Extinct Animals of India

India holds 11.5% of all the flora in the world and 6.49% of all the fauna. In the last few centuries, we've seen a rapid loss of flora and fauna on their walk to extinction. Species extinction is a natural process in the growth cycle of a species and the earth has known natural 5 mass extinctions, and now we are in the wake of the 6th one. The problem with this 6th mass extinction is the earth is so imbalanced that the rate of extinction of flora and fauna is now estimated at 1000 times the natural extinction rate. We are losing our wildlife at an unnatural speed. This is why we should care about protection, conservation, and environmental services. Out of respect, here are 5 extinct (or feared extinct) Indian animals within the last few centuries that have joined the 6th mass extinction.

  1. The Indian Auroch

These beautiful animals were larger and more muscular variants of domestic cattle. They are said to be extremely similar to the extant Gaur, and looked exactly like them, albeit a little larger. They were eventually used for domestic purposes, however hunting of wild auroch still continued. It is hypothesized that hunting, combined with habitat loss and crossbreeding finally lead to the extinction of the species with the last known individual dying in 1627.

  1. Malabar Civet

This animal is famously endangered but feared extinct. This 7 kgs civet cat was once abundant along the coastal stretch of the Western Ghats, however, has not been seen or recorded since 1990, when two skins were found. An attempt to spot them in 2007 using camera traps also proved futile. There is an ongoing debate as to whether it’s time to declare this species extinct or put more effort into looking for it. The reason for its decline is thought to be the demand for civetone, a substance extracted from the scent glands.

  1. Pink-headed Duck

Here is another beautiful species that is extinct, possibly due to hunting and habitat loss. This large duck that was found around the Ganges, and already a rare animal, has now not been seen in 80 years and it has been declared extinct.

  1. Himalayan Quail

The last verifiable record of this bird was in 1867 in Mussoorie, and since then it is on the list of possibly extinct animals. It is a medium-sized bird that used to be found in the Uttarakhand region. Again, on the list of possible reasons for extinction is human hunting activities.

  1. Indian Javan Rhinoceros

Once one of the most widespread rhinoceros species, The Javan Rhino has dropped to becoming one of the most endangered species in the world. Currently, they are extinct in India. They used to thrive along with the Assam and Bengal belt and all across south-east Asia, however now the only population exists in Ujong Kulon National Park in Java. Causes for the decline? Poaching for their horns. Something that is threatening all Rhinoceros species worldwide.

The species extinction rate is at an all-time spike, with 0.1% of all species becoming extinct each year. That is an estimated 200-2000 species lost each year. We need to do something about this and we needed to do it yesterday. 

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