(Last Updated on : 10-12-2012)
Endangered species in India comprise large varieties of rare species of wild animals, aquatic animals and insects. Indian wildlife
consists of numerous species of birds, mammals, reptiles etc, and is well known for comprising one of the richest varieties in the world. The Indian wildlife also contains several endangered species that are living critically on the verge of extinction. An endangered species is defined as a population of a living being that is at the danger of becoming extinct because of several reasons. Either they are few in number or are threatened by the varying environmental or predation parameters. The endangered species in India have been identified by different national and international organisations like the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) and the Wildlife Institute of India
Statistics of Endangered Species in India
As per the official records, in India, there are over 130000 endangered animal species, although some experts believe that the number may be even more than the projected figures. However, some claim that the number is actually much more. The number of endangered species in India accounts for around 8.86 % of the world's mammals. The mammals are extended over 186 genera, 45 families and 13 orders out of which around 89 species are listed as threatened in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals (IUCN 2006).
Types of Endangered Species in India
The endangered species in India have been divided into 4 main categories-
* Critically Endangered (CR),
* Endangered (EN),
* Vulnerable (VU) and
This classification was done by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) and Wildlife Institute of India (WII), in the year 2004. The population of the endangered species has been decreasing every passing minute.
Critically Endangered and Endangered Species in India
Among the endangered species in India, one of the most critically endangered one is the Siberian Tiger. This is a rare subspecies of tiger and they are an endangered species in India. The Asian Elephants found in India have also become the victims to the ever famous ivory poaching. However, the main cause behind their demur is considered to be the loss of habitat. Another endangered species in India is one of the big cats, the Golden Leopard with black marks. The number of this species has been reduced to as low as 14,000, in India. The main reasons behind the decline of Leopard
population in India have been the loss of habitat and also human population pressure on wildlife reserves in India. These reasons are also a matter of great concern for the other endangered species in India. The major reason behind the habitat loss is the spread of agriculture. The Royal Bengal Tigers
were also extensively being captured for pet trade, zoos and research, as well as for use in Oriental medicine, in the past.
Some critically endangered species
Further, the Critically Endangered species in India, as identified by the IUCN and WII include the Jenkins Shrew
, Malabar Large-spotted Civet, Namdapha Flying Squirrel
, Pygmy Hog, Salim Ali
's Fruit Bats
, Snow Leopard
, Sumatran Rhinoceros
, and the Wroughton's Free-tailed Bat. The list of Endangered species in India include the Asiatic Lion
, Asiatic Black Bear
, Desert Cat, Great Indian Rhinoceros, Hispid Hare, Hoolock Gibbon, Kashmir
Stag, Lion-Tailed Macaque
, Nayan Ovis, Nilgiri Leaf Monkey, Pygmy Hog, Andaman Shrew, Andaman Spiny Shrew, Indian Elephant
or Asian Elephant, Banteng, Blue Whale, Capped Leaf Monkey, Chiru, Fin Whale, Ganges River Dolphin, Golden Leaf Monkey, Asian arowana, Loggerhead Sea Turtle
, Hoolock Gibbon, Indus River
Dolphin, Kondana Soft-furred Rat, Lion-Tailed Macaque, Marsh Mongoose, Nicobar Tree Shrew, Nilgiri Tahr, Parti-coloured Flying Squirrel, Peter's Tube-nosed Bat, Red Panda
, Sei Whale, Servant Mouse, Tiger, Wild Water Buffalo, and the Woolly Flying Squirrel.
Vulnerable and Threatened Species in India
Apart from the Critically Endangered and the endangered species in India, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources and Wildlife Institute of India also identified several species as vulnerable in India. These species include the Asiatic Wild Dog, Banteng Bos javanicus, Brow-antlered Deer
, Brown Bear
, Brown Palm Civet, Clouded Leopard
, Common Otter, Ganges River Dolphin, Gaur, Goral, Grey Indian Wolf, Himalayan W-toothed Shrew, Himalayan Musk Deer
, Himalayan Shrew, Jackal Canis Aureus, Andaman Horseshoe Bat, Andaman Rat, Argali, Asiatic Golden Cat, Asiatic Wild Ass, Macaque Monkey
, Back-striped Weasel, Barasingha, Bare-bellied Hedgehog, Blackbuck, Brown fish owl, Central Kashmir
, Dugong, Eld's Deer, Elvira Rat, Eurasian Otter, Fishing Cat, Four-horned Antelope, Gaur.
The other Vulnerable species are Himalayan Tahr
, Humpback Whale, Indian Giant Squirrel, Irrawaddy Squirrel, Jerdon's Palm Civet, Kashmir Cave Bat, Kerala
Rat, Khajuria's Leaf-nosed Bat, Kolar Leaf-nosed Bat, Lesser Horseshoe Bat, Mainland Serow, Malayan Porcupine, Mandelli's Mouse-eared Bat, Marbled Cat, Mouflon, Nicobar Flying Fox, Nilgiri Leaf Monkey, Nilgiri Marten, Nonsense Rat, Pale Grey Shrew, Palm Rat, Red Goral, Royal Bengal Tiger
, Rock Eagle-owl, Rusty-spotted Cat, Sikkim Rat, Sloth Bear, Slow Loris, Smooth-coated Otter, Sperm Whale, Sri Lankan Giant Squirrel, Sri Lankan Highland Shrew, Stumptail Macaque, Takin, Wild Goat, Wild Yak
and the Lesser Panda.
The species like the Indian Wild Ass
, the Leopard
and the Red Fox have been identified as the threatened species in India. In 2012, Ploughshare tortoise, Rio Pescado stub foot toad, Pygmy three-toed sloth, Tarzan's chameleon, Wild yam, are listed as endangered species.