Critically Endangered Animal Species of India

Among the classification of threatened species, the category Critically Endangered corresponds to the greatest risk. In India, there are 70+ critically endangered animals and 60+ critically endangered plants. 300+ animals fall under the category of endangered while 140+ plants fall under the category of endangered.  This post is a detailed list of the critically endangered animal species in India. These include mammals, reptiles, birds, amphibians, fishes, corals and so on. 

When is a species considered critically endangered?

Critically endangered is the highest risk category assigned by the IUCN (International  Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List to wild species. There are five quantitative criteria to determine whether a taxon is threatened. A taxon is critically endangered when the best available evidence indicates that it meets any of the following criteria:

  1. Populations have declined or will decrease, by greater than 80% over the last 10 years or three generations.
  2. Have a restricted geographical range.
  3. Small population size of less than 250 individuals and continuing decline at 25% in 3 years or one generation.
  4. Very small or restricted population of fewer than 50 mature individuals.
  5. High probability of extinction in the wild.

Critically Endangered Animal Species of India

The Critically Endangered list includes 10 mammals, 15 birds, 6 reptiles, 19 species of amphibians, 14 fishes etc.

Critically Endangered Mammals

  1. Pygmy Hog (Porcula salvania).
  2. Andaman White-toothed Shrew (Crocidura andamanensis)
  3. Jenkin’s Andaman Spiny Shrew (Crocidura jenkinsi)
  4. Nicobar White-tailed Shrew (Crocidura nicobarica)
  5. Kondana Rat (Millardia kondana)
  6. Large Rock Rat or Elvira Rat (Cremnomys elvira)
  7. Namdapha Flying Squirrel (Biswamoyopterus biswasi)
  8. Malabar Civet (Viverra civettina)
  9. Sumatran Rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis)
  10. Javan Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus)

Critically Endangered Birds

Great Indian Bustard

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According   to International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list of birds, the information contained in the IUCN Red list version 2013.2 indicates that 15 species of birds from India are critically endangered.

No Common Name Scientific Name
1 Baer’s Pochard Aythyabaeri
2 Forest Owlet Heteroglauxblewitti
3 Great Indian Bustard Ardeotisnigriceps
4 Bengal Florican Houbaropsisbengalensis
5 Siberian Crane Grusleucogeranus
6 Spoon-billed Sandpiper Eurynorhynchuspygmeus
7 Sociable Lapwing Vanellusgregarius
8 Jerdon’s Courser Rhinoptilusbitorquatus
9 White backed Vulture Gyps bengalensis
10 Red-headed Vulture Sarcogypscalvus
11 White-bellied Heron Ardeainsignis
12 Slender-billed Vulture Gyps tenuirostris
13 Indian Vulture Gyps indicus
14 Himalayan Quail Ophrysiasuperciliosa
15 Pink-headed Duck Rhodonessacaryophyllacea

Critically endangered birds in India under a different classification can be grouped as:

  1. Migratory Wetland Species – Baer’s Pochard (Aythya baeri), Siberian Crane (Leucogeranus leucogeranus), Spoon-billed Sandpiper (Eurynorhynchus pygmeus)
  2. Non-migratory Wetland Species – White-bellied Heron (Ardea insignis)
  3. Grassland Species – Bengal Florican (Houbaropsis bengalensis), Great Indian Bustard (Ardeotis nigriceps), Jerdon’s Courser(Rhinoptilus bitorquatus), Sociable Lapwing (Vanellus gregarius)
  4. Forest Species – Forest Owlet (Heteroglaux blewitti)
  5. Scavengers – Indian Vulture (Gyps indicus), Red-headed Vulture (Sarcogyps calvus), Slender-billed Vulture (Gyps tenuirostris), White-backed Vulture (Gyps bengalensis).
  6. Practically extinct – Himalayan Quail (Ophrysia superciliosa), Pink-headed Duck (Rhodonessa caryophyllacea)

Extra note : In the lower risk categories, the agency included 14 bird species as Endangered and 51 as vulnerable ones. In the latest list, two birds – the River Lapwing and River Tern – that were listed as species of least concern have been registered as near threatened. A third bird, the long-tailed duck, which has been sighted in India on a few occasions, has moved from ‘least concern’ to ‘vulnerable’ on the red list.

Critically Endangered Reptiles

Gharial (fish eating crocodile)

  1. Gharial (Gavialis gangeticus)
  2. Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata)
  3. Leatherback Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea)
  4. Four-toed River Terrapin or River Terrapin (Batagur baska)
  5.  Red-crowned Roofed Turtle or the Bengal Roof Turtle (Batagur kachuga)
  6. Sispara day gecko (Cnemaspis sisparensis)

Critically Endangered Amphibians

  1. Anamalai Flying Frog (Rhacophorus pseudomalabaricus)
  2. Gundia Indian Frog (Indirana gundia)
  3. Kerala Indian Frog (Indirana phrynoderma)
  4. Charles Darwin’s Frog (Ingerana charlesdarwini)
  5. Kottigehar Bubble-nest Frog (Micrixalus kottigeharensis)
  6. Amboli Bush Frog (Pseudophilautus amboli)
  7. Chalazodes Bubble-Nest Frog (Raorchestes chalazodes)
  8. Small Bush Frog (Raorchestes chotta)
  9. Green-eyed Bush Frog (Raorchestes chlorosomma)
  10. Griet Bush Frog (Raorchestes griet)
  11. Kaikatt’s Bush Frog (Raorchestes kaikatti)
  12. Mark’s Bush Frog (Raorchestes marki)
  13. Munnar Bush Frog (Raorchestes munnarensis)
  14. Large Ponmudi Bush Frog (Raorchestes ponmudi)
  15. Resplendent Shrub Frog (Raorchestes resplendens)
  16. Sacred Grove Bush frog (Raorchestes sanctisilvaticus)
  17. Sushil’s Bush Frog (Raorchestes sushili)
  18. Shillong Bubble-nest Frog (Raorchestes shillongensis)
  19. Tiger toad (Xanthophryne tigerinus)

Critically Endangered Fishes

  1. Pondicherry Shark (Carcharhinus hemiodon)
  2. Ganges Shark (Glyphis gangeticus)
  3. Knife-tooth Sawfish (Anoxypristis cuspidata)
  4. Large-tooth Sawfish (Pristis microdon)
  5. Long-comb Sawfish or Narrow-snout Sawfish (Pristis zijsron)

Critically Endangered Corals

  1. Fire corals (Millepora boschmai)

Critically Endangered Spiders

  1. Rameshwaram Ornamental or Rameshwaram Parachute Spider (Poecilotheria hanumavilasumica)
  2. Gooty Tarantula, Metallic Tarantula or Peacock Tarantula (Poecilotheria metallica
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