The geographical and climatic diversity of India is the reason for its varied flora and fauna, but the number of species falling under IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species is increasing owing to rampant unsustainable development and malpractices. Go visit these places before it’s too late.
The largest river island of the world is shrinking, year by year. From an area panning 2, 82, 165 acres in 1853, it has reduced to 886 acres as a result of soil erosion caused by Brahmaputra floods.
What you will miss: Hundreds of migratory birds, which populate this island in Assam during winter, such as Pelicans, Siberian Cranes and Adjutant Strokes.
Threat: Several NGOs have been pushing the state and central governments to come up with a long term, scientific plan to save the island and also to nominate it for UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site.
Lakshadweep Islands, Andaman Islands, and Nicobar Islands
What you will miss: These islands in India famed for their coral reefs, Hawksbill Turtles, tropical colourful fishes–Blue-lined Snappers and Clark’s Anemone–giant clams, mollusks.
Threat: Increase in temperature due to climate change, bleaching of coral reefs and oil spills are some of the major threats in this region.
Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg Hills
What you will miss: Coastal plateaus, creeks and moist deciduous forested hills of this region, with mangroves, and seasonal flowers of balsam, hill turmeric, sonki and karvi are home to Great Pied Hornbill, Malabar Pied Hornbill and Malabar Trogon, Leopard, Sambar, Hyena, Mouse Deer and Barking Deer, different species of frogs and toads, and marine life such as shells, clams.
Threat: Felling of trees to make place for infrastructure such as second homes, resorts and 15 power projects, both public and private are the threats to its habitat.
Where to go: Anjarle,Dabhol, Sarambal, Jaitapur, Marleshwar and Bhirwande.
What you will miss: Its dry deciduous forests are found in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh and host animals such as the Indian Tigers, Gaurs (Indian Bisons), Wild Dogs, Leopards, Sloth Bear and forest Owlets.
Threat: The vast undulating wooded areas of this reason are being chopped to make place for infrastructure and dam projects.
Where to go: Melghat Tiger Reserve, Chikhaldara and Pench Tiger Reserve.
What you will miss: Montane forests in Jammu Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand in Western Himalayas are endemic to certain pheasant species, birds such as the Monal; mountain goat species such as Goral and Bharal and Snow Leopards.
Threat: Cutting of forests, infrastructure development and unsustainable tourism activities threaten the survival of the habitat and species of this region.
Where to go: Dachigam National Park (J&K) and Valley of Flowers (Uttarakhand).
Chambal and Upper Gangetic Plains
Over the years species such as the Gangetic River Dolphin and Gharial, which are endangered and critically endangered species respectively, have not only declined in numbers but have also migrated.
What you will miss: Besides, Dolphins and Gharials you will also find white backed and long winged vultures, flamingos and tigers in these regions.
Threat: Illegal fishing with synthetic nets, pollution and sand mining are endangering the lives of these species.
Where to go: Katarniaghat National Park and Chambal Sanctuary
Deccan Grasslands and Scrub Forests
What you will miss: You will find these in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka and its ecosystem which includes Indian Wolf, birds such as Great Indian Bustard and Jerdon’s Courser, antelopes such as Blackbuck and Chinkara.
Threat: are threatened due to encroachment, developemental activities and killing of grassland birds.
Where to go: Nannaj Sanctuary (Maharashtra), Rollapadu Sanctuary (Andhra Pradesh) and Rannibennur Sanctuary (Karnataka)
Tropical evergreen and montane forests of North East India
What you will miss: These lush green forests are only seen in some states of India–Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Meghalaya—where one can expect sightings of the Golden Langur, Namdapha Flying Squirrel, Hoolock Gibbon, Red Panda, Bugun Liochichla, Wreathed Hornbill, Oriental Pied Hornbill and some endemic butterflies and flora.