New Delhi, Oct 9 (PTI) Over 49 mammal species in India including tiger, gibbons, bats and deer are facing gravest level of extinction threat resulting from habitat destruction, pollution and poaching, the latest assessment by International Union of Conservation of Nature has revealed.
According to the new data, over 124 Indian mammal species are facing different degrees of extinction threat of which 10 are critically endangered, 39 are endangered, 48 are vulnerable for extinction and 27 are showing sharp decline in population.
“This is the first exhaustive assessment of mammals which includes all the species found in the country. Prominent mammals include several species of primates, especially the many langur species earlier thought to be one single species is now 7 species,” said Sanjay Molur, who contributed Indian data for the listing process.
Most of the threatened land mammals are concentrated in the eco-sensitive zones of Western ghats, north-eastern states and Andaman which have rich biodiversity, high endemism and are facing the brunt of increased human activity.
About 17 of the total 49 mammal species listed as critically endangered and endangered are from North-eastern India and 16 are found in Western Ghats.
“Western Ghats are facing extreme pressure of human activities thus increasing the threat on the species found here. After the killing of Veerappan, police became relaxed giving a kind of free hand to poachers who are still active in the area,” said Tito Joseph, Program Manager Wild Life Protection Society of India.
The enlisted mammals range from flagship species like Tiger, Asian Elephant and Rhinos to lesser known ones like Dhole — a wild dog, White toothed Shrew-a mouse like mammal to hares and bats. PTI