Flora And Fauna of India
The Himalayan region extending from Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh through Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, Meghalaya and Nagaland and the Deccan Peninsula is rich in endemic flora, with a large number of plants which are not found elsewhere.
The concept of forest and wildlife conservation is very ancient to India. Since time immemorial, wildlife here has enjoyed a privileged position of protection through religious philosophy. India's flora and fauna are as diverse as its cultural variances. The Indian subcontinent has many fascinating sights for its nature lovers. Only around 10% of the country still has forest cover, and only 4% is protected within national parks and similar reserves. However, in the past few decades the government has taken serious steps towards environmental management and has established numerous parks, sanctuaries and reserves.
The melange of India's climate and topography is reflected in its rich flora & fauna. India is world renown for its tigers, elephants and rhinoceroses, but these are just three of the more than 500 species of mammals harbouring in the country. India has for years captivated the attentions of wildlife experts and lovers. The assortment of wildlife you can see in India is truly mind-boggling, no where else you can find such a fascinating variety and numbers it boasts of.
Home to many rare and unique species - the majestic tiger, the Asiatic lion, the one horned rhinoceros, the wild ass, the Asian elephant, many species of deer, bears, leopards, monkeys, antelopes and birds - India's wildlife sanctuaries are a nature lover's paradise.
It is exciting and exceptional to be in India and it is far more exciting and entertaining to be in the Indian wildlife biosphere, mainly confined in the Indian wildlife sanctuary or national park. Wildlife heritage of India is as much or more diverse than the cultural heritage of this country. In all India has 80 national parks and 441 sanctuaries, of which 19 fall under the purview of Project Tiger.
The total area of India's protected wilderness is approximately 140,000 sq km. This contains 4 % of the country's total land area. Not only are these vast patches of forests preserved as natural habitats for wildlife, but are even more unique owing to the fact that they vary from region to region and each has something unique, be it its flora, fauna, avi-fauna or aqua-fauna. Many of the species harboured in these areas are rare and endangered.
India is blessed with over 2,000 species of birds, over 500 species of reptiles and amphibians and around 30,000 species of insects, including the colorful butterflies. Conservation projects have been established to preserve them.
Kashmir Floras In India
The wide range of climatic conditions helps India boasts of its rich variety of vegetation that no other country in this world can boast of. The vegetation comprises some 15,000 species of plants. According to the distribution of the flora, India can be classified into, Western Himalayas, Eastern Himalayas, Assam, Indus Plain, Ganga Plain, Deccan, Malabar and the Andamans.
Indian flora fluctuates from the Western Himalayan and Assamese, from the species of the Indus Plain to those of the gangetic plain, from the Deccan and Malabari to the vegetation of the Andamans. The floral treasure ranges from the Alpine to the temperate thorn, from the coniferous to the evergreen, from scrubs to deciduous forests, from thick tropical jungles to cool temperate woods.
The Western Himalayan biosphere is bouncy with Chirpine and other conifers deodar, blue pine, spruce, silver fir, and junipers. The Eastern Himalayan region consists of oaks, laurels, maples, rhododendrons, alder, and birch and dwarf willows. The Assam region is full of evergreen forests with lots of bamboo and tall grasses.
The Indus plain supports very scanty vegetation and the Ganges Plain is under cultivation. The Deccan region is full of scrubs and mixed deciduous forests. The Malabar region is under commercial crops like coconut, betel, pepper, coffee and tea. Andaman region is plentiful in evergreen and mangrove forests.
Faunas in India
Popular mammals include the Elephant, the famous white lions and some common lions, the Royal Bengal Tiger, Rhinos, Wild Bisons some varieties from the cat family, deer, monkeys, wild goats, etc. Elephants are found in the sparsely populated hill areas of Karnataka, Kerala and Orissa.
A variety of deer and antelope species can be seen, but these are now mostly confined to the protected areas because of competition with domestic animals and the effects of their diseases. They include graceful Indian gazelles (chinkaras); Indian antelopes (blackbucks); diminutive, four-homed ante- lopes (chowsinghas); large and ungainly looking blue bulls (nilgais); rare swamp deer (barasinghas); sambars, India's largest deer; beautiful spotted deer (chitals); the larger barking deer (muntjacs); and the tiny mouse deer (chevrotains). Also seen are wild buffaloes, massive Indian bisons (gaurs), shaggy sloth bears, striped hyenas, wild pigs, jackals, Indian foxes, wolves, and Indian wild dogs (dhole), which resembles giant foxes but roam in packs in forests.
Lions are found in the rocky hills and forests of the Gir area of Gujarat, Tigers in the Sunderbans and the Brahmaputra valley. The famous Project Tiger is a scheme financed by the government of India to safeguard the tiger in its habitat in nine selected reserves. Indian Fauna also include the wild ass of Rajasthan, Nilgiri Langur, Lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri mongoose and Malaber civer of the southern hills and the spotted deer. Leopards are found in many forests, Wolves roam the open country. Cheetahs are found in the Deccan plateau.
Hornbill India Avi-faunas In India
India is blessed with over 2000 species and sub-species of birds. The diverse birdlife of the forests includes large hornbills, serpent eagles and fishing owls, as well as the elegant national bird, the peacock. Waterbirds, such as herons, ibises, storks, cranes, pelicans and others, are seen not only in parks but at numerous special waterbird sanctuaries. These sanctuaries contain large breeding colonies, and are of great importance for the countless numbers of migrating birds which visit India annually.
Bird-Life in India is rich and colorful. The birds include the beautiful Peacock to the Parrots, and thousands of immigrant birds. Other common Indian birds are pheasants, geese ducks, mynahs, parakeets, pigeons, cranes, and hornbills. India now maintains 80 national parks, 441 wildlife sanctuaries and 35 zoological gardens.
Reptiles In India
Among the other wildlife are over 500 species of reptiles and amphibians, including magnificent king cobras, pythons, crocodiles, large freshwater tortoises and monitor lizards. There are also 10,000 insect species. including large and colourful butlerflies.
A huge number of snake varieties, lizards and crocodiles account for the reptile count. Snakes include the deadly King cobras to the equally poisonous Kraits. Scorpions and insects are aplenty in this country. Disease carrying mosquitoes and destructive locusts are to be found. Useful insects include the bees, silkworms and the Lac insect.