On the third Friday in May, the National Endangered Species Day is celebrated every year in India to raise awareness about the endangered flora and fauna. People participate in Endangered Species Day by celebrating, organizing events, and taking action to protect threatened and endangered species.
Taking this as an opportunity, we can take up various steps to save the endangered species due to human activity, which causes massive climate changes. Mass deforestation in the name of development has been a cause of concern worldwide.
The total area of forest area in India is 21.67% of the whole geographical location in 2019, as per a Ministry of Environment report. However, deforestation is ever increasing due to human activities, urbanization, wildfire, etc. It is the main reason for the extinction of many species of flora and fauna in the country.
This article will let you know the critically endangered species in India and where they roam.
List of Critically Endangered Species In India and places where you can find them
1. Sangai or Rucervus Eldii Eldii
The Sangai (scientific name Cervus eldii edii) is the only blow antlered-deer found only in Manipur, India. Sangai is one of the endangered species of deer in India and the whole world. Its natural habitat is at Keibul Lamjao National Park over the floating biomass locally known as Phumdi. Keibul Lamjoa is located in the South-eastern part of Loktak Lake.
By 1950, Sangai was believed to be extinct from the earth. However, a few Sangai were found roaming in its natural habitat Keibul Lamjao. Since then, the government of Manipur has taken stringent measures to increase the number of this endangered blow antlered-deer. The latest survey indicates that the total number of Sangai has grown to nearly 206 because of the dedication and hard work of the forest department. The habitat of the Sangai is often disrupted by hydroelectric, which cause the water level of the lake to rise. The rise in water level eventually decreases the floating phumdi, which is the only natural habitat of Sangai. Even after the government’s strict rules, poachers often trap and slay the deer at the slightest opportunity.
Where is Sangai found?
It is only found in Manipur, India. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll be able to see the beautiful dancing deer “Sangai” in the unique floating grass called “Phumdi” in the Keibul Lamjao National Park.
2. Asiatic Lion
The Asian lion was once considered a faithful companion and protector in the wild. However, in the last century, their numbers worldwide have declined due to their natural prey animals’ loss.
Today, there are only several hundred Asiatic lions in the wild, and they only live in the Gir Forest, India. Gir forest is the most popular tourist destination for the lion in the Indian state of Gujarat. Unlike African lions, Asian lions are slightly smaller. The population of the Asian lion has been rescued from the verge of extinction from this planet to several hundred lions. As of now, only five protected areas exist to protect the Asiatic lion, one of the critically endangered species of India. Those protected areas are in the form of wildlife sanctuary viz. Gir Sanctuary, Gir National Park, Pania Sanctuary, Mitiyala Sanctuary, and Girnar Sanctuary.
Some of the main reasons for the threat to this Asiatic lion are identified as encroachment, forest fire, natural calamities, grazing, collection of fuelwood, Non-timber forest produce, poaching, tourism, religious pilgrimage, and sometimes accidental lion deaths due to human causes.
Where is Asiatic Lion Found?
Asiatic Lion is found in the protected wildlife sanctuary of Gir Forest in the Indian state of Gujarat which is the Majestic Home Of The Royal King. Only several hundred lions are living in this area.
3. One-Horned Rhinoceros
Once, the One-horned Rhinoceros roam freely in the tall grasslands and forests in the foothills of the Himalayas. Unfortunately, the population of this One-horned Rhinoceros has now reduced to an extinction-level. We human must be happy to hear that this One-horned Rhino is now on the list of the endangered species of India.
The One-horned Rhinoceros is commonly found in Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan and Assam, India.
By the start of the 20th century, around 200 wild greater One-horned Rhinoceros remained due to killing in the name of sports or killed as agricultural pests.
With the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) help, the Indian and the Nepalese governments have taken up significant steps towards conserving this endangered species. The numbers of these One-horned Rhinoceros have now increased to 3,700 rhinos in northeastern (Assam) India and Nepal’s Terai grasslands.
Did you know where the One-horned Rhinoceros is found in India?
One can have the beautiful and rare sight of the One-horned Rhinoceros in the Kaziranga National park, Manas National Park, Pobitora reserve forest, Orang National Park Laokhowa reserve forest. All these places are located in Assam, one of the seven sisters of North-eastern India. In Nepal, you’ll find it in the Chitwan National Park. These are some of the places on the earth that homes this endangered animal.
4. Bengal Tiger (Endangered Species of India)
The Bengal Tiger ranks among the biggest wild cats alive today. It falls under the subspecies Panthera Tigris Tigris. Bengal Tiger population used to be the most populated tiger species in the world till the beginning of the 20th century. Unfortunately, this big cat has now included on the list of endangered species of India by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The main threat to this endangered animal is poaching and conflicts with humans over the territories. Poachers often kill this big cat to trade the products obtained from them illegally and sell for money. Sometimes tigers are killed to extract ingredient for drugs to cure various diseases. Deforestation is also another cause for the shrinking of tiger’s territories. The conflict between humans and tigers is rising due to the loss of the tiger’s habitat and prey species. Due to this reason, they attack domestic animals and sometimes even humans to feed their big stomach. People sometimes retaliate by killing tigers which is also one reason why the population of Bengal Tigers is not increasing even after many steps taken up by the government.
Did you know which is the National Animal of India and Bangladesh?
The Bengal Tiger (one of the endangered species of India) is the National Animal of Both India and Bangladesh. By 2018 the population of the Bengal Tiger was estimated at 3000.
5. Snow Leopard
In India, the snow leopard is found only in Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and the western and eastern parts of the Himalayas. The snow leopard plays a vital role as both a top predator and a health indicator of their high-altitude habitat. If snow leopards flourish, so will countless other species. Today, the snow leopard is under threat due to hunting, habitat loss and retaliatory killings. The habitat areas of this endangered animal have also been constantly shrinking due to human settlement and increased use of grazing space. Climate change is also another major long-term threat to this endangered animal. As many as 30 per cent of the snow leopard habitat could lose in the Himalayan region alone due to climate change.