Most endangered wildlife species in India

Endangered wildlife species in India

The land of India is a home for numerous species of flora and fauna. Some of them are endangered and some are critically endangered wildlife species. The shelter to a wide range of wild animals is one of the most exciting characteristics over here. This amazing diversity is the center of attraction for the tourists and to the lovers of wildlife and nature.

But, nowadays a huge number of wild animals are vulnerable to their entire species. The endangered species are the animals or populations of animals that are under the threats of extinction or almost about to extinct. Their existence is in danger and additionally, they are left in very small quantity and the population is decreasing.

A rapid increase in the ratio of highly endangered wildlife species is a critical issue related to the alluring diversity of any place. There is an abundance of names of the species which are endangered in India. Given below are some of the names of such species of animals and wildlife in India.

One-Horned Rhino / Indian Rhinoceros
Asiatic Lion
Great Indian Bustard
Royal Bengal Tiger
Snow Leopard
Lion-tailed macaque
Nilgiri Tahr
Indian Elephant
Red Panda

One-Horned Rhino or Indian Rhinoceros

Endangered One-Horned Rhino
Endangered One Horned Rhino

The One Horned Rhinoceros is one of the most Endangered Wildlife Species in India. Rhinoceros are also known as great Indian rhinoceros or One-horned Rhino having the biological name Rhinoceros Unicornis. From earlier time, they are the native of India and Nepal. They are one of the largest known mammals worldwide. 

Since early time, the survival of this species is critical as their population was in decreasing & leading to their extinction. The greater one-horned rhinoceros have been declared vulnerable by the IUCN Red list as well.

Out of its five subspecies, three are found in Asia, while two are highly endangered. Some of the major factors responsible for the extinction of this fascinating mammal and make them endangered are mentioned below

  • Inhumane activities like hunting are primarily responsible for the vast declination in the population of these rhinos. 
  • Illegal means of trafficking and the poaching of the one-horned rhino has led down their population.
  • Regarding this criminal approach, since 1977, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) has banned the trade of the horns of these mammals.
  • Increasing demands of the land for the industrialization have captured the shelter to these animals.
  • The loss of the habitat or their natural home has led the species to become endangered.
  • It has been observed that the fertile land is the suitable choice for their habitat, meanwhile, the requirements of such land for farming has depleted the existing habitat.

As preventive measures, numerous initiatives are taken by both government and citizens to tackle this situation. Various conservative projects are also running to mark an increase in the deployed population. 22 September has been declared as World Rhino Day, every year.

Asiatic Lions

Endangered Asiatic LIon
Asiatic Lion at Sasan Gir National Park

Asiatic lions are known to be the member of the big cat family and the scientific name is Panthera Leo Persica. The only shelter in the world to this beautiful Big Cat is the Gir Forest Wildlife Sanctuary in Gujarat, India. Asiatic Lion is also one of the Endangered wildlife species in India

This amazing species is highly endangered and only around 500 of their kind remain in their lasts natural habitat. Asiatic lions were added to the list of endangered animals in 2000 by the  International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Many factors are responsible to harm the population of this fascinating big cat, here are some of the main reasons.

  • Lesser available options for their habitat is the prime reason for the decline in population and going toward the extinction of these king of the jungles. 
  • Until a few decades back, Hunting was the main reason for their population reduction.
  • Loss of the natural habitat was another main reason.
  • Due to the loss of other wildlife, fewer alternatives to other animals are there to be served as their food. 

Appropriate knowledge must be spread among the people about the danger of the existence of the lions. Various government projects are also running for the same. And the favorable response has been recorded due to numerous practices taken to save them. Different organizations along with the locals are working there with hundreds of volunteers who keep an eye for the safety of Asian lions.

Blackbuck – The Beautiful Antelope

endangered blakbick
Endangered Blackbuck

The only existing member of the genus Antelope is also known as Blackbuck. They are found in countries like India, Nepal. More precisely, the antelope found in India is known as Blackbuck. This graceful endangered animal was mostly found in the plain regions of India.

Blackbuck is popular since the early time, even before the time of independence in India. Many of our religious stories also reflect the presence of this beautiful species from ancient times. This herbivores animal is considered as one of the fastest running animals.

But for a long time, their population had been decreased rapidly. Nowadays their survival is in critical condition in India. Gujarat, Punjab, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, and Haryana are the states of India, where this mesmerizing antelope is found.

Factors for the species to become extinct are as follows

  • Hunting was the earliest and primary reason for the huge depleted ratio of the animal. Earlier, the kings used to hunt blackbuck as a mark of status. All these Inhumane practices against the survival of this living being make the entire species critically endangered in India.
  • Also, for the commercial purpose, the innocent animals were targeted. These beautiful antelope were also hunted for their skin. Poaching is another factor to harm the existence of these species in India.

However, Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 has prohibited their hunting and declared it as a crime. Additionally, numerous national parks and other conservation projects are active to protect these animals. NRCOPA is a Central Government Scheme working for the same.

Great Indian Bustard

Critically Endangered Great Indian Bustard
Critically Endangered Great Indian Bustard

A large bird that belongs to the Ardeotis nigriceps species is better known as  Great Indian Bustard. One of the heaviest flying bird, it is found in the sub-continent India. The dry plains of the Indian subcontinent are the most prominent shelter for this species. Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Madhya Pradesh are the states where we can find them. 

This beautiful and alluring bird has a left population which is even less than 300. A high degradation in their population has been recorded which is still reducing. The saddest and prior reason is the upgraded human lifestyle. Increasing the need for the lands for industrialization is snatching the shelter place of these innocent living creatures.

The loss of habitat is continuously making the existence of this bird nearly to threaten. Mining and poaching in such places and other such practices have also effected their rate of existence.

To tackle this issue there is an urgent need for conservation. State Forest Department is putting its best efforts to hold the rate of reduction. Strict guidelines are followed regarding anti-poaching laws and teams are working with their best input. A large network is required to be set with a good monitoring system along with the crucial information on the threats of this bird.

Royal Bengal Tiger

Bengal Tiger Big Cat
Big Cat Royal Bengal Tiger, Img Credits

The biggest member of the wild cat family is none other than the Royal Bengal Tiger. This powerful species is the national animal of both India and Bangladesh. They belong to the species known as the Panthera Tigris. The most special characteristic of this endangered big cat is that they are amazing swimmers and additionally terrific hunters.

Their strong claws helps them to prey for their survival. You can fund this species in the mangroves of Sundarbans as this is the only species which has shelter in the mangroves forests.

The tigers are constantly in the danger to become critically endangered as their population is decreasing. However, they are still comprising most of the ratio of the world’s tigers.

Numerous reasons are making the decline in the count of this fascinating Royal Cat family member. Here are some reasons

  • The first and the prime reason is the replacements of their habitat to the industrial lands to meet the requirements of the growing human population.
  • Poaching is another big reason for the species to come under the endangered category.
  • Hunting for these royal tigers for their claws and skin.
  • Loss of habitat.
  • Natural disasters like floods also take the life of a few Royal Bengal Tiger every year.

Looking forward to saving this national animal, the Government of India had started Project Tiger in 1973. There are 50 tiger reserves in India now, which are prominently working greatly to save the species to get extinct from our country. A rise in the population of this endangered species is recorded due to the hard work.

Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard Big Cat
Snow Leopard India, img credits

Snow Leopard is a member of the cat family which is also known as ounce. Its scientific name is Panthera Uncia. This beautiful animal is mostly found in the Southern and western Asia. In India, the snowy hills of Himalayas are the home for these Snow Leopards. Western and eastern Himalayas are the best place to see the Snow leopards in India.

Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh are the other states in India where you will be able to spot these beautiful creatures. It is a critical condition that their population is endangered by the IUCN Red list until 2017.

Hemis National Park in the eastern Ladakh Union Territory of the Indian Republic is famous for the snow leopards. Another scenic park, Gangotri National Park located in Uttarkashi District Uttarakhand is also a shelter for these amazing snow leopards.

Some prime reasons are there which are making the possibility of extinction of this species :

  • Loss of the habitat or their natural home is one of the biggest factor.
  • Less options available for their pray is making its hard for them to hunt for their food.
  • Various activities like overgrazing on the mountain lands has also effected their rate of survival.

Conservation of the species is highly important by following various preventive measures. A quite good amount of stability in their population has been recorded in their numbers in the recent past.

Lion-tailed Macaque

Lion Tailed Macaque belongs to the species known as Macaca silenus. They are the old world Monkey which is present in the western ghats of South India. Their name has been derived from a Latin word which means four feet. Additionally, they also possess a very special feature like blackface.

In the western ghats, tropical forests are the best-preferred place for them to survive. These evergreen forests are safe for Lion Tailed Macaque as they remain untouched by humans. The saddest part is that they have been declared endangered by the IUCN Red List.

The increasing population of humans and depletion of resources by them to fulfill their needs is the most prominent reason to lose their shelter places. Loss of habitat along with habitat fragmentation are such  another factors. They are also being hunted for numerous purposes like for their skin, for the meat and also for the source of medicine as well.

Various steps are taken to save this endangered species from extinction. Schedule 1 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972, India has the laws which are made to protect these monkeys. The trading of this lion-tailed macaque is now illegal in appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

Nilgiri Tahr

Nilgiri Tahr is an ungulate who basically belongs to the species known as Nilgiritragus hylocrius. We can find them in the Nilgiri Hills and the southern portion of the Western & Eastern Ghats in the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala in Southern India. The people of Mannar call this caprine as the pride of Mannar. 

Their population is very few in the local areas of Nilgiri and the species is about to extinct. This vulnerable specie has been declared endangered by the IUCN Red List.

There are many reasons behind the reduction of the population of Nilgiri Tahr, but still, the prime reasons are not yet cleared. 

2200-2500 individuals in total are present in the Wildlife. Numerous studies have even stated the set up different kinds of projects like hydroelectric projects, timber felling and monoculture plantation of eucalyptus and wattles have affected their survivals in the wild. 

The illegal hunting of these innocent animals and the unwanted fragmentation of their habitat are some other factors that are responsible for the species to become endangered. 

Awareness has been spread among the natives of Tamil Nadu and Kerala to take the required measures to protect the vulnerable species of Nilgiri Tahr. Researches must be made to study about the Nilgiri Tahr by preparing proper plans. Many NGO ‘s are also putting their best efforts in the order to tackle the declining number of these endangered goat species.

Indian Elephant

One of the rare identifies species of elephants among the three are the Asian elephants. They are the native of Asia and are found in the merely dense forest regions. More precisely,  tropical forests of South India, North East India and the Sub Himalayan Region are the places where these Indian elephants took shelter.

They belong to the species of Genus Elephas and are also known as the Asiatic Elephants. Their population is shattered in the forested areas of India. The best description of this giant animal is their classification in the megafauna category or as megafauna animals. The alluring species is yet endangered and their population is rapidly decreasing. 

IUCN Red List has listed the Asiatic elephants as endangered species since 1986.

In 2012, the studies were done which estimated the count of this vulnerable species around 30000. Constant reduction is observed in the number of these fascinating animals. The loss of their home due to the replacement of their habitat by the industrialisation of lands. Poaching, illegal trading are some other reasons which are making the fast dwindling of the species.

To achieve their conversation goals, the habitat of this endangered species must be conserved as the first step. A quiet good knowledge and awareness is required among the people from preventing them to harass the species for their personal usage. Many projects are working for the same.

Red Panda

The red panda is quite different from those of  giant panda. They are the small and cute mammals known as red panda. These mammals are found in the eastern Himalayas in India. Majorly they have Himalayan Tees or the forested areas ads their home. They tree-dwelling mammals are found in temperate forests. 

They belong to a specific species known as Ailuridaeis. These amazing mammals are the relatives of the racoon family and those of giant panda families as well. They are not extinct but reports said that their status is about to extinct at present. 

The innocent mammals of Eastern Himalayas are left in a very small numbers. Their species are highly endangered. Even less than 10000 mammals are left., They have been declared endangered by the IUCN Red List. This docile mammal is, unfortunately, losing their habitat due to the destruction of the forest. Poaching is another common issue been recorded for the species to become vulnerable. Their existence is critical and they are highly struggling due to deforestation. 

Their accidental trapping or some specific approaches like snare-style traps are also leading to their declination. Anti-poaching efforts are active to give their contributions to the Red Panda network to save their lives. Additionally, various organizations are working to avoid deforestation in the forested area where these red panda exist 

By <a href="" target="_self">Krunal Patel</a>

By Krunal Patel

Updated: March 16, 2020

Krunal Patel is a nature and wildlife lover. With his blog post, he wanted to make people aware of how the wildlife is maintaining an ecological balance in the ecosystem and how important it is to conserve, protect and love the wildlife

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