India is fortunate to be the home to some of the world’s most beautiful and rare species of animals. The forests, mountains and grasslands have a rich diversity, home to exotic animals and birds. India has more than 500 sanctuaries and 100 national parks that are home to diverse types of species of animals and birds. Although the safety of so many animals and birds is widely known, there are still possibilities of many species becoming extinct very quickly. Such endangered species in India desperately need to be protected.
List of Endangered Animals in India:
Here is the list of endangered species in India with name and pictures.
1. Himalayan Monal:
Can we believe that this beautiful bird becomes under this list of endangered birds in India! But we have to. This Himalayan Monal (Lophophorus impejanus) is a pheasant bird which belongs to the family of Phasianidae. They are also known as Impeyan monal and the male have a multicoloured plumage with a metallic gloss while the female has a dull plumage. These highly communicative birds live on a diet which includes tubers, seeds, shoots, insects, and berries.
Habitat: Upper temperate oak-conifer forests, grassy slopes, alpine meadows, and cliffs.
Distribution: Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, and southern Tibet.
Threats: Poaching, loss of habitat and anthropogenic factors.
2. Hoolock Gibbon:
The Hoolock Gibbons are of two types of gibbons in India – western hoolock gibbon (Hoolock hoolock) and eastern hoolock gibbon (Hoolock leuconedys). These swift creatures are diurnal and arboreal in nature. Although both males and females are of the same size they differ in their colouration. Males have black fur with white brows while females have a grey-brown fur. Both have white rings around their eyes. Since these endangered animals are frugivorous their diet includes leaves, fruits, insects, eggs, flowers, spiders and buds shoots.
Habitat: Evergreen rainforest, semi-evergreen rainforest, mountain forest, and tropical mixed deciduous forest.
Distribution: Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
Threats: Loss and destruction of habitat and poaching.
[ Read: List of Endangered Animals In The World ]
3. Lion-Tailed Macaque:
The Lion-Tailed Macaque (Macaca silenus) is a monkey which is native to the Western Ghats of South India and is also known as the wanderoo. These endangered species of animals typically have a black fur on their body along with a silver-white mane surrounding its head. They are diurnal and arboreal rainforest dwellers who are very good climbers. These endangered species live on a diet which consists of leaves, fruits, insects, buds, nestling and eggs of pigeons, shoots and small vertebrates.
Habitat: Tropical moist evergreen forests.
Distribution: Western Ghats Mountains in Kerala and Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
Threats: Loss of habitat, the creation of dams and hunting.
4. Indian Wild Ass:
This endangered Indian Wild Ass is a type of onager or the Asian Wild Ass and is also known as Khur, Indian Onager or Ghudkhur. One of the fastest Indian animals, these creatures have a sandy coat whose colour varies from reddish grey, fawn to pale chestnut. They usually graze between dawn and dusk and feed on leaves, grass, fruits, crops, saline vegetation and Prosopis pods.
Habitat: Arid grasslands, shrublands, and saline deserts.
Distribution: Western India such as Rann of Kutch and Rajasthan, southern Pakistan, Afghanistan and south-eastern Iran.
Threats: Hunting, loss of habitat, encroachment of habitat and diseases such as surra and South African Horse Sickness.
5. Indian Pangolin:
The Indian Pangolin (Manis crassicaudata) is a pangolin which is native to the Indian subcontinent and is also known as scaly anteater or thick-tailed pangolin. These endangered species of animals have large, overlapping scales on their body which they use as an armor to protect themselves. They are slow and nocturnal mammals who live on termites, cockroaches, beetles, and ants by using their long claws to dig them out of logs and mounds.
Habitat: Grassland, rainforest, secondary forest and desert areas.
Distribution: India, Pakistan, and South Asia.
Threats: Hunting and poaching.
6. Nilgiri Tahr:
The Nilgiri Tahr (Nilgiritragus hylocrius) is a type of ungulate which is native to the Nilgiri Hills and the southern parts of the Western Ghats. These endangered stocky goats animals are also called Nilgiri ibex and are characterized with a coarse and short fur along with a bristly mane. Males are bigger in size than females and both have curved horns. Their diet includes grass and shrubs.
Habitat: Grassland and forest areas.
Distribution: Western Ghats in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
Threats: Loss of habitat, competition with domestic stock and poaching.
The Sangai (Rucervus eldii eldii) is a subspecies of the brow-antlered deer which is native to Manipur, India and is also known as Eld’s deer. These medium-sized deer with a dark reddish brown coat, have unique and distinctive antlers and the male deer are heavier and bigger in size than the female deer. They have a lifespan of 10 years and they love on grasses, water living plants, shoots, and herbaceous plants
Habitat: Floating marshy grasslands of the Keibul Lamjao National Park.
Distribution: Southern parts of Loktak Lake, Manipur.
Threats: Degeneration of habitat, inbreeding depression, diseases, and poaching.
8. Indian Antelope:
The Indian Antelope (Antilope Caervicapra) or the black buck is a type of antelope which is native to India, Pakistan, and Nepal. They are characterized with white fur around the eyes and the chin while there are black stripes on the face and have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years. These diurnal animals are moderately sized and survive on a diet which includes grasses, sedges, mesquite, fall witch grass, acacia leaves and live oak.
Habitat: Grassy plains and thinly forested areas.
Distribution: India, Pakistan and Nepal.
Threats: Rampant hunting, loss of habitat and deforestation.
9. South Asian River Dolphin:
The South Asian River Dolphin (Platanista gangetica) is a freshwater dolphin which is native to the Ganges and Brahmaputra River. These unique dolphins swim on their sides with their grey-brown coloured body and have a long, pointed nose. Female dolphins are bigger in size than males. These poorly sighted mammals use bio-sonar to find food which includes shrimp, catfish, carp, turtles, and birds.
Habitat: Freshwater river systems.
Distribution: India, Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Threats: Hunting, poisoning because of chemicals and industrial waste, entanglements in fishing nets, loss of habitat and changes in the habitat.
10. Nilgiri Langur:
It is a type of langur and which is native to the Western Ghat in the Nilgiri Hills. These primates typically have a glossy fur which is black in colour along with a golden-brown fur on its head. The female langurs are characterized with a white patch of fur on their inner thighs. Besides live on a diet of shoots, fruits, they also eat leaves.
Habitat: Tropical wet evergreen forests, semi-evergreen forests, teak plantations, and riparian forests.
Distribution: Nilgiri Hills, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
Threats: Destruction of habitat and poaching.
[ Read: List of Endangered Plants In The World ]
List of Critically Endangered Animals in India:
Here is the list of 5 critically endangered species in India with images.
11. Himalayan Quail:
One of the critically endangered bird in India is the himalayan quail (Ophrysia superciliosa). It is a medium-sized quail which belongs to the pheasant family and fall under the threatened category. These highly endangered birds have a unique red beak and legs along with prominent white spots around its eyes. They have not been sighted since 1876 although hopes abound that they still do exist in the Himalayan region. They lived on grass, scrub, and seeds of grass.
Habitat: Steep hillsides.
Distribution: Western Himalayas in Northwest India.
12. Bengal Roof Turtle:
The Bengal Roof Turtle (Batagur kachua) is a species of freshwater turtle which is native to South Asia and is also known as the red-crowned roofed turtle. These critically endangered turtles can weigh up to 25 kilograms while the females are larger than the males. They live in freshwater rivers and prefer to leave the river to bask in the sun on logs, sands, and sandbanks. Their diet consists of water plants.
Habitat: Freshwater Rivers.
Distribution: Nepal, Northeastern India, Bangladesh, and Burma
Threats: Hunting, water pollution, accidental drowning through fish nets, egg predation by jackals and loss of habitat.
13. Peacock Tarantula:
The Peacock Tarantula (Poecilotheria Metallica) is a type of tarantula which comes under only critically endangered species in India with blue hair in the genus Poecilotheria. It typically has an intricate fractal-like pattern on its abdomen. These arboreal spiders make asymmetric funnel webs in the hole of tall trees where they live. They have a lifespan of 11 to 12 years for females and 3 to 4 years for males. They live on a diet which includes moths, crickets, cockroaches and grasshoppers.
Habitat: Deciduous forest.
Distribution: Andhra Pradesh
Threats: Poaching for the pet trade and loss of habitat.
14. Sociable Plover:
The Social Plover (Vanellus gregarious) is a type of wader belonging to the lapwing family. These critically endangered birds can be found along mudflats and shorelines and are also known as sociable lapwing. They are characterized with long black legs, a short black bill and a head with a striking pattern. Their diet consists of insects like beetles, moth larvae and grasshoppers.
Habitat: Grasslands, wetlands and deserts.
Distribution: Northwest India.
Threats: Loss of habitat and hunting.
15. Pygmy Hog:
The Pygmy Hog (Porcula salvania) is a type of hog which comes under the critically endangered species in India. These mammals are dark brownish-black in colour and have a shapely tapered head. The male is usually bigger than the female hogs. They have a lifespan of 8 to 14 years and feed on tubers, leaves, fruits, grasses, roots, rodents, insects and small reptiles.
Distribution: Southern Himalayan foothills stretching from Uttar Pradesh to Assam and north Bengal.
Threats: Loss of habitat and degradation of habitat.
[ Read: List Of Extinct Animals In The World ]
It would be the greatest tragedy of mankind to lose these wonderful and rare animals with such a rich fauna available in India. It is our responsibility to protect and safeguard all the endangered species in India from extinction. More awareness about the harsh realities of losing these beautiful species needs to be spread.