The dramatic variation in geography and climate seen across the subcontinent has resulted in India being blessed with a rich bio-diversity and nearly every kind of habitat.
The highest mountains in the world, the Himalayas alone offer a wide spectrum of terrain and wildlife, natural cover varying with altitude. There are evergreen forests and meadows below the snowline. Lower down are temperate forests of short stout trees, while the foothills are marked by deciduous forests. Then there are the great river plains, the Thar desert in the West (Rajasthan), the mangrove swamps in the East and the dark volcanic terrain of the Deccan plateau. The Eastern and Western Ghats, running along the two coasts of India, trap monsoon rains to create dense rain forests in many places. This varied habitat sustains no less than 350 species of mammals, 2100 types of birds (local as well as migratory), and around 350 kinds of reptile.