Kristian Bertel | Photography
Archive story
In this archive story we are learning about the diverse Wildlife in Maharashtra, India.
Read the background story of this archive photo by the photographer.
Indian wildlife is fascinating and diverse. The hills and plains of central and southern India hide a host of signature species with elephants, tigers, monkeys, leopards, antelopes and rhinos. Most of these species are serverely endangered by human competition for land, water and other resources, particularly the overpopulated plains.
Indian wildlife is fascinating and diverse. The hills and plains of central and southern India hide a host of signature species with elephants, tigers, monkeys, leopards, antelopes and rhinos. Most of these species are serverely endangered by human competition for land, water and other resources, particularly the overpopulated plains.
Kristian Bertel, Photographer By Kristian Bertel, Photographer
– Updated on March 21, 2024

Wildlife in India

Wildlife in India is as diverse as its culture and encompasses some of the world's most incredible animal species and ecosystems. India is home to over 1,670 species of birds, about 400 species of mammals, 300 species of reptiles and 2,000 species of butterflies, making it one of the most biologically diverse countries in the world.

How is the status of wildflife in India?

India is known for its magnificent wildlife population, but this diverse wildlife habitat is highly vulnerable to human-induced threats as well as environmental hazards such as climate change and habitat loss.

The definintion of wildlife
Wildlife refers to undomesticated animal species, but has come to include all organisms that grow or live wild in an area without being introduced by humans and the term was also synonymous to game, such as those birds and mammals that were hunted for sport. Wildlife can be found in all ecosystems such as deserts, plains, grasslands, woodlands, forests and other areas, including the most developed urban areas, all have distinct forms of wildlife. While the term in popular culture usually refers to animals that are untouched by human factors, most scientists agree that much wildlife is affected by human activities.

India is home to some of the world's iconic species such as the Bengal tiger, which can be seen in the Ranthambore National Park, which is known for its large tiger population and is one of the most filmed nationalparks in the world. These parks, sanctuaries and reserves are maintained by the Indian government's Wildlife Protection Act of 1972. This act was put in place to protect and conserve India's wildlife and is considered one of the most effective wildlife legislation in Asia. India is also surrounded by an abundance of wetlands, which are home to a large number of aquatic species and birds and these wetlands are responsible for providing essential nesting and breeding grounds for many species of birds, fish and reptiles.

he endangered species of animals, such as the Ganges river dolphin and the Indian elephant, rely heavily on the wetlands for their survival. India is home to a variety of natural habitats, such as the lofty Himalayas, deep jungles of the Western Ghats and India's tropical rainforests of the North-east. These habitats hold an incredible variety of animals and hold the potential to support species that are currently on the brink of extinction. In order to protect and conserve India's wildlife, education is key.

An incredible diverse wildlife in India
It is important that people understand the value of wildlife and the threats that are posed to it in order to ensure its survival. In addition, the government needs to take a stronger stance on environmental challenges that wildlife are facing, by setting stricter policies, stricter law enforcement and ensuring any threatened species receive the necessary protection. In conclusion, wildlife in India is incredibly diverse and captivating, however, this wildlife is highly vulnerable to the threats of man and his environment. It is vital that the government, as well as the public, take responsibility to educate themselves to protect India's wildlife and their habitats. Only then will we be able to conserve the incredible species that this country houses.

Wildlife tourism is an element of many nations' travel industry centered around observation and interaction with local animal and plant life in their natural habitats. While it can include eco- and animal-friendly tourism, safari hunting and similar high-intervention activities also fall under the umbrella of wildlife tourism. Wildlife conservation refers to the practice of protecting wild species and their habitats in order to maintain healthy wildlife species or populations and to restore, protect or enhance natural ecosystems.

"Whether it is visiting Ranthambore for tigers or heading to Tsavo for elephants, there is no denying that India has some of the best wildlife spots in the world. With the right planning and preparation, anyone can head into India for a memorable encounter with the many incredible animals that live there"

Which states in India are the best for seeing wildlife?
India is a country known for its incredible biodiversity and it is home to some of the world's most unique wildlife species. With more than 100 national parks, 500 wildlife sanctuaries and multiple tiger reserves, it is no wonder that India is a top destination for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts alike. When it comes to seeing wildlife in India, there is no shortage of options. Here are some of the best states in India to visit for an unforgettable wildlife experience.

Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan
Situated in the eastern Rajasthan, the Ranthambore National Park is a great place to discover the wildlife of India. The park is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including the Bengal tiger, leopard, nilgai, sloth bear, jungle cat, sambar and wild boar among other animals. Birdwatchers will also find a wealth of species, including eagles, owls and different types of kingfishers.

Eravikalum National Park in Kerala
This park is a former hunting preserve of the British planters and the park today exemplifies wildlife at its best, the Eravikalum National Park was declared a sanctuary in 1975 with the intention of protecting the indigenous population of Nilgiri tahr, which is a highly endangered mountain goat.

Bandhavgarh National Park in Madhya Pradesh
This park is situated in the northern part of Madhya Pradesh and the Bandhavgarh National Park is home to a wide variety of wildlife, such as royal Bengal tigers, leopards, antelopes, jackals, sloth bears, wild boars and more. Some of the over 230 species of birds that live here are the paradise flycatcher, crested serpent eagle and white-throated kingfisher.

Kaziranga National Park in Assam
This park is located in the northeastern state of Assam, is known for its large population of one-horned rhinos. Other wildlife that can be spotted in the Kaziranga National Park are elephants, wild buffaloes, sambar deer, swamp deer, tigers and more. Visitors may also be able to spot a huge variety of birds, including the Bengal florican, lesser adjutant stork and great horned owl.

Gir National Park in Gujarat
Last but not least, the Gir National Park in Gujarat is home to India's largest population of Asiatic lions and the park is also famous for its large variety of mammals and birds. Some of the animals you can see here are leopards, hyenas, sloth bears, wild boars and chital. The park also provides a great opportunity for bird watching with its abundance of storks, spoonbills, pelicans and many other bird species.

"India is home to an estimated 300 species of mammals and 4,000 species of birds, making it one of the most diverse countries in terms of wildlife. Among the many species is the majestic deer which is native to India. India is home to 4 species of deer, which are the chital, barasingha, Indian hog deer and the rare blackbuck"

Deer in Maharashtra
Maharashtra is home to a wide variety of animal species, including deer. Deer are herbivorous mammals found in the woodlands, dense forests, and grasslands of India. Deer in Maharashtra can be divided into two main species based on where they are found, which are the spotted deer and barking deer. Spotted deer are found mainly in the plains of the state, while barking deer inhabit the hilly and montane forests in the Western Ghats.

Deer in Maharashtra play an important role in the state's Ecosystem. These animals are an important source of food for carnivores like tigers and leopards, as well as other predators. Deer also help to disperse the seeds of various plants that they eat, which helps to ensure the survival of these species. Unfortunately, as the human population grows in Maharashtra, the habitats of deer are shrinking. This has led to an increased risk of poaching, which has decimated deer populations in certain areas of the state. In order to protect these animals, the Indian government has declared certain areas of the state as wildlife sanctuaries or reserves.

These reserves limit the hunting of deer and help to maintain their populations. It is clear that deer in Maharashtra have an important role to play in the state's ecosystem. In order to ensure that these animals continue to thrive, it is important that their habitats are protected and hunting is regulated. If these measures are implemented, it will help to protect not only deer in Maharashtra, but the entire state's ecosystem as a whole.

The chital
Chital or cheetal are the more common of the two deer species in Maharashtra. They are also known as the 'Spotted deer' and can easily be identified by their characteristic white spots and these deer can range from a light yellowish-brown to gray in color. These animals typically feed on grass, leaves, buds and fruits. The Chital can be found in large grassy areas as well as in thick forests. So it is the most populous species of deer in India. It is found in parts of the Antardweep, Andaman and Nicobar islands, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra. It is slightly smaller than the barasingha, which is also described in this archive story and has a distinctive buff to orange coat, covered with white spots.

The barasingha or the 'Swamp deer' is the most widely distributed deer species in India and the Barasingha is found in parts of the central and northern parts of the country. It has a reddish to golden brown coat with white spots and is about the size of a large goat.

The Indian hog deer
This animal also known as the 'Gonnella scorcha' is also native to India and is found in the eastern and southern parts of the country. The Indian hog deer is smaller than the other species of deer and has a light brown to dark grey coat.

The blackbuck
Barking deer, also known as the Blackbuck are an endangered species in Maharashtra. These animals sport horns on their heads that are approximately 20 centimeters long and can vary in color from a dark brown to black and they inhabit the scrub and scrub-grasslands of the Western Ghats and feed mainly on herbs, shrubs and some fruits. This deer is the rarest of the four species of deer in India. It is found mostly in the Rajasthan and Gujarat regions. It is the only species with the ability to leap forward and is noted for its unique brownish-black coat with white stripes.

Habitat loss and other human activities
Populations of all 4 species of deer have declined drastically since the 1970s due to hunting, habitat loss and other human activities. This led to their inclusion in the endangered species list in the 1990s.

See this video about the wildlife in India made by The Hindu.

"- The Indian government has taken strict steps to protect these animals and their natural habitats by banning hunting and introducing conservation programs across India. Seeing one of these beautiful creatures in its natural habitat is a unique experience that any wildlife enthusiast should not miss. So next time you plan a trip to India, make sure to take the time to spot these majestic creatures", the Photographer says.

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More archive stories

India is a land full of stories. On every street, on every corner and in the many places in India, life is rushing by you as a photographer with millions of stories to be told. In the archive story above, you hopefully had a readable insight in the story that was behind the photo of a deer in Maharasthra. On this website of Kristian Bertel | Photography you can find numerous travel pictures from the photographer. Stories and moments that tell the travel stories of how the photographer captured the specific scene that you see in the picture. The photographer's images have a story behind them, images that all are taken from around India throughout his photo journeys. The archive stories delve into Kristian's personal archive to reveal never-before-seen, including portraits and landscapes beautifully produced snapshots from various travel assignments. The archive is so-far organized into photo stories, this one included, each brought to life by narrative text and full-color photos. Together, these fascinating stories tell a story about the life in India. India, the motherland to many people around the world, a land of unforgetable travel moments. The archive takes viewers on a spectacular visual journey through some of the most stunning photographs to be found in the photographer's archive collection. The photographer culled the images to reflect the many variations on the universal theme of beauty and everyday life in India. By adding these back stories the photographer's work might immensely enhanced the understanding of the photographs.