Himalayan Ibex a distinct species

      HEADLINES:

Himalayan Ibex a distinct species

      WHY IN NEWS:

They are divergent from Siberian Ibex, reveals a genetic study

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: IUCN: Conservation of Biodiversity

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS its important to know features and distribution. Do not forget its IUCN status !

For MAINS do you think poaching is highest in Himalayan typography ?

      ISSUE: 

A recent study by scientists of the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) has proved that Himalayan Ibex, distributed in the trans-Himalayan ranges of Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh, is a distinct species from the Siberian Ibex.

 

Himalayan-Ibex-UPSC
Himalayan-Ibex-UPSC SOURCES:https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/42398/10695735

SIBERIAN IBEX

  • Siberian ibexes are large and heavily built goats.
  • Their coats vary in color ranging from dark brown to light tan, with some reddish individuals.
  • There is usually a stripe of darker hair down the center of the back and onto the tail, and some males have saddle-like patches on the back in the winter.
  • Both sexes have beards and horns. The female’s horns are relatively small, and grey-brown in color.
  • Those of fully-grown males are black.
  • Both sexes have circular rings around their horns that represent annual growth, but males also have large transverse ridges along the front surface.
  • Siberian Ibex is a species of wild goat and is distributed in diverse habitats, ranging from cold deserts, rocky outcrops, steep terrain, high-land flats and mountain ridges to low mountains and foothills.

DISTRIBUTION

Siberian ibexes are found in Afghanistan, western and northern China (Primarily Xinjiang), north-western India, south-eastern Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, eastern Uzbekistan, Mongolia, northern Pakistan, and south-central Russia. 

POPULATION:

According to IUCN, the Siberian ibex is abundant and widespread throughout its range but no overall population estimate is available.

Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List.

DIET AND NUTRITION

Siberian ibexes are herbivores (folivores) and their diet mainly consists of alpine grasses and herbs.

Genetic analysis surprisingly revealed that I-T clade (referred to as Siberian Ibex) was estimated to have diverged from Alpine Ibex during the Pleistocene epoch (2.4 million years ago) than the Siberian Ibex during the Miocene-Pliocene boundary (6.6 million years ago)

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The genetic analysis conducted with the inclusion of the sequences available from all across the distribution ranges in Central Asia, Tajikistan, Altai Mountains, Mongolia and Russia provided first evidence to claim that Himalayan Ibex is genetically different from all other ranges of Siberian Ibex.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

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