As a result, among Indian species, only 12.6 percent of mammals and 4.5 percent of birds are endemic, contrasting with 45.8 percent of reptiles and 55.8 percent of amphibians.Notable endemics are the Nilgiri leaf monkey and the brown and carmine Beddome's toad of the Western Ghats.

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India has three archipelagos — Lakshadweep, which lies off the south-western coast; the volcanic Andaman and Nicobar Islands island chain to the southeast, and the Sunderbans in the Ganges Delta of West Bengal.

The climate varies from tropical in the south to more temperate in the Himalayan north, where elevated regions receive sustained winter snowfall.

The third tallest mountain in the world, it lies on the border with Nepal.

India has several major rivers, including the Ganges, the Brahmaputra, the Yamuna, the Godavari, the Kaveri, the Narmada, and the Krishna.

India constitutes the major portion of the Indian sub-continent, which sits atop the Indian Plate and the northwesterly portion of the Indo-Australian Plate.

India's northern and north-eastern states are partly situated in the Himalayan Range.

There are the tropical rainforests of the Andaman Islands, Western Ghats, and Northeast India, and the coniferous forest of the Himalayas.

Between these extremes lie the sal-dominated moist deciduous forest of eastern India; teak-dominated dry deciduous forest of central and southern India; and the babul-dominated thorn forest of the central Deccan and western Gangetic plain.

Human encroachment has posed a threat to India's wildlife.

In response, the system of national parks and protected areas, first established in 1935, was substantially expanded.

This keeps the bulk of the Indian sub-continent warmer than locations at similar latitudes.