India contains thousands of different animals and almost half of the world's aquatic species; the nation is home to tigers, camels, elephants, deer, wolves, monkeys, crocodiles, bison and many other forms of animal life. The mountain range that runs along India's western coastline contains species that are not found anywhere else in the world and, at its southernmost tip, provides a home for 140 different mammals and 175 amphibians.
Many large mammals live in India, including the Bengal tiger, Indian rhinoceros, Asian elephant and the Asian water buffalo. These charismatic large mammals are a vital part of India's wildlife tourism. Several thousand wildlife sanctuaries and national parks have been set up across the country. Serious concerns have been raised, however, about the fate of the tiger, which is India's national symbol. A tiger census conducted in 2010 found that there were only 1,700 tigers remaining in India at that time. An estimate of the tiger population that was made a little more than 100 years earlier claimed that there were about 40,000 tigers in India around the turn of the century.
Many species have become extinct in India as a result of the human exploitation of forest and land resources. Hunting and trapping for food and sport have also contributed to the process of extinction. Large Indian mammals that have been confirmed to be extinct as of 2003 include the Sumatran rhinoceros, Asiatic cheetah, Javan rhinoceros and wild zebu.