Save them before it is too late!

The world population is growing by leaps and bounds. It is already late for us to conserve the wildlife species, which forms an essential part of the entire eco-system. While doing research for this article, i came to know of certain species which are rare and only a small population of them remain in the world…blame their extinction on humans and our greed. In an effort to save the last of the lot, i would like the following to be conserved, for future generations to at least know who they are and have a glimpse of them (and not just read about them in history books). All of these have been classified as ‘Endangered (EN)’ by the IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature:conservation status.jpg

1. Lion-tailed Macaque: Also called Wanderloo, this monkey is found in the Western Ghats of South India. It ranks among the smaller macaques (a medium-sized, chiefly forest-dwelling Old World monkey that has a long face and cheek pouches for holding food) and avoids humans.

lion-tailed macaque

The lion-tailed macaques are the rarest and most threatened primates. According to recent assessments, only 3,000-3,500 of these endangered species remain, scattered primarily in Kerala but also a few in Tamilnadu and Karnataka. They do not live, feed or travel through plantations. Hence, our activities including the spread of agriculture, construction of water reservoirs for irrigation and power generation, and other interventions have led to their increasing isolation and fragmentation. Destruction of their habitat and their avoidance of human vicinity has led to the drastic decrease of their population.

The only silver lining is they are no longer on ‘The World’s 25 Most Endangered Primates’ list, after the international body compiling it determined that the local governments in Southern India had taken steps to protect them.

2. Bengal Tiger: They are primarily found in India with a few of them in Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan also. This National Animal of both India and Bangladesh was estimated to be around 2,500 in number in 2011 and their population is on a decreasing trend.


The most serious threat to their extinction is poaching, as there is a widespread illegal trade in poached skins and body parts between India, Nepal and China. There are well organized gangs of professional poachers (with hierarchies of dealership) doing most of the damage.

Another factor contributing to their loss is urbanization and revenge killing as farmers blame tigers for killing cattle and shoot them. In the Indian subcontinent, the region where tigers have achieved their highest densities because of affording habitat is also one which has housed one of the most concentrated and rapidly expanding human populations. So tigers were killed in large numbers so humans could survive.

3. Indian Wild Dog: Also called Dhole, it is a native to Central and Southeast Asia. However, their largest stronghold is in India.


Dholes are found in forested areas and in a wide variety of habitat types. Factors such as prey and water availability, den sites and relatively open forest areas with grassy meadows (usually having high prey densities) are required to support dholes. It is a highly social animal and has a dietary overlap with tigers and leopards.

This species face a serious risk of extinction and their population is estimated to be less than 2,500 adults. Two of the major threats to the dhole are habitat destruction (and the associated prey) and human persecution (as a result of bounties on them by humans). Furthermore, once dhole populations become fragmented, other factors such as disease and inbreeding may have more permanent effects.

It is indeed sad to read their journey and how these species could soon become extinct, if steps are not taken immediately. Their survival is dependent on strong laws and support from the Government, from the public, from NGOs and particularly from children. Various professional bodies have also been setup to protect their further loss, and following points could help in their conservation:

  1. Awareness among us about these endangered species.
  2. If there is a conflict between them and people, we need to assess it and measures should be taken to reduce it.
  3. Maintain and increase their prey base.
  4. Forest habitat should be restored and protected from loss and destruction.

For further information on these specials along with many others which require our urgent attention, read Wildlife Photo Book titled “Capturing Wildlife Moments in India.” Through 120 photographs, this book by Ashok Mahindra highlights the rich heritage and range of wildlife and its habitats in India. The book indicates the continuing threat to wildlife in India and sets out how it could be more effectively preserved. The book lists the National Parks and Sanctuaries visited (over 30), the Wildlife Hotspots and Interesting Places to Stay. The book is of interest to all of us who are concerned with conservation, wildlife photography and wildlife tourism.

I am participating in the Save the Species contest for the book “Capturing Wildlife Moments in India” in association with Saevus Wildlife India, read the reviews for the book ‘Capturing Wildlife Moments in India’ here

92 thoughts on “Save them before it is too late!

  1. Yes Alok it would be a pity if these and other species are wiped out. A small silver lining in the case of the Tiger is that I read recently that numbers have increased due to efforts of conservationists. But lots more required no doubt. This is a nice and timely writeup, a wake up call!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I had read about the Kerala government taking steps to make it a better situation for the Lion-tailed Macaque. I don’t know how that turned out to be though; not by much, I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A very informative write up for a worthy cause. If forests and wildlife are destroyed, many species such as the ones you have mentioned may become extinct. Very few of a bird species called Great Indian Bustard are now left in India.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A very informative post Alok and I read it in one go because from past two days I and my son are working on the same topic for a school debate. The numbers which he got from IUCN were so shocking regarding the endangered animals !

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Before it is too late?? Alok, honestly, I guess we are already much late on this… cuz we made this situation occur in the first place. While watching Discovery channel yesterday, a women said “I don’t understand why do we have to conserve them” that was such a touchy statement. We all know the answer and what’s right & wrong, but…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s frightening to hear in the news how few of some species are left. It’s also great to sometimes hear that a certain species has recovered to the point that it’s no longer endangered after a concerted effort to protect it. Too little too late? I hope not.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Informative & thoughtful post…creating awareness about environmental issues, extinct species or anything related with it, needs reaching out & that u did so wonderfully by raising concerns & points…many times, we know all, but don’t know the way to contribute for these causes or to be a part of it, as we forget that we are already a part of Eco-system, that needs care*love*nurturing. All the best (y)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes! We are change….:-) I have been teaching/actively participating with my kids in Recycling/Community Gardens/ Connect with Nature activities….We all love it..thankfully…& moreover schools & community have so many programs here to help kids understand basics of our Eco-system. Awareness & Participation..are main catalysts…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. In West it is easy, but not so in India…we don’t have strict laws there and are not active ourselves also because of lack of support.

        Good to know about your participation in saving our planet….please convey my Thanks to your kids.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. A very informative post, Alok, and worthy effort. The challenge of man versus nature grows every year and the world’s wildlife is in great distress where ever the two meet. The destruction of our wildlife and its natural habitat for our own survival ironically dooms us to the same fate. More has to be done to protect them and save ourselves.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. very well written and thoughtful.But all this is due to human being’s greed over nature’s gift.
    The important aspect to this problem is non realization of impending problem or crisis as creature we are going to face in the coming years.We consider poaching , deforestation as means to make more profit .human being as creature has become over powering one with less attention towards ecological balance and nature’s life cycle. All those animals facing extinction are very important for nature’s ecological balances. we are always keep a myopic view with short term interest in sight. Each one us in this blue planet should learn the art natural co existence..Better to realise and understand that our life is also under huge threat…if we don’t take drastic measures to curb our instincts to encroach in other space , future generations would find the going tough in this planet. better to realize this fact

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very true, we need to learn to co-exist with nature and other species…that way our future generations will have a decent life.

      Thank you so much for an enlightening comment. Our concerns are common.


  10. Its really disheartening to hear about endangered species. Good that organizations like Saevus are working on their conservation. I got to review “Capturing Wildlife Moments in India” its a wonderful book, wishes for the contest..

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Gorgeous animals, all of them. The Lion-tailed Macaque is especially fascinating – now you’ve got me watching Macaque videos on YouTube. (They can sure move quickly when they want to!)

    Thanks for the reminder that animal habitats need protecting at all times, not only when animals are threatened with extinction.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Glad you joined in this initiative. It’s sad how we humans are encroaching shamelessly on their territory and they are getting wiped out in the process.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. It’s really sad that we humans have destroyed the habit of animals so much so that so many of them have become endangered. Just to further our own selfish motives, we have both knowingly and unknowingly caused so much harm. Thanks for bringing this up.

    Moreover for tigers I thought things were being done but looks like the situation is still quite bleak. Quite distressing :(.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, few steps here and there don’t matter much. What matters is a serious effort and that is lacking.

      Hope something is done soon to save these species, else we will never see them around.

      Thank you very much for inputs, buddy.


  14. This is a wonderful post. I once read of an indigenous tribe of people on an island. They had a taboo regarding an animal that shared their island. Only the ones who attained the very highest level of enlightenment could eat this animal. Since humbleness was ingrained in this people, they all assumed that they were not the most enlightened, and so nobody ever ate the animal.
    Later religious missionaries arrived, forced the people to abandon their sinful ways and heathen beliefs…the animal went extinct shortly thereafter. I think this is an instructive tale, on a few different levels.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The story is good to know but disheartening…makes me believe we have weird beliefs.

      My take is to let these species live their lives too, we are no better than them anyway (in most cases).

      Thank you so much for stopping by and providing a thought-provoking input.


  15. Nice thought… but not much we can do as people away from forest in City and minding life as it is in the city, we don’t know how to help, or how any of our actions affect the bigger ecosystems. But I have few insights to share… now according to news tiger population has increased everywhere and you must havee heard of a new tiger that came from BR Hills or from Nagarkoil or someother area to Bannergatha National Park, it was given there is increase in green cover n all those areas. Also yeah… when we see that a animal has come out of the forests, it means there is something wrong, maybe lack of prey or watrer, or trees, or something. So, Govt. taking measures of spreading awareness to tribal forks who are close to the forests, telling them how to preserve the forests, not cut wood from trees, gaurd the area from poachers etc… in Bangalore one Ramakrihna Mission has called volunteers to go to Govt. schools and just interact with kids regarding forests and wildlife so they tell their parents in return… I attended one meeting where they formed groups and we were supposed to go on weekends to schools and interact with kids, either through video presentation, chats anything… but did not go again… so efforts are there to preserve forests… I am wanting to go for the next tiger census, maybe I might get inspired to do that sometime… but really there is nothing much we can do except go back to school and learn not to pollute, don’t waste water, keep environment clean and such things… or else join some group, spread awareness… if you go to Mysore zoo you will find inspiration…you can meet the lion and girafe that our Anil Kuble adopted, where it will be funded for its well being…nice

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, exactly these are the efforts (like you did) that will raise awareness and will protect these species. Small steps will lead to bigger ones and then it will shake the system.

      Thank you for adding.


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