India is well famed for its rich stock of exotic wildlife! It has an amazingly wide variety of animals native to the country, of which some are endangered. Let's take a look at some of the most endangered animals found only in India. These animals are in the verge of extinction, thanks to the human exploitation. Hope we realise before it's too late!
Little to fame, little to claim - Rarest animal species found only in India!
India's own Gharials!
Gharials are one among the three crocodile species native to India! Being one of the longest of all living crocodiles, this fish eating crocodile is a critically endangered species which are threatened by loss of riverine habitat, depletion of fish resources, and entanglement in fishing nets. Gharials once inhabited all the major river systems of the Indian Subcontinent and the population has declined drastically in the past 70 years with the global gharial population estimated at fewer than 235 individuals! They are found in the northern part of Indian subcontinent.
The Great Indian Bustard
The Great Indian Bustard is a bustard which was once common on the dry plains of the Indian subcontinent. Often found in the same habitat as blackbuck, this one amongst the heaviest of the flying birds are critically endangered by hunting and loss of habitat! The global population of this 1 metre high birds were estimated as few as 250 individuals, according to a 2011 survey. They are now restricted to isolated places in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Endemic to north eastern India, Flying squirrels are one among the few flying animal species found in India. These critically endangered species is known from a single specimen collected in 1981 from the Namdapha National Park, though there were informal sightings in 2002. It's range is restricted to a single valley.
Dattatreya Night Frog
Discovered in 2008 by scientists from Zoological Survey of India, Dattatreya night frog is a species of frog found in the Shola forests around the Dattatreya Peeta in the Chikkamagaluru district of Karnataka. Known only from this part of the Western Ghats, the endangered falls of Manikyadhara consequently resulted in assessing Dattatreya Night Frog as critically endangered!
The mighty Mahseer
If he were alive today, Jim Corbett may not be a happy man given the state of his favourite sportfish and the environment. The 'Mighty Mahseer' is the kind of legendary fish that makes anglers traverse continents in the mere hope of sighting one. It is the only fish that made three Englishmen travel overland to India in search of it. Often called the tiger of water, Mahseer is a critically endangered species due to fishing and the illegal hunting.
These are some of the most endangered animals found only in India. Let's hope and pray that the reservation schemes that are in place now can help in saving these rare but precious species. Happy Travelling :)