red Stag (Hangul)
o The Kashmir stag known as Hangul is a critically endangered species.
o A 2011 survey put the numbers of the red stag at 218 only, it comes as no surprise that this Kashmir Stag is on the brink of extinction.
o The degradation and loss of habitat from overgrazing and pollution in the periphery of the National Park, along with biotic interferences, are among the main causes for the decreasing population size of this endangered species.
- Lion Tailed Macaque
o The Lion-tailed macaque is native to the Western Ghats of South India.
o With an estimated number of less than 4000, which is divided into 47 isolated subpopulations into seven different locations.
o The major threat to this endangered species today is habitat fragmentation, with many of these fragments getting further fragmented. Also, certain features of the reproductive biology and ecology of this species (such as large inter-birth periods, seasonal resource availability, and female competition for mating opportunities) combine to make it an endangered species.
- Asiatic Lion
o Asiatic Lion aka the Indian Lion is a Lion subspecies which is endangered.
o The current total population of Asiatic Lion is around 350. It was increasing in past but has now reached a stable number because of increased poaching incidents.
o The Asiatic lion is vulnerable to extinction from unpredictable events, such as an epidemic or large forest fire. There have also been indications of poaching incidents in recent years and of drownings after Lions fell into wells.
- Bengal Tiger
o The Bengal Tiger is the national animal of both India and Bangladesh.
o Although from the latest available survey, the estimated population figures are of 1706, an increase from earlier numbers, still it comes up as an endangered species.
o Numerous biologists and researchers in the field blame their decline on Poaching and Habitat Loss.
So now that you are updated with some endangered species to check out, let’s start with some packing for the travel!