Here is an essay on the ‘Wildlife in Andaman and Nicobar Islands’ especially written for school and college students.
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands lie in the Bay of Bengal on a curve between Cape Negrais in Burma and the westend of Sumatra. The islands have the flora and fauna which are typical representatives of the islands. The climate is tropical and receives both southwest and northeast monsoons. These islands are the home of tropical rain forests. Giant dipterocarpus, terminalias and Andaman padauk characterize these forests.
The wildlife of Andaman is similar with the wildlife of Burma whereas the Nicobar fauna are similar to Malaysia.
There are about 35 species of mammals, a number of interesting reptiles and variety of marine fauna. The notable mammalian fauna are glory of Bats (16 species) and Rats (13 species); while ungulates and squirrels are completely absent which are characteristic of the surrounding regions and other islands.
The Andaman Pig is one of the large mammals found in Andaman which is smaller than one found on the mainland. The Crab-eating Macaque, Palm Civet and various species of deer are found here.
Most of these deer species like Cheetal, Barking deer, Hogdeer and Sambhar were introduced into the Andamans during 1920; and except sambhar, all survived to varying degrees. The Palm Civet also introduced in these islands has survived in the most places and has become a serious pest to poultry and crops like banana, cocoa, coffee etc.
Among the important marine mammals found around the islands are the Dugong (after which the Dugong Creek in Little Andaman is named), the False Killer Whale and the Dolphin.
There are 240 species and sub-species of avifauna (reported by Humayun Abdul Ali) in which there are 92 migratory, 32 residents and 112 resident endemic species. Among the endemic species are such rare species like the Narcondum Hornbill, Nicobar Pigeon and Megapode which has Australian affinities and incubates its eggs by placing them in an earthern mound. The other interesting birds found in the area are White-bellied Sea-eagle, While-breasted Swiftlet and number of Fruit-Pigeons.
In the tidal-creeks and the mangrove-swamps all along the coastal areas of the Andamans & Nicobar, resides Saltwater Crocodile and Turtles (in which Green Turtle is common and breeds in profusion on South Sentinel Islands). The Robber or Coconut Crab has reported on the South Sentinel Island which is the only arthropod included in Schedule-I of Wild Life (Protection) Act 1972 being rare and endangered species.
A number of lizards inhabit in these areas in which the largest is the Water Monitor. The Green Lizard is also peculiar to these islands. There are about 40 species of snakes among which the poisonous species include Cobra, Viper, Coral and Sea-snakes. Python can be found in the Nicobar group.