Thanks to its wide range of climatic conditions and geographical topography, India has a rich variety of habitat. According to the distribution of the flora and fauna, India can be classified into, Western Himalayas, Eastern Himalayas, Assam, Indus Plain, Ganga Plain, Deccan, Malabar and the Andamans. The flora of India is made up of around 45,000 species of plants, 33 percent of which are native. There are 15,000 flowering plant species, accounting to 6 percent of the world’s total flora. Of these, about 3,000 to 4,000 are believed to be in danger of extinction.
The fauna of India is made up of almost 5,000 species of larger animals. Popular mammals include the Elephant, the famous white lions and some common lions, the Royal Bengal Tiger, Rhinos, Wild Bisons some varieties from the cat family, deer, monkeys, wild goats, etc. Elephants are found in the sparsely populated hill areas of Karnataka, Kerala and Orissa.
Lions are found in the rocky hills and forests of the Gir area of Gujarat, Tigers in the Sunderbans and the Brahmaputra valley. The famous Project Tiger is a scheme financed by the government of India to safeguard the tiger in its habitat in nine selected reserves. Indian Fauna also include the wild ass of Rajasthan, Nilgiri Langur, Lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri mongoose and Malaber civer of the southern hills and the spotted deer. Leopards are found in many forests, Wolves roam the open country. Cheetahs are found in the Deccan plateau.
A huge number of snake varieties, lizards and crocodiles account for the reptile count. Snakes include the deadly King cobras to the equally poisonous Kraits. Scorpions and insects are aplenty in this country. Disease carrying mosquitoes and destructive locusts are to be found. Useful insects include the bees, silkworms and the Lac insect. Bird-Life in India is rich and colourful. The birds include the beautiful Peacock to the Parrots, and thousands of immigrant birds. Other common Indian birds are pheasants, geese ducks, mynahs, parakeets, pigeons, cranes, and hornbills. India now maintains 80 national parks, 441 wildlife sanctuaries and 35 zoological gardens.
India has a rich variety of vegetation that no other country in this world can boast of. Indian flora varies from the Western Himalayas and Assam, from the species of the Indus Plain to those of the gangetic plain, from the Deccan and Malabari to the vegetation of the Andamans. The floral wealth ranges from the Alpine to the temperate thorn, from the coniferous to the evergreen, from scrubs to deciduous forests, from thick tropical jungles to cool temperate woods.
The Western Himalayan region is abound in Chirpine and other conifers deodar, blue pine, spruce, silver fir, and junipers. The Eastern Himalayan region consists of oaks, laurels, maples, rhododendrons, alder, and birch and dwarf willows. The Assam region is full of evergreen forests with lots of bamboo and tall grasses.
The Indus plain supports very scanty vegetation and the Ganges Plain is under cultivation. The Deccan region is full of scrubs and mixed deciduous forests. The Malabar region is under commercial crops like coconut, betel, pepper, coffee and tea. Andaman region is abounding in evergreen and mangrove forests.