UPSC IAS Exam: 2016 IUCN Red List of India

The IUCN Red List is an important part of environment and ecology for the UPSC civil services exam. Questions can be asked about the various species and its IUCN status, habitat, threats to existence and so on.

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India is a diverse nation with only 2.4% of the world’s land area. It accounts for 7-8% of all recorded species, counting over 45,000 species of plants and 91,000 species of animals. The globally identified four biodiversity hotspots in 34 hotspots are in India. They are The Himalayas, the Western Ghats, the North-East, and the Nicobar Islands.

In 1969, India became a State Member of IUCN. The Office of IUCN India located in New Delhi was established in 2007. The agency works with Commissions and Members to lessen the destruction of habitat and species by providing the essential instruments and awareness to preserve biodiversity and several associated issues etc.

About IUCN

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is the leading international environmental organization. It was established in 1948. It is headquartered in Geneva. The organization is funded by governments, member organizations bilateral and multilateral agencies, etc

Functions of IUCN

The IUCN’s acknowledged endeavor is to help the world find realistic elucidation to the most vital environment challenges. The mission of IUCN is to persuade, promote and help societies to preserve the diversity of nature.

  1. The aim is to protect the nature and sustainable utilization of natural resources.
  2. It also integrates matter of poverty alleviation, climatic change, biodiversity, and Gender equality
  3. The IUCN publishes IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

IUCN Red list India UPSC

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species was created in 1964. This is the world’s most inclusive record of the worldwide conservation status of biological species. The Species are categorized into nine groups by the IUCN Red List


IUCN Category


A species becomes extinct when the last existing member of that family dies.

Extinct in wild

Undoubtedly the last member has died but the captive member endures.

Critically endangered

The critically endangered species face an extremely high risk of extinction in the immediate future.


The endangered species are the species which faces a high risk of extinction in the near future


The vulnerable species facing the risk of extinction in the meium term future

Near threatened

Close to qualifying among threatened species

Least concern

Low risk to extinction

Data deficient

Insufficient data to generate an analysis

Not evaluated

Not assessed against criteria

Here we are giving the entire list of endangered species in India as per IUCN List. The list contains critically endangered, endangered and vulnerable species. This is an important topic in upcoming UPSC civil services examination.

Sumatran Rhinoceros


  • Scientific name: Dicerorhinus sumatrensis
  • Status: Critically Endangered
  • Found in: Foothills of the Himalayas in Bhutan and NE India, all the way through southern China, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Borneo in Indonesia and the islands of Sumatra.
  • The chief threats to these species are poaching and reduced population feasibility. These animals were hunted for their horns, skin and for some medicinal purposes.

Kashmir stag


  • Scientific name: Cervus canadensis hanglu
  • Also called Hangul.
  • State animal of Kashmir.
  • Found in: High altitude regions of Northern India and Pakistan. Now present only in Dachigam National Park, Kashmir
  • Habitat destruction, over-grazing by domestic livestock, and poaching are the major threats faced by it.

Himalayan Brown or red Bear


Himalayan Brown Bear

  • Status: Critically endangered
  • It is also known as the Himalayan red bear, Isabelline bear etc
  • Found in: Northern India, Northern Pakistan, Northern Afghanistan, Tibet and Nepal.
  • They are omnivorous and hibernate during the winters.
  • The major threat was loss of appropriate habitat and unscientific anthropogenic activities.

Pygmy Hog


Pygmy Hog

  • The Pygmy Hog is the smallest and the rarest wild squid in the world
  • Status: Critically Endangered
  • These species of pigs in the wild are seen in Manas National Park. Previously, they were extensively spread in the Himalayan foothills extending from Uttar Pradesh to Assam.

Andaman White-toothed Shrew


Andaman White-toothed Shrew

  • Scientific name: Crocidura andamanensis
  • The Andaman White-toothed Shrew is an endemic species of  the South Andaman Island.
  • This species is endangered by habitat destruction due to Tsunami and other anthropogenic activities on the island, except inside the National Park.

Kondana Soft-furred Rat


  • Scientific name:
  • Status: Critically endangered
  • It is an endemic species to India.
  • It is found in Singharh plateau near Pune in Maharashtra State.
  • The main threats to these species are loss of habitat, overgrazing of vegetation and annoyance from archaeological site and tourists.
  • It is listed in the considered as vermin according to the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

Elvira Rat or Large Rock Rat

  • Scientific name: Cremnomys Elvira
  • Status: Critically endangered
  • These species are found in the Kurumbapatti, Salem District in Tamil Nadu. This region is located in the Eastern Ghats.
  • The major threats faced by these species are loss of habitat due to mining, expansion of human settlement.

Namdapha Flying Squirrel


Namdapha Flying Squirrel

  • Scientific name: Biswamoyopterus biswasi
  • Status: Critically Endangered
  • The Namdapha Flying Squirrel found Namdapha National Park in the state of Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Poaching is the major threat faced by these animals. These animals are poached for food.

Malabar large-spotted civet


  • Scientific name: Viverra civettina
  • Status: Critically Endangered
  • Malabar Civet is an endemic species found in the Western Ghats of southern India.
  • The major threats faced by these species are poaching, loss of habitat etc. The Malabar Civet is used for the extraction of musk.

Red Panda


  • Scientific name: Ailurus fulgens
  • Status: Endangered as its population has declined up to 50%.
  • The red panda is found particularly along the Myanmar-Yunnan border, India, Nepal, Bhutan and China
  • These are closely connected with montane forests with thick bamboo forest.
  • The main problems faced by these species are destruction of habitat, poaching, and disintegration. These species are used for different use including medicine, wild meat, etc.
  • In India, it is found in 19 protected or otherwise managed areas. This includes Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary, Kanchendzonga National Park (NP), Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary and Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary.

Wild ass


  • Scientific name: Equus hemionus
  • Status: Near Threatened (NT). The population of wild ass has declined recently.
  • In ancient times the Wild Ass had been seen throughout the steppes and desert steppes of the Russian Federation, the Arabian Peninsula, Mongolia, northwest India and northern China. But nowadays it is seen only in southern Mongolia and bordering China.
  • The major threats to Wild Asses shoot from the illegal hunting. These animals are hunted for meat and for some medicinal purposes.

Asiatic wild dog

  • Scientific name: Cuon alpines
  • It is also called as the Dhole and Indian wild dog
  • Dholes which are habitation generalist have vanished from the surface of earth and list as endangered in IUCN list.
  • They are seen in particularly the Western and Eastern Ghats of the southern states and Central Indian Highlands, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, and West Bengal.
  • They are killed for their fur and manufacturing the traditional medicines.

Brow-antlered deer


  • Scientific name: Rucervus eldii
  • It is also known as Eld’s Deer and Thamin
  • Status: Endangered
  • Previously, this species was extensively distributed across appropriate habitats of North eastern India, Myanmar, Thailand and Southeast Asia.
  • Now it is found only in Keibul Lamjao National Park in Manipur.
  • These animals are hunted for food and this is major threat for the existence of this species.

Golden Langur


  • Scientific name: Trachypithecus geei
  • Status: Endangered
  • The golden langur is seen in the moist evergreen and moist deciduous forests
  • The habitat loss and anthropogenic activities lead to the decline of the golden langur.

White-bellied Musk Deer

  • Scientific name: Moschus leucogaster
  • It is also known in the name of Himalayan Musk deer.
  • This White-bellied Musk Deer are seen in the Kashmir, Sikkim, Bhutan, northern India, Nepal, and China
  • There is a high trade in Musk deer body parts, mainly pods into northeast India and China. It also faces the problems like habitat loss due to human settlement.

Hispid hare/ Assam rabbit

  • Scientific name: Caprolagus hispidus
  • It is also known as Hispid Hare, Assam Rabbit, Bristly Rabbit
  • Formerly the Hispid hare was seen along the foothill area of the southern Himalayas from Uttar Pradesh through southern Nepal, the northern area of West Bengal to Assam.
  • Presently it is seen irregularly in India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal.
  • The major threat to this species is destruction of habitat happened due to the expansion of human development, agriculture etc.

Indian Hog deer


Hog deer

  • Scientific name: Axis porcinus
  • Status: Endangered
  • Hog Deer traditionally found in Pakistan, all the way through northern and northeastern India, and marginally in southern China

Lion-tailed macaque


  • Scientific name: Macaca silenus
  • It is also called as Lion-tailed Macaque, Wanderoo, Liontail Macaque
  • This animal is endemic to the Western Ghats
  • The Lion-tailed macaques prefer to stay in the higher canopy of tropical evergreen forest.
  • Status: Endangered
  • The main threat to this species is habitat disintegration due to human activities.

Tibetan Antelope


  • Scientific name: Pantholops hodgsonii
  • It is also called as Chiru
  • Formerly it was found in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and Chang Tang area of north-western Tibet
  • These animals live in high altitude plains, and montane valleys comprising of alpine and desert steppe and pasture, distinguished by low vegetation cover and productivity
  • The Tibetan antelope has been hunted for its under-fur and this is the major problem faced by this species.

Nilgiri Langur


  • Scientific name: Trachypithecus johnii
  • Status: Vulnerable
  • The Nilgiri Langur are seen only in the Western Ghats in southwestern India
  • This species is found in semi-evergreen, evergreen, moist deciduous forests in the lower height.
  • This animal is hunted for its skin. The skin of Nilgiri langur is used for making drums.

Nilgiri Tahr


  • Scientific name: Nilgiritragus hylocrius
  • Status: Endangered
  • The current distribution of the Nilgiri Tahr is restricted to just about 5% of the Western Ghats in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
  • The major threats faced by Nilgiri Tahr is chiefly from domestic livestock. Apart from that the destruction of habitat also results in the decline of their population.

Ganges River Dolphin / Indus River Dolphin


  • Scientific name: Platanista gangetica
  • It is also known as Ganges Susu, Blind River Dolphin, South Asian River Dolphin and Ganges Dolphin.
  • These fresh water mammals are found in the Indus, Ganges-Brahmaputra river systems of the India, Nepal, Tibet and Pakistan.
  • These fishes are hunted locally for food, and to extract essential oil
  • Water development projects like dams, pollution, hunting fishing are the major threat faced by these species.

IUCN Red List India 2017 PDF

Also Read 

IUCN Red List of ‘Vulnerable’ Mammals in India

IUCN Red List of ‘Near Threatened’ Mammals in India

IUCN Red List of ‘Critically ‘Endangered’ Birds

IUCN Red List of ‘Critically Endangered’ and ‘Endangered Fish’ in India

IUCN Red List: Miscellaneous list

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