The Bengal fox (Vulpes bengalensis), also known as the Indian fox, is a fox endemic to the Indian subcontinent and is found from the Himalayan foothills and Terai of Nepal through southern India and from southern and eastern Pakistan to eastern India and southeastern Bangladesh.
|Bengal fox at Desert National Park, Jaisalmer, India|
Vulpes bengalensis is a relatively small fox with an elongated muzzle, long, pointed ears, and a bushy tail about 50 to 60% of the length of the head and body. Its dorsal pelage is very variable, but mostly grayish and paler ventrally; its legs tend to be brownish or rufous. It is more daintily built than Vulpes vulpes. The tail is bushy with a prominent black tip which distinguishes it from V. vulpes. Back of ears are dark brown with black margin. Its rhinarium is naked and the lips are black, with small black hair patches on upper part of nuzzle (shaft) in front of eyes. The ears have the same colour as the nape or maybe darker, but not having a dark patch as in V. vulpes. Extensive variation in coat colour exists across populations and seasonally within populations, but generally varies from grey to pale brown. The head and body length is 18 in (46 cm), with a 10 in (25 cm) long tail. Typical weight is 5 to 9 pounds (2.3 to 4.1 kg).
The genus Vulpes can be separated from Canis and Cuon in the Indian region by the flat forehead between the postorbital processes and not inflated by air cells. The processes themselves are slightly concave with a raised anterior edge (convexly round in other canids). The canine teeth are longer.
The species is found throughout much of the Indian subcontinent with the exception of the wet forests and the extreme arid zone. The distribution is bounded by the Himalayan range and the Indus River valley. The preferred habitat is short open grassland, scrub or thorn forest. They appear to avoid steep terrain, tall grassland. Indian foxes were considered to be habitat generalists, but recent studies have shown a strong preference for semiarid, short grassland habitats at multiple scales.
Bengal foxes are mainly crepuscular in their habits. During the heat of the day, they hide under vegetation or in subterranean dens that they dig. The dens are large and complex with multiple chambers and escape routes. They are sometimes seen basking at a vantage point around sunrise or sunset. In captivity, the lifespan is about 6 to 8 years.
The Bengal fox feeds on rodents, reptiles, crabs, termites, insects, small birds, and fruits. Scats of young pups appeared to show that they fed mainly on rodents but are opportunistic feeders.
Foxes make a wide range of vocalizations. A chattering cry is the most common call. They also growl, whine, whimper, and bark. The Bengal fox does not appear to have latrine behaviour, a feature seen in some social canids, in which all members defecate at specific spots. They can be heard howling in the night in groups.
The Bengal fox forms pair bonds that may last a lifetime, but extra-pair copulations are known to occur. Throughout most of its range, the mating season starts in autumn (usually October–November) and after a gestation period around 50–60 days, two to four pups are born in a den. Both parents participate in pup-rearing. The pups are fully weaned about 3–4 months after emerging from the den. Pup mortality is high during the first few months. Pups may sometimes be nursed by multiple females. During the day, they tend to rest under shrubs and bushes, except in summer when they rest in dens.
Lack of habitat protection is perhaps the greatest threat to the Indian fox. For example, in southern India, less than 2% of potential Indian fox habitat is covered under the existing protected area network of the states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh . Hunting for its skin and flesh, as well as conversion of its grassland habitat to agriculture, industry, and increasingly bio-fuel plantations, have affected its population density. In addition, its body parts are used in traditional medicine, and in some areas it is eaten. They are hunted by the narikuruva tribes of southern India. In Karnataka, they are captured in rituals conducted during Sankranthi. Another major threat is disease such as canine distemper virus and rabies, which spills over from the large unvaccinated populations of free-ranging dogs found throughout their range.
The Asiatic linsang (Prionodon) is a genus comprising two species native to Southeast Asia: the banded linsang (Prionodon linsang) and the spotted linsang (Prionodon pardicolor). Prionodon is considered a sister taxon of the Felidae.Bethuadahari Wildlife Sanctuary
Bethuadahari Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in the Bethuadahari town (Nakashipara area) of Nadia District, West Bengal, India. The sanctuary is located beside National Highway 34. The sanctuary covers 67 hectares, and was established in 1980 to preserve a portion of the central Gangetic alluvial ecozone.Egyptian weasel
The Egyptian weasel (Mustela subpalmata) is a species of weasel that lives in northern Egypt. It is rated "Least Concern" by the IUCN Red List.Fauna of India
India has some of the world's most biodiverse regions. The political boundaries of India encompass a wide range of ecozones—desert, high mountains, highlands, tropical and temperate forests, swamplands, plains, grasslands, areas surrounding rivers, as well as island archipelago. It hosts
4 biodiversity hotspots:the Himalayas, the Western Ghats, the Indo-Burma region and the Sundaland (Includes Nicobar group of Islands). These hotspots have numerous endemic species.India, for the most part, lies within the Indomalaya ecozone, with the upper reaches of the Himalayas forming part of the Palearctic ecozone; the contours of 2000 to 2500m are considered to be the altitudinal boundary between the Indo-Malayan and Palearctic zones. India displays significant biodiversity. One of seventeen megadiverse countries, it is home to 7.6% of all mammalian, 12.6% of all avian, 6.2% of all reptilian, 4.4% of all amphibian, 11.7% of all fish, and 6.0% of all flowering plant species.The region is also heavily influenced by summer monsoons that cause major seasonal changes in vegetation and habitat.
India forms a large part of the Indomalayan biogeographical zone and many of the floral and faunal forms show Malayan affinities with only a few taxa being unique to the Indian region. The unique forms includes the snake family Uropeltidae found only in the Western Ghats and Sri Lanka. Fossil taxa from the Cretaceous show links to the Seychelles and Madagascar chain of islands. The Cretaceous fauna include reptiles, amphibians and fishes and an extant species demonstrating this phylogeographical link is the purple frog. The separation of India and Madagascar is traditionally estimated to have taken place about 88 million years ago. However, there are suggestions that the links to Madagascar and Africa were present even at the time when the Indian subcontinent met Eurasia. India has been suggested as a ship for the movement of several African taxa into Asia. These taxa include five frog families (including the Myobatrachidae), three caecilian families, a lacertid lizard and freshwater snails of the family Potamiopsidae. A thirty million year old Ologocene era fossil tooth from the Bugti Hills of central Pakistan has been identified as from a lemur-like primate, prompting controversial suggestions that the lemurs may have originated in Asia. Lemur fossils from India in the past led to theories of a lost continent called Lemuria. This theory however was dismissed when continental drift and plate tectonics became well established.
The flora and fauna of India have been studied and recorded from early times in folk traditions and later by researchers following more formal scientific approaches (See Natural history in India). Game laws are reported from the third century BC.A little under 5% of this total area is formally classified under protected areas.
India is home to several well-known large mammals, including the Asian elephant, Bengal tiger, Asiatic lion, leopard and Indian rhinoceros. Some of these animals are engrained in culture, often being associated with deities.
These large mammals are important for wildlife tourism in India, and several national parks and wildlife sanctuaries cater to these needs. The popularity of these charismatic animals have helped greatly in conservation efforts in India. The tiger has been particularly important, and Project Tiger, started in 1972, was a major effort to conserve the tiger and its habitats. Project Elephant, though less known, started in 1992 and works for elephant protection. Most of India's rhinos today survive in the Kaziranga National Park.
Some other well-known large Indian mammals are: ungulates such as the water buffalo, nilgai, gaur and several species of deer and antelope. Some members of the dog family such as the Indian wolf, Bengal fox, golden jackal and the dhole or wild dogs are also widely distributed. It is also home to the striped hyaena. Many smaller animals such as macaques, langurs and mongoose species are especially well known due to their ability to live close to or inside urban areas Adhu.Ferret-badger
Ferret-badgers are the five species of the genus Melogale, which is the only genus of the monotypic mustelid subfamily Helictidinae.
Bornean ferret-badger (Melogale everetti)
Chinese ferret-badger (Melogale moschata)
Javan ferret-badger (Melogale orientalis)
Burmese ferret-badger (Melogale personata)
Vietnam ferret-badger (Melogale cucphuongensis)Fox
Foxes are small-to-medium-sized, omnivorous mammals belonging to several genera of the family Canidae. Foxes have a flattened skull, upright triangular ears, a pointed, slightly upturned snout, and a long bushy tail (or brush).
Twelve species belong to the monophyletic "true foxes" group of genus Vulpes. Approximately another 25 current or extinct species are always or sometimes called foxes; these foxes are either part of the paraphyletic group of the South American foxes, or of the outlying group, which consists of bat-eared fox, gray fox, and island fox. Foxes live on every continent except Antarctica. By far the most common and widespread species of fox is the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) with about 47 recognized subspecies. The global distribution of foxes, together with their widespread reputation for cunning, has contributed to their prominence in popular culture and folklore in many societies around the world. The hunting of foxes with packs of hounds, long an established pursuit in Europe, especially in the British Isles, was exported by European settlers to various parts of the New World.Galerella
Galerella is a genus of the mongoose family (Herpestidae) native to Africa and commonly called the slender mongooses.There are four or five species in this genus, with more than 30 subspecies.
Four of the species have long been established:
A recent addition is the black mongoose, Galerella nigrata, which now is considered a separate species by many scientists, following genetic analysis. It was previously seen as a variant of Galerella sanguinea.Haussa genet
The Haussa genet (Genetta thierryi) is a genet species native to West African savannas. It is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.Haussa genets have been sighted in Senegal's wooded steppes, in moist woodlands in Guinea-Bissau, and in rainforest in Sierra Leone, Ghana and Ivory Coast.List of mammals of Kaziranga National Park
Kaziranga National Park is a national park and an UNESCO World Heritage Site in India. The park contains significant breeding populations of more than 35 mammalian species, out of which 15 are threatened mammals according to the IUCN Red List.The park has the world's single largest breeding population of Indian rhinoceros, with the 2006 census estimating the present population to be around 1,855, around 70% of the world's total wild population of 2,700.The park contains significant stock of three other large herbivores — the Asian elephant, the wild Asian water buffalo and the subspecies eastern swamp deer (Cervus duvauceli ranjitsinghi). A census on wild Asiatic buffaloes in March 2001 revealed the presence of 1,666 buffaloes — the largest single population of the species reported in this millennium, up from 677 in the 1984 census. Assam is India's most populous state with respect to Asiatic elephants (an estimated 5,500 out of a total of 10,000 wild Asiatic elephants in India live in Assam), and Kaziranga contains as many as 1,206 elephants (from the 2005 census), up from 1048 individuals (in the 2002 census). The combined Kaziranga - Karbi Anglong Elephant Reserve has as many as 1940 elephants according to the 2005 survey.The eastern race of the swamp deer also had 468 individuals existing as noted in the 2002 census, down from 756 individuals noted in the 1984 census. Other stable populations of large herbivores include the gaur (30 individuals in 1984) and the sambar (58 in 1999). Smaller herbivores include the Indian muntjac (100 in the 1972 census), wild boar (431 in 1999), barking deer and hog deer (5045 in 1999).The park has a large variety of primates including all free roaming primates in India with the exception of the endemic Western Ghats primates and the newly discovered Arunachal macaque. This includes the vulnerable and rare species of Bengal slow loris, Assamese macaque, capped langur, golden langur and the only ape found in India — the hoolock gibbon.Kaziranga also has the rare distinction of being one of the very few places in the world which contains breeding population of three big cats outside Africa — the royal Bengal tiger, the Indian leopard and the clouded leopard. Kaziranga had a population of around 30 Bengal tigers during the 1972 census, which grew to 86 in the 2000 census. This made Kaziranga the protected area with the highest tiger density in the world (0.2 tigers /km2), and Kaziranga formally became a tiger reserve in 2006.The park is also home to sloth bears and to lesser felids like the jungle cat, fishing cat and the leopard cat. Other small mammals include the rare hispid hare and several common species of mongoose (Indian gray mongoose, small Indian mongoose), civets (large Indian civet, small Indian civet), small canids (Bengal fox, golden jackal) pangolins (Chinese pangolin, Indian pangolin), weasels (hog badger, Chinese ferret badger), the particolored flying squirrel and bats.Kaziranga's rivers (especially the adjoining stretch of the Brahmaputra) are home to the blind, highly endangered Ganges dolphin.Even though the ubiquitous wild boar is present in Kaziranga, and Assam was part of the historical range of the critically endangered pygmy hog, the pygmy hog is no longer found in Kaziranga. The Indian Javan rhinoceros was probably also an inhabitant of Kaziranga before becoming extinct.Long-nosed mongoose
The long-nosed mongoose (Herpestes naso) is a mongoose native to Cameroon, Republic of the Congo, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Kenya, Nigeria, and Tanzania.Lutrogale
Lutrogale is a genus of otters, with only one extant species—the smooth-coated otter.Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park
Chhatbir Zoo (formally Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park), is a zoological park situated close to Zirakpur, India. The zoo was constructed in the 1970s and is home to a large variety of birds, mammals and reptiles.Mephitis (genus)
The genus Mephitis is one of several genera of skunks, which has two species and a North American distribution.Mustelinae
Mustelinae is a subfamily of family Mustelidae, which includes weasels, ferrets amd minks.It was formerly defined in a paraphyletic manner to also include wolverines, martens, and many other mustelids, to the exclusion of the otters (Lutrinae).Nara Desert Wildlife Sanctuary
Nara Desert Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Mirpurkhas District, Sindh, Pakistan.The Nara desert provides refuge to a large number of wildlife in the Sindh province. The Nara canal area, a chain of some 200 freshwater, brackish and saline lakes and marshes stretching for about 150 km along either side of the Nara Canal from Sorah in the north to Sanghar in the south, is known to be of great importance for wintering waterfowl and other wildlife.
The largest population of the endangered Mugger crocodile in Pakistan is found here.Narrow-striped mongoose
The narrow-striped mongoose (Mungotictis decemlineata) is a member of the family Eupleridae, subfamily Galidiinae and endemic to Madagascar. It inhabits the Madagascar dry deciduous forests of western and southwestern Madagascar, where it lives from sea level to about 125 m (410 ft) between the Tsiribihina and Mangoky rivers. In Malagasy it is called bokiboky (pronounced "Boo-ky Boo-ky").Nyctereutes
Nyctereutes is an Old World genus of the family Canidae, consisting of just one living species, the raccoon dog of East Asia. Nyctereutes appeared about 9.0 million years ago (Mya), with all but one species becoming extinct before the Pleistocene.
Native to East Asia, the raccoon dog has been intensively bred for fur in Europe and especially in Russia during the twentieth century. Specimens have escaped or have been introduced to increase production and formed populations in Eastern Europe. It is currently expanding rapidly in the rest of Europe, where its presence is undesirable because it is considered to be a harmful and invasive species.Vulpes
Vulpes is a genus of the Canidae. The members of this genus are colloquially referred to as true foxes, meaning they form a proper clade. The word "fox" occurs on the common names of species. True foxes are distinguished from members of the genus Canis, such as dogs, wolves, coyotes, and jackals, by their smaller size (5–11 kg) and flatter skulls. They have black, triangular markings between their eyes and noses, and the tips of their tails are often a different color from the rest of their pelts. The typical lifespan for this genus is between two and four years, but can reach up to a decade.For animals commonly known as "foxes", but which are not true foxes, see Fox#Classification.
Extant Carnivora species