The mammals include elephant, the gaur of Indian bison, Indian buffalo, nilgai, chousingha or four-horned antelope (unique to India), black buck or Indian antelope, ghor-khur or Indian wild ass (restricted to the Rann of Kachchh) and great one-horned rhinoceros (now confined to eastern India). There are also several species of deer, viz., the rare Kashmir stag, swamp deer, spotted deer, musk deer, thamin or brow-antlered deer (found in Manipur) and mouse deer.
Among the animals of prey, the Indian lion is remarkable being the only lion to be found in the world outside Africa. Bird life in India is very rich and colourful. Lions are found in the rocky hills and forests of the Gir area of Gujarat, Tigers in the Sunderbans and the Brahmaputra valley.
Lion- tailed macaque, Nilgiri mongoose and Malaber River of the southern hills and the spotted deer. Leopards are found in many forests, Wolves roam the open country. Cheetahs are found in the Deccan plateau.
The peacock is the national bird. Several other birds like the pheasants, geese, ducks, mynahs, parakeets, pigeons, cranes, hornbills bills and sunbirds inhabit the forests and wet lands. The rivers and lakes harbour crocodiles and gharials, the latter being the only representative of a crocodilian order in the world. The salt water crocodile is found along the eastern coast and in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
A project for breeding crocodiles with United Nations Development Programme assistance, started in 1974, has been instrumental in saving the crocodile from extinction and increasing their population to about 3,000. Twelve schemes are in operation in different states for breeding of crocodiles and releasing them in the wild.