Endangered Animals in India
Nature has its own way of maintaining the balance in flora and fauna. But, man's greedy advancements in making progress have left a deep impact on other creatures. In an effort to create the situations according to his wishes, man has gone beyond the limit, and has made many animals as critically endangered animals.
Some of the animals endangered critically are:
- Asian Elephant: According to an estimate, only 15,000-20,000 Asian elephants are alive today. The main reason for their decreasing numbers is their loss of habitat, and extensive poaching for their ivory tusks. Goods made from ivory tusks are in huge demand in the international market. Asian elephants are mainly found in the terai region of Uttar Pradesh, Bengal, Assam, Karnataka, and Kerala.
- Tiger: Tigers are mainly hunted for their bones and skin. Tiger bones are widely used to make traditional medicines, as a cure for diseases like cancer. They are also hunted for pleasure in games, and, sometimes, to protect the domestic livestock. An estimated only 40,000 tigers are left today.
- Great Indian One-horned Rhinoceros: They are one of the most endangered animals in India. They are hunted for their horns, which are believed to have aphrodisiac properties. They are mainly found in the Kaziranga and Orange national park. It is sad to note that only 1,500 of the Great Indian One-horned Rhinoceros are left today.
- Asiatic Lion: Asiatic lions are considered to be the most powerful living animals on earth. But, they are the most critically endangered animal in India. Only 352 of these mighty creatures are left to be seen today. Poaching is considered to be the main reason for their decreasing number. Today, they are mainly found in Gir national park.
- Leopard: Leopards are also fighting for their survival. They are mainly found in the parts of central India and the north-east. Their number has decreased to about 7,500.
- Snow Leopard: They are mainly found in the upper Himalayas. Lack of food for them, and poaching has considerably reduced their numbers. But, some appropriate and timely help from the environmentalists have protected them from becoming extinct.
- Tibetan Antelope: Tibetan Antelope is also called "Chiru". They have very soft furs on their body, known as "sahtoosh". This light-weight wool has a great demand in the market. A shawl made of sahtoosh can fetch upto $16,000. It is for this fur that the Tibetan Antelopes are hunted and have become an endangered animal in India. 20,000 Chirus are poached every year to satisfy the needs of human beings.
The list also includes Kashmir Stag, Lion-tailed Macaque, Blue Whale, Ganges River Dolphin, Red Panda, Marsh Mongoose, Hoolock Gibbon, and it may go endlessly. It is important to save the lives of these endangered animals in India. If correct steps for saving them are not taken now, then we may find them only in zoos, or in the museums. Our coming generations will know about them from the museums only.