World Environment Day 2020: As per the IUCN Red List by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (March 2019), there are 21 animals and birds listed in the categories of Critically Endangered and Endangered Species in India. On World Environment Day this year, get to know more about these beautiful creatures who are now on the verge of extinction in India.
1. Malabar Civet (Viverra Civettina)
A Malabar civet is so elusive that very little is known about its biology and habitation. This beautiful creature is usually dark grey in colour with large transverse dark marks on the back and sides and two dark lines on the neck. As the name suggests, this civet is found in the Western Ghats of India – areas of South Malabar.
2. Sumatran Rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus Sumatrensis)
The Sumatran rhinoceros are considered the smallest species of the rhinoceros in the world. They are the only extant species of the genus Dicerorhinus. Reportedly, there are only around 80 Sumatran rhinoceros left in the world and are found in Indonesia. In Malaysia, the Sumatran rhinoceros are officially extinct with its last make and female rhinoceroses dying in May and November 2019, respectively.
3. Andaman White-toothed Shrew (Crocidura Andamanensis)
These are found in the South Andaman Island of India and are usually active in the night. More than human intervention, natural disasters and weather changes are considered as the possible causes of the decline in their population.
4. Kashmir stag/hangul (Cervus Elaphus Hangul)
As the name suggests, Kashmir Stag or Hangul are natives to the high valleys and mountains of the Kashmir Valley and northern Chamba district in Himachal Pradesh. They are beautiful creatures with antlers that have five tines each. Poaching and the destruction of their natural habitat are the reason behind the decline in their population. As of 2019, there were only 237 Kashmir Stag left.
5. Large Rock Rat or Elvira Rat (Cremnomys Elvira)
These are rodents found in the Eastern Ghats of Tamil Nadu. Elvira rats live in rocky habitats and dry deciduous scrub forest. They don’t grow more than 149 mm and their tail grows up to 196 mm. The reason behind the decline in their population is human intervention through development projects, logging and grazing.
6. Namdapha Flying Squirrel (Biswamoyopterus Biswasi)
The Namdapha flying squirrel is found in Arunachal Pradesh of northeast India. There has been only once specimen found since 1981 that established the presence of this beautiful-looking squirrel in India. It is red-orange in colour with a grey crown and white underparts. Often called B. Biswasi, it is usually confused with candidula red giant flying squirrel that is found in Namdapha National Park.
7. Himalayan Brown/Red Bear (Ursus Arctos Isabellinus)
The Himalayan brown bears are the largest mammals found in the Himalayas. They are also found in northern Pakistan, northern Afghanistan, west China and Nepal. However, in Bhutan, they are speculated to have gone extinct. A Himalayan bear is an omnivore and hibernates during winters in caves. They are stunning looking creatures that carry a beautiful giant coat of brown furs and live in a bunch.
8. Kondana Rat (Millardia Kondana)
They are common-looking rats but are considered critically endangered after human activities destroyed their natural habits of dry forest in parts of Maharashtra. They are now found in the Sinhgad plateau near Pune in Maharashtra.
9. Pygmy Hog (Porcula Sylvania)
A pygmy hog belongs to the family of pigs or suid and is found in the foothills of the Himalayas in Southern Bhutan and Assam. They are small creatures and are the only left representatives of Porcula. Earlier, their presence was marked from Uttar Pradesh to Assam, however, the systematic encroachment of their natural habitat by human intervention led to a drastic decline in their population and now, nearly 150 pygmy hog are left in and around the Manas National Park.