Home to 6.5 percent of the world’s total wildlife species, India is a mega-diverse country filled with undiscovered flora and fauna. However, due to factors such as poaching, deforestation, killing for medicinal purposes and more, the life of this biodiversity has always been under danger. To be precise, 15 species of birds and 12 species of mammals in the country are critically endangered due to these detrimental reasons.
On the occasion of World Environment Day 2020, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has come forward with a campaign to make the youth more aware about the nature. And no, it’s not your cliché theory. Weaving a fun twist into it, the organization encourages you to spot the endangered species in a series of photos.
CONCEPT: Since endangered species are rare to spot and it’s a wish to see them grow in large numbers. UNEP drew inspiration from their rare sightings and have presented the species just the way we see them.
Here’s what you need do: Just like a puzzle, try to spot the endangered animal in the images.
THE GREAT INDIAN BUSTARD
The great Indian bustard can easily be distinguished by its black crown on the forehead contrasting with the pale neck and head. The body is brownish and the wings are marked with black, brown and grey. These birds are opportunist eaters and their diet ranges widely depending on the seasonal availability of food. They feed on grass seeds, insects like grasshoppers and beetles, and sometimes even small rodents and reptiles.
GANGES RIVER DOLPHIN
The Ganges river dolphin was officially discovered in 1801. They once lived in the Ganges-BrahmaputraMeghna and Karnaphuli-Sangu river systems of Nepal, India and Bangladesh. The species is extinct from most of its early distribution ranges. The Ganges river dolphin can only live in freshwater and is essentially blind. They hunt by emitting ultrasonic sounds, which bounces off of ﬁsh and other prey, enabling them to “see” an image in their mind.
Snow leopards have evolved to live in some of the harshest conditions on Earth. The snow leopard’s powerful build allows it to scale great steep slopes with ease. Its hind legs give the snow leopard the ability to leap six times the length of its body. Snow leopards are found in 12 countries— including China, Bhutan, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, and Mongolia.
With biodiversity as the theme for this year’s World Environment Day, it becomes imperative to highlight the dwindling population of India’s endangered species.
Could you spot them? If you did, then play this game that is virtually curated to save the species.
This World Environment Day, join a virtual panel discussion organized by United Nations Environment Programme, India on ‘Investing in Nature for Building Back Better’. For more information, register here.