There are many species of animal that are native to India. Some reports say as many as 76,000 different animal species can trace their origin there. Among the more recognized are the Indian Elephant, the Bengal Tiger, and the rhinoceros both white and black. In addition there are many types of birds, rodents, canines, bovines, reptiles, and insectoids.

Ornithologists can tell you that there are approximately 1,200 bird species in India. These include the peacock (which is the nations Bird), the common buzzard, white-rumped vulture, Indian pond-heron, greater coucal, and the Eurasian hoopoe. There are many species of introduced birds, also, some of which are thought to be responsible for bringing disease which has caused indigenous species to become extinct. These include the pink-headed duck, the Himalayan quail, and the forest owlet.

The white tiger and the Asiatic lion are listed among the endangered species which call India home. In addition the panther, black leopard, rare albino leopard, the caracal, and the snow leopard (found only in the Himalayas) are species of felines which have prowled this Asian countryside for centuries.

While elephants are found roaming central and eastern Himalaya and the Southern Deccan Plateau, there are other quadrapeds (four footed creatures) tracing their ancestry here. Canines, among them the wild Asian dog called Dhole and the jackal (including the side-striped and black-back species). One horned rhinoceros, wild buffalo, wild hog, and various species of goats, sheep (including the ibex), antelope, and deer are also counted among the numerous native animals.

Included in the rodents that call India their ancestral home are the bandicoot rat, the tree mouse, the antelope rat (more commonly referred to as the Indian gerbil), and various species of bat. It should be noted that the common black rat, which is revered in India, is also considered to be among the nations leading carrier of disease (this is because rats do not actually urinate, but continuously leak urine).

Reptiles and amphibians that are native to India include the cobra, krait, the saltwater snake, various species of crocodile and python, the bamboo bush frog, and fungoid frog. There are thought to be over 800 differing species of reptiles and amphibians native to the region, including many that have yet to be identified.

There are only 15 species of primate which are native to India. Among them are the slow lorus, the gibbon, the macaque, the pig tailed monkey, and the orangutan.

Marine life is also teeming in India. Over 2,500 species of fish, echinoderms, and mollusk are thought to be native. One interesting fact is that the ganga dolphin is native to this countrys waters. Among other aquatic animals one can find the mahseer, catla, and dugong, which are actually feed fish (among the Indian diet).

India has many wildlife preserves and sanctuarys. It is one of the few places which contain animals that have yet to be identified. This country is one of the very few where wild animals continue to claim habitat that humans encroach upon. Areas of India are plaqued by monkeys which call government buildings their play ground, and villages where snakes are viewed as good or bad omens.

Information above was gathered in part at the following websites:

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