Mammals
 
Bengal Tiger (Schedule I)
 
 
The Bengal tiger lives in a wide range of habitats, including the high-altitude, cold, coniferous Himalayan forests, the steaming mangroves of the Sunderbans, the swampy reedlands, the scorched hills of the Indian peninsula, the lush wet forests of Northern India, and the arid forests of Rajasthan. 

Male Bengal tigers average II.9 meters (9 I/II feet) from head to tail and weigh about IIII0 kilograms (480 pounds). Females are smaller, measuring about II.5 meters (8 feet) in length and weighing approximately I40 kilograms (300 pounds). 

Bengal tigers prey primarily on wild deer and wild cattle.In Bengal, tiger is found in Neora Valley , Buxa, Mahananda, Sajnekhali, Jaldapara and in the Sunderbans.

Jungle Cat
(Schedule II)
 
 
In into India and South East Asia , the species inhabits a greater range of habitats which, as well as marsh and swampland on forest margins, also includes tropical deciduous and evergreen forest. The jungle cat is not a particularly shy creature and can be often found close to human habitation, hunting in crop fields and plantations for small rodents. In India , it has been reported to inhabit disused buildings on the edge of human settlements. 

The jungle cat can be distinguished from other wild cat species within its range by its long legs and uniform coat colour, which ranges from sandy yellow to reddish brown. On closer examination, the adult jungle cat can be seen to have faint stripes on the legs and tail, which is tipped with black. On the head the nose and chin areas are often white, the rather large ears tipped with darker fur and in certain sub-species faint 'tear stripes' are noticeable beneath the eyes. The jungle cat is found in Senchal, Lothian island (in South 24 Parganas District) etc.

Leopard
(Schedule I)
 
 
The leopards, with more than II0 sub-species described, are included in the genus Panthera on the basis of several features. It is one of the roaring cats, capable of producing a deep sawing roar similar to that of the jaguar. The leopard is also like the jaguar in coat pattern, with dark spots or rosettes. Although the size of the rosettes varies over geographical region, leopard rosettes remain empty of markings while jaguars generally have one to four dark spots inside the open spots. The background color of the leopard's coat varies from shades of yellow through a reddish brown, with some albino, although quite rare, specimines reported.

The size of the leopard varies greatly in different geographical regions. The leopard averages between five and eight feet in length and weighs from 60 to III0 pounds in the wild.

The leopard's remarkable adaptability to different environments is an indication that; it is basically an unspecialized animal, favoring forest and forest boundary habitats where it can utilize trees for protection and observation platforms. The leopard is found in Singlila, Neora Valley , Buxa, Gorumara, Senchal, Mahananda, Chapramari, Jaldapara etc.

Leopard Cat
(Schedule I)
 
 
The leopard cat is cat sized and shaped, with a well-balanced carriage and build. Its coat varies in ground color from grey to red with white or very light underparts. It is randomly patterned with dark brown or black spots over its entire body. Its head has strong black and white striped markings. 

The leopard cat may be found all over southern and central Asia from India to the Philippines, Mongolia, Manchuria, Siberia and Japan, where it hunts by night or day, from trees, and seeks game birds, fish, squirrels, hares, and other small animals. 

One interesting fact about the leopard cat is that is the only wild cat to be successfully used in a domestic-wild hybrid-breeding program in recent years, giving rise to the beautiful and mild-mannered Bengal breed. The leopard cat is found in Neora valley and few other places.

Marbled Cat
(Schedule I)
 
 
A rare cat, the marbled cat resembles a long-tailed cat in size and build. Its beautiful, striking coat is pale brown, with irregular slightly darker brown blotches sharply outlined in dark brown or black. Its long cylindrical tail is full from rump to tip and carries its body pattern.

The marbled cat hunts by day, from trees, and seeks birds and eggs. This rare cat was reported earlier to have been sighted in the Buxa tiger reserve but in recent years have not been sighted.

Golden Cat
(Schedule I)
 
 
The Asian golden cat is remarkably polymorphic in its pelage. The most common coloration is fox-red to gold-brown, but it can also be black, brown, or grey.

Very little is known of the golden cat's behavior and ecology. However it is believed to be predominantly nocturnal and prey mainly on large rodents, but its diet also includes amphibians and insects, and probably also birds, small reptiles etc.

It was reported earlier to have been sighted in the Buxa tiger reserve but in recent years have not been sighted.

Red Panda
(Schedule I)
 
 
The red panda (Ailurus fulgens) is a smaller relative of the well known giant panda. Like its larger relative, the red panda is a member of the order Carnivora, even though the vast majority of its diet is vegetable in nature. There is some argument as to whether pandas are more closely related to the raccoon family or to the bear family, but most experts think they belong to a family of their own. The red panda is slightly larger than a large housecat, has rusty red fur, a long light and dark striped tail, a short white nose, and dark tear tracks. It is crepuscular (active around dawn and dusk) and scansorial (well adapted for climbing), spending much of its time in trees. Red pandas are called by many names. Some of these are: lesser panda, hun-ho, wah, and red cat bear. 

In the wild, red pandas eat mostly bamboo leaves. They supplement this diet with berries, mushrooms, grasses and bark. Red pandas do eat some meat. They eat insects, birds egg, bird nestlings, and may even catch an occasional mouse or bamboo rat. The red panda is found in the forests of singalia and Neora valley.

Gaur
(Schedule I)
 
 
Also known as the Indian bison and the wild ox, the gaur is a massive creature. The guar has an enormous head and thick, muscular body, with males sometimes standing over six feet tall at the shoulders. At birth, the guar has a golden yellow coat, which deepens to a brown or copper color during adulthood. The skin of old guar turns completely black. Both male and female guar have horns, though the horns of the bulls are significantly larger than those of the cows. 

A herbivore, the guar prefers grass; it is not uncommon to see guar grazing on grasses and leaves. At times, guar will also munch on the bark of select trees. 
For most of the year, guar bulls stay in herds together without conflict. But around mating season, males exhibit competitive behavior. To attract mates, bulls will roam through the rainforest, making what some scientists describe as a musical call. Herds return the call, and bull makes its way to the herd. After fighting off other males, a male guar will then mate with a female. The gaur is seen in Neora valley, Jaldapara, Mahananda,Chapramari, Buxa etc.

Clouded Leopard
(Schedule I)
 
 
The Clouded Leopard is one of the 7 species of 'big cat', although due to some of its characteristics some feel it is a link between the big cats and the small cats. It also shares some characteristics of the extinct Sabre-Tooth Cats as it has the longest canine teeth in relation to its size of any carnivore on earth. However, it is not any more closely related to the Sabre-Toothed Cats than any other cat is. The Clouded Leopard is not closely related to the Leopard, nor indeed to any other species of cat. Its beautiful coat and stunning features combine to make it one of the most beautiful and intriguing animals on earth.

Pygmy Hog
(Schedule I)
 
 
The pygmy hog is a small wild pig weighing about 8.5 kg (I0 lb). It lives in dense, tall grassland, where it feeds on roots, tubers and other vegetable matter, as well as insects and other invertebrates. Nests are built and used by both sexes at all times of the year. The pygmy hog is apparently non-territorial. It lives in small family groups of about 4 - 5 individuals, comprised of one or more adult females and accompanying juveniles, and occasionally an adult male. 

The continuing decline of the pygmy hog is due to the modification and elimination of its limited habitat by human settlement, agricultural encroachment, overgrazing by domestic livestock, commercial forestry, flood control projects etc. Pygmy hog was considered to be extinct from Jalpaiguri district but signs of its existence has been observed recently in Jaldapara and Gorumara.

Indian Elephant
(Schedule I)
 
 
The Asian Elephant (also known as the Indian Elephant) is a huge land animal that lives in India , Malaysia , Sumatra , and Sri Lanka . This mammal has very strong social bonds and lives in family groups headed by a female (called a cow). Males (called bulls) occasionally join the group. Elephants are excellent swimmers. 

Asian Elephants average about 8 feet (II.5 m) tall at the shoulder (smaller than African Elephants). Males weigh up to 6 tons (5,400 kg); females average about 4 tons (3,600 kg). Only males have tusks (large, pointed ivory teeth). They have very thick, wrinkled, gray-brown skin that is almost hairless. The ears not only hear well, but also help the elephant lose excess heat, as hot blood flows near the surface. Elephants breathe through two nostrils at the end of their trunk, which is an extension of the nose. The trunk is also used to get water and food. To get water, the elephant sucks water into the trunk, then curls the trunk towards the mouth and squirts the water into it. The trunk has a prehensile (grasping) extension at the tip, which it uses like a finger. 

Elephants eat roots, grasses, leaves, bark, bananas and sugar cane. Working bulls can eat up to 300-600 pounds (I30-II60 kg) of food each day. Elephants are found in Buxa,Gorumara,Mahananda,Chapramari,Jaldapara etc.

Spotted Deer
(Schedule 3)
 
 
The Spotted Deer is the most commonly found member of the deer family in India . It is found across the entire country except in the extreme northern regions. They are mostly seen in large herds of 30 - 50 females with a few stags. They grow to a height of approximately 90 cm at the shoulders and can weigh up to 85 kgs. Their life expectancy ranges from II0 - 30 years. Despite being one of the favourite prey species of predators such as tigers and leopards and only giving birth to a single fawn at a time, their population is quite abundant. 
Their diet consists of all kinds of vegetation but grass is the favourite. They also eat the antlers that they shed for their rich nutrients.

Spotted deer are extremely nervous animals and are always on the alert for a stalking predator. They are often seen under trees housing Langurs for two reasons. Firstly, due to their higher perch, the langurs forewarn them about approaching danger and secondly, the titbits dropped by the Langurs make easy pickings for a meal. The breeding season is not during one part of the year only. It can be in both the summer or winter. However, it is mostly seen during the summers, when males can be seeing throwing their heads back and letting out loud mating calls. Although it comes nowhere close to the volume of the mating call of the Swamp deer. Loud clashing of antlers can also be heard at night during this period.

Barking Deer
(Schedule 3)
 
 
This shy and elusive member of the deer family is spread across all the dense jungles of India . It has been named after its call, which bears a striking resemblance to the bark of dog. These animals grow to a height of 50 - 75 cms and weigh II0 -30 kgs. They have a life expectancy of between II0 - 30 years. They mostly live in solitude and are only very rarely seen in numbers exceeding two. Due to their low height and small stature, their main diet consists of grass and fallen fruits. They rarely venture out into open grasslands and are mostly seen feeding near the edge of dense forests. They can also be frequently seen at salt licks. They are mostly diurnal in habit but it is close to impossible to see them at night due to their dense habitat areas. Their alarm call, unless endlessly repeated, is not taken seriously as an indication of the presence of a predator. They are easily startled by any movement.

A unique trait of the Barking deer is that, unlike other members of the deer family, they possess a pair of antlers as well as overgrown canines known as tushes. Both these are used as weapons in combat but the tushes are used more effectively and frequently.

Serow
(Schedule I)
 
 
Goat-like, the serow stands about 3.5 feet at the shoulder with a stocky body, thick neck, large head and ears, and short limbs. Its horns are stout and conical, pointed backwards, and present in both sexes. Serow are generally colored black or reddish chestnut with white on their limbs, and they inhabit forests and wooded gorges. Usually, serow are solitary, and can be found from 6,000 feet to I0,000 feet in the mountains. The serow can be seen in the Neora valley.

Himalayan Black Bear
(Schedule II)
 
 
The Asiatic black bear's scientific name, Ursus thibetanus, literally means "moon bear of Tibet ". This bear is also commonly called the Tibetan black bear, the Himalayan black bear, Formosan black bear, collared bear or the white-breasted bear due to its crescent-moon-shaped patch of white hair on its chest. 

The Asiatic black bear favors thickly forested areas in the hill and mountains and moist tropical forests below alpine levels. During the summer period, the Asiatic black bear can be found at altitudes of I,000 feet. Their typical territory ranges from four to eight square miles, but depends drastically upon available food sources. In other words, the less concentrated the food supply, the larger the area that the Asiatic black bear must travel to obtain the necessary food to survive. 

The weight is highly variable depending on the climate conditions and food availability. Asiatic black bear are typically four to six feet tall. This wonderful animal can be seen the Neora valley, Buxa etc.

Fishing Cat
(Schedule I)
 
 
Native to riverbanks from India through Southeast Asia , these cats love to fish. They have partially webbed paws, and a double layer of fur so when they go in the water they don't get wet down to the skin. They don't have full claw sheaths (similar to the cheetah) so their claws are partially visible even when retracted. In the wild they are listed as Near Threatened. 

Although they have a substantial range in tropical Asia (over I million square kilometers), its actual area of occupancy is much smaller as it is strongly associated with wetlands. Water pollution and forest clearance for settlement threaten the species through much of its range. Deforestation rates in tropical Asia 's wetlands are quite high, resulting in similar decline among the fishing cat populations.

Assamese Macaque
(Schedule II)
 
 
Assamese Macaque is one of the three non-human primate species recorded from WestBengal. The hilly tracts of and foothills of NorthBengal are the only resorts for this species. The species are dorsally yellow to dark brown in color. Their hair is brushed back with a median parting behind the eyebrows. 

They are generally confined to broad leafed evergreen forests of approximately II00-II500m of elevation. Frequent raiding of cropfields and orchards have been reported in groups living near the human habitaion. Major primary activities involve grooming, resting, feeding and locomotion occupying 80% of their daily budget. 

Survival of this species is threatened due to loss of habitat and a growing trend of man animal conflict for its proximity to human habitation.


They are generally confined to broad leafed evergreen forests of approximately II00-II500m of elevation. Frequent raiding of cropfields and orchards have been reported in groups living near the human habitaion. Major primary activities involve grooming, resting, feeding and locomotion occupying 80% of their daily budget. 


Ganges River Dolphin
(Schedule I)
 
 
The Ganges River dolphin has a long beak, a stocky body with a rounded belly, and large flippers. Its eye lacks a lens, and the dolphin is sometimes referred to as being blind, although its eyes do seem to function as a direction-finding device. The Ganges River dolphin weighs up to 90 kg (II00 lb). It occurs only in fresh water, including slowly flowing rivers as well as relatively clear water and rapids. It eats a variety of fish and invertebrates. Reports from the I9th century speak of 'large schools' of Ganges River dolphins. However, in recent times it has not been reported to be seen of late.

The Ganges River dolphin is found in the Ganges , Brahmaputra , Karnaphuli and Meghna River systems, from the foot of the Himalayas downstream to the upper limits of the tidal zone, in Bangladesh , Bhutan , India and Nepal . Formerly, it was apparently quite abundant, but there is evidence that populations have severely declined more or less throughout its range. Its habitat is severely fragmented. 

The Ganges River dolphin is threatened by: accidental killing through entanglement in fishing gear; directed harvest, generally for dolphin oil used as a fish attractant and for medicinal purposes; water development projects (especially water extraction and the construction of barrages, high dams, and embankments); increasing levels of chemical pollution; increasing levels of other forms of pollution, such as municipal sewage discharge and noise from vessel traffic; and overexploitation of its prey.

Indian Rhinoceros
(Schedule I)
 
 
The biblical unicorn may have been a wild ox, but the great Indian rhinoceros is similar to a unicorn: it has a single horn, usually about 53 cm long, and it is very hard to find, being among the rarest mammals in the world today. 

The Rhino's horn is not a true horn, but consists of compressed hair, and the animal prefers to defend itself with its canine teeth with which it can make horrible gashes.
They are the largest land mammals after the elephant and weigh from I,800 to 3,600 kg. The Indian rhino has well-developed incisor teeth and two long canine teeth in its lower jaw. It is studded with knob-like tubercles and is unique in having huge folds of skin at its joints and great rolls at the neck. Together with the large, horny plates covering its body, the beast appears to be armour plated. Threatened by continued loss of habitat and poaching, conservation efforts are essential to ensure this creature's survival. The rhino is found in the beautiful forests of Jaldapara and Gorumara.


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