The Wildlife in India is a mix of species of different
types of organisms.
It is home to tigers, lions, leopards, snow leopards, pythons,
wolves, foxes, bears, crocodiles, rhinoceroses, camels, wild
dogs, monkeys, snakes, antelope species, deer species, varieties
of bison and not to mention the mighty Asian elephant.
The region's rich and diverse wildlife is preserved in 89 national
parks, 13 Bio reserves and 400+ wildlife sanctuaries across the
country.India has some of the most biodiversity regions of the
world and hosts three of the world’s 34 biodiversity hotspots – or
treasure-houses – that is the Western Ghats, the Eastern
Himalayas and Indo- Burma
Since India is home to a number of rare and threatened animal
species, wildlife management in the country is essential to
preserve these species. According to one study, India along
with 17 mega diverse countries is home to about 60-70% of the
India is home to
including the Asian
Tiger, Asiatic Lion,
Leopard, Sloth Bear
and religiously, often
being associated with
Some other wellknown large
are: ungulates such
as the rare Wild
Nilgai, Gaur, and
several species of
deer and antelope.
Some members of
the dog family,
such as the Indian
Wolf, Bengal Fox
and Golden Jackal,
and the Dhole or
Wild Dogs are also
dhole, also known
as the whistling
hunter, is the most
and the Himalayan
Wolf is now a
endemic to India.
It is also home
to the Striped
The Bio-reserves in India are:
Gulf of Mannar
Eight of the eighteen biosphere
are a part the World Network of
Biosphere Reserves, based on the
UNESCO Man and the Biosphere
Programme (MAB) list.
Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve
Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve
Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve
Nokrek National Park
Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve
Simlipal National Park
Sundarbans Biosphere Reserve
Wildlife is one of the most gracious gifts of nature to this land, which
is as rich in its variety and colors as its number.
The majestic lion, the grateful yet fearsome tiger, unproductive
leopard, powerful elephant, the nimble deer, attractive antelope, the
picturesque peafowl, the gorgeous pelican, the beautiful parakeets,
wood-pecker and the elegant flamingo are some of these of which any
country might be proud.
There are 312 species of mammals, 1175 species of birds, 399 species of
reptiles, 60000 species of insects and 181 species of amphibians and
46610 species of plants. Over the past 2000 years about 106 species of
animals and about 140 species of birds have become extinct because of
climate and geographic changes and also by over hunting by man for
food, medicine, fur and many other reasons. According to ecologist
more than 600 species of animals and birds are expected to be extinct
if not protected by wildlife management.
Wildlife Management is an ancient phenomenon. Vedas contain
hymns in praise of animals. Sanatana Dharma has linked some
animals with the specific God or Goddess as the best way of
conservation of wildlife.
The need for conservation of wildlife in India is often
questioned because of the apparently incorrect priority in
the face of direct poverty of the people.
However, Article 48 of the Constitution of India specifies
that, "The state shall endeavour to protect and improve the
environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the
country" and Article 51-A states that "it shall be the duty of
every citizen of India to protect and improve the natural
environment including forests, lakes, rivers, and wildlife
and to have compassion for living creatures
Large and charismatic mammals are important for
wildlife tourism in India, and several national parks and
wildlife sanctuaries cater to these needs.
At the beginning of the 19th century more than two-thirds of the land
mass in India was lying uncultivated (Singh, 1986). As lands close to
village habitations were enough to satisfy the subsistence needs of the
people, forests remote from habitations were generally never overexploited. Often these virgin forests were concentrated in infertile
highlands, where lived India’s indigenous communities, called adivasis
The British presence from the late 18th century onwards started
making a difference to land and forest usage in India
On forest lands, ‘human resource-use practices such as grazing,
product collection, and temporary or rotational swidden farming were
rejected as a basis for ownership, even when taxes were paid
By the turn of the last century some 20 million hectares (m ha) of land
was brought under a category of forests called Reserve Forests (Stebbing
1926). These were used exclusively for producing timber by the Forest
Department (FD) and the surrounding villagers had no rights other than
the ones explicitly permitted by the State.
First, after the abolition of the princely states and landlordism, all uncultivated lands under their control
became vested in the State.
The larger tracts were handed over to the Forest Department generally as PF, and the rest were vested in
the village panchayats which are under the overall supervision of the Revenue Department.
The second process of extending government control over forests was through acquisition of private forests
These laws were passed by the various state governments in the two decades following Independence.
Massive felling of trees took place from these forests because of the fear that these forests would be
nationalized, as indeed they were in the 1950's and 60's.
For several years after this take-over an impression has continued in the villages that if trees are planted
on private lands, not only would the trees belong to Government but land on which such plantation takes
place would also revert to Government.
Even as late as 1987 a SIDA team promoting farm forestry in South Bihar encountered
tribal's' fears that if they planted trees their lands would be taken away by the government
The fear is not baseless as the Bihar Private Forest Act and similar other
enactment’s did precisely this in the past, by "nationalizing" private trees.
Project Tiger, started
in 1972, is a major
effort to conserve
the tiger and its
Launched on April 1, 1973, Project
Tiger has become one of the most
successful conservation ventures
in modern history
The project aims at tiger conservation in
specially constituted 'tiger reserves' which
are representative of various biogeographical regions falling within India
After this Project
Elephant, though less
known, started in 1992
and works for elephant
protection in India
It strives to maintain a viable tiger
population in their natural environment.
Today, there are 39 Project Tiger wildlife
reserves in India covering an area more
than of 37,761 km².
Project Tiger was meant to
identify the limiting factors
and to mitigate them by suitable management.
The damages done to the habitat were to be rectified so as
to facilitate the recovery of the ecosystem to the
maximum possible extent.
The potential tiger habitats being covered are:[Sivalik–
Terai Conservation Unit (Uttaranchal, Uttar
Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal), and in NepalNorth east
Conservation UnitSunderbans Conservation UnitCentral
Indian Conservation UnitEastern Ghat Conservation
National symbols of India
National animal: Tiger (Panthera Tigris)
National Heritage animal of India:
National aquatic animal: Ganges River
National bird: Peacock
National flower: Lotus
National tree: Banyan
National Parks in India
Depending on the area and terrain, National Parks provide ample
opportunities to the visitors to have close encounters with the
wilds. But what is so exquisite about the Indian National Parks is
the variance that they are equipped with. Whether it comes to
the flora, avifauna, and aqua fauna, or witnessing various wild
forms in their natural surroundings on an elephant or inside a
jeep, wild ventures are simply amazing!
Some of the best jewels of Indian wilderness include the Great
Himalayan National Park, Dachigam National Park near Srinagar,
Corbett National Park in Uttar Pradesh, which is also a famous
tiger reserve, Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan, and
Sundarbans National Park in West Bengal. Worth visiting in the
East Indian part in "The Land of Rhino" Assam is Kaziranga.
about in a
be quite an
their prey in
Such as the Bharatpur
Bird Sanctuary known
as largest bird sanctuary
in Asia, which is much
more famous as a refuge
of migratory birds like
barons, ibis, pelicans
and painted storks that
make it their temporary
home during the winter
in the Himalayan
foothills are the
and The Dudhwa
that provide an
to visit any
is the months