Himalayan Brown Bears | UPSC
Outlook bleak for Himalayan brown bears
WHY IN NEWS:
Study predicts massive habitat decline by year 2050 due to climate change
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Flora and Fauna : IUCN
For PRELIMS go with the IUCN status global and also regional . Both are different ! We have mentioned Global status in this article .
For MAINS capture threats , habitat conservation process and the behaviour of the animal .
The study carried out in the western Himalayas by scientists of the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) .
- The Himalayan brown bear is one of the largest carnivores in the highlands of the Himalayas.
- This reduction in habitat will also result in loss of habitats from 13 protected areas (PAs)
- Eight of them will become completely uninhabitable by the year 2050, followed by loss of connectivity in the majority of PAs.
- Simulation suggests a significant qualitative decline in remaining habitats of the species within the protected areas of the landscape
- It is considerably smaller than its more famed relatives the Grizzly and the Kodiak bears.
- However, it s still a very large bear with a thick reddish brown coat with no clear chest markings is seen.
- This species exists in small isolated populations in the fragmented alpine and subalpine habitats.
- Himalayan brown bears live in remote parts of the western Himalayas.
- Its populations are small and isolated, and it is extremely rare in many parts of its range.
- The Himalayan brown bear is primarily a plant-eater with 90% of its food consisting of fruits, figs, leaves, and grass.
- It is locally also called ‘spang drenmo’ meaning ‘grass-bear’ or a vegetarian bear.
- This is the least arboreal bear and is largely terrestrial as an adaptation to life in the rolling uplands above the tree line .
- This study though was from 2006 and since then, there has been little data available on the population or distribution of brown bears in India.
- This is mostly due to their elusive nature and the rugged landscape where they survive which makes it difficult for researchers.
- Political boundaries block connection of the last few strongholds of the Himalayan brown bear.
- Globally elusive carnivores are severely impacted by habitat loss, human disturbance, and climate change.
- Increased instances of human–bear conflict which is a serious conservation threat to the long term viability of the species.
- The elevation gradient in which the brown bear is distributed is most vulnerable to global warming.
- As this elevation belt is getting warmer faster than other elevation zones of Himalayas.
- Such studies are very crucial as the habitat of such species is highly vulnerable to climate and unless we plan in advance, we cannot sustain its population in future.
SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB | Himalayan Brown Bears | UPSC