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10 of the Most Endangered Species in India in 2024

Over the past 50 years, our planet has seen a fast increase in human population, development, and urbanization.…
10 Of The Most Endangered Species In India In 2024

Over the past 50 years, our planet has seen a fast increase in human population, development, and urbanization. This has led to clearing hundreds of millions of acres of forests worldwide. As a result, wildlife is losing their homes and food sources every day. A study in 2020 found that the sixth mass extinction of wildlife on Earth is speeding up, with over 500 species of land animals at risk of extinction within the next two decades. India, one of the most densely populated countries, is experiencing rapid human activity and land development. Here are 10 endangered species in India that urgently need protection.


1. Bengal Tiger

10 Of The Most Endangered Species In India In 2024

Bengal tigers make up around half of all tigers in the world, and about 70% live in India. These big cats are adaptable and can live in different places like forests, mangroves, and wetlands. They can handle hot or cold weather, too. But sadly, Bengal tiger numbers have dropped a lot. They’re in danger because of poaching for their skin and body parts, hunting for trophies, and losing their homes due to cities expanding into their habitats. Now, they live only about 7% of where they used to, with less than 2,000 left in the wild. In India, where there are many people, conflicts between humans and tigers also hurt their numbers.


2. Asiatic Lion

10 Of The Most Endangered Species In India In 2024

The Asiatic lion is a bit smaller than its African relatives, with a bigger tail tuft and a special fold in its belly. These lions used to live across southwest Asia to eastern India, but now they’re only found in India, mainly in Gir National Park in Gujarat. They’re endangered, with only about 500-650 left in the country. Unfortunately, many farmers in the area use illegal electric fences to protect their crops, and lions often get hurt. Also, there are around 20,000 open wells dug by farmers for irrigation, and lions sometimes accidentally drown in them.


3. Snow Leopard

10 Of The Most Endangered Species In India In 2024

Like Asiatic Lions, snow leopards used to roam across large areas in Asia’s mountain ranges. They’re mostly found in Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and parts of the Himalayas. In India, there are only about 500 left. Sadly, humans are mostly to blame for their decline. Snow leopards are hunted for their fur and body parts, and their prey is disappearing because more domestic animals are grazing in their habitats. Conflict between people, snow leopards, and projects like hydroelectric dams and mining that destroy their homes are also a problem. Female snow leopards only have one or two cubs every two years, making it even harder for their population to grow.


4. One-horned Rhinoceros

10 Of The Most Endangered Species In India In 2024

The Indian rhinoceros, also known as the one-horned rhinoceros, is mainly found in India and the foothills of the Himalayas. These rhinos have been hunted for their horns for many years, as some believe they have medicinal properties. They are also killed because they damage crops. Flooding seasons also pose a threat, as rhinos are forced to move to higher ground, leading to conflicts with humans. At the start of the 20th century, their population dropped to as low as 200. But their numbers have increased to around 3,700 in northeastern India and Nepal’s Terai grasslands thanks to strict conservation efforts. This is considered one of the most successful conservation efforts in history.


5. Blackbuck

10 Of The Most Endangered Species In India In 2024

Because of severe hunting, especially in the princely states of India, and habitat loss, the blackbuck, also known as the Indian antelope, is now highly endangered. In 1947, there were about 80,000 blackbucks. But in less than 20 years, that dropped to 8,000. Though conservation efforts have helped increase their population to around 25,000, they still face threats like attacks by stray dogs—India has one of the highest rates of this—pesticides and vehicles. Blackbucks live in small groups in open grasslands, dry scrub areas, and lightly forested areas across India. They have also been introduced in Argentina and the United States to try to increase their numbers.


6. Lion-tailed Macaque

10 Of The Most Endangered Species In India In 2024

The lion-tailed macaque is a monkey found only in the small and fragmented rainforests of the Western Ghats in South India. It’s known for its unique silver-white mane around its head. About 4,000 of these macaques are left in the wild, but their population could decrease by more than 20% in the next 25 years if threats like hunting, road accidents, and habitat loss continue. These monkeys are shy and mostly stay in the upper parts of the rainforest. Unfortunately, their homes are shrinking because of deforestation and land being cleared for other purposes. Also, they’re starting to rely more on human food, which changes their natural behaviors and reduces the time spent searching for food.


7. Resplendent Tree Frog 

10 Of The Most Endangered Species In India In 2024

Discovered in 2010 at the highest peak of the Western Ghats, this mysterious frog species has a bright orange color and large glands covering its body. Known as the glorious tree frog, it’s extremely rare and can only be found at the Anamudi summit in Kerala, specifically in the Eravikulam National Park. Scientists believe only about 300 of these frogs are left and suggest urgent conservation efforts to protect them.


8. Kashmiri Red Stag

10 Of The Most Endangered Species In India In 2024

The Kashmiri red stag has been on the critically endangered list by the IUCN for a long time. It’s also one of the top 15 species the Indian Government is focused on conserving. These stags are mostly found in a small area of about 141 sq km in Dachigam National Park. In the early 1990s, there were around 5,000 of them, but by 1970, the number dropped to about 150. As of 2015, there are only about 110-130 left. Their population decline is mainly due to habitat fragmentation, grazing on their land, and a very low ratio of baby stags to females. Many conservation efforts are underway to address these issues and protect this critically endangered species in India.


9. Nilgiri Tahr

10 Of The Most Endangered Species In India In 2024

The Nilgiri tahr, an endangered mountain goat species, has only about 2,500-3,000 left in the wild. Like other animals, they’re facing threats from poaching and losing their homes. They now mostly live in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, which is less than 10% of where they used to roam. But climate change is becoming an even bigger problem for these goats. They live in high mountains and are expected to suffer as temperatures rise. Because of this, their places might not be suitable for them anymore.


10. Indian Bison (Gaur)

10 Of The Most Endangered Species In India In 2024

The Indian bison, the largest and tallest wild cattle, is native to South Asia and Southeast Asia but faces serious threats from poaching, habitat loss, and food shortages due to grassland destruction. This animal, which inspired the branding of Red Bull, has lost over 70% of its population in many places where it lives. It’s considered vulnerable by the IUCN and protected under India’s Wild Life Protection Act of 1972. This law aims to bring back native plants and regulate cattle grazing to help protect the bison’s habitat.


Conclusion

the endangered species in India face many threats, ranging from habitat loss and fragmentation to poaching and climate change. Urgent conservation efforts are required to protect these species and their habitats. Collaboration between governments, conservation organizations, local communities, and individuals is crucial for implementing effective conservation strategies. By raising awareness, enforcing strict wildlife protection laws, restoring degraded habitats, and promoting sustainable practices, we can strive towards ensuring the survival of these precious species for future generations. It’s not just about saving these animals; it’s about preserving the rich biodiversity and ecological balance that sustains life on Earth.


FAQs

Q1: What are the most endangered species in India in 2024?

Ans: As of 2024, some of the most endangered species in India include the Bengal tiger, Indian rhinoceros, Asiatic lion, blackbuck, Great Indian bustard, Indian elephant, Snow leopard, Red panda, Gharial, and the Indian vulture.

Q2: Why are these species endangered?

Ans: The primary reasons for the endangerment of these species vary, but common factors include habitat loss due to deforestation and urbanization, poaching, illegal wildlife trade, human-wildlife conflict, pollution, and climate change.

Q3: What is being done to protect these species?

Ans: Conservation efforts involve a combination of strategies such as habitat preservation, anti-poaching measures, captive breeding programs, community-based conservation initiatives, legal protection, public awareness campaigns, and international collaborations.

Q4: How effective are conservation efforts in India?

Ans: Conservation efforts have had varying degrees of success. Some species have shown signs of recovery due to concerted conservation actions, while others continue to face significant threats. Continuous monitoring, adaptive management, and increased funding are essential for long-term success.

Q5: What role do government and NGOs play in conservation?

Ans: The Indian government implements wildlife protection laws and establishes national parks, sanctuaries, and protected areas. NGOs complement these efforts by conducting research, implementing conservation projects, raising awareness, and advocating for policy change.

Q6: How can individuals contribute to species conservation?

Ans: Individuals can contribute by supporting conservation organizations, volunteering for conservation projects, practicing sustainable living, reducing consumption of products derived from endangered species, advocating for wildlife-friendly policies, and spreading awareness in their communities.

Q7: Are there any success stories in species conservation in India?

Ans: Yes, there have been success stories, such as the recovery of the Indian rhinoceros population in Kaziranga National Park, the increase in tiger numbers in some reserves, and the reintroduction of species like the Asiatic lion in protected areas.

Q8: What are the challenges in conserving these species?

Ans: Challenges include habitat fragmentation, human-wildlife conflict, lack of funding and resources, corruption, inadequate law enforcement, socio-economic factors driving illegal activities, and the impacts of climate change on ecosystems.

Q9: How important are these species for India’s ecosystem?

Ans: These species play crucial roles in maintaining ecosystem balance and health. They contribute to biodiversity, regulate populations of prey species, support ecosystem services such as pollination and seed dispersal, and serve as indicators of overall ecosystem health.

Q10: What are the consequences of losing these species?

Ans: The loss of these species can have cascading effects on ecosystems, leading to imbalances, loss of biodiversity, disruptions in food chains, reduced resilience to environmental changes, and negative impacts on human well-being, including economic losses in sectors such as tourism and agriculture.


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