Species in News - Animal Species of India (UPSC Environment and Ecology)

India is home to a vast array of species of all shapes and sizes. From the Asian Elephant to the Great Indian hornbill, the country’s biodiversity is legendary. This article will list out the animal species of India, as well as the National Parks that are inhabited by some of them.

The information from this article will be useful in the UPSC Prelims exam.

Latest Context:

Ladakh Union Territory administration recently adopted Snow Leopard and Black-necked Crane as State animal and State bird, respectively. Till 5th August 2019, black-necked crane was the state bird of Jammu & Kashmir. The black necked crane is found in eastern Ladakh’s high-altitude wetlands and marshes and these birds arrive in March for breeding and migrate by October end or early November. In total, there are about 7,500 snow leopards left in the world, out of which 500 are in India. Out of that, the population of snow leopards is between 200-300 in Ladakh alone, according to few experts. This is the rationale behind the decision of adoption of snow leopard as state animal of Ladakh and black-necked crane as state bird of Ladakh.

To read more about the List of Indian State Birds, check the linked article.

Species in News – UPSC Notes:- Download PDF Here

The following links will also be of immense help to the candidates in their preparation for the UPSC Exams

List of Species of India in News [UPSC Prelims]

Below is the list of Animal Species in India, Latin name, and the subsequent locations within India:

Species of India in News – UPSC Notes

Species Name

Latin Name

Location within India/Description

Fishing Cat Prionailurus viverrinus
  • Sundarbans
  • Foothills of the Himalayas along the Ganga
  • Brahmaputra river valleys
  • Western Ghats.
Red Panda Ailurus fulgens
  • Darjeeling (West Bengal)
  • Sikkim
  • Arunachal Pradesh
Caracal Caracal caracal
  • Rajasthan,
  • Gujarat
  • Madhya Pradesh
  • Listed as Critically endangered species
Himalayan Brown Bear Ursus arctos isabellinus
  • Jammu And Kashmir
  • Himachal Pradesh
  • Uttarakhand
Asiatic Lion Panthera leo leo Gir Sanctuary, Gujarat
Lion Tailed Macaque Macaca silenus Western Ghats
Sloth Bear Melursus ursinus Western Ghats, Karnataka
Indian Flying Fox Pteropus giganteus Entirety of Indian Subcontinent
Indian Rhinoceros Rhinoceros unicornis
  • Uttar Pradesh
  • West Bengal
  • Assam
Nilgai (Asian Antelope) Boselaphus tragocamelus Range from foothills of the Himalayan Mountains southward to Mysore.
Hoolock Gibbons Hylobates hoolock Arunachal Pradesh and Assam
Snow Leopard Panthera uncia
  • Jammu and Kashmir
  • Himachal Pradesh
  • Uttarakhand
  • Sikkim
  • Arunachal Pradesh
  • Adopted as State Animal of Ladakh

Read more to know the List of Indian State Animals 2021, from the linked article.

Blackbuck Antilope cervicapra
  • Rajasthan
  • Gujarat
  • Madhya Pradesh
  • Tamil Nadu
Indian Leopard Panthera pardus fusca
  • Madhya Pradesh
  • Karnataka,
  • Maharashtra
  • Rajasthan
  • Uttarakhand
  • Chhattisgarh
  • Tamil Nadu
  •  Assam
Asian Elephant Elephas maximus
  • Karnataka
  • Kerala
  • Tamil Nadu
Great Indian Bustard Ardeotis nigriceps Dry grasslands of India but mainly found in Rajasthan
Himalayan Ibex Capra sibirica hemalayanus) Found in the Himalayas to 5500 m
The Gaur Bos gaurus Western Ghats and their outflanking hills in southern India
Great Indian Hornbill Buceros bicornis Western Ghats and in the forests along the Himalayas
Black Necked Crane Grus nicricollis
  • Union Territory of Ladakh adopted Black Necked Crane as State bird
  • Found only in Ladakh’s Changthang region.
Cheetah Acinonyx jubatus
  • The country’s last spotted cheetah died in Chhattisgarh in 1947
  • It was declared extinct in the country in 1952
  • To be re-introduced into the country at the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh from Africa

Find previous years’ UPSC Prelims Environment and Ecology questions by visiting the linked article.

For more information about upcoming Government Exams, visit the linked article. More exam-related preparation materials will be found through the links given below:

Related Links

IUCN Red List Loss of Biodiversity 100 Difference between Articles
Current Affairs UPSC Syllabus Current Affairs Quiz
Topic-wise GS 1 Questions for UPSC Mains Topic-wise GS 2 Questions for UPSC Mains Topic-wise GS 3 Questions for UPSC Mains

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