Wildlife of India offers variety of animal life and the country is home to thousands of different species of wild animals, reptiles and birds.
The natural habitat of Indian wildlife and dense forest provide shelter to below list of unique, rare, few endemic and endangered species of animals.
Asiatic Lion – Gir Forest National Park, Gujarat
Asiatic Lion or Indian Lion is one of the only five pantherine cats inhabiting India and restricted to the only Gir Forest National Park of Gujarat. The Panthera leo leo is a large predatory cat and around 522 wild population found in India.
Bengal Tiger – Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh
Bengal Tiger is the national animal of India and an estimated 2,226 individuals tiger population found in India. The Bengal tiger inhabit all types of forest including evergreen forests,mangroves and even snow forest of Himalayas.
Best National Parks to spot Bengal tiger in India are Jim Corbett, Kaziranga, Kanha, Ranthambore, Nagarhole, Sundarbans and Tadoba National Park of Maharashtra.
Indian Leopard – Jawai Dam Sanctuary, Rajasthan
Indian Leopard is one of the five big cats found in Indian subcontinent and live in and around tiger habitat in the entire country.
Black Panther – Kabini Wildlife Sanctuary, Karnataka
Black Panther is the color variant of Indian leopard species, found only in the dense forest of Nagarhole, Kabini and Dandeli in Karnataka. There are rare spotting of black panther in Tadoba Maharashtra, forest of Assam and Chhattisgarh.
Snow Leopard – Hemis National Park, Jammu and Kashmir
Snow Leopard is a large wild cat inhabits high altitude alpine at the elevations of 9,800 to 14,800 ft. Indian Himalayas is considered as a good habitat for snow leopard, usually found in high altitudes of Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir and Sikkim.
Clouded Leopard – Clouded Leopard National Park, Tripura
Clouded Leopard is smallest among the wild cats found in India and is the state animal of Meghalaya. The leopard occurs from the Himalayan foothills of Sikkim to Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura.
Indian Rhinoceros – Kaziranga National Park, Assam
Indian Rhinoceros or great Indian rhinoceros is the second-largest living rhinoceros in the world and also the second tallest land mammals found in India, today only survived in the Terai grasslands of Assam.
Indian Elephant – Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala
Indian Elephant is listed as endangered due to habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation. The foot of the Himalayas in Uttarakhand, Western Ghats and few protected areas in the Terai of Northeast are best place to spot wild Indian elephants.
Indian Bison – Dajipur Bison Wildlife Sanctuary, Maharashtra
Gaur is the largest extant bovine listed as vulnerable and also is the tallest of wild cattle species found in India. Indian bison is a strong and massively built bovine and also the among the largest living land animals.
Wild Water Buffalo – Manas National Park, Assam
Wild Water Buffalo is another large bovine listed as endangered and native to the Indian Subcontinent. The wild buffalo found mostly in Assam, few places in Chhattisgarh and and the adjacent states of northeast India.
Indian Wild Ass – Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary, Gujarat
Indian Wild Ass or Ghudkhur is a subspecies of the onager and listed as endangered, found only in and outside of the Wild Ass Wildlife Sanctuary located in the Little Rann of Kutch in the Gujarat.
Sloth Bear – Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary, Karnataka
Sloth bear is species native to the Indian subcontinent and one of the 4 species of bear found in India, Sun bear being the other one found in the tropical rainforest of northeastern India. Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary in Karnataka is exclusively created for the preservation of the sloth bear in India and host numerous sloth bears.
Barasingha – Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh
Barasingha or swamp deer is a large species of deer found in India but the population only occur in the Kanha National Park of Madhya Pradesh, Assam and Uttar Pradesh.
Blackbuck – Blackbuck National Park, Gujarat
Blackbuck or Indian antelope is native to grassy plains and slightly forested areas and also the fastest running wild animal of India. Other well known deer and antelope species found in India are Chinkara, Nilgai, Chital and Sambar deer.
Nilgiri Tahr – Eravikulam National Park, Kerala
Nilgiri tahr or Nilgiri ibex is one of the most popular species of wild mountain goat found in India, The ibex is endemic to the Nilgiri Hills of Western Ghats. Other known species of wild mountain goats and sheeps found in India are Himalayan Tahr, Bharal or Himalayan blue sheep, Urial, Goral, Serow and Himalayan Ibex.
Kashmir Stag – Dachigam National Park, Jammu and Kashmir
Kashmir stag or hangul is the only species of elk found in India and native to high valleys, cold mountains and dense riverine forests of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.
Sangai Deer – Keibul Lamjao National Park, Manipur
Sangai Deer is the only brow antlered deer found in Manipur and an endemic and endangered species in India. The brow antlered deer habitat is the floating marshy grasslands of Loktak Lake and the Keibul Lamjao National Park.
Red Panda – Singalila National Park, West Bengal
Red Panda is native to the Himalayas and active from dusk to dawn. The red panda is endemic to the cold forests of the Himalayas of India and the range starts from Nepal, Assam, Sikkim, Darjling and Arunachal Pradesh.
Indian Giant Squirrel – Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary, Maharashtra
Indian giant squirrel or Malabar giant squirrel is the largest tree squirrel species, endemic to deciduous and evergreen forests of peninsular India. The western ghats of India is home to arboreal giant squirrel and main predators of squirrel are the birds of prey, large spotted civet and wild jungle cats.
Lion Tailed Macaque – Silent Valley National Park, Kerala
Lion Tailed Macaque is endemic to the Western Ghats of South India and known for its unique and outstanding characteristic of face and tail.
Nilgiri Langur – Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, Tamil Nadu
Nilgiri Langur only found in the Nilgiri Hills of the Western Ghats and many other hilly areas in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The primate is classified as vulnerable due to habitat destruction an poaching.
Golden Langur – Kakoijana Reserved Forest, Assam
Golden Langur is found only in a small region of western Assam and listed as most endangered primate species of India. Gee’s golden langur along with Capped Langur, Assam macaque, Arunachal macaque and Phayre’s leaf monkey are well known primate species found in North East India.
Capped Langur – Nameri National Park, Assam
Capped Langur is another threatened species of primate found in the forest of North East India but threatened by habitat loss and forest destruction.
Hoolock Gibbon – Hoollongapar Gibbon Sanctuary, Assam
Hoolock gibbon is the only Ape species found in India and second-largest of the gibbons. The hoolock is only in northeast India around the south of Brahmaputra and Dibang rivers.
Dhole Dog – Bandipur National Park, Karnataka
Dhole or Indian wild dog is also known as mountain wolf is a highly social animal, found living in large packs in Bandipur National Park.
Indian Wolf – Velavadar National Park, Gujarat
Indian wolf is the subspecies of grey wolf with an intermediate in size between Tibetan and Arabian wolf. The wolf is the largest species of canid found in India and its range distributed across the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
Malabar Civet – Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary, Karnataka
Malabar civet is one of the species of viverrid endemic to the Western Ghats, listed as Critically Endangered due to deforestation and loss of natural forest. Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary is also home to most famous the great hornbill, Indian pangolin,Indian jackal, muntjac and Malabar pied hornbill.
Honey Badger – Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary, Karnataka
Honey Badger is a carnivorous animal, found living in the dense forest of Karnataka around the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary is home to mammals like wild boar, barking deer, sambar deer, Chevrotain, chousingha and grizzled giant squirrel.
Brown Bear – Valley of Flowers National Park, Uttarakhand
Valley of Flowers National Park is located in West Rishikesh and home to rare and endangered Himalayan wildlife that includes Musk deer, red fox, blue sheep, Asiatic black bear and brown bear.
The Asiatic black bear or moon bear and Himalayan brown bear are two rare and endangered animals of India, found only between the mountain ranges of the Zanskar and Great Himalaya.
Saltwater Crocodiles – Bhitarkanika National Park, Odisha
Saltwater Crocodiles are the largest living reptiles and found only in Bhitarkanika and Sundarbans mangrove forest. The mangrove forest of India is also home to Indian python, King cobra, water monitor lizard and turtles species.
National Chambal Sanctuary is the most pristine river sanctuary and home to Critically Endangered gharial, Endangered Ganges river dolphin, red-crowned roof turtle and Indian skimmer birds.
Keoladeo National Park was known as the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is the most famous avifauna sanctuary in India, a World Heritage Site too. The man-managed wetland, grasslands, woodlands and swamps of Bharatpur is habitat to 366 bird species and also wintering and breeding ground for migratory waterfowl, rare Siberian cranes, water birds, Saurus crane and African comb duck.