There are a total of 25 biodiversity hotspots in the world, of which four are located in India only. This data simply points to the richness in terms of flora and fauna that India has. It is must natural that India will be so rich when it comes to plants and animals because it is also a country with a vast geographical diversity. On one hand, there are mountains in the north while, on the other, beaches in the south. The Indo-Gangetic plain dominates a large terrain in the country thus making it agriculturally friendly, whereas, in other parts, you will find the dry and arid desert and plateau regions! Each geographical area comes with its own flora and fauna, and since India shows such a variety of them, it is but natural that India will be rich when it comes to finding rare and a varied variety of species.
India is home to various animals that are only found here like the gharial, the great Indian bustard, the blackbuck, the Asiatic lion, etc. While some of these animals are facing near extinction due to mainly manmade hazards, a few others are still thriving quite well since their natural habitat has not been disturbed that much.
India will never fail to surprise. If you are interested in spotting birds and exploring the various characteristics of animals, India has a treat for you! You will find at least 5 different kinds of flying animals here! Want to know where to find them? Take a look:
- Snakes can fly: Did you know that snakes can fly too? As if being poisonous wasn’t enough, these slippery friends can actually fly quite high above the ground. No its does not suddenly burst out wings and fly up into the air and keep flying like a bird. This snake hailing from Colubridae genus family more accurately glides through the air. It has a certain technique. It uses its ridged scales to climb the top of a tree. Once it reaches the top to mark the place where it wants to land, sucks in its abdomen as a result of which the ribs flare out a little forming a sort of concave shaped wings. It’s more like these snakes prepare themselves for a very long jump. Apart from India, these are also found in China, Sri Lanka and other parts of South Asia. The saving grace when it comes to Chrysopelea Flying Snake is that they are not very poisonous, and this poison only works for its preys. Phew!
- A flying squirrel: This nocturnal animal known as the Namdapha Flying Squirrel belongs to the Biswamoyopterus It used to be the only such known living creature, but, in 2013, another of its kind was discovered on the western slopes of Patkai range where a particular kind of jungle of Mesua ferrea trees are found. This is the natural habitat of these flying squirrels. However, fascinating this flying creature might be not much is known about them. The Namdapha Flying Squirrel, which has been so named because it is found in the Namdapha National Park, faces near extinction today. Their natural habitat is being destroyed bit by bit and poaching is also egging on this process of extinction. It is quite sad really, and everyone should take stricter measures to prevent the extinction of such an interesting species, in fact, any critically endangered species for that matter.
- We don’t hop, we fly: The Indian Flying Frog is both a rare and vulnerable species. This species is native to India and is found mainly in Myanmar, apart from India. It had been spotted in Nepal before, but off late, they have become extinct in this neighbouring country of India. There is another type known as the Malabar Flying Frog, which one can find in the Western Ghats of India. However, the Indian flying frog has become vulnerable as a species mainly due to the pollution of the streams by toxins, which are used to capture a large number of fishes. This species is under the radar of the conservationists and further research is being conducted in the field to make sure that this unique species survives!
- A slippery flying lizard: The Southern Flying Lizard is found in the Eastern and Western Ghats of India. Do not expect it to fly up in the air with the birds. They are capable of gliding or jumping from tree to the next. It cannot jump too great a distance though. Lizards are always known to be great at camouflaging. This one is no exception to this rule. Since they live and crawl mostly on tree barks, their skin colour matches one. It is very difficult to spot these creatures until and unless you catch gliding. These lizards actually love the sun and go about their activities during the day time since the sun provides them with energy!
- Foxes don’t fly! Oh No! They do!: As if frogs, lizards, and snakes weren’t enough you have even foxes flying! The only saving point about these foxes is that mainly feed on various kinds of fruits and only nectar. It is sort of an herbivore, which makes it a little less dangerous for other animals but no less creepy. They remain active throughout the night like most flying animals. These are the only mammals that can fly. It is not too big in size and might be confused with a bat when it flies. They also carry around a lot of diseases with them. The most commonly transmitted viruses by them are the Coronovirus and the Henipavirus, which cause fatal diseases. These foxes are often served as special meals, who consider them to be a delicacy!
These are the five most interesting species of flying or gliding animals that are found in India. In fact, these are some of the most intriguing flying species found all over the world. It is indeed unfortunate that some of them are facing extinction in the recent future. If you are interested in these animals, then you can try canvassing the areas in which are found, and if you are lucky, you just might spot them!