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Wild Life

India Wild life sanctuaries


India has innumerable varieties of animals and birds.

  • Animal species – approximately 89,000
  • Bird species     – approximately 1200
  • Fish species     – approximately 2500

The Fauna of India constitutes 13% of the world’s total fauna, while the aquatic animals account for nearly 12% of the world’s stock and the amphibians, reptiles and mammals in India account for nearly 8% of the world’s stock.

Let us learn a little more about the animal life in India.





The elephants are a family in the class Mammalia. They were once classified along with other thick skinned animals in a now invalid order, Pachydermata. There are three living species: the African Bush Elephant, the African Forest Elephant, and the Asian Elephant which is also known as the Indian Elephant. The word "elephant" has its origins in the Greek meaning "ivory" or "elephant".

Elephants are mammals, and the largest land animal alive today. In India they are found in the hot wet forests of Assam, Karnataka and Kerala.

One-horned rhinoceroses


One-horned Rhinoceroses

The Indian Rhinoceros or the Great One-horned Rhinoceros is found in Assam. The rhino once inhabited areas from Pakistan to Burma. But because of human influence their range has shrunk and now they only exist in small populations in northeastern India and Nepal. It is confined to the tall grasslands and forests in the foothills of the Himalayas.

The Indian Rhinoceros has thick, silver-brown skin which creates huge folds all over its body. Its upper legs and shoulders are covered in wart-like bumps, and it has very little body hair. Fully grown males are larger than females, weighing from 2200–3000 kg. Female Indian rhinos weigh about 1600 kg. The Indian Rhino is about 7 feet tall and about 13 feet long. The Indian Rhino has a single horn that reaches a length of between 20 and 101 cm.




The Asiatic Lion is a subspecies of the lion which survives today only in India and hence it is also known as the Indian lion. They once ranged from the Mediterranean to India, covering most of Southwest Asia where it was also known as the Persian Lion.

The current wild population of lions consists of around 300 and they are restricted to the Gir Forest in the state of Gujarat.



The Bengal Tiger is the most common subspecies of tiger, constituting approximately 80% of the entire tiger population, and is found in India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar and Nepal.

The Tiger is an endangered species, with the majority of the world's tigers now living in captivity.

Tigers have featured in ancient mythologies and folklore, and continue to be depicted in modern films and literature, as well as appearing on flags, coats of arms and as mascots for sporting teams. It is the national animal of India.

Tigers are found in the forests of Madhya Pradesh, the Sundarbans of West Bengal and the Himalayan region.

Leopards too are members of the cat family.



India also has several species of monkeys


Wild Ass and Camels

These animals are found in the arid areas of the Rann of Kachchh and the Thar Desert

The Himalayan animals

  • Shaggy horned wild ox called the yak is found in the Ladhak region. It weighs around one tonne
  • The Tibetan antelope
  • The bharal or the blue sheep
  • Wild sheep
  • The kiang or the Tibetan wild ass
  • The ibex
  • Bear
  • Snow-leopard
  • Rare red panda
  • Indian bison, nilgai , chousingha, gazel and different species of deer are some of the other animals that are found in India.

    In the rivers, lakes and coastal areas, turtles, crocodiles and gharials are found.


    Bird life in India

    Bird life in India is colourful. Peacocks, peasants, ducks, parakeets, cranes and pigeons are some of the birds inhabiting the forests and wetlands of the country.

    Uses of Natural vegetation and wild life

    • Milch animal provide milk and are used for transportation and meat
    • The fish provide nutritive food
    • Many insects help in pollination of crops and fruit trees and exert biological control on insects which are harmful
    • A wide variety of natural plants have medicinal value

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