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Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 1, p. 213.


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CHAPTER V
ZOOLOGY
ANIMAL life is not only abundant in British India, but it is Richness
remarkably varied. The contrast between the damp, tropical, of Fauna
richly wooded hill ranges of Malabar or Tenasserim and the
cold barren islands of Ladakh in the Upper Indus drainage area
is absolute, and the difference in the animals found is as great
as in the climate. The beasts, birds, reptiles, and insects that
inhabit the dense forests east of the Bay of Bengal and the
mangrove swamps of the Burmese coast, where the annual
rainfall exceeds ioo inches, could not exist in the almost rain-
less deserts of Sind and the Punjab. Although the Fauna of
the dry regions is poor, that of the damp forests of Malabar,
the Eastern Himalayas, Assam, and Burma is singularly rich;
and the combined effect of local richness and of great differ-
ences of climate is that the number of kinds of animals in-
habiting India and its dependencies is very large, far surpass-
ing, for instance, that of the species found in the whole of
Europe, although the superficial area of Europe exceeds that
of the Indian Empire by about one-half.
The following figures show the number of genera and species
of Vertebrates described in the eight volumes of the Fauna of
British India (I888-98). The lists include animals found in
Ceylon as well as those of India and Burma:-
Genera. Species.
Mammals . . r115 401
Birds 593 I,6I7
Reptiles . 146 534
Batrachians 24 130
Fishes . 35r 1,418
A few additions have since been made, but the increase is
small except in the fishes. The number of Indian Invertebrata
is very large, but few groups are sufficiently known for a trust-
worthy estimate to be made. Of moths alone 5,618 species
were described by Sir G. Hampson as having been discovered
up to I896, and some hundreds have since been added.
Nearly the whole Indian area is included within the zoolo- Distribu-
gical region known as Indo-Malay, Oriental, or Indian, which tion of
comprises South-eastern Asia and the neighbouring islands.



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