On World Animal Day, Its time to celebrate and make this world a better place for them. We are invading their homes by cutting jungles, as a result, animals are dying. Their natural habitat is destroying, animals and other species are getting critically endangered in India and other parts of the world. The whole world needs to wake up and see this as a potential threat to our own mankind if not them. Whole pyramid of the food chain is getting affected as many species are slowly moving towards endangered, critically endangered and some are on the verge of getting extinct. This is not really a good sign.
If seen from a different point of view, animals are not really our enemies. I am sure many of us must have had pets in your childhood, or now as well. We treat roadside animals as they don’t have the right to live. This double nature of people needs to stop. On this world animal day, take a pledge for all these helpless animals to make our surroundings a better place for them to live.
India used to be a rich habitat for many species of animals. Some of these Endangered Species are exclusively seen in India. Amongst them, some of the well-known animals are The Asiatic Lion, The Asiatic Cheetah, The Royal Bengal Tiger, fresh water Dolphin, and several other birds.
Firstly, killing animals for their horns, hooves, skin, and even their teeth has to lead to lowering in their numbers. Secondly, sometimes some species move out of their habitat in search of food because of the contamination of land and resources. This is because of the pollution mankind is doing to the earth. Thirdly, and most importantly, due to this greenhouse effect, climate change is one of the biggest factors that is affecting animal habitats. To be precise, we are the cause of the poor condition of many animals.
Other factors include industrialization and housing. Factories dump their toxic waste into rivers and this becomes the reason for the extinction of fishes and aquatic species. Also, this has disturbed the riverside habitat of frogs and several reptiles.
The IUCN Red List Of Threatened Species creates the list of endangered and critically endangered species. Let us see some of the endangered and critically endangered species in India.
Critically Endangered Animals And In India
- The Himalayan Brown/Red bear. Found in Northeast India and parts of Nepal. Its major threats are loss of suitable habitat and persecution by humans.
- The Kashmir stag/ Hangul. It is the subspecies of Red deer which is native to India. It is found in riverine dense forests, High Valleys, and mountains of the Kashmir Valley and Northern Chamba and is the state animal of Jammu and Kashmir. Its Major threats are poaching, overgrazing of fields by livestock and also habitat destruction.
- Sumatran Rhinoceros. Its the smallest and critically endangered of the five rhinoceros species. Thought to be regionally extinct though it once occurred in foothills of the Himalayas an Northeast India. Its threats include poaching and loss of habitat.
Endangered Animals and Birds Of India
1. The Royal Bengal Tiger
These are the most well-known endangered species of India. The Royal Bengal Tiger is Popularly found in Bengal at the saltwater reserve. Due to the Excessive population, increased poaching activities and also, increased water levels in that area. Only a few hundred of them are remaining. Because of getting into villages area or getting into the hands of an animal trader. This poor animal is getting killed for its skin or teeth. There is no Improvement in their number even after the government has increased the laws for the safety of these animals.
2. The Snow Leopard
There was a time when the Himalayan region used to have a large number of these feline members of the Big cat family. However, due to the excessive climate change, melting of ice and increased cutting of trees for housing and construction. Only a few hundred are left for in that forest region.
3. The Indian Vulture
There are nine species of vultures that are living in India. But most of them are getting endangered by a sharp decline of 99%. These used to have large wings and are mostly seen in the Peninsula Region. In the study, it is seen likewise that the drug Diclofenac, which is used to ease the pain in animals and cattle, is deadly toxic to vultures. And a lack of vultures means all types of problems. The vultures are on the verge of extinction because of the drug that is banned by the government. This drug is used illegally to treat suffering cattle. And on religious account, the dying cattle are not killed in India, hence they are given this drug. Then the vultures and endangered birds feed on the remains of these cattle.
More than 97% of vultures have disappeared from the skies in the past decade. This is the fastest decline recorded anywhere in the world.
4. Nilgiri Langur
The Nilgiri Langur are found in the Nilgiri Hills of the western ghats. These primates come under the threatened species whose number is decreasing due to poaching and habitat loss. Its major attraction is its black fur, hence, it is also known as Black Langur. One of the major myths that are prevailing. Myth is that the meat of the Nilgiri Langur percieves aphrodisiac capabilities.
A whole racket was exposed, of those who were selling the meat of Nilgiri Langur to the rich and the NRI people who use the medicines prepared from the meat of this animal as a sex stimulant.
5. The Indian River Shark
Its a poorly known fact that sharks are found in freshwater also. There are only six species of river sharks found in the world out of which the Ganges Shark is endemic to India. This shark is endemic to the Hooghly-Ganges river system in India. These are critically endangered and the rarest species. Like many other species, this species is also threatened because of depravity due to pollution, Overfishing, growth in river use and management. Even though the sharks are protected by the Indian Wildlife Protection Act, the effect of this is still unknown. Only a few numbers of them is remaining. Some are reported to be migrating towards Florida.
6. Black Buck
BlackBuck is an endangered species found in India and Nepal. And in India, it is now only seen in sanctuaries and national parks. According to PETA, threats to them include Hunting, destruction of their forest homes, climate change and conflict with villagers. Blackbucks are known for their soft coat, characteristic twisted horns and they are very nervous in nature and sometimes might die because of cardiac arrest only on the face of perceived danger.
7. The Great Indian Bustard
These are one of the most well known endangered species in the Indian subcontinent, which is found in parts of Gujarat and Rajasthan. It is one of the heaviest flying birds. In that region, many croplands were for sorghum and millets on which these birds thrived. Now, these have become fields for the production of sugarcane and cotton or grape vineyards. Other major factors include Habitat loss, hunting, and poaching.
8. The Indian Dolphin
These Dolphins belong to the cetacea family. It is also the family to which whales also belong. It is also known as the Ganges Dolphins. The Ganga Dolphin was declared India’s National aquatic animal in 2009. Also in 2010, An act was formed for the protection of highly endangered dolphins. But not very much has been done since then.
The gharial is India’s special crocodilian species and is critically threatened because of the river pollution, loss of riverine habitats, depletion of fish resources and getting entangled in the fishing nets. Also, the major concern of deaths of gharial near the Chambal river banks and sandy freshwater is pollution.
10. The Dhole (The Indian Wild Dog)
These are also known as the Asiatic wild dogs. Despite its precarious status, the Dhole remains one of the very less studied carnivores in the world. India supports the largest number of Dholes with the key population in three landscapes- Mainly the Western Ghats, Central India, and North-East India.
These Asian Wild dogs have very fewer predators that are limited to the large cats roaming the same hunting ground such as Tigers and Leopards. Yet there are actually fewer breeding adult Dholes in the world. Which makes them critically endangered. Humans are by far the biggest threats for these species because we are responsible mainly for their habitat loss as a human settlement into their homes is increasing. Also, industrial deforestation for rubber, timber, wood etc is the major issue as well.