National symbols:

  1. Bengal tiger – national animal
  2. Indian peacock – national bird
  3. Ganges river dolphin – national aquatic animal
  4. Banyan tree – national tree
  5. Indian elephant – national heritage animal
  6. King cobra – national reptile

Important animal and bird species:

  1. Rann of kachchh – wild ass
  2. Thar deserts – camels
  3. Gir forest, Gujarat – Asiatic lions
  4. Ladakh – Tibetan antelope, Bharal [blue sheep], yak, shaggy horned wild ox, kiang [Tibetan wild ass], snow leopard.
  5. Himalayan region – black necked crane
  6. Northeast – red panda.
  7. Nilgiri – Nilgiri tahr, lion tailed macaque
  8. Gulf of Mannar – dugong dugong [sea cow]
  9. Gujarat – great Indian bustard
  10. Arunachal Pradesh – Mithun


  • ·         Kaziranga sanctuary (Assam) – one-horned rhinoceros
  • ·         Manas sanctuary (Assam) – wild buffaloes
  • ·         Gir forest (Gujarat) – lions, chital, sambar, wild bears •
  • ·         Kelameru bird sanctuary (Andhra Pradesh) – pelicans and marine birds
  • ·         Dachigam sanctuary (Jammu and Kashmir) – Kashmir stags, Himalayan tahr, wild goats, sheep, antelopes.
  • ·          Bandipur sanctuary (Karnataka) – Indian bison, elephants, langurs
  • ·          Periyar sanctuary (Kerala) – elephants, barking deer, sambar
  • ·         Kanha national park (Madhya Pradesh) – tiger, leopards, wild dogs

Extinct in India:

Extinct in India – Asiatic cheetah, pink headed duck.

Points to Remember

    • Western Ghats has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in the meeting of the World Heritage Committee in 2012. Apart from the World Heritage Site, it is one of the eight hottest hot spots of biological diversity in the world.
    • The Keibul Lamjao National Park is a national park in the Bishnupur district of the state of Manipur in India. It is 40 km in area, the only floating park in the world. To preserve the natural refuge of the endangered Manipur Eld’s deer or brow-antlered deer or sangai also called the dancing deer, the area is declared as a National Park.

Solved Question Papers

Q.What is/are unique about ‘Kharai camel’, a breed found in India?
1. It is capable of swimming up to three kilometres in seawater.
2. It survives by grazing on mangroves.
3. It lives in the wild and cannot be domesticated.
Select the correct answer using the code given below. (UPSC CSAT 2016)

    1. 1 and 2 only
    1. 3 only
    1. 1 and 3 only
    1. 1, 2 and 3

Ans . A

Q.Recently, our scientists have discovered a new and distinct species of banana plant which attains a height of about 11 metres and has orange-coloured fruit pulp. In which part of India has it been discovered? (UPSC CSAT 2016)

    1. Andaman Islands
    1. Anaimalai Forests
    1. Maikala Hills
    1. Tropical rain forests of northeast

Ans . A

  1. Scientists at the Botanical Survey of India (BSI) have discovered a new species of banana from a remote tropical rain forest on the Little Andaman islands.
  2. The new species is about 11 metres high, whereas as the usual banana species is about three to four metres high. The fruit pulp is orange in colour, distinctive from the white and yellow colour of regular bananas.

Q.With reference to ‘Red Sanders’, sometimes seen in the news, consider the following statements:
1. It is a tree species found in a part of South India.
2. It is one of the most important trees in the tropical rain forest areas of South India.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct? (UPSC CSAT 2016)

    1. 1 only
    1. 2 only
    1. Both 1 and 2
    1. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans . A

  1. Red Sanders is associated with Tropical dry deciduous forest

Q.Recently, for the first time in our country, which of the following States has declared a particular butterfly as ‘State Butterfly’? (UPSC CSAT 2016)

    1. Arunachal Pradesh
    1. Himachal Pradesh
    1. Karnataka
    1. Maharashtra

Ans . D

  1. Maharashtra government has declared the Blue Mormon (Papilio polymnestor) as the State butterfly.

Q.In which of the following regions of India are you most likely to come across the `Great Indian Hornbill’ in its natural habitat? (UPSC CSAT 2016)

    1. Sand deserts of northwest India
    1. Higher Himalayas of Jammu and Kashmir
    1. Salt marshes of western Gujarat
    1. Western Ghats

Ans . D

  1. Great Indian hornbill is found in the dense emerald patches of the Western Ghats, the bird is also known as the bird of the heavy rainforest.

Q.With reference to ‘dugong’, a mammal found in India, which of the following statements is/are correct?
1. It is a herbivorous marine animal.
2. It is found along the entire coast of India
3. It is given legal protection under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
Select the correct answer using the code given below. (UPSC CSAT 2015)

    • 1 and 2
    • 2 only
    • 1 and 3
    • 3 only

Ans . C

  1. The dugong is the only living representative of the once-diverse family Dugongidae; its closest modern relative, Steller’s sea cow (Hydrodamalis gigas), was hunted to extinction in the 18th century.
  2. The dugong is the only strictly marine herbivorous mammal, as all species of manatee use fresh water to some degree. In India, it is found off the Gujarat Coast (Gulf of Kutch), Tamil Nadu coast (Gulf of Mannar), Palk Bay and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Solved Question Papers

Q.Which one of the following is the national aquatic animal of India? (UPSC CSAT 2015)

    • Saltwater crocodile
    • Olive ridley turtle
    • Gangetic dolphin
    • Gharial

Ans . C

  1. River Dolphin is the National Aquatic Animal of India. This mammal is also said to represent the purity of the holy Ganga as it can only survive in pure and fresh water.
  2. They are locally known as susu, because of the noise it makes while breathing. This species inhabits parts of the Ganges, Meghna and Brahmaputra rivers in India, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh, and the Karnaphuli River in Bangladesh.
  3. River dolphin is a critically endangered species in India and therefore, has been included in the Schedule I for the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
  4. The main reasons for decline in population of the species are poaching and habitat degradation due to declining flow, heavy siltation, construction of barrages causing physical barrier for this migratory species.

Q.Consider the following:
The phenomenon of hibernation can be observed in which of the above kinds of animals? (UPSC CSAT 2014)

    • 1 and 2 only
    • 2 only
    • 1, 2 and 3
    • Hibernation cannot be observed in any of the above

Ans .

  1. All the animals hibernate during winter to prevent loss of heat from the body. Food is scarce during winters and so these animals go into sleep during winters.

Chapter Review

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Q1:National reptile of India
2.rattle snake

Q2:National heritage animal

Q3:Habitat of Wild Ass
1.Gulf of khambat
2.Rann of kutchh
3.Thar desert

Q4:Animals extinct in India are headed duck
2.asiatic cheetah

Q5:Mithun is seen in
4.Arunachal Pradesh