- February 27, 2023
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Section :Species in news
Context: A new study has found that maintaining forest cover and preventing fragmentation of habitats while minimising human disturbance is crucial for long-term conservation of bears outside protected wildlife reserves across India.
More on the News:
- Scientists from Bengaluru-based Centre for Wildlife Studies, the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS)-Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), and the University of Florida studied sloth bears in a forest corridor of Madhya Pradesh.
- They have published their findings in their latest scientific paper titled ‘Safe space in the woods: Mechanistic spatial models for predicting risks of human–bear conflicts in India’ in the journal Biotropica.
- In the recent study, researchers conducted indirect sign surveys (documenting pugmarks and faeces) to understand where sloth bears are found and why. They combined these results with information on bear attacks on people, gathered through interview surveys of local communities.
- Bear attacks on people were more likely to happen in areas with denser forests, rough terrains and locations with high bear presence.
- It is a Myrmecophagous bear species.
- They are endemic to the Indian sub-continent and 90% of the species population is found in India with small populations in Nepal and Srilanka.
- It occurs in a wide range of habitats including moist and dry tropical forests, savannahs, scrublands and grasslands below 1,500 m (4,900 ft) on the Indian subcontinent, and below 300 m (980 ft) in Sri Lanka’s dry forests. It is regionally extinct in Bangladesh.
- Sloth bears are found in all parts of the country except Jammu and Kashmir and northeastern States.
- They are nocturnal animals.
- It feeds on fruits, ants and termites.
- Sloth bears do not hibernate.
- Protection Status
- IUCN red list: listed as ‘vulnerable’
- Wildlife Protection Act of India, 1972 : listed under Schedule I
- Animal-Human conflict: Over the past few years there has been a rise of incidents of human sloth bear conflict in States like Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra among other states.
- Exploitation: Sometimes captured and kept as pets, which can lead to their exploitation and mistreatment.