Wild animals never kill for sport or Fun. Only man does. Deer or Tiger hunting would have been a great sport, if only Deers and Tigers had Guns. Thanks to endless human atrocity over nature, mindless hunting and poaching of animals and birds for fur, meat and what not, four more great species in India are on the verge of extinction. There was a time in the past, when on an average at the most one species would become extinct. As science and technology advanced for humanity, today we have thousands of species becoming critically endangered and extinct every year!
In a list titled as, “Priceless or Worthless,” compiled by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Zological Society of London are listed the 100 MOST threatened and endangered species on this planet which are on the brink of extinction. Below is a list of four species from India in this list.
The Great Indian Bustard
The Great Indian Bustard is one of the heaviest flying birds in the world. This bird was once widespread and abundant in entire India, but unfortunately today is one of the top four critically endangered species in India with only around 250 individual birds surviving across the country!
After the Indian Independence, when the bird species to hold the title of “national bird” of India was being considered, the Great Indian Bustard was also considered as a probable candidate for the title. The nomination of this bird was strongly supported by the famous Indian ornithologist Salim Ali. But later Indian Peafowl got declared as the national bird of India. One of the reasons for which the Great Indian Bustard was dropped was because of the probability of its name being misspelt in English!
The Mughal emperor Babur is known to have said about this bird that
while the flesh of the leg of some fowls, and of the breast of others is excellent; the flesh of every part of the Bustard is delicious”.
Well, if you are tasty, live in the wild, and not human, you certainly aren’t going to survive on this planet for long. Ain’t it?
During the British rule of India, the British soldiers considered this bird to be a tasty delicacy and this was among the top game-birds, hunted for both fun and meat. The invention of the Jeep changed the method of hunting and it became extremely easy for hunters to chase and hunt these Bustards.
In the 1970s there were around 1300 Bustards in India, today they are just about 50 to 250, thanks to hunting and encroaching of their natural habitat by agricultural land.
Found in the states of West Bengal and Orissa, the Batagur baska, a species of Riverine Turtle, is on the brink of extinction today. Also called Northern River Terrapin, in the above picture you can see a week old Turtle sitting on top of a one year old, which is on top of a two year old Turtle. This Turtle is also found in Bangladesh, Myanmar and to some extent even in Thailand.
Gooty Tarantula (Poecilotheria metallica)
This beautiful metallic blue color spider was first discovered at a railway timber yard at Gooty in the Anantpur district of Andhra Pradesh. Hence it got the name Gooty Tarantula. The natural habitat of this spider is the reserve forest area between Nandyal and Giddalur in Andhra Pradesh. Also called metallic tarantula or peacock tarantula, these beautiful species of spider were once abundant in South Eastern India.
White Bellied Heron
This is one of the top 50 rarest birds in the world found in the foothills of eastern Himalayas in India, north-eastern Bangladesh, Myanmar and Bhutan. In Bhutan where it was once found abundantly, today only about 30 of these birds exist.
Mahatma Gandhi once said
The more helpless a creature, the more that it is entitled to protection by man from the cruelty of man.