The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red Lists are the bearers of genetic diversity and the building blocks of ecosystems, and information on their conservation status and distribution provides the foundation for making decisions about conserving biodiversity from local to global levels. The IUCN Global Species Programme working with the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) has been assessing the conservation status of species, subspecies, varieties, and even selected subpopulations on a global scale for the past 50 years in order to highlight taxa threatened with extinction, and thereby promote their conservation.
Endangered Animals in India
Critically Endangered species in India, according to the Red Data Book of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed 132 species of plants and animals as Critically Endangered from India.
Indian Bustard- Ardeotis nigriceps (Vigors) Great
The Great Indian Bustard (Ardeotis nigriceps) or Indian Bustard is a bustard found in India and the adjoining regions of Pakistan. Once common on the dry plains of the Indian subcontinent, today very few birds survive and the species is on the brink of extinction, being critically endangered by hunting and loss of its habitat, this consists of large expanses of dry grassland and scrub. They are confined mostly to the arid regions of Rajasthan, Gujarat and the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra.
Jerdon’s Courser (Cursorious bitorquatus (Blyth)
It is one of the rarest birds of the world. It is listed as Critically Endangered by IUCN. Because it known only from one single site and the habitat in which it lives is also shrinking and degrading. This course is a restricted-range endemic found locally in India in Anantpur, Cuddapah, Nellore and Bhadrachalam in the Godavary valley in the Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh.
Himalayan Monal, Pheasant - Lophophorus impejanus (Latham)
The Himalayan Monal secures a distinct position among pheasants due to its prominent build, brilliant plumage and strong association with local folklore. Its natural range spreads from eastern Afghanistan through the Himalayas including Kashmir region of Northern Pakistan, India (states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh), Nepal, southern Tibet and Bhutan. There is also a report of its occurrence in Burma.
Sarus Crane (Grus Antigone Antigone)
It is a large non-migratory crane found in parts of the Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia and Australia. They are easily distinguished from other cranes in the region by the overall grey colour and the contrasting red head and upper neck. They forage on marshes and shallow wetlands for roots, tubers, insects, crustaceans and small vertebrate prey.
Asiatic lion- Panthera leo persica (Meyer)
They are also known as babbar sher. The only place in the wild where this species is found is in the Gir Forest in Kathiawar of Gujarat, India. The Asiatic lion is one of the five major big cats found in India, the others being the Bengal tiger, the Indian leopard, the snow leopard and leopard. The Asiatic lions once ranged from the Mediterranean to the north-eastern parts of the Indian subcontinent, but excessive hunting, habitat destruction, decline in natural prey and human interference have reduced their number.
Blackbuck - Antilope cervicapra (Linnaeus)
They (Antilope cervicapra) are an antelope species native to the Indian Subcontinent that has been classified as endangered by IUCN since 2003, as the blackbuck range has decreased sharply during the 20th century. Today, the blackbuck population is confined to areas in Maharashtra, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, with a few small pockets in central India.
Ganges River Dolphin - Platanista gangetica
It is listed on the Appendix I of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) and Schedule I of India’s Wildlife (Protection), Act, 1972. Therefore, hunting of the species and both domestic and international trade in the species and its parts and derivatives is completely prohibited.
Hoolock Gibbon (Hylobates hoolock)
Hoolock Gibbon is the only ape to be found in India. It is the most accomplished acrobat of all the apes. It lives in dense forests of north - eastern India. It is found in Bangladesh and in some parts of Burma and China. Its range extends into seven states covering Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura.
Nilgiri langur (Presbytis johni)
They (Trachypithecus johnii) are found in the Nilgiri Hills of the Western Ghats in South India. Its range also includes Kodagu in Karnataka, Kodayar Hills in Tamil Nadu and many other hilly areas in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The species is endangered due to deforestation and poaching for its fur and flesh, the latter believed to have aphrodisiac properties.
Wild Ass (Equus hemionus khur)
The Indian wild ass's range once extended from western India, southern Pakistan (i.e. provinces of Sindh and Baluchistan), Afghanistan, and south-eastern Iran. Today, its last refuge lies in the Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary, Little Rann of Kutch and its surrounding areas of the Great Rann of Kutch in the Gujarat province of India. The animal, however, is also seen in the districts of Surendranagar, Banaskantha, Mehsana, and other Kutch districts. Saline deserts (rann), arid grasslands and shrublands are its preferred environments.
Lion Tailed Macaque - Macaca silenus(Linnaeus)
The lion-tailed macaque (Macaca silenus) is endemic to the Western Ghats of South India. The tail is medium in length, and has a black tuft at the end, similar to a lion's tail. The male's tail-tuft is more developed than that of the female. It primarily eats indigenous fruits, leaves, buds, insects and small vertebrates in virgin forest.
Olive Ridley Sea Turtle - Lepidochelys olivacea
These turtles are solitary, preferring the open ocean. They migrate hundreds or even thousands of miles every year, and come together as a group only once a year when females return to the beaches where they hatched and lumber onshore, sometimes in the thousands, to nest. In the India Ocean, the majority of olive ridleys nest in two or three large bundles near Gahirmatha in the Orissa.
The Indian pangolin - Manis crassicaudata (Gray)
It is an insectivore that feeds on ants and termites, digging them out of mounds and logs using its long claws, which are as long as its forelimbs.
The Nilgiri tahr (Nilgiritragus hylocrius)
They are known locally as the Nilgiri ibex or simply ibex is an ungulate that is endemic to the Nilgiri Hills and the southern portion of the Western Ghats in the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala in southern India. It is the state animal of Tamil Nadu. They are stocky goats with short, coarse fur and a bristly mane. Males are larger than the females, and have a darker colour when mature. Both sexes have curved horns, which are larger in the males; Adult males develop a light grey area on their backs and are thus called "saddlebacks".
The leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis)
The leopard cat is a small wild cat of South and East Asia. Since 2002 it has been listed as Least Concern by IUCN as it is widely distributed but threatened by habitat loss and hunting in parts of its range. They are found in agriculturally used areas but prefer forested habitats. They live in tropical evergreen rainforests and plantations at sea level, in subtropical deciduous and coniferous forests in the foothills of the Himalayas. They are solitary, except during breeding season.
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