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Wildlife in India

India's rich and abundant animal life is attributed to it's diverse climate and geography.  There are 372 species of mammals in India, some of which include the majestic elephant, the Indian bison (gaur), rhinoceros, wild Himalayan sheep, nilgai, and the swamp deer.  The most superb examples of cats in India are the tiger and the lion, but there are other types as well, the clouded leopard, snow leopard and the marbled cat are a few others found.  Several species of monkeys reside in India as well.

A few of the 1,228 bird species found in India include peacocks, parrots, kingfishers, parakeets, cranes, mynahs, pheasants, ducks, geese and hornbills. Crocodiles and gharials are two of the 446 reptile species found.  Since crocodiles were threatened with extinction, India has implemented a plan that has successfully increased their numbers.  Other reptiles to be found are the cobra, krait, saltwater snake and python.

With the expansion and growth, as well as natural disasters, occurring in India, the fauna is suffering. Possible extinction is a possibility for over 77 mammals, 72 bird species, 17 reptile species, 3 amphibian species, and large amount of butterflies, moths, and beetles, as they are considered to be endangered.

The natural wealth of the Indian subcontinent has remained unique, mysterious and fascinating for nature lovers. In Indian philosophy, life in any form is deemed sacred and it is advocated that compassion for all living creatures is essential. The worship of nature in all its different forms is an essential part of our cultural legacy. The tree has held a vital place in religious tradition, symbolizing the myth of creation. The Agni Purana reveals that the conservation rite becomes a soul-saving deed and that trees are objects of respect.

The rich and fascinating variety of India's wildlife can be seen in the 80 national parks, 440 sanctuaries and 23 tiger reserves established by the Government of India in an attempt to conserve this vital resource. More than 500 species of mammals, 1, 220 species of birds, 1, 600 species of reptiles and amphibians, and 57, 000 species of insects populate the subcontinent. India harbors 60% of the world's wild tiger population, 50% of Asian elephants, 80% of the one-horned rhinoceros and the entire remaining population of the Asiatic lion. supports I.C.E.Y. - H.O.P.E. (non-profit org)
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