Wild Animals of Central India & Conservation Status

by pateluday

This is an article on wildlife of Madhya Pradesh. This article intends to deliver an introductory information on mammals and reptiles found here and conservation in the State.

The State of Madhya Pradesh also known as Central India is heavily forested albeit the cover has declined at many places. The perfect ecosystems are found in the Protected Areas of the State. Also known as MP, the wild mammals found here inhabit the protected areas and are found very rarely outside of them.

With constant conservation efforts by the State Government the PAs have seen a rise in population of herbivores and carnivores. At many places specially in the reserved forests the conservation efforts are negligible and mammalian population is completely decimated albeit there are exceptions

Among the herbivores both the deer species and antelopes are found in the State. The tiger population in comparison with other states is very high and hence MP is known as the tiger state.

Tree Shrew Photo

Indian Tree Shrew
Indian Tree Shrew
Jagat Flora

List of Mammals of Madhya Pradesh

Major mammals found in jHanuman Langursungles of Central India are listed below:

Tiger
Leopard
Wild Dog
Indian Wolf
Jackal
Fox
Hyena
Jungle Cat
Wild Boar
Sloth Bear
Elephant
Gaur
Nilgai
Black Buck
Sambar Deer
Swamp Deer
Spotted Deer
Barking Deer
Four Horned Antelope
Mouse Deer
Chinkara
Rhesus Macaque
Hanuman Langur
Wild Buffalo
Palm Squirrel
Pangolin
Civet Cats
Ruddy Mongoose
Rusty Spotted Cat
Tree Shrews

A large number of bats are also found in MP.

 

 

Antelope

Indian Gazzele or Chinkara
Indian Gazzele or Chinkara
Teerath Singh

Carnivores

Big Cats

TigerPantherMajor Carnivores are tiger and leopard classified as tertiary carnivores in the food chain. They are nocturnal hunters and their prey base constitutes herbivores and live stock.  Tigers keep to dense forests hence are found in reserves with good crown cover. Leopards are more adaptable and inhabit human surroundings besides the dense forests. The tiger is being conserved under the Project Tiger Program in India but very little protection is granted to the leopard.

The carnivores keep herbivore population in check they are active in maintaining an equilibrium in the food chain.

The third big cat will be introduced at Kuno Palpur Wildlife Sanctuary from the Gir Forests of Gujarat. The Asiatic Lion unlike the tiger and panther is a gregarious animal which was once found in Madhya Pradesh in India.  

Tiger Photo

Tiger
Tiger
Jagat Flora

Herbivores

Spotted DeerThe herbivores constitute many species but the major ones are:
Swamp Deer
Sambar
Chital
Muntjac
Four Horned Antelope
Chinkara
Nilgai
Black Buck
Wild Boar
Swamp DeerLangur
Black Buck
Gaur
Sloth Bear

The herbivores are grazers and help control the population of producers in the food chain. They play a major role in the ecosystem and are prey base for many carnivores. They are classified as grazers and coarse feeders. The Chinkara, Nilgai and Black Buck are  antelopes and prefer scrub, grasslands and arid zones.

The wild boar once abundant is an omnivorous animal but major portion of the diet is vegetative matter. It feeds on carrion as well. Sloth Bear is an omnivorous animal but major portion of its diet is vegetative matter as wellHanuman Langurs.

The Gaur or Bison is a coarse feeder and is found only in the protected areas of MP.   The Hard  Ground Swamp Deer is the only race of its kind in the World and is limited to Kanha Tiger Reserve. It was saved from certain extinction by ground breaking research by George Schaller et.el. Today more than five hundred of these animals survive in Kanha Forests.

Indian Wildlife Video

Swamp Deer Photo

Swamp Deer
Swamp Deer
Jagat Flora

Small Carnivores

JackalThe jackal tops the list in being most active, highly vocal and visible. It is a carrion eater but a pack kills small deer and fawns. The fox is very illusive and highly nocturnal very little is known about it. The wild dog is a pack hunter and most charismatic. It is a local migrants and rarely sticks to one place. Its main prey is the spotted deer.  

The Hyena is a scavenger and prefer open country to dense forests. The Indian wolf is an expert hunter in India they live in open scrub land and hunt in pairs or small group. They are severely endangered in MP and are regulatory persecuted. The jungle cats, civets and mongoose control populations of small life forms.

These carnivores maintain balance in populations of various herbivores as secondary consumers. They pay a crucial role and should not be neglected. Earlier most of these animals have been classified as vermin and shot to near extinction.  

Wild Dog Photo

Dhole
Dhole
Teerath Singh

Reptiles of Madhya Pradesh

Russel's ViperCrocodileMP State is home to many reptiles of which marsh crocodile, gharial and monitor lizards are popular among the nature lovers.   These major reptiles can be seen in Chambal and Ken River Sanctuaries.

There are hundreds of variates of snakes and tortoise in rivers and dense forests. Some of the poisonous snakes are Cobra, Krait and Viper the rest are non poisonous.

Many varieties of turtles and tortoise can be seen in and around the water bodies and river systems. Python is a common snake and can be seen in the tiger reserves with some luck.

Conservation

The protected areas in Madhya Pradesh are notified as National Parks, Tiger Reserves and Wildlife Sanctuaries. The first two provide protection to maximum degree. Some trans location programs in case of tiger and gaur have been very successful.   Tiger have been sent to Panna National  Park from other reserves where they are breeding successfully.  Similarly Gaurs have been trans located from Kanha to Bandhavgarh and the program has been successful. 

In tiger reserves and sanctuaries human encroachment is a major problem and many villages have yet to be trans located.  

Wildlife health and Disease Management is crucial for survival of species and the Veterinary University in Jabalpur is doing a great job.

Another aspect of conservation is to increase natural habitats and bring them under protection. This is not being done on large scale, nevertheless efforts are on.

Public participation is necessary in order to conserve wildlife in MP. greater efforts should be made in this regard.

Wild animals are seen and understood on tiger safari tours  in the Indian reserves. These tours are the best means of creating awareness among the masses besides besides education.   

Jackal Photo

Indian Jackal
Indian Jackal
John Matthai

Map of Madhya Pradesh

Indian Wildlife Books

India Wildlife: A Folding Pocket Guide to Familiar Animals (Pocket Naturalist Guide Series)

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Indian Wildlife Insight Guide (Insight Guides)

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Indian animal posters

Female Indian Tiger at Samba Deer Kill, Bandhavgarh National Park, India
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Updated: 08/22/2014, pateluday
 
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