Basically through population pressures leading to habitat encroachment and commercial slaughter, India is becoming poorer, day be day, in her still-rich heritage of wildlife. Virgin forests on the plains and in the hilly regions are dwindling. Unfortunately, education and research centres have not cared to educate the youth of the country about the importance of nature conservation.
The Author's field endeavours, extending over more than a decade, have helped to reveal that 18 of India's 27 threatened mammalian species—lion-tailed Macaque, Macaque, Nilgiri Langur, Golden Langur, Snub-nosed Langur, Wolf, Asiatic Wild Dog, Malabar Large-spotted Civet, Clouded Leopard, Indian Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard, Asian Elephant, Sumatran Rhinoceros, Kashmir Stag, Gaur, Wild Yak, Nilgiri Tahr, and Markhor—have their homes in hilly or montane habitats. Pradoxically, India has the dubious distinction of ranking second in the world, and first among the 15 countries of the Oriental region, in having 27 mammalian species whose world populations are to some extent threatened according to the Red Data Book (IUCN, 1972).