Disappearing Wildlife

Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros is one of the most critically endangered animals of India

Climate change, poaching and natural disasters are a few of the factors out of many that have brought down a serious threat on several wildlife species across the world.

These factors have resulted in immense habitat loss, resulting in the extinction of several species across the world and pushing a few towards it.

Various studies show that the current extinction rate is estimated to be over 100 times the background rate- the natural extinction rate.

Tropical forests, holding much of the world’s biodiversity, is disappearing at a rate of 5400m2/second.

Studies show that so far 145 species of birds have extinct from the face of the earth, while 218 are critically endangered and 416 are endangered.

Similarly, 26 species of reptiles have extinct, 196 are critically endangered and 382 are endangered.

The Round Island Burrowing Boa was last seen in 1996 and was an inhabitant of Mauritius

Due to rampant habitat loss and deforestation, 6 species of carnivores have extinct so far, while 4 are critically endangered and 32 are endangered.

The study further showed that so far 2 primate species have extinct, 63 are critically endangered and 121 are in the endangered list.

In India, the nineteen most critically endangered species are: Hangul, Great Indian Bustard, Sangai, Dugong, Gharial, Forest Owlet, Pygmy Hog, Indian Vulture, Ganges Shark, Anaimalai Flying Frog, Peacock Tarantula, Bengal Florican, Amboli Toad, Jeypore Ground Gecko, Tockay Gecko, Northern River Terrapin, Namdapha Flying Squirrel, Malabar Large Spotted Civet, and Himalayan Brown Bear.

Great Indian Bustard is found only in Thar desert and is the heaviest among the flying birds in the world

The Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros, the White Bengal Tiger, Nilgiri Tahr, River Dolphins, Black Buck, Lion Tailed Macaque, Golden Langur, Snow Leopard, and the Asiatic Lions of the Gir forests are nine of the most endangered animals found in India that are soon moving towards the list of ‘most critically endangered’.

Pygmy Hog is the smallest member of wild pig and now only found in Assam

“If the humans continue inflicting injuries to the forests and the natural habitats of the wild animals, soon all the animals of the world would be gone,” bemoans Apratim Goswami, a wildlife enthusiast.

(By Partha Prawal)

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