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Endangered species of the India
    Threatened Species

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NTSE 2012
Threatened Species

The animals which are listed under the category of Threatened Species are
• Indian Wild Ass
• Leopard
• Red Fox

Charismatic mega-vertebrates, including elephants, rhinos and tigers all face dwindling habitat and conflict with humans but they are not they only mammals for whom extinction is a real threat. Bats, shrews, squirrels and civets are among the critically endangered species found in India. As actual population counts or estimates are not easily available for many of these species, this list will incorporate all 7 critically endangered species and 3 of the endangered species whose numbers are dropping, two which are endemic to islands and one threatened by invasive alien species.

There is one rhinoceros listed among India’s endangered species. Sadly, the Sumatran rhino is considered likely to be extinct within India, even as its numbers drop elsewhere in the world.

Smaller species dominate the critically endangered list.

Most people have never heard of the Salim Ali’s fruit Bat (Latidens salimalii) or the Wroughton’s free-tailed bat (Otomops wroughtoni). Both of these bat species have lower populations than the Indian one-horned rhino or the Bengal tiger. Habitat loss/degradation placed the Wroughton’s at critically endangered in 2000 according to the IUCN.

One other tiny mammal, the Namdapha flying squirrel (Biswamoyopterus biswasi) is also critically endangered. Existing in a single location, habitat loss could easily spell the end for this species.

A bit larger but no more well known is the Malabar large spotted civet (Viverra civettina) found in the Western Ghats and considered critically endangered since 1996. With less than 250 mature animals these small cats are being pushed out as deforestation claims cashew plantations which are replaced with rubber trees.

The pygmy hog (Sus salvanius) also made the critically endangered list in 1999. It is found only in Assam where the population is estimated at less than 200 animals. Hunting is an added pressure on top of habitat loss for this species.


Asiatic Black Bear

Asiatic Lion

Desert Cat

The banteng (Bos javanicus) made the endangered species list in 2000 and its numbers continue to fall. A wild cattle species, it is threatened by introduced bovines which compete for food. The introduced species also interbreed with these native and the banteng are hunted for their horns.

Great Indian Rhinoceros
Great Indian Rhinoceros
Royal Bengal Tiger
Royal Bengal Tiger

Halting habitat loss or degradation will be the key to saving all these endangered species. The charismatic mega-vertebrates have served to raise awareness of these issues. And while listing species as endangered helps to bring focus to the threats to wildlife, the foremost consideration will need to become protecting wild areas that support a variety of species, especially ones that aren’t so well known.

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