You might think you’ve seen the world and the internet has introduced you to all things big and small, weird and beautiful, but year after year, scientists explore the unexplored depths of the oceans and plains of jungles and make mind-boggling discoveries reminding us of the natural beauty around. On World Wildlife Day, let’s talk about a few lesser known species that exist in our very own country.
The Purple Frog also known as the Pignose Frog is an inhabitant of the Western Ghats in India. These slimy beings appear bloated at all times giving them a unique feature of being relatively rounded than most other lean looking species of frogs.
Found in the Western Ghats, Night Frogs have got their name from their habits and dark colour. A recently discovered species, very little is known about them as of now.
Found in the jungles of Assam, Bengal, Gujarat, Kashmir and Tamil Nadu, Dhole is also known as the Indian Wild Dog. Listed as endangered, this omnivorous species preys on medium sized animals. If you’re ever lucky enough to come face-to-face with one, don’t be afraid. They’re harmless to humans.
Brown Palm Civet
The Brown Palm Civet or Jerdon’s Palm Civet is another resident of the Western Ghats of India. A rare sight, this species is nocturnal in nature. They rest during the day in abodes like tree hollows, giant squirrel nests and forks of branches, and feed largely on fruits.
A grossly understudied and rare species, Nilgiri Martens have witnessed a stark dip in numbers due to the growing eco-tourism projects. Omnivorous in nature, they are known to feed on small mammals, birds, insects and seeds. No prizes for guessing where they can be sighted. WESTERN GHATS, again!
Gee’s Golden Langur
With its radiant fur, the Gee’s Golden Langur can be seen swinging from tree to tree using their tails, in North Eastern parts of India. They are considered sacred by the people in the Himalayan regions.
The closest relative of the Dodo bird, Nicobar Pigeons can be found along the coastal regions. The gorgeous, colourful bird is an absolute treat to the eyes. If you have a tough time spotting them, then remember it’s because they try to maintain their distance from humans and predatory mammals.
Indian Flying squirrel
Another rare species, very little is known about the Indian Flying Squirrel. Most active after dusk, they are known to feed on twigs, leaves and seeds.
In India, only the Gulf of Kutch is known to be blessed with the presence of Dugongs. Also known as the sea cow, it is a close relative of the Manatee. Their population has witnessed a sudden decline due to pollution and excessive fishing.
Indian Flying Fox
The largest bat in India, and one of the largest bats in the world, the Indian Flying Fox feed on fruits like bananas and mangoes. While the destruction from its fruit eating habits are frowned upon, the bats role in pollination is seen as absolutely essential.