Mammals: India

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This is an extract from
Protozoa to Mammalia
State of the Art.
Zoological Survey of India, 1991.
By Professor Mohammad Shamim Jairajpuri
Director, Zoological Survey of India
and his team of devoted scientists.
The said book is an enlarged, updated version of
The State of Art Report: Zoology
Edited by Dr. T. N. Ananthakrishnan,
Director, Zoological Survey of India in 1980.

Note: This article is likely to have several spelling mistakes that occurred during scanning. If these errors are reported as messages to the Facebook page, your help will be gratefully acknowledged.




About 9% of the total number of mammalian species occur in India. Indian mammals are found in all types of habitat, from the snowy heights of the Himalaya to the plains, and Show all types of adaptation, viz. -arboreal, fossorial, volant, aquatic, etc. Some .species have become so numerous as to cause great strain on agriculture and forestry. Some others are causative agents of human and veterinary diseases. hence, control of their population has become a necessity. In recent times, however, many species are facing catastrophic decline In number, so much so that several species have become scarce or rare, and have been given asylum in reserve forests, wildlife sanctuaries, national parks, etc. Adequate and systematic knowledge of Indian mammalian fauna through taxonomic, distributional and biological studies are necessary so that ways for their conservation or control may be devised.

Though descriptions of Indian mammals are available' in standard literature, yet there are many whose status is not clear and lack distributional, behavioural and ecological information. Many species and subspecies are based on small variations, with considerable amount of overlap. Also, the distributional pattenl of many species are changing rapidly, commensurate with the man-made changes in their habitats. Hence, a State of the Art Report on Indian mammals was felt necessary.

Over seven thousand publications, including books and articles, the latter mostly scattered ip a number of journals an4 periodicals, are available on Indian mammals. During the last few decades, about one thousand publications have been accumulated on rodents alone. The number of publications by the scientists of the Zoological Survey of India, on different species of mammals, have crossed 400, since 1950. The work done in recent y~ars have been mostly on taxonomy, distribution, status, ecology, ethology, biology, population control, morphology, anatomy, cytotaxonomy, etc. Some work has also been undertaken on zonal fauna. A glimpse of the work done on Indian mammals during ~he pre -and post-independence periods may be had through the publications of Kinnear (1952), Agrawal (1974, 1976), Chakraborty (1984) and Roonwal (1988).

It is impossible to give coverage to the vast literature on Indian mammals within this short communication. However, an attempt has been made'in this review to highlight some of the important literature that have been published so far in widely scattered journals and periodicals, for the facility of mammalogists, and to ensure a prQper understanding of this large and economically important group.

Historical Resume

Knowledge about mammals of India is. very old. Descriptions of some mammals are available in the 'Vedas' and even in Pre-Vedic edicts (Rao 1957, Bhaduri, Tiwari and Biswas 1972). Authorities of the 'Ayurvedic' and 'Unam' systems of medicine were aware of the medicinal values of some products obtained from certain,species of-mammals. Mughal emperors Babur and Sahjahan took much interest in game animals. However, elaborate studies on Indian mammals have been conducted only during the last two centuries or so.

i) Pre-1900

Studies on Indian mammals can be considered to have started as early as the eighteenth century, when the tenth edition of Systema Naturae by Karl von Linne was published (1758), which provided binomial names to many Indian mammals. This was followed by scattered accounts of mammalian fauna of Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Kamataka, Bihar and Andaman Islands by Boyes, Elliot, Griffith, Hutton, Sykes, Tickell, and Tytler, respectively, during the second quarter of the nineteenth century. Important eollections 'of mammals made by French collectors such as Charles Belanger, Jean Bantise Leschenault, Medard Diard, Alfred Duvaucel, Dussu~ier, Victor Jacquemont, during this period, were studied by authorities like Cuvier, Geoffroy and Blainville. Basoo on the material obtained by these workers, Belanger also published his Voyage aux Indes Orientalis, in 1838. Other workers, such as Pallas, Erxleben, Schreber also made important contributions. Lt. Col.

Thomas Hardwicke (1756-1835). made most outstanding contribution during the period, including the descriptions of a number of new species~ Gral' published many illustrations got prepared by Hardwicke between 1830 and 1835, in his book, Illustrations ofIndian Zoology. Brain Houghton Hodgson (1800-1894) and Edward Blyth (1810¬1873) are two other most active workers on Indian mammalogy who made commendable work on the mammals of Indian sub-region. Hodgson was posted at Kathmandu, Nepal, and worked mostly on Nepalese birds and mammals. Subsequently, he also described a number of species from the present Darjiling district of West Bengal. Blyth was the curator of the Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal, Calcutta, and worked on his own collection made from Calcutta and surrounding areas as also on material received by the Society from different collectors.

Their contributions provide considerable original data. However, a consolidated account of Indian mammals was provided for the rust time by Thomas Caverhill Jerdon (1867) in his book entitled, The mammals ofIndia: a natural history of all the animals known to inhabit continental India, dealing with the morphology, habits and distribution. Stemadale (1884) gave some interesting popular accounts of common Indian mammals. A few years later, W. T. Blanford wrote The Fauna of India. Mammalia, which was published in two parts (in 1888 and 1891). This work, though old, is still the best recognised handbook of Indian mammals. Anderson (1881) and Sclater (1891) published catalogues of the mammalian collection present in the Indian Museum, Calcutta, which included synonyms, distribution, variations of Indian species of mammals, along with keys for their identification. Flower and Lydekkar (1891) in their book, Mammals ofthe World, dealt with Indian mammals as weU. Manuscript of a book on mammals of India (unpublished, with the ZoologicaJ, Society of London) by S.R. Tickell, manuscript of Popular account of mammals of northwestern India (unpublished) by T. Hutton, and Catalogue of 'species of mammals found -in southern Maharatta country by W.E. Elliot, etc., are some other important contributions of this period.

=ii) 1901-1947

In the twentieth century, our knowledge about Indian mammals increased tremendously, chiefly through the collections. made from 1911 to 1928 by the Bombay Natural History Society's Mammal Survey of India (subsequently termed as Mammal Survey of India, Burma and Ceylon)~ These collections were reported in different issues of the Society'S journal, between 1912 anel 1929, by various workers. R. C. Wroughton (1918-1920) summarised the account of the collection made up to that time and provided keys for the identification of various taxa of Indian mammals. This study was carried out at the British Museum by such highly experienced mammalogists as O. Thomas, R. I. Pocock, ]. R. Ellerman, M. A. C. Hinton, R. C. Wroughton, T. C. S. Morrison-Scott, T. B. Fry, K. V. Ryley, 'H. M. Lindsay, and others. These studies ushered in the modem trinomial nomenclature of Indian mammals and resulted in the publication of a number of excellent papers. A revised edition of Sterndale's popular book, Mammals ofIndia was brought out in 1929 by Frank Finn. One of the most important out-come of the 'Mammal Survey' was the publication of the second edition of the Fauna ofBritish India, Mammalia, in two volumes, covering the orders Primates and Carnivora, by R.I. Pocock (1939, 1941). Simpson. (1945) provided the much needed solid foundation to the classification of mammals, both living and extinct. In addition to the above, Indian mammalogy is greatly indebted to the contributions made by Cabera (1914), Ogrov (1928-1948), Osgood (1932), Phillips (1935), Kuroda (1928)i Allen (1938, 1940), Bobrinskii et ale (1944), etc., which deal with mammals of the neighbouring. countries, along with Indian species.

iii) 1948-1990

Notable features of the study of mammals in India in the post independence period, i.e., after 1947. are extensive taxonomic studies, assisted by important ecological and ethological observations, and publication of excellent photographs of animals in their natural habitats. On the other hand, many revisionary monographic studies on different groups of mammals on world-wide basis have been made, which also include Indian mammals.

A portion of the significant material, including almost all of the wet-preserved specimens, obtained by the 'Mammal Survey', mentioned earlier, was purchased* by the Zoological Survey of India, from the Bombay Natural History Society, during the late 1950"s (the other portion of the material,including the type-specimens, was retained by 'the British Museum). Thus, the British Museum (Natural History), London, the Bombay Natural History Society, Bombay, and the Zoological Survey of India, Calcutta, became the three centres where good taxonomic researches on Indian mammals were possible. During this period, the study at the British Museum resulted in a number of papers, in addition to "that of a Checklist of Palaearctic and Indian mammals 1758 to 1947 by 1. R. Ellerman and T.C.S. Morrison-Scott (1951, 2nd. ed. 1966).

This book provides revisions of the orders Insectivora, Carnivora, Artiodactyla and Lagomorpha, and also a list of Indian mammals with their synonyms, distribution, etc. The second edition of the Fauna ofIndia (vol. 3), Mammalia, Rodentia, in two parts, by Ellerman (1961, with an appendix by Roonwal and Biswas) provides a detailed revision of Indian rodents. From the Bombay Natural History Society was published an excellent semipopular book entitled, The Book of Indian Animals, by S.H. Prater (1948, rev. eds. 1965, 1971, 1980) which gave interesting account of Indian mammals, with several colour, and black and white plates.

In the Zoological Survey of India, taxonomic work on Indian mammals began mostly in the post-independence period, and till now about 400 papers on taxonomy, distribution, ecology, breeding biology, behaviour, status, zonal fauna, etc., have been published. Important contributions have been made by M. L. Roonwal, V. C. Agrawal and S. S. Saha (Rodentia, Primates); B. Biswas (Rodentia, Insectivora, Artiodactyla);" H. Khajuria (Primates, Chiroptera); P. K. Das and Y P. Sinha (Chiroptera); R. K. Ghose (Rodentia, Lagomorpha, Carnivora, Insectivora); B. Nath, S. Chakraborty and Ajoy Kumar MandaI (Rodentia). G. U. Kurup, R. P. Mukherjee, J. R. B. Alfred and J. P. Sati (Primates), and S. M. Ali (Artiodactyla, Proboscidea). The names of others deserving mention are : Y Chaturvedi, R. Chakraborty, S. Ghosh and T. K. Chakraborty (Rodentia); J. P. Lal,.T. P. Bhattacharyya and M.K. Ghosh (Chiroptera). Highlights of the work of this team are provided in later chapters.

Scientists attached to other Indian institutions who have made notable contributions on Indian mammals are: Ishwar Prakash and V. Dhanda (Rodentia); S. M. Mohnote (Primates); H. R. Bhat and his colleagues, A. Gopalakrishna and his students, and M.K. Chandrashekaran and his students (Chiroptera). Some of the foreigners who have made highly praise~worthy contributions on Indian species of mammals are : G. H. H. Tate, 1. E. Hill, A. Brosset, G. Topal (Chiroptera); W. C. Osman Hill, 1. Fooden (Primates); G. H. H. Tate, J. C. Moore," H. Abe, G. S. Musser, J. Marshall (Rodentia), and C. P. Groves (Primates, Artiodactyla).

Some outstanding books published during this period are : Mammals of the World by E. P. Walker (1964; 2nd. and 3rd. ed. in 1968 and 1975 by J.L. Paradiso; 4th. ed. in 1983 by R.N. Nowak and J. L. Paradiso; 4th. ed. in 1983 by R.N. Nowak and I.L. Paradiso), Mammals of Borneo :field keys and an annolQted checklist by Lord Medway (1965, 2nd. ed. 1977), Wild A amall portion of the 'Mammals Survey' material was received by the Zoological Survey of India in its earli:. days, in lieu of the contribution made by the then Federal Government of India towards the cost of the 'Mamma1 Survey .. The entire mammal collection of the Indian Museum, Calcutta, however, fonned the core of the mammalogical collection of the Zoological Survey of India, at its inception in the year 1916. The Indian Museum in ill tum, received the whole of the mammalian collection of the Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal, Calcutta (Das 1984). mammals ofBurma by U. T. Yin (1967), Wild mammals ofMalaya by Lord Medway (1969), The Mammals of Pakistan by T. J. Roberts (1977) and Mammals of Thailand by B. Lekagul and 1. A. McNeely (1977), The wild mammals of Malaya (peninsular Malaysia) and Singapore by Lord Medway (1978), A field guide to the mammals of Borneo by J. Payne, C. M. Francis and K. Phillips (1985), etc., which also included descriptions of Indian species, along with detailed information on taxonomy, distribution, ecology, habits, etc. Two more books of which the one entitled, The mammals of Palaearctic Region: a taxonomic review by G. B. Corbet (1978, 1980), is a taxonomic review in the light of recent researches, with key to the identification of Palaearctic species, and the other, A world list of mammalian species by G. B. Corbet arid J. E. Hill (1980, 2nd. edt 1986), also include Indian species. Mammal species of the Worla : a taxonomic and geographic reference edited by J. H. Honacki, K. E. Kinman and J. W. Koeppl (1982), is also a review of world species by mammalogists throughout the world, and provides recent nomenclature, distribution, etc., of Indian mammals as well.

Studies from Different Environs

India is a vast country. It has varied ecological zonations. The montane ecosystem of the Himalaya, the mangrove ecosystem of the Sundarban, the desert ecosystem of the Thar desert of Rajasthan, the insular ecosystem of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, and the Lakshadweep, the cave¬ecosystem of various caves such as the Siju Cave in Meghalaya, and other caves, the tropical rain forest ecosystem of north-eastern India and Western Ghats, etc., are all to be found in the Indian Union. All these ecosystems have their characteristic mammalian fauna. Besides, the tropical deciduous forests of central India, the semi-arid tracts of peninsular India, the Gangetic plains of northern and eastern India -all have their own peculiar mammalian fauna.

It is heartening to ,note that mammalian fauna of all the ecological zones of India have been worked out to a greater or lesser extent These are given in the following paragraphs.

Hardwicke collected in West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Kashmir, during 1778 to 1823, and prepared numerous drawings of mammals through local artists. A number of species were also described by him. So far as the Indian Union is concerned, Hodgson collected in the Darjiling district of West Bengal from wqere he also described some species of mammals. Jerdon made extensive explorations in southern and central India, Kashmir and various hill stations of tho Himalaya. Result from his extensive collecting work appeared in his book mentioned earlier. Blyth took considerable interest in scientific collection of mammals in and around• Calcutta, during mid¬nineteenth century, and published many papers. Blanford collected a number of specimens from southern and central India.

Other important explorations made on mammals of various areas up to 1900 and studies made thereon are : Assam by W. Griffith and J. McClelland; Andaman & Nicobar Islands by Tytler.l. Barbe, and W. L. Abbot; south-eastern part of Bihar by S. R. Tickell; Khasi Hills (Meghalaya) by

R. W. Frith; central India by Whitehead; Dharwad (Kamataka) by W. Elliot; Kashmir by C. H. Stockley, W. L. Abbot, F. Stoliczka, J. Scully, Baron von Hugel and A.E. Ward; Kumaon and Mussoorii (Uttar Pradesh) by Tytler, T. Hutton and Stwart; Pune (Maharashtra) in Western Ghats by A. L. Adams; Punjab by Bittel and Dunn; Southern India, including Madras by W. H. Sykes and Heath; Travancore (Kerala) by H. Furguson, and Tripura by J. Barbe, etc.

The 'Mammal Survey' of India and adjoining areas was started by the Bombay National History Society from 1911 with a view to modernising taxonomic knowledge of Indian mammals on the basis of freshly killed material from selected localities at different seasons, with detailed field data on habitat, behaviour, etc. Areas explored during these surveys are Arunachal Pradesh (Mishmi Hills), Assam, Bihar (in part), Gujarat (Kutch, Palanpur, Kathiawar), Himachal Pradesh (Kangra~ Chamba), Jammu &Kashmir (Islamabad district), Karnataka (Coorg, Dharwar), Kerala (Travancore), Madhya Pradesh (East Khandesh, Berar, Nimar, Gwalior), Maharashtra (Koyana. Valley, Poona), Nagaland (Naga Hills), Orissa (in part), Punjab (Gopalpur), Sikkim, Tamil Nadu (palni Hills, CoimbalOre, Nilgiri, Madura, Nelliampathy) and West Bengal (in part).

Altogether 25,000 specimens were collected by the 'Mammal Survey' the most prominent among the collectors who made untiring efforts to procure such a large collection are : C. Primrose, C. A. Crump, C. McCann, G. C. Shortridge, H. W. Wells, N. A. Baptista, Ryley O'Brain, and others. To make this large collection, special assistance was also received from different persons throughout the country. Some material, particularly large carnivores, were also received as donations. Study of these material by competent authorities resulted in a number of excellent publications which appeared in the various issues of the Joumal of the Bombay Natural History Society, during •1912 to 1929.

With the inception of the Zoological Survey of India, a number of surveys were conducted by this department in diverse types of ecological zones, to procure fresh material of mammals for study. The areas covered by this department are Andaman &Nicobar Islands (some major islands only), Andhra Pradesh (Nagarjuna Konda, Adilabad district), Assam, Arunachal Pradesh (in part), Goa, Gujarat (in part), Jammu &Kashmir (in part), Kamataka (Western Ghats), Maharashtra (Western Ghats), Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram (in part), Meghalaya, Orissa, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh (in part) and West Bengal. Some specimens have also been received by the department from different joint expeditions with foreign institutes.

The material obtained from the. surveys of the above areas, along with the collection of the Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal, the Indian Museum, part of the 'Mammal Survey' specimens, received in this department, and other stray specimens obtained by way of donations from various sources, have been studied. Some important S tate Fauna of mammals completed by the scientists of the Zoological Survey of India are those of Manipur, with special reference to rodents (Roonwal 1950): undivided Assam (Kurup 1966); Goa (Agrawal 1973); Tripura (Agrawal and Bhattacharyya 1977): Orissa (Das el. al., in press); Jammu & Kashmir (Chakraborty 1983); Rajasthan (Ghose, in press); Namdapha National Park, Arunachal Pradesh (Saba 1985), and Andaman &Nicobar Islands (Bhattacharyya 1975, Saha 1980, Das 1980, Chaturvedi 1980).

Collection and study of material have also been done on cave fauna : Siju Cave, Garo Hills, Meghalaya (Kemp 1924) and Borraguhalu Cave, Andhra Pradesh (Das in press). Considerable interests have also been taken in the study of high altitude mammals of northern and north-eastern India (Khajuria and Ghose 1970, Ghose and Saha 1981, Mahajan and Mukherjee 1974, Ghosh 1981). The Mangrove fauna of the Sundarban has been worked out by MandaI and Ghose (1989).

Estimation of Taxa

A total of 13 orders of mammals (Insectivora, Scandentia, Chiroptera, Primates, Pholidota, Carnivora, Proboscidea, Sirenia, Perissodactyala, Artiodactyla, Lagomorpha, Rodentia and Cetacea, as against 20 orders known so far throughout the wOrld, is reported form the Indian Union. These 13 orders are spread over 45 families and 169 genera (Corbet and Hill 1986). Out of 4,232 living mammal species in the world, 372 species occur in India. The National Zoological Collections of India (housed in the Zoological Survey of India, Calcutta), possesses mammalian specimens representing 542 species from different localities of India and other countries.

An order-wise break-up of families, geoera and species found in India (Corbet and Hill 1986), as against the total number found throughout the world (in parentheses), is given in the following table.

In the mammalian fauna of India, as stated above, genera such as Anathana (Scandentia), Latidens (Chiroptera), Tetracerus, Bosel~phus. Antilope (Artiodactyla), Caprolagus (Lagomorpha), Biswamoyopterus, Platacanlhomys, Cremmomys and Diomys (Rodentia) are indigenous to India. The number of endemic species is much more. Ordus Families Genua Species

Total 45 (106) 169 (954) 372 (3,904)

Altogether 75 species of mammals have been included in Schedule I of the Indian Wild Life (ProteCtion) Act of 1972, as amended up to date. Out of these, some 25 species appear to be highly endangered. These are Lion-tailed Macaque (Macaca silenus), Phayre's Leaf Mo~ey (Presby tis phayrei), Chinese Pangolin (Manis pentadactyla), Malayan Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus), Red Panda (Ailurus /ulgens), Ratel (Mellivora capensis), Malabar Civet (Viverra megaspila), Desert Cat (Felis sylvestris), Caracal (F. caracal), Marbled Cat (F. marmorata), Golden Cat (F. temmincki), Indian Lion (Pather~ leo persica), Snow Leopard (P. uncia), Indian Wild Ass (Equus hemionus khur), Pygmy Hog (Sus salvanius), Musk Deer (Moschus moschi/erus) , Thamin (Cervus eld,), Four-homed antelope (Tetracerus quadricornis), Valle (Bos grunniens), Indian Wild Buffalo (Bubalus bubalis), Himalayan Tahr (Hemitragus jemlahicus), Markhor (Capra/aiconen), Bharal (Pseudois nayaur), Hispid Hare (Caprolagus hispidus) and Small Tmvancore Flying Squirrel (Petinomys /uscocapillus). The Hunting Leopard (AcinoliYx jubatus) is supposed to be extinct from India.

Status Survey of Endangered Species

Status survey of some of the endangered species of Indian mammals have been conducted. The detaila are given below: 1) Bonnet Monkey, Macaca radiata (Kurup 1984). 2) Lion-tailed Macaque, Mactica silenus (Sugiyama 1968, Green el. al.• 1977, Kurup 1979. Ali 1982, Karanth 1985). 3) Cmb-eating Macaque, Macaca/ascicuiaris (Das and Ghosall977, Devaraj 1983). 4) Rhesus Macaque, Macaca mulatta (Tiwari et. al. 1982). 5) Hanuman Langur, Presbytis enlellus (Tiwari el. ale 1982, Tikader 1984). 6) Golden Langur, Presby tis geei (Mukherjee and Saba 1974, Mukherjee 1978. 1981. Saba" 1984). 7) John's Langur, Presbytis johni (poirier 1970, Kurup 1973, 1975, 1979, Oates 1978). 8) Capped Langur. Presbytis pileatus (Mukherjee 1978. 1982). 9) Phayre's Leaf Monkey, Presbytis phayrei (Mukherjee 1982a, 1982b, 1990). 10) Hoolock Gibbon, Ilylobates hoolock (Chivers 1979, Tilson 1982, Mukherjee 1982,

Alfred and Sati 1990). 11) Malabar Civet, Viverra megaspi/a (Karanth 1986, Kurup 1987). 12) Tiger, Panlhera tigris (Sankhala 1979, census reports). 13) Indian Lion, Panthera leo persica (Rashid 1986, census reports). 14) Indian Elephant, Elephas maximus (Ali 1978, Singh 1978, Sankhala 1979. Daniel

1980, Nair et ale 1980, Shahi 1980, Lahiri-Choudhury 1985, Shahi an~ Lahiri¬Choudhury 1985, Gupta 1985, Sukumar 1986). 15) Great One-homed Rhinoceros, Rhinoceros unicornis (Spillet 1966, Laban 1982). 13) Indian Wild Ass, Equus hemionus khur (Ali 1946, Wynter-Blyth 1956, Gee 1963, Schaller and Simon 1970, Kuper 1978). 17) Pygmy Hog, Sus salvanius (Mallinson 1977, Oliver 1978). 18) Musk Deer, Moschus moschiferus (Inayatullah 1981, Green 1986). 19) Swamp Deer, Cervus duvauceli (Martin 1977, Sankhala 1979). 20) Thamin, Cervus eldi (Gee 1960, Ranjitsinh 1974, Ali 1978, Mukherjee 1979, Desai 1986). 21) Hangul, Cervus elaphus hanglu (Schaller 1969, Schaller and Wani 1971, Kurt 1976, 1978, Holloway 1980, Mishra 1986). 22) Indian Wild Buffalo, Bubalus bubalis (Daniel and Grubh 1966, Goodwin and Holloway 1972; Waller 1973, Divekar 1976). 23) Blackbuck, Anti/ope cervicapra (Sheshadri 1969, Nair 1977). 24) Himalayan Tahr, Hemitragus jemlahicus (Schaller 1973). 25) Nilgiri Tahr, Hemitragus hylocrius (Schaller 1971, Waller 1973, Davidar 1976, 1978). 26) Markhor, Caprafalconeri (IUCN Red Data Book). 27) Hispid Hare, Caprolagus hispidus (Gee 1964, Mallinson 1971, Oliver 1978, 1980, 1981. 1985, Ghose 1978, 1981, 1984). 28) Gangetic Dolphin, Platanista gangetiea (Kasuya and Haque 1972, Jones 1982, Upreti and Majupuria 1982, Singh and Sharma 1986, Gupta 1986).

Classified Treatment of Groups

Mammalian fauna of India comprises 13 orders, 45 families, 169 genera and 372 species (Corbet and Hill 1986). A number of Indian species of mammals are each repr~sented by more than one subspecies in India. Studies of the Alpha and/or Beta taxonomy of these orders and the distribution of various species have been done to a great extent. In certain orders such as Primates, specially in the family Cercopilhecidae, some studies have also been made up to the Gamma level. Apan from these, studies on the anatomy, biology, ecology, status, etc., of many species of Insectivora, Chiroptera, Primates, Carnivora, Perissodactyla, Artiodactyhla, Proboscidea and Rodentia, have been made to some extent. It may be mentioned here that so far, very little work has been done on Indian aquatic mammals, and our knowledge is mostly limited to stray specimens sttanded on beaches or to those collected by chance. Because of their extensive movement and absence of distributional barrier, books and monographs available on world-wide basis, however, provide us information on this group of Indian fauna, to some extent.

Order Insectivora

The order Insectivora in India consists of three families (Erinaceidae, Soricidae and Talpidae), nine genera and 17 species. Agrawal (1974) discussed the status of Erinaceus blanfordi and E. jerdoni. Biswas and Ghose (1970) reviewed the status of different species of the genus Paraechinus and described a new species and subspecies from Rajasthan and Gujarat Anderson (1877) described a number of new species and commented on some other species of Insectivora presented in the Indian Museum. Dobson (1882-1890) have dealt with the taxonomy and anatomy of some Indian insectivores, particularly species of the family Soricidae. Thomas (1914, 1922) worked on the insectivores of Mishmi Hills.

Hinton (1922) reviewed Soriculus nigrescens. Lindsay (1929) and Ellerman and Morrison-Scott (1951) reviewed Indian species of the genera Suncus and 'Crocidura, respectively. Verma (1962) discussed the structure of the skulls of Indian hedgehogs. Jenkins (1976) reviewed Eurasian Soricidae. Chakraborty (1978) described a new species of Crodidura from the Andaman Islands. MandaI and Das (1970) established that Anourosorex assamensis should be considered as a valid subspecies of Anourosorex squamipes. Mandai and Biswas (1970) recorded the behaviour of this burrowing shrew. Khajuria (1972, 1982) recorded the genus Crocidura from central India and Madras, respectively. Ohose (19'76) reported the occurrence of Suncus murinus griffithi in Darjiling. Hoffman (1986) reviewed the genus Soriculus. It is to be mentioned that our knowledge on Indian Insectivora is very meagre and revision of the order is urgently needed.

Order Scandentia

The systematic position of tree shrews, comprising the family Tupaiidae has long remained controversial. Recently, a separate order, viz., Order Scandentia has beeD erected to accommodate these animals. Simpson (1945) and earlier workers placed them under Primates, but Ellerman and Morrison-Scott (1951) and many others considered them under Insectivora. lR r~ent times, f~w workers again consider Simpson's placing of it under Primates to be correct. Perhaps Luckett (1980) is correct in considering it a natural group.

In India, this family is represented by only two genera (Anathana, indigenous to India, and Tupaia) and three species.

Lyon (1913) published a monograph on this family. An evolutionary relationship of the tree shrews has been given by Cambel (1974). Agrawal (1975) has revised the subspecies of Tupaia glis. Saba (1980) has studied the subspecies problem in the Nicobar Tree Shrew.

Order Chiroptera

The order Chiroptera is represented in India by eight families, 34 genera and 109 species, as against 18 families, 189 genera and 988 species found throughout the world (Corbet and Hill 1986). A number of species of bats have more than one subspecies in "India.

Hodgson (1847a, b) and Blyth (1844, 1846, 1852, 1853, 1863) published a number of papers on different species of Indian bats. Jerdon (1867) provided the natural history of the Indian species of bats known at that time. Hutton (1872) published an account of bat fauna of northwestern Himalaya. However, the first comprehensive account on the Indian bats was given by Dobson (1876) in his Monograph ofthe Asiatic Chiroptera. Wroughton (1899) published a paper on some bats of Konkan area.

In the beginning of the twentieth century, Andersen (1905-1911, 1918) published a series of papers, mostly on the leaf..nosed bats of the families Megadermatidae, Rhinolophidae and Hipposideridae, and Pteropodidae. The same author's (Andersen 1912) most comprehensive work on the Megachiroptera (Catalogue of the Chiroptera in the collection of the British Museum. 1. Megachiroptera) contained detailed information on the taxonomy and distribution of Megachiroptera ,of the world. Another epoch-making contribution of this period is the Family and genera ofbalS by O.S. Miller (1907), which gave detailed eharacters and keys to the identification of families and genera of all bats known at that time.

O.H.H. Tate (1941-1942) published a series of papers on the bats obtained by the Archbold Expeditions, which ,included a number of Indian species of bats as well.

Bacular structure of bats have some bearing on the classification of bats. Work on this aspect of Indian bats have been done by Vamberker (1958), Agrawal and Sinha (1973), Topal (1975), Khajuria (1982), Hill and Harrison (1987), and others. Karyological studies on Indian populations of some species of bats have been done by Pathak and Sharma (1969), Ray-Chauduri et ale (1971), and others.

During the post-independence period, bat fauna of certain regions of India have been worked out. Thus. Brosset (1961-1963) have studied the taxonomy, distribution and biology of the bats of central and western India. Bat fauna of Andaman & Nicobar Islands (Hill 1967), Rajasthan (Prakash 1956, 1960, 1963, and Sinha 1980), Jabalpore district, Madhya Pradesh (Khajuria 1979, 1980), Gujarat and Bihar (Sinha 1981, 1986, respectively), and Silent Valley, Kerala (Das 1986b) have been worked out.

Das (1986b) has shown that R. 1. leschenaulti is the only form of Rousettus which occurs in India. Hill (1958) treated Pteropus salyrus as a subspecies of Pt. melanotus. Agrawal (1973) has synonymised Cynopterus sphinx gangelieus with the nominate subspecies. C. brochyotis ceylonensis has been recorded from Goa (Agrawal 1973) and Kerala (Das 1986b). The genus Megaerops (as M. ecaudatus) was added to the Indian list of Chiroptera by Saba (1984). According to Koopman (1989), however, the Indian population represents the species recently described from Thailand, as M. niphanae (Yenbutra and Feltan 1983). Sphaerias blanfordi has been recorded from Uttar Pradesh (Bhat 1968b) and Arunachal Pradesh (Saba 1984). A new genus and species of fruit bat, Latidens salimalii, has been described from Madurai district, Tamil Nadu, (Thonglongyia 1972). Eonycteris spelaea has been reported from Kumaon, Andaman Islands, Assam, Kamataka and Meghalaya (Bhat 1968a, Bhattacharyya 1973" Ghose and Bhattacharyya 1976, Bhat et. al, 1980, and Sinha 1990). Lekagul and McNeely (1977) have considered Macroglossus sobrinus as a distinct species.

Aellen (1961) has shown that Rhinopoma kinneari should be regarded as a subspecies of Rhinopoma microphyllum. Hill (1977a) has reviewed the family Rhinopomatidae.

Felten (1962) has concluded that Taphozous kachhensis should be considered 'as a subspecies of the widely distributed species Taphozous nudivenlris, though authors like Sinha (1970) and others still maintain kachhensis as a species. Sinha (1977) has reviewed the Oriental members of the genus Megaderma and recognised only the nominate subspecies of both Megaderma spasma and Megaderma lyra as occurring in the Indian Union.

Sinha (1973) has reviewed the Indian species of the genus Rhinolophus. Hill and Yoshjyuki (1980) have shown that the specific name pusillus should be used (in place of cornutus) for the Indian populations of the Little Horseshoe Bat, and R~inolophus mO~licola is a subspec,ies of Rhinolophus rouxi. Lal (1983) has reported Rhinolophus rouxi sinicus from Arunachal Pradesh. Hill (1987) has established that Rhinolophus pearsoni and Rhinolophus yunanensis are distinct species, and both occur in India.

Hill (1963) has reviewed the genus IJipposideros. In respect of Indian taxa of this genus, this author has concluded that the two species, fJipposideros pomona and H. bicolor as recognised by Ellerman and Morrison-Scott (1951), should be divided into three species, each having two subspecies. viz. llipposideros bieolor (/1. b. pomona and II. b. genlilis), /1. fulvus (II. f. fulvus and II./. pallidus) and H. aler (fl. a. aler and H. a. nicobarulae). He (Hill 1963) has also concluded that II. nicobarenis is a subspecies of H. diadema. Sinha (1973) has treated fl. speoris as a monotypic species. Khajuria (1970) has described a new subspecies of bat, Hipposideros cineraceus durgadasi, from Madhya Prtadesh, which has subsequently been regarded as a distinct species (Topa! 1976, Kbajuria 1982). Hill (1983) has considered Hipposideros cineraceus as a monotypic species. Hill et ale (1986) have shown that not Hippsideros bicolor, but Hipposideros pomona occurs in India.

Genera Vespertilio (vide Corbet and Hill 1980, Honacki et ale 1982, Corbet and Hill 1986, and others) and Nycticejus (Sinha and Chakraborty 1971, Hill 1974b) have been removed from ~e Indian list, while generala (TopalI970b) and Scotoecus (Hill 1974b) have been added. The genus Scotozous which was treated as a subgenus of the genus Pipistrellus (Ellerman and Morrison-Scott 1951), has finally been accepted as a distinct genus (vide Corbet and Hill 1986, Hill and Hanison 1987).

Major revisionary studies undertaken under the family Vespertilionidae include those on the genera Murina (Hill 1964), Kerivoula (Hill 1965), Scotoecus (Hill 1974b) and Hesperoptenus (Hill 1976), and the subfamily Vespertilioninae (Hill and Harrison 1987).

Myotis mystacinus and its different Indian subspecies, as understood by Ellerman and Morrison-Scott (1951), have undergone considerable taxonomic changes. Myotis muricola (with caliginosus as subspecies) and Myotis montivagus (with peytoni as subspecies) have been separated from Myotis mystacinus (with nipaiensis as subspecies) as distinct species (Hill 1962, 198'3, Corbet 1980). Topal (1970) has reviewed Myotis blythi. The same author (Topal 1971a) has shown that Pipistrellus annectans is to be regarded as Myotis annectans, with Myotis primula as its synonym. Hill (1977b) has shown that both Myotis dryas and Myotis peshwa are to be regarded as distinct species. Sinha (1980) has synonymised Pipistrellus mimus glaucillus with the nQminate subspecies. Lal (1984) has reviewed the Indian subspecies of Pipistrellus ceylonicus.• Pathak and Shanna (1969) have reported Pipistrellus affinis from India. Agrawal (1973) reviewed the subspecies problem in Pipistrellus dormeri. Roberts (1977) reported Eptesicus bottae from Kashmir. Neuhauser and DeBiase (1974) have shown that Nyctalus leisleri and Nyctalus montanus should be considered 3S distinct species. Hill and Thonglongya (1972) have proved that the smaller of the Indian scotophiles should be called as Scotophilus kuhli kuhli, not S. temmincki wroughtoni. According to Corbet (1980), Plecotus homochrous is a subspecies of P. auritus, with P. puck as its synonym, while P. wardi is a subspecies of P. austriacus.

Hill (1964b) has shown that Murina tubinaris should be regarded as a species distinct from M. huttoni. Das (1986a) has critically discussed the different taxa described under the genus Harpiocephalus and has synonymised H. harpia madrassius with II. h. lasyurus. Significant extension of distributional range of certain ta.'"{a of this family has been done by Bhattacharyya (1977), Ghosh (1989) and Das (1990).

Hill (1961) has reviewed the Indo-Australian bats of the genus Tadarida. Chaturvedi (1964), after examining the type-material, has concluded that Tadarida tragata and T aegyptiaca are same. Hill (1964a) has added Tadarida teniotis to the lndian list. Sinha (1970) has synonymised T aegyptiaca gossei with T ae. tholnasi.

Many taxa of Indian bats need revision, of which the Indian species and subspecies of the genus Myotis demand immediate attention.

Order Primates

Order Primates is represented in India by three families, five genera and 15 species, out of a total of 12 families, 58 genera and 181 species found throughout the world.

The fust account on the taxonomy and distribution of Indian non-human Primates was given by Blanford (1888). A detailed review of the world-species, including those of India, was, however, made available by Elliot (1913). Later, Pocock (1927-1934) published a series of papers on Primates, which were precursor to his Fauna ofBritish India on this order, in 1939. Subsequently, catalogues of the collection of Primates present in the Zoological Survey of India as well as in the British Museum (Natural History) were published by Khajuria (1953-1958) and Napier (1976¬1985), respectively. Osman Hill (1953-1974) discussed the comparative anatomy and taxonomy of primates of the world. But, due to his untimely death, he could only cover the Indian subfamily Cynopithecinae of the family Cercopithecidae. The subfamily Cercopilhecinae dealing with the genus Presbylis could not be completed. This lacuna was, however, partially filled by Napier's catalogue. Roonwal and Mohnot (1977) provided an exhaustive review of primates of south Asia, including their taxonomy, ecology and behavioUr. A recent publication entitled, The Lesser Apes, edited by Presuehoft et ale (1984), deals with the taxonomy, behaviour, and evolution of gibbons of south and southeast Asia

Out of the three families, the family Loriside is known in India, by two genera and an equal number of species. The taxonomy, distribution, and external and dental characters of the genus Loris have been given by Blanford (1888), Osman Hill (1933) and Pocock (1939). Some stray work are also available on the general habits (Rao 1927, Osman Hill 1937, Use 1955, Subramaniam 1957, Seth 1963), feeding (Phillips 1931), breeding (Kinnear 1919, Osman Hill 1935, Nicholls 1939, Ramaswamy et ale 1962, Manley 1967), longevity (Rahman and Parthasarthy 1970) and population (Devaraj 1981) of this animal.

The systematics of the genus Nyclicebus has been dealt with by Blanford (1888) and Pocock (1939), and recently reviewed by Groves (1971). Stray reports are also available on its occurrence in northeastenl India (Agrawal and Bhattacharyya 1977, Mukherjee 1982, Pillai et ale 1973). Roonwal and Mohnot (1977) have summarised the available information on the two Indian species of Lorisidae. .

Family Cercopithecidae is represented by two genera (Macaca and Presbytis) and 12 species. The taxonomy of the genus Macaca has been reviewed by Osman Hill (1974) and Fooden (1975¬1983). The skull-structure has been studied by Kurup (1963, 1966). Fooden et ale (1981) have redefined the' southern limit of distribution of M. mulatta~ Substantial work has been done on the ecology and social behaviour of these monkeys in India, which has been summarised by Roonwal and Mohnot (1977). The genus Presbylis has been reviewed by Napier (1'985). Khajuria (1954) described a new species of langur, Presby tis geei. Agrawal (1974), and Khajuria and Agrawal (1979) have discussed the taxonomic status of P. barbei. Skull-structure of langurs was studied by Kurup (1964, 1966). Roonwal (1979-1989) studied the subspecific variation, distribution and tail¬caniage of P. entellus.

Family Hylobatidae is represented in India by a single species, Hylobates hoolock. The genus Hylobates has been reviewed by Groves (1967-1972). Other aspects like ecology and behaviour (Chivers 1977, Tilson 1977, Gittens and tilson 1984, Mukherjee 1986, Alfred and Sati 1986, 1990), colour-phase (Fooden 1969, 1971), breeding (Carpenter 1941, Mathews 1946, Osman Hill et ale 1959, Alfred and Sati 1988), status (Chivers 1977, Mukherjee 1982, Tilson 1984, Alfred and Sati 1990), etc., have also been studied.

Order Pholidota

One genus and two species of the order Pholidota occur in India. Pocock (1924) has dealt with the diagnostic features of Indian pangolins. Simpson (1945) has referred all the pangolins to a single genus, Manis. good accounts of Indian pangolins are available in lerdon (1867), Blanford (1891), Finn (1929), Prater' (1965), Walker (1968), etc. Ray-Chaudhuri et ale (1969) and Chakraborty et al: (1982) have studied karyotypes of Indian species of Manis.

Order Carnivora

Order Carnivora, in India, comprises eight families, 29 genera and 57 species. The taxonomy and distribution of Indian carnivores have been given by Blanford (1891) and Pocock (1939,1941).

OkeD (1816) dealt with the generic names, and Mivart (1881) and Elliot (1883) provided original information on Indian species of cats. Pocock (1971) reviewed the classification of the family Felidae. Comparative study of the appendicular skeleton of the genus Panthera (Mandai 1970) and of Lynx and Caracal (Mandai and Talukdar 1975) have been made. Status survey of Lesser Cats in northeastern India was undertaken by Biswas and Ghose.

Mivart's (1890) monograph of Canidae also deals with Indian species. Apart from taxonomic work, Burton (1941), Davidar (1965~ 1974, 1975), Cohen (1977), Fox (1971, 1975, 1978, 1984) and Johnsingh (1979, 1982) have studied the ecology and behaviour of the Wild Dog, Cuon aipinus.

Allen (1938) referred the genus Ailurus to the family Procyonidae.

The Indian subspecies of Viverricula indica was reviewed by Chakraborty (1983) and ofViverra zib.etha by Agrawal et ale (in press). Ali et ale (1988) have described a new species of palm civet, Paradoxurus jorandensis, from Orissa, which has been found to be an albinistic from of P hermaphrodilus (Das et al., in press).

Family Mustelidae was reviewed by Pocock (1922). Ghose (1989) dealt with the status of the Indian viverrids and mustelids.

Subfamily Herpestinae was reviewed by Pocock (1919). Ronacki et ale (1982) treated it as a family. Ghose (1965) described a new species of mongoose, Herpesles palustris, from the Salt Lakes, near Calcutta. He (Ghose 1978) also merged H. edwardsi ferrugineous with H. e. nyula.

Order Proboscidea

Order Proboscidea is known in India by one species, namely, Elephas maximus. General accounts on its taxonomy, distribution and ecology are available in Jerdon (1867), Blanford (1888), Finn (1929), Pocock (1943), Prater (1965) and Walker (1968). Ali (1977, 1980, 1981) has studied the appearance of tusk, MUSlh and breeding habits of this species. Nair and Gadgil (1978, 1980), Singh (1978) and Gupta (1985) and Lahiri Choudhury (1985) have reviewed its status and distribution in southern, northern and northeastern India.

Order Sirenia

One species of the Order Sirenia, namely Dugong dugon, occurs in Indian waters. Its taxonomy has been discussed by Blanford (1891). Further accounts are available in Norman and Fraser (1938), Pocock (1940), Prater (1965), Norris (1966), Coffey (1977) and Tikader (1984). A sort of dugong fishery was practiced in earlier days in the gulf of Mannar and Saurashtra coast. -But, since this species has now become exceedingly rare, the Gulf of Mannar has been declared as a Biosphere Reserve for the protection of dugong.

Order Perissodactyla

Order Perissodactyla is represented in India by two families, two genera and three species. A good account of these species is available in Blanford (1891), Prater (1965) and Walker (1968).

Family Equidae is known by two species, namely, Equus kiang and Equus hemionus. Taxonomy of this group has been reviewed by Groves and Mazak (1967).

At present, the family Rhinocerotidae is represented in India by the lone species, Rhinoceros unicornis. Genus Rhinoceros has been reviewed by Pocock (1945). Further studies on its taxonomy' (Groves 1967), skull-structure (Chakraborty 1973), etc. have been made. A catalogue of the collection of Asian rhinoceroses present in the Zoological Survey of India, is also available (Groves and Chakraborty 1983).

Order Artiodactyla The order Artiodactyla is represented in Indian by five families, 19 genera and 32 species. Brief accounts on the taxonomy, distribution and ecology are available in Blanford (1891), Lydelcker (1913-1965), Prater (1965) and Walker (1968).

Lydekker (1898) gave descriptions of deer species of the world, including those of India. Pocock (1923) discussed the external characters of Indian cervids. The taxonomy of genera Muntiacus and Moschus was reviewed by Groves (1975, 1980).

Sclater and Thomas (1894-1900) dealt with the Indian antelopes, along with other species of the world. Pocock (1918, 1919) discussed the external characters of ruminants. The taxonomy of genera Procapra. Gazella and Anti/ope was reviewed by Groves (1967, 1969, 1980). Schaller (1978) gave accounts on the natural history of wild s~eep and goats of the Himalaya. Biswas (1976) dealt with the economically important wild cattle, sheep and goats of India. ==Order Lagomorpha

This order, in India, consists of tw.o families, three genera and 10 species. The first comprehensive account on indian lagomorphs was given by Blanford (1888). Forsyth Major (1899) and Cureev (1964) revised the recent and fossil lagomorpha of the world, including the Indian forms. Kloss (1918) made a taxonomic review of the genus Lepus, based on the specimens present in the collection of the Indian Museum, Calcutta. Allen (1938) also dealt with some Indian lagomorphs. Ellerman and Morrison-Scott (1951) provided a key for the identification of different species. Corbet (1978) treated some of the Indian species of lagomorphs along with the Palaearctic forms. Kao and Feng (1964) gave a systematic review on the subspecies of Lepus oistolus, with a key to their identification. Angermann (1966, 1967, 1983) dealt with the taxonomic status of Caprolagus hispidus; Lepus oistolus and Lepus species of India.

Taxonomy, ecology and behaviour of Caprolagus hispidus have been studied by Hodgson (1847) and Ghose (1978, 1981). Ohose (1967, 1972) made taxonomic and ecological study on Lepus nigricoliis mahadeva. Chakraborty (1977) recorded Lepus arabicus for the [lIst time from (Jammu &Kashmir) India.

Not much work has been done on the mouse-hares of the family Ochotonidae in India. However, Thomas (1920, 1922) described three new species and three new subspecies. Ghose (in press) has recently studied the pikas of Jammu &Kashmir and has described a new species. Feng and Kao (1974) made a systematic review of the subspecies Ochotona thibetena. Mitchell (MS : unpublished) gave a taxonomic review of Asian specIes of the" genus Ochotona. The daily activity and social pattern of Ochotona"macrotis and O. roylei have been studied by Kawamichi(1971).

The status and conservation of the Hispid hare have been discussed by several workers (Mallinson 1971, Ranjitsinh 1972, Tessier-Yandell 1972, Oliver 1979, 1980, 1981, 1985 and Ohose and GhosaI1984).

Order Rodentia

Order Rodentia comprises 29 families, 393 genera and 1,738 species of which four families, 43 genera and about 99 species occur in India (Corbet and Hill 1986).

The first comprehensive account on the taxonomy, distribution and ecology of the Indian species of mammals, including rodents was given by Blanford (1891), which included the earlier work of Jerdon (1867) and Sterndale (1884) on the natural history of these species. Subsequently, family Sciuridae was reviewed by Robinson and Kloss (1918). Ellerman (1940, 1941, 1"949) enlisted the rodent species of the world, including those of India. Later, he (Ellerman 1961) gave a detailed taxonomic account and distribution of the Indian species. Of late, new classifications of the order have been proposed (Missone 1969, Honacki et ale 1982, Anderson and Jones 1984, and Corbet and Hill 1986).

Out of the four families of rodents found in India, family Sciuridae is represented by 12 genera and 29 species. It includes squirrels (both nocturnal and diurnal) and marmots. The latter are Palaearctic in distribution, occurring in India along the Himalaya. The ta"{onomy of diurnal species of squirrels have been reviewed by Moore and Tate (1965), Agrawal and Bhattacharyya (1977) and Agrawal and Chakraborty (1979). A catalogue of the collection of Sciuridae present in the Zoological Survey of India, Calcutta, is also available (Agrawal and Chakraborty 1979). The genus Petaurista has been reviewed by Saha (1977, 1978) and Ghose and Saha (1981), and two new taxa, namely, P. nobilis singhei and P. magnificus hodgsoni have been added. A new genus and species of flying squirrel, Biswamoyoplerus biswasi was described from Namdapha National Park, Arunachal Pradesh (Saha 1981).

The Small Flying Squirrel, Petinomys Juscocapillus has been rediscovered in Kerala, after a gap of 140 years. The distributional range of Eupetaurus cinereus has been extended from Jammu &Kashmir to Sikkim (Agrawal and Chakraborty 1970). The taxonomy of genus Callosciurus has been reviewed (Chakraborty 1985) and the species, Hylopetes baberi resuscitated (Chakraborty 1982). The subspecies of Ratlifa indica have been studied (Abdulali and Daniel 1952). Marmota himalayana is now considered as a full species (Corbet and Hill 1986).

Of the Indian species of squirrels, only two species, namely, Funambulus pennanti and F. palmarum are considered to be of economic importance. Hence, their biology and habits have been studied by a number of workers (Bannerji 1955, 1957, Louch et ale 1965, Agrawal 1965, Prasad et ale 1966, Purohit et ale 1966, Prakash and Kametkar 1969, Seth and Prasad 1969, Khan and Khan 1980, Bhat 1981, and others). Chromosomes of these species have also been worked out (Chopra and Pai 1965, Shanna et aC 1970, Satya Prakash and Aswatbanarayana 1973).

Within the Indian limits, family Hystricidae is represented by two genera and three species, namely, Ilystrix indica, Ilystrix hodgsoni and Atherurus macrourus. The genus Hystrix has recently been reviewed by Van Weers (1979, 1983). The biology ofHystrix indica has been studied by a number of workers (Blanford 1891, Thomas 1922, Roonwal1949, Walker 1968, Taber et al. 1967, Prakash 1971, Prakash et ale 1971, Prakash and Ghosh 1975~ Roberts 1977, and others).

The Palaearctic family Zapodidae is represented in India by a single genus and species, Sicista concolor, which occurs in Jammu &Kashmir. Its biology and ecology have been reported by Roberts (1977).

Family Muridae is grouped into 15 subfamilies. Out of these, six subfamilies, Cricetinae, Gerbillinae, Microtinae, Murinae, Platacanthomyinae and Rhizomyinae occur in India (Corbet and Hill 1986). This family is represented in India by 28 genera and about 66 species.

Subfamily Cricetinae is Holarctic in distribution and has spilled over to India in Jammu &Kashmir. It is known by one genus and two species, Cricetulus migratorius and C. alticola. The biology and ecology of these species have been dealt with by Roberts (1977).

Subfamily Gerbillinae is mainly Ethiopian in distribution, but extended east up to arid and subarid regions of India. Three genera and four species occur in India. The genus Gerbillus is represented by two species -G. nanus and G. gleadowi instead of three reported by Ellerman (1961). The taxonomy of Tatera indica has been reviewed by Agrawal and Chakraborty (1981). Skull-structure of all the three genera has been studied by Agrawal (1967). Due to economic importance of t~e group, its biology, ecology and control have been extensively worked out by Prasad (1954-1961), and Prakash (1956-1990) and his school.

In India, subfamily Microtinae is known by four genera and seven species. All are denizens of high elevations in the Himalaya. The taxonomy of the group has been dealt with by Hinton (1926) and Ellerman (1961). Some work on the biology, ecology,; intraspecific variations, nomenclatUre, etc., are also available (RoonwaI1953, Khajuria 1959, Kbajuria and Ghose 1969, Ghose and Guha Roy 1972, Roberts 1977).

The subfamily Murinae, within the Indian limits, is represented by 20 genera and about SO species. Only one species of the genus Apodemus, A. syivaticus, occurs in India, instead of two reported by Ellerman (1961). Intraspecific variations have been studied in Golunda elliot;, Vandeleuria oleracea and Bandicota bengalensis, and their subspecies redefined (Agrawal and Chakraborty 1976, 1980, 1982). Based on the study of molar characters and karyotypes, the genus Rattus (sensu Ellerman 196.1) has been splitted into six genera, namely, Rattus, Millardia, Cremnomys, Leopoldamys, Berylmys and Niviventer to accommodate the Indian species of ratS. Under the new arrangement, the species blanfordi has been accommodated under the genus Cremnomys, the bowersi group of rats from northeastern India under Berylmys and the niviventer group .of rats under a newly erected genus Niviventer (Missone 1969, Agrawal 1969, Marshall 1976, Musser 1981, Musser and Newcomb 1983).

Within the genus Rattus, three new taxa, RattuS ranjiniae (Agrawal and GhosaI1969), Rattus holchu (Chaturvedi 1966) and Rattus rattus brevicaudus (Chakraborty 1975), have been added. Chakraborty (1983) resuscitated Rattus vicerex as a full species. A n~w taxa, Niviventer niviventer monticola (Ghose 1964), under the genus Niviventer, and two more under the genus Millardia-Millardia kondana (Misra and Dhanda 1975) and Millardia meltada sing uri (Mandai and Ghosh 1981), have been added. The Indian subspecies Rattus cremoriventer indosinicus from northeastern India has been synonymised with Niviventer Iangbianis from Thailand (Musser 1973).

Based on the morphology, karyology and ectoparasites, Marshall (1977) has reviewed the genus Mus. Under this genus, Mus platythrix (sensu Ellerman 1961) has been splitted into Mus platythrix and Mus saxicola, and Mus booduga into Mus booduga and Mus dunni. Another subspecies Mus cervicolor phillipsi has been raised to specific level.

A number of murine species are not only tremendously destructive to crops and other material possessions, but are also reservoirs of many dreadful diseases of man and livestock. Some of the important species are Rattus rattus, Mus musculus, Mus booduga, Mus cervicolor, Mus platythrix, Millardia meltada, Bandicota indica, Bandicota bengalensis and Nesokia indica. Tremendous work has been done on various aspects of their biology, ecology and control. A glimpse of the same may be had from bibliographies on rodents (parrack 1966, Spillet 1968, Chakraborty 1984, Roonwal 1988).

The subfamily Platacanthomyinae -is known by one genus and species, Platacanthomys lasiurus, which is found in Kerala. It is an aberrant species. Except for the skull-structure (Agrawal 1967), practically no work has been done on this species.

Subfamily Rhizomyinae is represented by two genera and an equal number of species, found in northeastern India. Nothing much is known about their ecology and biology.

Order Cetacea

Order Cetacea is represented in India by six families, 20 genera and 25 species. Little work has been done on the taxonomy and ecology of marine mammals found in Indian waters. Most of the work is limited to reports of their stranding on Indian coasts. Taxonomi~'accounts of some of the species of this order is available in Blanford (1891), Norman and Fraser (1938), Prater (1965), Nonis (1966), and Walker (1968). James and Suftdararajan (1979), De Silva (1988) and Alling (1989) have recorded the stranding of different species of whales and dolphins along the Indian coasts, and gave their diagnostic characters.

Family Platanistidae is known in India by a single genus and species, Platanista gangetica. It is the only fresh water form found in the country in the Ganga-Brahmaputra river systems. Anderson (1879) dealt with the status, distribution, biology and anatomy of this species. Its taxonomy has been reviewed by Pilleri and Gihr (1971) and Kasuya (1972). Work on its ecology and behaviour are by Pilleri (1970), Geisler and Pilleri (1971), Pilleri et ale (1972), Nath (1974), Gupta (1986) and Singh and Sharma (1986), and on its distribution and seasonal movement by Kasuya and Haque (1972). Useful work on organ-weight relationship (pilleri and Gihr 1970, Kamia and Yamasuki 1974), cerebral anatomy (Pilleri 1970), tongue (Arvy and Pilleri 1970), osteology (Pilleri and Gihr 1971, 1976), embryology (pilleri and Gihr 1976, Arvy and Pilleri 1976, Pilleri 1977), sound production (Anderson apd Pilleri 1970), and growth and determination of age (Kasuya 1972) have also been done. The population status has been studied by Kasuya and Haque (1972), Jones (1982), Upreti and Majupuria (1982), Gupta (1986), and Singh and Sharma (1986).

Family Delphinidae consists of 11 genera and 14 species. Practically no work has been done on the taxonomy of this family in India. Anderson (1879) worked on the anatomy of Orcaella brevirostris. The species Stenella dubia and S. ma/yanus have been synonymized with Stenella attenuata (vide Honacki et ale 1892). Van Bree and Gallagher (1978) reported ~e occurrence of Delphinus tropicalis in Indian waters and treated it as a species distinct from D. delphis.

Family Phocoenidae is known from India by the lone genus and species, Neophocaena phocaenoides. Some work on its taxonomy (Pilleri 'and Peixun 1980), body colour (Pilleri et ale 1976), habits (pilleri and Pilleri 1979), reproduction (Harrison and McBrearty 1973-1974), foetus and juvenile (Balan 1976, Hafeezull~h 1984), population status and breeding (Kasuya and Kureha 1979), sonar system (Pilleri et al. 1980) are also available.

Family Physeteridae is represented by two genera and three species. P hyseter catodon has been synonymized with Physeter macrocephalus. James and SUQdararajan (1979) reported the stranding of this species at Krusadai Island in the Gulf of Mannar, and furnished its diagnostic features.

Family Ziphiidae consists of two genera and three species. Occurrence of M esoplodon densirostris has been reported from the Indian Ocean (McCann 1964).

Family Balaenopteridae is known from India by two genera and six species. Gibson-Hill (1950) analysed the published records of rorquals (Balaenoptera sp.) stranded on the coasts of India and Sri Lanka, and gave their diagnostic characters. The anatomy of B. edeni. (Anderson 1879) and B. musculus (Moses 1940) have also been worked out.

Platanista gangetica, Neophocaena phocaenoides and Orcae/la brevirostris are protected in India under Schedule I, and the rest of the species under Schedule II (as Cetacea) of the Indian Wild Life (Protection) Act of 1972, as amended up to date.

Current Studies

The Zoological Survey of India, with its regional offices, is now an epitome of mammalian studies in India. This department has completed the regional fauna of Andaman &Nicobar Islands, Jammu &Kashmir, Goa, Orissa, Rajasthan, Tripura, West Bengal, etc., Other State fauna which are currently being studied are of Arunachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Manipur and Uttar Pradesh. Country-wide primatological ~urvey was undertaken by the department as a special project. The study of the fauna of several conservation areas, including Tiger Reserves, have been completed by this department. The remaining areas will be surveyed as per programme within 2000 A.D.

The study on the mammals of the faunistically rich habitats and fragile ecosystems of the Himalaya, arid zone and tropical rain forests have been given priority. Writing up of the Red Data Book on endangered species of mammals, based on the status survey of different species, has also been counted as the priority programme of the department. Apart from these, stress has been given on the taxonomic and revisionary studies on various economically important groups of mammals such as Chiroptera, Rodentia, Carnivora, Lagomorpha, etc.

Outside the Zoological Survey of India, researches on mammals are being carried out in some institutes and universities in India. They are : Central Arid .Zone Research Institute, Jodhpur (ecology and control of desert mammals, specially rodents). National Institute of Virology, Pone (studies on virology in relation to hosts and their cytogenetic bearing on taxonomy), Central Food Research Institute, Mysore (ecology and control of urban rodents), Agricultural Universities in Ludhiana, Jaba]pur, Junagad, Hyderabad and Bangalore (ecology and control of rodents), Madurai Kamraj University, Madurai (Chronobiology of bats), Institute of Sciences, Nagpur (embryology and breeding biology of bats), etc. Several sporadic studies on various aspects of Indian mammals are being carried out by individuals associated with institutions and universities in India and abroad.

Expertise India


'(a) New Alipur building (Zoological Survey of India, 'M' Block, New Aiipur, Calcutta 700 053).

J. R. B. Alfred, [Primates (ecology, behaviour and zoogeography)].

v. C. Agrawal, [Rodentia, Primates, Scandentia, (taxonomy, zoogeography, ecology)]. R. K. Ghose, [Lagomorpha, Carnivora, Insectivora, Rodentia (taxonomy, zoogeography, ecology)].

Sujit Chakraborty, [Rodentia, Perissodactyla, Insectivom (taxonomy, zoogeography, ecology)].

P. K. Das, [Chiroptera (taxonomy, zoogeography and biology)].

S. S. Saba, [Systematics, ecology, behaviour].

A. K. Mandai, [Rodentia (taxonomy, ecology)].

R. P. Mukherjee, [Primates (ecology, behaviour)].

J. K. De, [Ultra-structure of mammalian hair].

T. P. Bhattacharyya, [Systematics, distribution].

M. K. Ghosh, [Systematics, distribution].

J. P. Lal, [Chiroptera (taxonomy)].

T. K. Chakraborty, [Systematics]. A. K. Podder, [Systematics]. (b) Indian Museum Compound R. Chakmborty, Zoological Survey of India, Fire Proof Spirit Building, Taxidermy Section, 27 J. L. Nehru Road, Calcutta 700 016. [Rodentia (ecology, behaviour, taxonomy)]. B. Biswas, Emeritus Scientist (Retd.), Zoological Survey of India, 27 I. L. Nehru Road, Indian Museum, Calcutta 700 016. [Carnivora, Aritiodactyla, Rodentia, Insectivota (taxonomy, zoogeography, ecology)]. (c) Regional Centres G. U. Kurup, Zoological Survey of India, Western Ghat Regional Station, 2/355 Eranhipalam, Calicut, Kemla. [Systematics, zoogeography, ecology (specially primates)]. Y. P. Sinha, Zoological Survey of India, Eastern Regional Station, Fruit Gardens, Risha Colony, Shillong 793 003, Meghalaya. [Chloroptera (taxonomy, distribution]. J. P. Sati, Zoological Survey of India, Northern Regional Station, 218 Kaulagarh Road, Dehradun 248 001, Uttar Pradesh. [Primates (ecology and behaviour)]. M. S. Pradhan, Zoological Survey of India, Western Regional Station, 1182/2, F.e. Road, Pune 411 005, Maharashtra. [Rodentia (chemotaxonomy, ecology, behaviour)]. N. K. Sinha, Zoological Survey of India, Northern Regional Station, Dehradun 248001, Uttar Pradesh. [Ecology].

P. C. Talc, Zoological Survey of India, Northern Regional Station, Dehradun 248 001. Uttar Pradesh. [Systematics, ecology].

H. Khajuria, Emeritus Scientist (Retd.), Zoological Survey of India, High Altitude Zoology Field Station, Jandev Niwas, Hospital Road, . Solan 173 212, Himachal Pradesh. [Chiroptera, Primates (taxonomy, zoogeography, ecology].


Ishwar Prakash, Professor of Eminence, Central Arid Zon~ Research Institute, Jodhpur, Rajasthan. [Rodentia, Insectivora, Chiroptera (taxonomy, ecology, biology of arid zone species].

p~ K. Ghosh, Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Jodhpur, Rajasthan. [Rodentia (physiology, control of arid zone species)].

A. P. Jain, Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Jodhpur, Rajasthan. [Rodentia (behaviour, breeding, control of arid zone species)].

K. Srihari, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Agricultural University, Bangalore, Karnataka. [Rodentia (ecology, control)].

M. K. Chandrashekaran, Department of Animal behaviour, Biological Sciences, Madurai Kamraj University, Madurai, Tamil Nadu. [Chiroptera (chronobiology)].

A. Gopalakrishna, Institue of Science, Nagpur University, Nagpur, Maharashtra. [Chiroptera (embryology, breeding biology)].


Hisashi Abe, Natural History Museum, Faculty of Agriculture, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan. [lnsectivora]. A. Brosset, Museum National d'Historie Naturelle, Wormley, Godalming, Surray, 11.K. [Chiroptera] . S. G. Brown, National Institute of Oceanography, Wormley, Godalming, Surray, U.K. [Cetacea]. J. Dorst, Museum National d 'Histoire Naturelle, 55 reu de Buffon, 75005 Paris, France. [Proboscidea, Artiodactyla, Carnivora]. J. Fooden, Division of Mammals, Field Museum of Natural History, Roosevelt Road at Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60605, U.S.A. [primates]. R. M. Gilmore, California Western University, San Diego, California, U.S.A. [Cetacea]. Colin P. Groves, Department of Prehistory @nd Anthropology, The Australian National .Museum, Box 4, P.O. Canberra A.C.T. 2601, Australia. [Primates, Artiodactyla, Perissodactyla]. D. L. Harrison, Harrison Zoological Museum, Bowerwood House, S1. Botalph's Road, Sevenoaks, Kent, U.K. [Carnivora, Chiroptera, Artiodactyla]. J. L. Harrison, Scrub Typhus Research Unit, Institute of Medical Research, Malaysia. [Rodentia] . J. E. Hill, Department of Zoology, British Museum (Natural History), Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, U.K. [Chiroptcra]. Toshio Kasuya, Section of Cetacean Research, Far Seas Fisheries Research Laboratory, Orido, Shimizu-shi, Shizuoka-ken 424, Japan. [Cetacea]. K. F. Koopman, Division of Mammals, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street, New York 10024, U.S.A. [Chiroptera]. H. H. Genoways, Director, University of Nebraska State Museum, 212 Morrill Hall, Lincolon, NE 68588..0338. [Chiropte~ Insectivora, Rodentia].

D. A. Schlitter, Curator of Mammals, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, 4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, P.A. 15213, U.S.A. [Rodentia, Chiroptera, Insectivora).

Paul Leyh~usen, Max-Planck Institute of Behavioural Physiology, 5227~ Windeck 1, Germany. [Carnivora] .

Don E. Wilson, Biodiversity Programs, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC 20560, U.S.A. [Chiroptera].

John E. C. Flux, Ecology Division, DSIR, Privat~ Bag, Lower Hutt, New Zealand. [Lagomotpha].

Willium Oliver, Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust, Trinity, Jersey, Channel Island, U.K. [Artiodactyla (Suidae)]. .

Renate Angermann, Spezielle Zoologie and Zoologischen, Museum der Humboldt University, Berlin, Gennany [Lagomorpha].

E. Mhhr, Zoologisches Staatsinstitut and Zoologisches Museum, Bomplatz 5, Humburg 13, Germany. [Carnivora].

Ouy O. Musser, Division of Mammals, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street, New York 10024, U.S.A. [Rodentia].

G. B. Corbet, Department of Zoology, British lvluseum (Natural History), Crowmell Road, London SW7 5BD, U.K. [Insectivora].

F. Petter, Museum National d'Historie Naturelle, 55 rue de Buffon, Paris, France. [Rodentia].

G. Topal, Hungarian Natural History Museum, 1088 Budapest, Baross utca 13, Hungary. (Chiroptera].

D. J. Van Weers, Deaprtment of Mammals, Institute of Taxonomic Zoology, Zoological Museum, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam 1004, the Netherlands. [Rodentia]. P, D. Jenkins, Departnlent of Zoology, British Museum (Natural History), Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, U.K. [Insectivora].

Joe.Marshall, Fish and Wildlife Laboratory, National Museum of Natural History, Washington D.C. 20560, U.S.A. [Rodentia]. Michael D. Carleton, Division Mammals, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. 20560, U.S.A. [Rodentia]. R. W. Thorington, Division of Mammals, Department of. Vertebrate Zoology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. 20560, U.S.A. [Rodentia, Primates, Chiroptera]. George B. Shaller, New York Zoological Society, Sentry Hill Road, Roxbury, Connecticut 06783, U.S.A. [Primates, Carnivora, Artiodactyla].

Selected References

Blanford, W. T. 1888, 1891. The Fauna ofBritish India, including Ceylon and Burrl'ltl. Taylor and Franc~,London. -

Corbet, G. B. 1978. The mammals of the Palaearctic region : a taxonomic review. Bristish Museum (natunil History), London. Publications and British Museum (Natural History), New York and London. Ellerman, J. R. 1961. The Fauna of India, including Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon. Mammalia, Rodentia (2 parts). Manager of Publications, GovL of India, Delhi. Ellerman, J. R. &Morrison-Scott, T. C. S. 1966. Checklist of Palaearctic and Indian mammals 1758 to 1946 (2nd. ed.). British Museum (Natural History), London. Honalei, J. H. Kinnman, K. E. & Koeppl, J.W. 1982. Mammal Species of the World. Association of Systematic ZOOlogy and Allen Press, Lawrence, Kansas, U.S.A. Nowak, R. M. &Paradiso, J. L. 1983. Walker's Mammals of the World (4th ed.). 2 vols~ The John's Hopkins University Press. Baltimore and London. Pocock, R. I. 1939, 1941. The Fauna ofBritish India, including Ceylon and Burma. Mammalia. 2.

vols. (Priinates and Carnivora). Taylor and Francis, London. Roberts, T. J. 1977. The Mammals ofPakistan. Ernest Beon Ltd., London and Tonbridge. Roonwal, M. L. and Monhot, S. M. 1977. Primates of South Asia: ecology, sociobiology and behaviour. Harvard University Press, Cambridge (Mass.) and London.

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