Must-Know Mammals of Assam, North-eastern India

(A photoblog series on bio-diversity of the North-eastern India — Part II)

Greater One-Horned Rhino

I tried to capture an image of an Indian One-Horned Rhino mother and her baby in Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, Assam. During the month of April, the grasslands of all the parks become greener due to early monsoon season, where both were enjoying their moment of grazing. Pobitora possesses the highest density of Indian One-Horned Rhino population in the entire world.

Smooth-Coated Otter

The presence of otters is a prime indicator of good health of a waterbody. These apex predators play a key role to play in their water ecosystem, akin to the predators such as tigers on the land. I clicked this photograph standing near a stream of a hilly site situated on the foothills of Karbi Anglong, Nagaon district of Assam.

Phayre’s Leaf Monkey

Phayre’s Leaf Monkey, also known as Phayre’s Langur, is a rare species of primate found in the North-eastern India. In India, they are found only in some small fragmented forests of Mizoram, Tripura and Assam. It’s a schedule-1 species and listed as “endangered” by IUCN Red List. I took this photograph in Karimganj district, Assam, a few years ago.

Image Courtesy: Gaurab Talukdar (Author)

Phayre’s Leaf Monkeys are highly susceptible to become extinct from the wild as their natural habitats are replaced by monoculture plantations like rubber and tea.

Eastern Swamp Deer

Eastern Swamp Deer also known as ‘Dol Horina’ in Assamese is one of the rarest subspecies of Swamp Deer found in Indian Subcontinent. In India this subspecies of Swamp Deer found only in Kaziranga National Park (Assam) and Dudhwa National Park (Uttar Pradesh).

Image Courtesy: Gaurab Talukdar (Author)

I took this photograph of female Eastern Swamp Deer in the Northern range of Kaziranga National Park. This vulnerable Deer is considered among the ‘Big 5’ of Kaziranga National Park along with Indian One-Horned Rhino, Elephant, Tiger and Asiatic Water Buffalo.

Asian Elephants

Being the largest land animals in the planet, Asian Elephants are quite gentle in their behaviour. They are very social; hence, they prefer to live in herds.

Image Courtesy: Gaurab Talukdar (Author)

Here in the above image, I have captured three sub-adult elephants in a playful movement on a grassland during golden hour time. These animals need large areas to roam but many anthropogenic activities are causing problems for their survival, some of them being habitat loss, poaching, and blocking corridors. The number of Asian Elephants has dropped by 50% in past few generations. There is a need for good and stringent policies to protect these charismatic animals, otherwise that will push them to the brink of extinction.

Eastern Hoolock Gibbon

Image Courtesy: Gaurab Talukdar (Author)

Hoolock gibbon (Hoolock hoolock) is the only gibbon (apes in the family Hylobatidae) that is found in India. Hoolock Gibbons are distributed all across the North-eastern India along with Bangladesh and Myanmar. According to IUCN Eastern Hoolock Gibbons are vulnerable species. Males are black with white eyebrows and females are creamy whitish. They are the fastest acrobats of Indian forests. This photograph was taken in Dehing Patkai National Park, Assam.

About the Author

Garuab Talukdar is a Climate Reality Leader trained during Global Training in 2020. He is bird enthusiast, nature photographer and filmmaker from Assam, India. He has pursued Masters in Economics from Assam University, Silchar, Assam. He has played an active role in human-elephant conflict mitigation programs with communities, providing awareness in schools and wildlife rescues. He is also a Green Hub Fellow (2018), where he learned documentary filmmaking and conservation issues.

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