Mammalian fauna of Rajaji National Park, India: a review on ecological observations and checklist

Ritesh Joshi


Rajaji National Park, in the Gangetic Plains biogeographic zone, has a diverse and biogeographically important mammalian assemblage. In the recent past, several studies on the herbivores, large carnivores and mega-herbivores have been carried out, but limited work has been done on the distribution of mammals in the park. This study illustrates the ecological observations and review of the mammals of the Rajaji National Park, based on field surveys, carried out during 2006–2008, using direct and indirect sampling methods. A total of 44 mammal species, belonging to nine orders and 20 families were recorded, which included one insectivore, six chiropterans, two primates, one pholidotan, 16 carnivores, one proboscidean, six artiodactylians, one lagomorph and 10 rodents. Of these, seven are classified as Endangered/Vulnerable in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species; however, three species are Near Threatened, a lower risk category.


Gangetic Plains; Shivalik landscape; northwest India; Rajaji National Park; mammals; checklist

Full Text:



Alfred, J.R.B, Ramakrishna and M.S. Pradhan. 2006. Validation of threatened mammals of India. Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata: Shiva Offset Press. 568 pp.

Anonymous. 2003. Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 (as amended up to 2003). Dehradun: Natraj Publishers. 235 pp.

Boshoff, A.F. and G.I.H. Kerley. 2001. Potential distributions of the medium- to large-sized mammals in the Cape Floristic Region, based on historical accounts and habitat requirements. African Zoology 36(2): 245−273.

Boshoff, A.F. and G.I.H. Kerley. 2010. Hostorical mammal distribution data: How reliable are written records? South African Journal of Science 106(1/2): 26−33. doi: 10.4102/sajs.v106i1/2.116

Forest Survey of India. 2011. India state of forest report. Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India. Accessed at, 23 May 2015.

Harihar, A., D.L. Prasad, C. Ri, B. Pandav and S.P. Goyal. 2009. Losing ground: Tigers Panthera tigris in the north-western Shivalik landscape of India. Oryx 43(1): 35–43. doi: 10.1017/S0030605307072043

Harihar, A., M. Ghosh, M. Fernandes, B. Pandavand and S.P. Goyal. 2010. Use of photographic capture-recapture sampling to estimate density of Striped Hyaena (Hyaena hyaena): implications for conservation. Mammalia 74(1): 83-87. doi: 10.1515/mamm.2009.072

Harihar, A., B. PandavandS.P. Goyal. 2011. Responses of leopard Panthera pardus to the recovery of a Tiger Panthera tigris population. Journal of Applied Ecology 48(3): 806–814. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2011.01981.x

Hilton-Taylor, C., C.M. Pollock, J.S. Chanson, S.H.M. Butchart, T.E.E. Oldfield and V. Katariya. 2009. State of the world’s species; pp. 15–41, in: J.C. Vie, C. Hilton-Taylor and S.N. Stuart (eds.).Wildlife in a changing world, an analysis of the 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Gland/Cambridge: IUCN.

IUCN (International Commission for the Conservation of Nature). 2013. Guidelines for using the IUCN Red List categories and criteria.Version 2013−2. Gland/Cambridge: IUCN Standards and Petitions Subcommittee. Accessed at, 26 March 2014.

IUCN (International Commission for the Conservation of Nature). 2014. The IUCN Red List of threatened species, summary statistics. Version 2015-4. Accessed at, 6 May 2016.

Johnsingh, A.J.T. and A.C. Williams. 1999. Elephant corridors in India: lessons for other elephants range countries. Oryx 33(3): 210−214. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-3008.1999.00063.x

Johnsingh, A.J.T. and A.S. Negi. 2003. Status of Tiger and Leopard in Rajaji-Corbett Conservation Unit, northern India. Biological Conservation 111(3): 385−393. doi: 10.1016/S0006-3207(02)00307-5

Johnsingh, A.J.T. and Y.V. Jhala. 2004. Indian fox; pp. 219−222, in: C. Sillero-Zubiri, M. Hoffmann and D.W. Macdonald (eds.). Canids: foxes, wolves, jackals and dogs, status survey and conservation action plan. Gland/Cambridge: IUCN/SSC Canid Specialist Group.

Johnsingh, A.J.T. 2006a. Status and conservation of the tiger in Uttaranchal, northern India. Ambio 35(3): 135−137. doi: 10.1579/0044-7447(2006)35[135:SACOTT]2.0.CO;2

Johnsingh, A.J.T. 2006b. Field days, a naturalist’s journey through South and Southeast Asia. Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh): Universities Press. 339 pp.

Joshi, D.P. and M. Kumar. 1970. Working plan of Shivalik forest division, Shivalik Circle (from 1969−1970 to 1978−1979). Working Plan of State Forest Department, Nainital: Uttar Pradesh State Forest Department.

Joshi, R. and R. Singh. 2007. Asian Elephants (Elephas maximus) are losing their seasonal traditional movement tracks: a decade study in and around the Rajaji National Park, India. Gajah 27: 15−26.

Joshi, R. and R. Singh. 2010. Does wide ranging tuskers survive in north-west India? National Academy of Science Letters 33(7/8): 205−215.

Joshi, R. and A. Dixit. 2012. Wildlife mortality on National Highway 72 and 74 across the Rajaji National Park and the Haridwar Conservation Area, North India. International Journal of Conservation Science 3(2): 127−139.

Joshi, R. 2014. Recent confirmed record of existence of Smooth-coated Otter (Lutrogale perspicillata) in Rajaji National Park, north-west India. Tigerpaper 41(2): 25−29.

Joshi, R. 2015. Impact of Gujjar Rehabilitation Programme on the group size of Asian Elephants (Elephas maximus) in Rajaji National Park, north-west India. Biodiversitas 16(2): 188−195. doi: 10.13057/biodiv/d160214

Kerley, G.I.H., R.L. Pressey, R.M. Cowling, A.F. Boshoff, and R. Sims-Castley. 2003. Options for the conservation of large and medium-sized mammals in the Cape Floristic Region hotspot, South Africa. Biological Conservation 112(1/2): 169−190. doi: 10.1016/S0006-3207(02)00426-3

Khan, I.H. 1978. Management Plan of Rajaji Sanctuary (from 1978−1979 to 1982−1983). Directorate of Wildlife Research and Education. Forest Research Institute and Colleges, Dehradun: Forest Research Institute. 34 pp.

Manley, P.N., M.D. Schlesinger, J.K. Roth, and B.N. Horne. 2005. A field-based evaluation of presence-absence protocol for monitoring ecological-scale biodiversity. Journal of Wildlife Management 69(3): 950-966. doi: 10.2193/0022-541X(2005)069[0950:AFEOAP]2.0.CO;2

Meine, C. 1999. Its about time: conservation biology and history. Conservation Biology 13(1): 1−3. doi: 10.1046/j.1523-1739.1999. 013001001.x

Menon, V. 2003.A field guide to Indian mammals. Wildlife Trust of India. New Delhi: Dorling Kindersley. 200 pp.

Morrison, M.L. 2005. Techniques for discovering historic animal assemblages; pp. 295−316, in: D. Egan and E.A. Howell (eds.). The historical ecology handbook: a restorationist’s guide to reference ecosystems. Washington, DC: Island Press.

Nandy, S., S.P.S. Kushwaha and S. Mukhopadhyay. 2007. Monitoring the Chilla-Motichur wildlife corridor using geospatial tools. Journal for Nature Conservation 15(4): 237−244. doi: 10.1016/j.jnc.2007.03.003

Osmaston, B.B. and J.B. Sale. 1989.Wildlife of Dehradun and adjacent hills. Dehradun: Natraj Publishers. 99 pp.

Pandey, S. 2001. Management Plan of Rajaji National Park (from 2000−2001 to 2009−2010). Management Plan of Uttarakhand State Forest Department. Dehradun: Director, Rajaji National Park. 580 pp.

Pocock, R.I. 1939.The fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma. Mammalia. London: Taylor and Francis. 617 pp.

Prater, S.H. 1971.The book of Indian animals. Bombay Natural History Society. Mumbai: Oxford University Press. 324 pp.

Rasaily, S.S. 2012.Management Plan of Rajaji National Park (for 2012−2013 to 2021−2022).Management Plan of Uttarakhand State Forest Department. Dehradun: Director, Rajaji National Park. 626 pp.

Rodgers, W.A., H.S. Panwar, and V.B. Mathur. 2002. Wildlife Protected Areas in India: a review (Executive Summary). Wildlife Institute of India. Dehradun: Wildlife Institute of India. 44 pp.

Roy, P.S., S.A. Ravan, N. Rajadnya, K.K. Das, A. Jain, and S. Singh. 1995. Habitat suitability analysis of Nemorhaedus goral a remote sensing and geographic information system approach. Current Science 69(8): 685-691.

Saikia, U., M.L. Thakur, M. Bawri, and P.C. Bhattacherjee. 2011. An inventory of the chiropteran fauna of Himachal Pradesh, northwestern India with some ecological observations. Journal of Threatened Taxa 3(4): 1637−1655.

Sati, J.P. and P.C. Tak. 2010. Mammalia; pp. 27–76, in: Director (ed.). Fauna of Uttarakhand, State Fauna Series 18(1). Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata: Director, Zoological Survey of India.

Sinha, N.K. 1995. Mammals (Mammalia); pp. 9−23, in: Director (ed.). Fauna of Rajaji National Park, Fauna of Conservation Areas: 5. Kolkata: Zoological Survey of India.

Sivakumar, K., S. Sathyakumarand G.S. Rawat. 2010. A preliminary review on conservation status of Shivalik landscape in northwest India. The Indian Forester 136(10): 1376−1381. http://www.indian

Zoological Survey of India. 2011. Animal discoveries 2011 — a summary. Zoological Survey of India/Ministry of Environment and Forests. Accessed at, 8 November 2012.

Zoological Survey of India. 2012. Contribution to the faunal diversity of India. Zoological Survey of India/Ministry of Environment and Forests. Accessed at, 8 November 2012.