by extramarks - Academics - September 4, 2019June 30, 2021 Endangered Fauna in India India is recognized among the top hotspots in the world for diversity in its flora and fauna. The variety of species of plants, birds, animals and reptiles found in the country are mindboggling – it is a fact to be proud of, but also to be sensitive about. It is deeply unfortunate that the critical ecological balance needed to sustain species is distorted time and again, leading to endangerment of some species and extinction of others. If the same continues, time is not far when our upcoming generations won’t be able to witness these animals. Today, let’s glimpse the top five endangered species in India and keep them in mind the next time we beam with pride about India and its natural heritage. • Bengal Tiger – Bengal Tiger is the national animal of India and Bangladesh. The skin of the tiger traditionally is yellow with black and brown stripes which makes it unique. The tiger is indeed royal, as reflects in its attitude and pride. It can be found in Bandhavgarh, Jim Corbett, Sunderbans, Sariska, Ranthambore and Tadoba. In the recent past, the number of these tigers has drastically reduced. This is because of illegal poaching and human-tiger conflict.. • Asiatic Lion – This is the most popular subspecies of lion, also known as Indian or Persian lion. Some people might confuse them with African lions. African lions however, are characterised by a larger tail tuft, less inflated auditory bullae and a less developed mane. Gir forests in Gujarat is the only place where they can be spotted. • Snow Leopard – Seeking habitat in the Himalayas, snow leopard is the third most important endangered species in India. They are declared most vulnerable as per the IUCN-World Conservation Union’s Red List. Snow Leopard is the largest native of the cat family. These are solitary species, mostly found alone. Their shelters include Nanda Devi National Park, Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary, Great Himalayan National Park, Kibber National Park etc. • BlackBuck– This is the most prominent variety of the ungulate species of antelope which is commonly referred to as ‘Kala Hiran.’ This is mainly hunted for its beautiful Indian skin and meat. This is not only endangered but also is nearly threatened. Some of the places where these can be spotted are Rollapadu, Chilika, and Guindy National park. • Western Red Panda– These are the most common subspecies of red panda, lesser panda or the red cat-bear. They seek shelters mostly in deciduous and coniferous forests in midst of hollow and bamboo trees. This puts them one of the arboreal mammals which lives in Eastern Himalayas. These animals are visually appealing and photogenic. They can be found in Sikkim, Khangchendzonga in West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh and Namdapha National Park. Some of the threats faced by these creatures which have made them endangered are illegal poaching, habitat loss and inbreeding depression. Overall, we need to realize that the endangered species are just the tip of the iceberg. The danger which we pose on the flora and fauna is unprecedented. Many life forms are extinct because of rapid deforestation, illegal poaching and loss of natural habitat where as many are on the verge of extinction. Now is the is time we should limit our footprints and live harmoniously with our co-species.