Asiatic Lion

Asiatic lions are slightly smaller than African lions.
  • The most striking morphological character, which is always seen in Asiatic lions is a longitudinal fold of skin running along its belly.
  • Asiatic lions were once distributed up to the state of West Bengal in east and Rewa in Madhya Pradesh. At present Gir National Park is the only abode of the Asiatic lion.
  • The last surviving population of the Asiatic lions is a compact tract of dry deciduous forest and open grassy scrublands in southwestern part of Saurashtra region of Gujarat.UPSC Prelims 2024 dynamic test series
  • It is listed in Schedule I of Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972, in Appendix I of CITES and as Endangered on IUCN Red List.
  • The greater one-horned rhino (or “Indian rhino”) is the largest of the rhino species. Once widespread across the entire northern part of the Indian subcontinent, rhino populations plummeted as they were hunted for sport or killed as agricultural pests.
  • This pushed the species very close to extinction and by the start of the 20th century; around 200 wild greater one horned rhinos remained.
  • They primarily graze, with a diet consisting almost entirely of grasses as well as leaves, branches of shrubs and trees, fruit, and aquatic plants.
  • It is classified as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.
  • The Great one horned rhino is commonly found in Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan and in Assam, India. It is confined to the tall grasslands and forests in the foothills of the Himalayas.
  • Sumatran rhinos are the smallest rhinoceroses.
  • They are only Asian rhino with two horns.
  • They are covered with long hair and are more closely related to the extinct woolly rhinos than any of the other rhino species alive today.
  • Calves are born with a dense covering that turns reddish-brown in young adults and becomes sparse, bristly and almost black in older animals.
  • Sumatran rhinos compete with the Javan rhino for the unenviable title of most threatened rhino species. While surviving in possibly greater numbers than the Javan rhino, Sumatran rhinos are more threatened due to habitat loss and fragmentation.
  • The Sumatran rhino once roamed as far away as the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas in Bhutan and eastern India, through Myanmar, Thailand, possibly to Vietnam and China, and south through the Malay Peninsula.
  • Recently, the last Sumatran rhinoceros in Malaysia died of cancer and hence is now extinct in Malaysia. The species is down to about 80 individuals, all living in Indonesia islands of Sumatra and Borneo.
  • Bactrian camels have two humps rather than the single hump of their Arabian relatives. The humps function the same way—storing fat which can be converted to water and energy when sustenance is not available.
  • These humps give camels their legendary ability to endure long periods of travel without water, even in harsh desert conditions. As their fat is depleted, the humps become floppy and flabby.
  • Bactrian camels live not in shifting Sahara sands but in Central and East Asia’s rocky deserts.
  • The Bactrian camel first appeared in Ladakh in the 1870s. These camels were brought along by travelers and traders from Yarkand in Xinjiang province of modern-day China. They are exclusively found in the Nubra Valley of Ladakh in India.

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