India a land of incredible diversity is also blessed by the extreme diverse bio diversity. During Imperial era it was the most favourite hunting ground for Europeans who used to come here for its exotic fauna & serenity. Yet India’s diverse wilderness areas encompass far more. In addition to rainforests, they include moist and dry deciduous forests, thorn forests, deserts, mangroves, grasslands, and coniferous forests in the Himalayas, not to mention a variety of freshwater and marine habitats. India’s diverse landscapes are home to numerous threatened and critically endangered species, including the Asiatic lion, Asian elephant, tiger, white-rumped vulture, Asian one-horned rhinoceros, and water buffalo. Many species of deer, antelopes, wild dogs, cats, and bears also live here. Resident primates include macaques, the hoolock gibbon, slender and slow lorises, and the golden langur—one of the world’s rarest monkeys. Besides mammals, there is a vast and diverse array of reptiles, amphibians, and birds, some of which are still unknown to science. The expeditions were also being lead by local Kings for big game hunting. Once available & roamed in plenty Indian jungles were full of life where the Lord & the King roams freely sharing their own spaces where people survives harmoniously with the beasts. As India moves towards achieving her independence the laws & importance of conservation has become a new driver for nationalism the first attempt was made to protect Indian Wildlife was through the Elephant Preservation Act passed in 1879. The first abode of bio diversity which was granted protection was Gir National Park which is also a last home of Asiatic Lions, once used to be hunting ground of Nawab of Junagarh is now protected & was initially conserved & preserved by the then Last ruling Nawab of Junagarh “Nawabzada Muhammad Mahabat Khanji III Rasul Khan Ji” in the early 20th century now since the King of the Jungle had got protection then how can the Lord of the jungle remain at the back stage it was ultimately in 1936 by British Govt in India declaring 1200sqkm forest in United Provinces at the foot hills of Himalayas a terrai region famous for its natural habitat for Tigers was made protected as Hailey National Park. When India gain independence & the wounds of partition started to showing the bio diversity was affected the most by the big game hunting during this period realizing the state of her valuable heritage was given protection finally under the famous Wild Life Protection Act of 1972. At the turn of the last decade of the 20th century India has now become an open victim of hunger of the Far East markets which resulted in the huge demand & poaching activities widespread, this not only made our forests empty & scarce of wildlife now taking its toll especially on the Indian National Animal “ Bengal Tiger” by the start of 1990s’ their population dwindled from 100000 to 80000 in 1950s’ to 20000 in late 1980s’ by the end of the 20th century India now left with only 4000 Tigers & handful of other wild fauna. With the introduction of Project Tiger, Project Rhino & Project Elephant Indian somehow lived up to the expectations of hope for the future generations. But by the end of first decade of 21st century the situation has became more critical & laws a failure. With the pressure of population increasing & Indian Government finds solution for economic prosperity & food security there is hardly any scope left for the survival of the once roamed in abundance the Indian bio diversity. The latest hustle & stiffness is now for the Asiatic Lions & Tiger Poaching which is now has become a hot topic of debate between the respective state governments & national interests. If we want to save our wild life we have to work together & eradicate the corruption from our system which hinders the execution of laws & conservation responsibility. With the clearing of the entire Tiger population in the reserves like Sariska & Panna the future looks more bleek & reminded us the extinction of Dinosaurs.
The critically endangered species in India, as identified by the IUCN and WII include the Jenkins Shrew, Malabar Large-spotted Civet, Namdapha Flying Squirrel, Pygmy Hog, Salim Ali`s Fruit Bat, Sumatran Rhinoceros, and the Wroughton`s Free-tailed Bat. The list of Endangered species in India include the Asiatic Lion, Asiatic Black Bear, Desert Cat, Great Indian Rhinoceros, Hispid Hare, Hoolock Gibbon, Kashmir Stag, Lion-Tailed Macaque, Malabar Civet, Markhor, Nayan Ovis, Nilgiri Leaf Monkey, Pygmy Hog, Andaman Shrew, Andaman Spiny Shrew, Indian Elephant or Asian Elephant, Banteng, Blue Whale, Capped Leaf Monkey, Chiru, Fin Whale, Ganges River Dolphin, Golden Leaf Monkey, Hispid Hare, Asian arowana, Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Hoolock Gibbon, Indus River Dolphin, Kondana Soft-furred Rat, Lion-Tailed Macaque, Markhor, Marsh Mongoose, Nicobar Shrew, Nicobar Tree Shrew, Nilgiri Tahr, Parti-coloured Flying Squirrel, Peter`s Tube-nosed Bat, Red Panda, Sei Whale, Servant Mouse, Snow Leopard, Tiger, Wild Water Buffalo, and the Woolly Flying Squirrel.
Apart from the critically endangered and the endangered species in India, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources and Wildlife Institute of India also identified several species as vulnerable in India. These species include the Asiatic Wild Dog, Banteng Bos javanicus, Brow-antlered Deer, Brown Bear, Brown Palm Civet, Clouded Leopard, Common Otter, Ganges River Dolphin, Gaur, Goral, Grey Indian Wolf, Himalayan W-toothed Shrew, Himalayan Musk Deer, Himalayan Shrew, Jackal Canis aureus, Andaman Horseshoe Bat, Andaman Rat, Argali, Asiatic Black Bear, Asiatic Golden Cat, Asiatic Wild Ass, Macaque Monkey, Back-striped Weasel, Barasingha, Bare-bellied Hedgehog, Blackbuck, Brown fish owl, Central Kashmir Vole, Dhole, Dugong, Eld`s Deer, Elvira Rat, Eurasian Otter, Fishing Cat, Four-horned Antelope, Gaur, Himalayan Tahr, Humpback Whale, Indian Giant Squirrel, Irrawaddy Squirrel, Jerdon`s Palm Civet, Kashmir Cave Bat, Kerala Rat, Khajuria`s Leaf-nosed Bat, Kolar Leaf-nosed Bat, Lesser Horseshoe Bat, Mainland Serow, Malayan Porcupine, Mandelli`s Mouse-eared Bat, Marbled Cat, Mouflon, Nicobar Flying Fox, Nilgiri Leaf Monkey, Nilgiri Marten, Nonsense Rat, Pale Grey Shrew, Palm Rat, Red Goral, Royal Bengal Tiger, Rock Eagle-owl, Rusty-spotted Cat, Sikkim Rat, Sloth Bear, Slow Loris, Smooth-coated Otter, Sperm Whale, Sri Lankan Giant Squirrel, Sri Lankan Highland Shrew, Stumptail Macaque, Takin, Wild Goat, Wild Yak and the Lesser Panda. The species like the Indian Wild Ass, the Leopard and the Red Fox have been identified as the `Threatened Species in India`.
The Biggest lost of Wild Life is the extinction of Indian Cheetah once roamed freely & found in huge numbers last shot in 1947 was the worst loss at the very start of the new independent era. It is said that Mughal Ruler Akbar used to have the 11 cheetahs as pets. Acts like Forest Rights & Produce Act introduced in early 2000s’ meant for the protection of Wild Life & for Tribals living there are necessary in this modern stage where existence of every specie is important as humans.