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Faunal Diversity

FAUNAL DIVERSITY NO.OF GENERA NO.OF SPECIES
VERTEBRATE 451 958
Mammals 83 139
Aves 232 540
Reptilia 51 94
Amphibia 11 33
Pisces 74 152
INVERTEBRATE 2094 4580
TOTAL 2545 5538

Mammals Diversity

Diversity of mammals in Meghalaya is well represented with about 139 species and sub-species belonging to 83 genera and 27 families.

Primates

The primates are well represented in Meghalaya with about 7 species.

The Western Hoolock Gibbon Hoolock hoolock, one of the only two true ape species found in India, is still found in the state where tropical evergreen forests are still intact. (The other one being the Eastern Hoolock Gibbon Hoolock leuconedys which is known to be distributed in Myanmar and China and sparsely in India (Arunachal Pradesh and Assam) as well. The main spanholds however are in Jaintia Hills, Ri-BHoi, West Khasi Hills, East Garo Hills and South Garo Hills. Rapid loss of habitat, habitat fragmentation and hunting are the major threats to the Hoolock gibbons across their entire distribution range in India. The hoolock gibbon is classified as Endangered (EN) on the IUCN Red List, listed on Appendix I of CITES and is a Schedule I animal in the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

The Bengal Slow Loris Nycticebus bengalensis is the only nocturnal primate in the North Eastern states and is the largest of the slow loris species. Little is known about its behaviour or ecology, and less information is available on its distribution and population status in the state. The species has been recorded in Balpakram and Nokrek national parks, Nongkhyllem and Siju Wildlife sanctuaries, and some key reserved forests including Baghmara RF(South Garo Hills District).The Bengal Slow Loris is listed under Vulnerable category by IUCN. It is a Schedule I animal of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972, and is also in Appendix I of CITES.

The Capped Langur Trachypithecus pileatus with its bright golden-yellow front is also found in dense forests as well as light woodlands in the state. Meghalaya’s capped langurs are often mistaken for golden langurs.

The state has four more primates, all macaques – Northern Pig tailed macaque Macaca leonina, Rheus macaque Macaca mulatta, Assamese macaque Macaca assamensis and Stumped tail macaque Macaca arctoides. The stump-tailed Macaca is the rarest but is still seen in Narpuh, Nokrek and Balpakram areas.

Carnivores

The state of Meghalaya has three of the six largest cats recorded in the world - the Tiger (Panthera tigrss), Leopard (Panthera pardus), and the Clouded Leopard (Neofelis nebulosa). Meghalaya’s pride is its state animal, the beautiful and rare Clouded Leopard; protected under Schedule 1 of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and listed in Appendix 1 of CITES and as Vulnerable, by IUCN. Tiger has become a very rare animal in the State. Other small cats include Jungle Cat (Felis chaus), Marbled cat ( Pardofelis marmorata), Asiatic Golden Cat (Catopuma temmincki), Leopard Cat (Prionailurus bengalensis).

The state is also home to three species of bears, the Asiactic black bear (Selenarctos thibetanus), Malayan sun bear (Helartos malayanus) and the sloth bear (Melursus ursinus).

The red panda (Ailurus fulgens fulgens) called by the Garos as Mitchebel and by the Khasis as Dkhan-bah is confined to Nokrek and Balpakram in the Garo Hills and the adjacent forests of the West Khasi Hills. It is also found it farther east in Trongpleng in the Mawsynram area of the East Khasi Hills district. Red Panda is protected under Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and listed in Appendix I of CITES and as Endangered, by IUCN.

Smaller carnivores include Asiatic Jackal (Canis aureus), Bengal fox (Vulpes bengalensis), the Dhole or Indian Wild dog or Red dog (Cuon alpines), Yellow throated Marten (Martes flavigula flavigula), Yellow bellied weasel (Mustela kathiah), Burmese Ferret Badger (Melogale personata nipalensis), Hog-badger (Arctonux collaris), Common Otter (Lutra lutra monticola), Smooth-coated Indian Otter (Lutra perspicillata perspicillata), Oriental small-clawed Otter (Aonyx cinerea concolor), Large Indian Civet (Viverra zibetha zibetha), Small Indian Civet (Viverricula indica), Common Palm Civet (Paradoxurus hermaphrodites), Masked Palm Civet (Paguma larvata neglecta), Binturong (Arctictis binturong), Small Indian mongoose (Herpestes auropunctatus), Indian Grey Mongoose (Herpestes edwardsi) and Crab eating mongoose (Herpestes urva).

Pangolins

There is only one species of pangolin in the State..

The Chinese Pangolin (Manis pentadactyla) is listed under Endangered category according to IUCN and is also a Schedule I animal of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972. It is also listed in Appendix II of CITES.

Elephants

The State of Meghalaya supports a large population of Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus). The elephant population in Meghalaya is about 1811 according to the 2007 estimate.

The globally endangered Indian Wild Water Buffalo (Bubalus arnee) is still found in small groups of 10 to 20 in the Balpakram-Siju-Baghmara belt and adjacent areas including parts of the West Khasi Hills.

Ungulates

Ungulates that have become threatened and rare include the Himalayan serow (Capricornis thar), The Garol (Naemorhedus goral), Gaur-Indian Bison ( Bos gaurus), Hog Deer (Axis porcinus), Sambar (Rusa unicolor) and four horned antelope (Tetracerus quadricornis). Barking Deer (Muntiacus muntjak) and Wild Boar (Sus scrofa) and still found in plenty. Swamp Deer (Rucervus duvaucelii) is not found any more in the state.

Threatened Faunal Species in Meghalaya