India is home to a large number of wild animals. The country has around 25% of dense forests and is home to around 400 national parks. The habitat in these areas is favorable for some exotic wild life which is prominent in the country. These habitats are said to be home to the rarest species of wild animals.
The national parks in India also serve as an amazing natural habitat for a number of wild species of fauna and wild animals. There are many parks that also offer safaris that can get you up close and personal with a number of these species and beasts. Apart from wild animals, India is also home to some peculiar species of lizards, beautiful birds and venomous snakes. While such a small space may not be enough to write about all the species found in India, here are some wild animals that are rare to find anywhere else in the world as well. Here are the top 10 wild animals of India.
10. Indian Bison
The Indian Bison or the Gaur is known to be the largest extant bovine. Since 1986, the Indian Bison has been listed as vulnerable by the IUCN Red List. There has been a 70% decline in the last few years. There are few areas that have been ear marked as rebuilding areas and the Indian Bison is well protected in these areas. The domesticated form of the Indian Bison is called the mithun or the gayal. The Indian Bison is confined to forests and is mostly seen in India, Myanmar, Nepal, Bangladesh, Thailand and Bhutan. It is regionally extinct in Sri Lanka.
9. Blue Bull-Nilgai
The Nilgai or the Blue Bull is the largest Asian Antelope in the world. The Nilgai is a thin but sturdy legged animal that weighs anywhere between 100kgs to 288 kgs. They have a sloping back and a white patch on their neck. The animals are native to India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan. They were also introduced to Texas in 1920. Texas currently has about 37,000 of these animals. They are extinct in Bangladesh, however they are still found in large numbers in India. They are usually spotted in the Northern regions of the country and are considered to be a pest there. They are known to cause serious crop damage which is why the Blue Bull is declared vermin in Bihar.
8. Indian Wild Buffalo
The Indian Wild Buffalo is also known as the water buffalo or Asiatic Buffalo. These buffalos are popular in India, Nepal and various other Asian countries. They are mostly spotted in Assam in the Kaziranga national park. These buffalos are larger in comparison to the domestic buffalos that are found in India.
7. Indian Wild Ass
The Indian Wild Ass or the Baluchi Wild Ass is fondly called ghudkhur in local Gujarati language. As of 2016, this species was listed by IUCN as Near Threatened. The Indian Wild Ass Species is extremely different from the African wild ass. The coat of the Indian wild ass is sandy and varies from fawn, grey to pale chestnut. The species has a dark erect mane and runs along the neck from the back of the head. This mane is followed by a long dark brown stripe that runs along the back right up to the root of the tail.
6. Indian Black Bear
The Indian Black Bear also known as the Asian Black Bear is popularly found in China, Russia, India, Japan and Taiwan. These bears are usually seen in the Himalayan region and are usually very aggressive. These animals are often hunted down for medicinal purposes. They are black in color and have a white patch on their chest. These bears are a lot smaller in comparison to other bears and weigh a maximum of 200 kgs.
5. Indian Leopard
The Indian Leopard is one of the classiest animals that you will see in the wild. It was classified as Near Threatened by the IUCN in 2008. This is because of the rapid decline in population due to poaching and hunting of the Indian leopard. This is for the illegal trade of their body parts and the skin of the Indian leopard. The Indian leopard is considered one of the big five cats of India along with the snow leopard, the Bengal tiger, the Asiatic lion and the clouded leopard.
4. Great Indian Lion
The Indian Lion also known as the Asiatic Lion or the Persian Lion is one of the lion subspecies. These lions are only spotted in Gujarat and have been listed as endangered. The Indian Lion is different from the African lion which has a larger mane. These lions are mostly in the Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary where they are looked after.
3. Indian Rhinoceros
The Indian Rhinoceros is called the great Indian Rhinoceros or the greater one horned Rhinoceros. It was listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. The main reason for the decline of the Indian Rhinoceros is the bad quality of alluvial grassland and the riverine forest is declining due to human encroachment. As of 2015, there are only 3,555 Indian Rhinoceros living in the wild.
2. Great Indian Elephant
The Indian Elephant is a subspecies of the Asian elephant. This elephant has been considered endangered since 1986. Most of them are hunted for their tusks or removed from their natural habitats. Indian elephants are smaller in size in comparison to African elephants. The elephants can be spotted in a number of locations in India including Wes Bengal and Assam, but they are also seen in Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttar Pradesh.
1. Royal Bengal Tiger
The Royal Bengal Tiger is the national animal of India. It has been classified as endangered since 2012 by the IUCN. The rapid decline in the population of the Royal Bengal Tiger can be seen due to the illegal trading of the body parts and poached skins that takes place between India, China and Nepal. While the governments of all three countries are aware of the situation, no effective measures have been put in place. The illegal trade of the body part of the Royal Bengal Tiger continues to flourish till date.