Endangered Wonders: Seven Species in India You Should See Before They Go Extinct
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Endangered Wonders: Seven Species in India You Should See Before They Go Extinct

India, known for its diverse ecosystems and rich biodiversity, is home to many species teetering on the brink of extinction. As these creatures face critical threats and their populations dwindle, spotting them in their natural habitats has become increasingly urgent. Here are seven endangered species in India that you should see before they disappear.

Great Indian Bustard: The Grounded Giant

The Great Indian bustard, native to the grasslands of India, is a tall bird, with males reaching heights of up to 1.2 metres and weighing up to 15 kilograms. Critically endangered, there are fewer than 250 individuals left, mostly in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra. Known for their impressive mating displays, the birds are threatened by habitat loss, hunting and collisions with power lines. Conservation efforts include protected areas and special measures to protect this majestic bird.

Lion-tailed macaque, Macaca silenus, endangered species, population declining, Western Ghats, India

Lion-tailed Macaque: The Attraction of the Mane

One of the most endangered primates in the world, the lion-tailed macaque has a population of around 2,500. These medium-sized monkeys, distinguished by their long, black mane and tufted tail, are omnivores, feeding on fruits, insects and small animals. They live in the Western Ghats, where deforestation and agricultural expansion threaten their survival. Conservation programmes aim to increase their population through protected areas and community involvement.

Red Panda: The Elusive Arboreal Bird

Also known as the lesser panda, the red panda is a small, tree-dwelling mammal found in the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. In India, it inhabits Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, and parts of West Bengal. These creatures thrive in temperate forests at elevations of 7,000 to 15,000 feet, and their diet consists of bamboo, fruits, berries, and insects. Habitat loss and poaching pose serious threats, but efforts are focused on habitat protection and raising awareness.

Nilgiri Tahr: The Wonder of the Mountains

Native to the Nilgiri Hills and Western Ghats, the Nilgiri Tahr is a stocky animal with a distinctive black stripe along its back and long, curved horns. Adapted to steep, rocky terrain, these excellent climbers are vulnerable to habitat loss and poaching. Protected areas such as Mudumalai National Park and Anamalai Tiger Reserve are key to their conservation.

Indian Rhinoceros: An Icon in Armor

The critically endangered Indian rhino, or one-horned rhinoceros, is found mainly in Assam and West Bengal. Known for its single horn and armored hide, it struggles against habitat loss, poaching, and human conflict. Conservation efforts focus on expanding protected areas, promoting coexistence, and combating poaching under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

Snow Leopard: Phantom of the Mountains

Native to mountainous regions of Central and South Asia, including India, the snow leopard is elusive and adapted to harsh, cold climates. Faced with threats from poaching and habitat loss, conservation efforts aim to protect its habitat and mitigate human-wildlife conflict.

Blackbuck: The Graceful Survivor

The population of the Indian wildebeest, also known as the Indian antelope, has declined from an estimated 80,000 in 1947 to just 8,000 in two decades due to poaching and habitat loss. Despite conservation efforts, the species continues to face threats from stray dogs, pesticides, and vehicle traffic. Protecting their habitat and addressing these threats is crucial to their survival.