Wildlife in India is rich and diverse. It is a matter of pride that our country, India, has more than 90,000 species of wild animals that includes mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, birds, insects. Some of these wild life animal species are found in India alone and can be classified as Indigenous animals of India.
Wildlife – India
There are some 500+ wildlife sanctuaries and approximately 100 national parks in India. They are home to various endangered, exotic and Indigenous Animals of India. This is attributed to the fact that India has various landforms and climatic conditions suitable for bio-diverse species to thrive.
The number of Indigenous animals of India was higher in early times. Hunting and poaching during medieval periods have drastically reduced animal life here. Some wild animals like the Royal Bengal Tiger and Big one-horned Rhinoceros found predominantly in India. But, since they are found across the border. (The Bengal tiger in Bangladesh and Big one-Horned rhinoceros in Nepal), they are not featured in my Indigenous Animals of India list. Featured below are the ones which are only in India and no-where else.
Indigenous Animals of India
Photo by Jiths
- The Nilgiri Tahr.
This ungulate is the State animal of Tamil Nadu. It is mostly found in the Western Ghats. Its features include thickset body, curved horns, bristly mane and short fur. It is closely related to Sheep. This endangered species can be found in Palani Hills, Nilgiri Hills, Periyar National Park, Eravikulam National park and Anaimali Hills.
2. Asiatic Lion
Once living across Asia, Asiatic Lions now live in only a small pockets in the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary Gujarat India. They are in the endangered Red list due to their small numbers. Seems only 200 lions are in the wild. The Asian lion is one among the big five pantherine cats. They are smaller than the African lions both in terms of size and unfortunately, in terms of numbers.
3. Lion-tailed Macaque
Photo by Tambako the Jaguar
Lion-tailed macaque is found in the Western Ghats. They can be found in Papanasam, Kalkkad, Silent Valley National Park, Sirsi-Honnavar rainforests, Karnataka and Mundanthurai Tiger reserve in Tamil Nadu. It has a silver mane and black hair all over its body. According to some reports, only 2900 animals of this species are left both in the wild and in zoos.
4. The Anaimalai Gliding Frog
The Anamalai Gliding frog is a tree frog species found only in Anaimalai Hills in Tamil Nadu. The total length of the frog is 10 cm. It can jump 115 times its size.
5. The Pig nose frog
These frogs are ancient creatures believed to be in existence when our continent was joined to the main Gondwana land. It is also called the Indian purple frog. This frog is found in the Western Ghats. Its features are – has a round body and a pointed nose. It is mostly found under the ground. The closest relative to this frog is the found in Seychelles.
6. Cochin Forest cane turtle
This turtle is also called Kavalai Forest turtle. It is a very rare turtle found near Kavali in Cochin. This turtle is an endangered species and rarely spotted.
7. Nilgiri Blue Robin
This bird is endemic to the Nilgiri region. It has long legs and is found on the floors of the Shola forest in southern parts of India. The throat and the neck region of the bird are in salt blue color while its belly is buffy white. This bird is also on the ICUN red list.
8. Brown Palm civet
This is one of the many Indigenous Animals of India found in the Western Ghats. Brown Palm Civet is a nocturnal animal. It is found especially in Kalakkad Mundanthura Tiger Reserve and sometimes in Goa. Its main diet consists of fruits, berries and lianas.
9. Gooty Tarantula
Gooty Tarantula is a spider species found only in a small area of deciduous forests in Andhra Pradesh. Of course it has been bred in various countries and sold as pets.
10. Namdapha Flying Squirrel
This squirrel is a nocturnal animal and found in the Namdapha National Park of Arunachal Pradesh. Sightings of this animal is very rare.
Photo by Internet Archive Book Images
11. Kashmir Stag
Kashmiri Stag is a member of elk family and is found in Dachigam national park in Kashmir and Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh. It also goes by the name Hangul. Various conservation measures were taken by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir to prevent the extinction of this species due to poaching and hunting.
12. Malabar Civet
This endemic animal of the Western Ghat is on the critically endangered list. A nocturnal animal, it is called Kannan Chandu in the local language in the state of Kerala. This animal has been hunted for years and only 250+ animals have survived in the wild.
13. Pygmy Hog
As the name suggests Pygmy Hog is the rarest and smallest wild pig globally. It is found only in the north-eastern state of Assam today. It stands not more than 71 cms. Pygymy Hogs were previously found in Bangladesh, Nepal and other neighboring countries of India. This animal has been declared a critically endangered species as not more than 150 animals are now found in the wild.
14. Sangai Deer
This deer is found only near the southern parts of the Lohtak lake in Manipur. Sangai Deer is a state animal of Manipur and one of the few rare Indigenous animals of India. This animal is found is the Phumdi, the floating vegetation mass of Keibul Lamjao National Park, Assam. Sangai Deer also goes by the name Antlered deer or dancing deer.
This is a small attempt at writing down the list of wild Indigenous Animals of India. There may be more to the list and I would be only too happy to learn about them.
Featured Photo by srikaanth.sekar