Animals in India



Below you can find a complete list of Indian animals. We currently track 203 animals in India and are adding more every day!

In terms of its size, population, and even wildlife, India is a land of incredible extremes. Some of the largest (and even some of the smallest) wildlife on the planet can be found across India’s vast array of rich mountains, verdant grasslands, luscious tropical jungles and forests, dense wetlands, and arid deserts. The country’s most prominent regions include the Himalayas, the Indo-Gangetic plain (named after the two northern rivers against which it’s bound), the Western Ghats mountain range, and the Deccan Plateau toward the south.

The Official National (State) Animal of India

As a symbol of strength and power, the Bengal tiger is the official national animal of India. Other important symbols include the Indian elephant and the Indian peacock.

Where to Find the Top Wild Animals in India

The state of India has set aside more than 500 wildlife sanctuaries and a hundred national parks to protect its wildlife. The largest and most popular parks are listed below.

The Most Dangerous Animals in India Today

India is home to several poisonous animals and large, dangerous predators. These species are responsible for more deaths than many others:

  • King Cobra – Native to the forests and jungles of eastern India, the king cobra can deliver a powerful toxin that affects the victim’s central nervous system. Symptoms include pain, vertigo, and even paralysis. Death can sometimes occur in as little as 30 minutes.
  • Saltwater Crocodile – As the largest living reptile in the world, the saltwater crocodile can grow up to 20 feet long. Its world-class bite and tendency to treat humans as prey mean that this crocodile should be avoided at all costs. Unfortunately, many people who wander into their territory every year are vulnerable to attack.
  • Russell’s Viper – As one of the most dangerous and fearsome snakes in the world, Russell’s viper causes thousands of death every year. Symptoms of its bite include pain, swelling, dizziness, vomiting, and even kidney failure. Since it feeds on rodents and lizards, this snake will often wander into human territory.
  • Indian Red Scorpion – The toxin of this scorpion will attack the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems, causing a surprisingly high incidence of death. Symptoms can include vomiting, sweating, pain, convulsions, breathlessness, and an abnormal heart rate.

Endangered Animals in India

India contains some of the largest and most unique wildlife on the planet, but a lot of this diversity is now in danger of becoming extinct from human activity.

  • Indian Elephant – This subspecies of the Asian elephant is endemic to grasslands and forests throughout South Asia. But as habitat loss has gnawed away at the elephant’s natural territory, the numbers have fallen precipitously. Only about 30,000 of them still remain in India.
  • Bengal Tiger – This subspecies of the tiger once roamed the forests, grasslands, and mangroves of India in much larger numbers. But poaching and habitat loss have caused numbers to decline, so it’s now classified as endangered. Only about 2,000 of them remain in India out of a total population of about 3,000 throughout the larger region.
  • Dhole – Also known as the Asian wild dog, this close relative of the wolf is endemic to mountains and alpine forests, and meadows. Like the wolf, it was deliberately persecuted by humans both for sport and to prevent them from killing livestock. It’s now extinct from large parts of its former territory.
  • Asiatic Lion – This subspecies of the lion is less well-known than its African brethren. It once inhabited a huge swath of territory across Western Asia, but as a result of deliberate hunting and some habitat loss, this species is now restricted to the Indian state of Gujarat in the western part of the country.
  • Indian Vulture – The Indian vulture experienced a sharp and sudden decline between 2000 and 2007 due to kidney failure from the accidental ingestion of pharmacological drugs that are normally administered to livestock. Because vultures help keep the environment free of carcasses, their decline has caused disease to spread more rapidly. Conservationists are attempting to breed them in captivity, but their slow reproduction is a hindrance to their rehabilitation. It’s now in danger of becoming extinct.
  • Lion-tailed Macaque – This endangered Old World monkey, which sports an elegant silver-white mane and long tufted tail, is endemic to the Western Ghants mountain range of South India. Only a few thousand remain in the wild.
  • South Asian River Dolphin – This freshwater dolphin species is endemic to the Indus River of Pakistan and the Ganges River of India, Nepal, and Bangladesh. It is estimated that less than 5,000 remain, possibly due to pollution, dam construction, and other habitat changes.

Indian Animals

Adelie Penguin

Eats up to 2kg of food per day!

Angora Goat

Each adult Angora goat produces about 12 inches of mohair annually while kids have about 8 inches.

Ant

First evolved 100 million years ago!

Antelope

Renew their horns every year!

Armyworm

They are so named because they "march" in armies of worms from one crop to another in search of food

Asian Elephant

Domesticated for hundreds of years!

Asian Giant Hornet

The largest wasp in the world!

Asian Palm Civet

It mainly eats mangos and coffee!

Asiatic Black Bear

Known to eat 160 different tree-borne fruits in Thailand!

Aurochs

Extinct ancestor of all domesticated cattle!

Avocet

Has a curved, upturned beak!

Banana Spider

People spin clothing and fishing nets out of these spiders’ silk.

Barb

There are over 2,000 known species!

Barn Owl

Found everywhere around the world!

Barn Swallow

Older offspring help care for new hatchlings.

Bat

Detects prey using echolocation!

Bear

There are 8 different species!

Beetle

There are more than 350,000 different species

Bengal Tiger

The most numerous species of tiger!

Binturong

Also known as the Asian Bearcat!

Bird

Not all birds are able to fly!

Black Widow Spider

They typically prey on insects!

Bumblebee

The most common species of bee!

Burmese Python

These snakes can swallow their prey as whole.

Butterfly

There are thought to be up 20,000 species!

Camel

Can survive without water for 10 months!

Camel Cricket

The camel crickets that are found in the USA are light brown in color. They also have dark streaks all over their body.

Caracal

Has 20 different muscles in it's ears!

Carpenter Ant

Carpenter ants can lift up to seven times their own weight with their teeth!

Cashmere Goat

Cashmere goat are named after Kashmir regions of India and Pakistan

Cat

First domesticated by the Ancient Egyptians!

Caterpillar

The larvae of a moth or butterfly!

Catfish

There are nearly 3,000 different species!

Centipede

There are about 3,000 documented species!

Chameleon

There are more than 160 different species!

Cheetah

The fastest land mammal in the world!

Chicken

First domesticated more than 10,000 years ago!

Cicada

Cicadas have one of the longest insect lifespans

Clouded Leopard

Has canines that can be two inches long!

Cockroach

Dated to be around 300 million years old!

Common Buzzard

The most common raptor in the UK!

Common House Spider

House spiders have the ability to eat most insects in a home.

Common Raven

A group of ravens is called an unkindness or a conspiracy.

Cow

There are nearly 1.5 million worldwide!

Crab

There are 93 different crab groups

Crab Spider

Crab Spiders can mimic ants or bird droppings

Crane

Many are critically endangered species!

Crocodile

Have changed little in 200 million years!

Deer

There are around 40 different species!

Desert Locust

Solitary locusts are grey while gregarious locusts are yellow with stripes.

Dhole

Only 2,000 left in the wild!

Dog

First domesticated in South-East Asia!

Donkey

First domesticated 5,000 years ago!

Dormouse

Found in Europe, Africa and Asia!

Draco volans

Beneath the lizard’s “wings” are a pair of enlarged ribs for support.

Dragonfly

It's larvae are carnivorous!

Duck

Rows of tiny plates line their teeth!

Dung Beetle

The dung beetle can push objects many times its own weight

Eagle

Has exceptional eyesight!

Earwig

There are nearly 2,000 different species!

Eel

Eels can be a mere few inches long to 13 feet!

Elephant

Spends around 22 hours a day eating!

Falcon

The fastest creatures on the planet!

False Widow Spider

False spiders actually prey on black widow spiders and other hazardous spiders

Fiddler Crab

The fiddler crab gets its name from the motion the males make with their over-sized claw during the mating ritual.

Fire-Bellied Toad

Found across mainland Europe and Asia!

Fishing Cat

Scoops fish out of the water using it's paw!

Flamingo

Sleeps on just one leg!

Flowerhorn Fish

The Flowerhorn fish is an artificial species; it does not exist naturally

Fly

There are more than 240,000 different species!

Flying Squirrel

Can glide up to 90 meters!

Fox

There are 12 different species in the world!

Frog

There are around 7,000 different species!

Fruit Bat

Among the largest bats in the world

Gecko

There are thought to be over 2,000 species!

Gerbil

Originally known as the Desert Rat!

Gharial

Found in the murky waters of Northern India!

Gibbon

Found in dense jungles and tropical forests!

Glass Lizard

Can grow up to 4ft long!

Glow Worm

Found inhabiting dense woodland and caves!

Goat

Most closely related to the Sheep!

Golden Oriole

Migrates between Europe and Asia!

Goose

There are 29 different species!

Grasshopper

There are 11,000 known species!

Green Bee-Eater

Mainly eats honeybees!

Hamster

Able to run as quickly backwards as forwards!

Hare

Can reach speeds of over 40 mph!

Hedgehog

Thought to be one of the oldest mammals on Earth!

Heron

Inhabits wetlands around the world!

Honey Badger

One of earth's bravest creatures!

Honey Bee

There are only 8 recognized species!

Hoopoe

Stunning bird with a stinky way to deter predators!

Hornbill

The bird has a massive horn on its bill!

Horse

Has evolved over 50 million years!

Horsefly

Horseflies have been seen performing Immelmann turns, much like fighter jets.

Horseshoe Crab

Changed little in over 500 million years!

Human

Thought to have orignated 200,000 years ago!

Huntsman Spider

Some huntsman spiders have an interesting way of moving around. Some cartwheel while others do handsprings or backflips.

Hyena

There are four different species!

Ibis

Found in swamps, marshes and wetlands!

Indian Elephant

Found throughout south-east Asia!

Indian Giant Squirrel

Indian giant squirrels use their large tail to help them balance.

Indian Palm Squirrel

Natively found in parts of India and Sri Lanka!

Indian Rhinoceros

Also known as the one-horned rhino!

Indian Star Tortoise

Popular in the exotic pet trade!

Insects

There are an estimated 30 million species!

Jackal

Can maintain speeds of 16 km/h!

Jerboa

Tiny rodent with a kangaroo-like jump!

King Cobra

They are the longest poisonous snake in the world.

Kingfisher

Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!

Ladybug

There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!

Leopard

Spends much of the time high in the trees!

Leopard Cat

There are 11 different species!

Liger

The offspring of a lion and tiger parents!

Lion

Lives in small groups called prides!

Lizard

There are around 5,000 different species!

Locust

Each locust can eat its weight in plants each day.

Long-Eared Owl

Ear tufts make it look bigger!

Magpie

They are found across Europe, Asia and Africa!

Markhor

Less than 2,500 left in the wild!

Masked Palm Civet

Found throughout Asia, India and China!

Mayfly

There are 2,500 known species worldwide!

Mealybug

They have a symbiotic relationship with ants.

Millipede

Some species have a poisonous bite!

Mole

Primarily hunts and feeds on Earthworms!

Mole Cricket

Adult Mole crickets may fly as far as 5 miles during mating season and are active most of the year.

Mongoose

Range in size from just 1 to 3 foot!

Mongrel

Has characteristics of two or more breeds!

Monitor Lizard

Some species are thought to carry a weak venom!

Monkey

There are around 260 known species!

Moorhen

Feeds on aquatic insects and water-spiders!

Moth

There are 250,000 different species!

Mouse

Found on every continent on Earth!

Mule

The offspring of a horse and donkey parents!

Muntjac

The muntjac is the smallest type of deer in the world

Myna Bird

For a nice price, the mynah bird makes a good pet.

Neanderthal

Roamed Asia and Europe for around 100,000 years!

Newt

Able to regrow lost or damaged limbs!

Nightingale

Named more than 1,000 years ago!

No See Ums

There are more than 5,000 species.

Orb Weaver

Females are about four times the size of males

Otter

There are 13 different species worldwide

Pangolin

Bad eyesight, but great sense of smell

Parakeet

Monk parakeets are the only parakeets that actually build nests. They’re also the only parakeets to nest in great colonies.

Parrot

Can live for up to 100 years!

Peacock

Most commonly found on the Indian mainland!

Peregrine Falcon

Fastest animal on Earth

Pheasant

Females lay between 8 and 12 eggs per clutch!

Pig

Thought to have been domesticated in 9,000 BC!

Pigeon

They can find their way back to their nests from up to 1300 miles away.

Pika

Found in mountainous regions and rocky areas

Pond Skater

There are 500 different species!

Porcupine

There are 30 different species worldwide!

Quail

Inhabits woodland and forest areas worldwide!

Rabbit

There are more than 50 different species!

Rat

Omnivores that eat anything!

Rhinoceros

It's horns are made from keratin!

River Turtle

Inhabits freshwater habitats around the world!

Robin

There are more than 45 species in Australia alone!

Rodents

The capybara, the world’s largest rodent, likes to be in and around bodies of water. Because of this, the Catholic Church in South America decided that it was a fish, and people were allowed to eat it during Lent and First Fridays.

Salamander

There are more than 700 different species!

Scorpion

There are around 2,000 known species!

Seahorse

Males give birth to up to 1,000 offspring!

Sheep

Around 35 million in the English countryside!

Shrimp

There are 2,000 different species worldwide!

Skink Lizard

Some skinks lay eggs in some habitats while giving birth to skinklets in other habitats.

Slow Worm

Found widely throughout British gardens!

Slug

They glide around on one foot, which is aided by the slime they produce

Snail

There are nearly 1,000 different species!

Snake

There are around 3,000 known species worldwide

Snow Leopard

Unlike other big cats, snow leopards don’t roar.

Sparrow

There are 140 different species!

Spider Wasp

They prey on spiders to feed their larvae or they parasitize other spider wasps.

Spotted Lanternfly

The spotted lanternfly is often confused for a moth, but it’s actually a type of planthopper

Squirrel

Small rodents found in woodlands worldwide!

Stick Insect

There are more than 3,000 different species!

Stoat

Average adults weigh about 200 grams!

Striped Hyena

The striped hyenas usually mark their territories with the help of the scent gland secretions from their anal pouch.

Swan

Populations have been affected by pollution!

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula hawks are excellent pollinators, especially for milkweed.

Termite

Their mounds can be up to 9 meters tall!

Thrush

The American robin is called the robin because its red breast reminded European settlers of the robin back in the old country.

Tiger

The largest feline in the world!

Tiger Beetle

The adult tiger beetle is one of the fastest land insects in the world

Tortoise

Can live until they are more than 150 years old!

Tree Frog

Found in warmer jungles and forests!

Turtles

Some species of aquatic turtles can get up to 70 percent of their oxygen through their butt.

Vinegaroon

Vinegaroons can spray 19 times before the glands are depleted

Vulture

There are 30 different species worldwide!

Walking Catfish

The walking catfish can move on land while breathing air

Wasp

There are around 75,000 recognised species!

Water Buffalo

Has been domesticated for thousands of years!

Water Dragon

Spends most of it's time in the trees!

Weasel

The smallest carnivorous mammal in the world!

White-Tailed Eagle

It is one of the biggest birds of prey.

White Tiger

None have been seen in the wild for 50 years!

Wild Boar

Males have a top tusk to sharpen the bottom one!

Wolf

Thought to date back more than 300,000 years!

Wolf Spider

Carnivorous arachnid that hunts its prey.

Woodlouse

This animal can roll up into a ball

Woodlouse Spider

Unlike most spiders, woodlouse spiders don’t build a web.

Woodpecker

There are 200 different species!

Zebu

There are around 75 different species!

Indian Animals List

Animals in India FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Which animals are found in India?

India is particularly rich in deer and other hoofed animals, big cats, snakes, bats, monkeys, rodents, birds, insects, and freshwater fish.

What are the main animals in India?

The most well-known animals are perhaps the tiger, elephant, rhino, lion, peacock, snow leopard, and monkeys.

How many animals are in India?

India has approximately 2,500 species of fish, 200 amphibians, 400 reptiles, 400 mammals, and some 1,250 species of birds.

Which animal is banned in India?

India does ban people from owning or importing certain animals, including some species of monkeys, parakeets, parrots, tortoises, penguins, otters, manatees, and cetaceans.

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