From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Pobitora WLS
Mains level : Read the attached story
- Veterinarians have confirmed anthrax as the cause of death of two Asiatic water buffaloes in central Assam’s Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary.
What is Anthrax?
- Anthrax is a serious infectious disease caused by gram-positive, rod-shaped bacteria known as Bacillus anthracis which can be found naturally in soil.
- It can occur in four forms: skin, lungs, intestinal, and injection.
- It is characterized by blisters around swellings on the skin, chest pain, vomiting, diarrhoea and fever.
- It commonly affects domestic and wild animals around the world. Cattle, sheep, goats, antelope, and deer can become infected when they breathe in or ingest spores in contaminated soil, plants, or water.
- People can get sick with anthrax if they come in contact with infected animals or contaminated animal products.
- Contact with anthrax can cause severe illness in both humans and animals. Anthrax is not contagious, which means you can’t catch it like the cold or flu.
About Asiatic water buffaloes
- The wild water buffalo (Bubalus arnee) also called Asian buffalo, Asiatic buffalo and wild Asian buffalo, is a large bovine native to the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia.
- It is found in the Central Indian Forests and is mostly restricted to the states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
- Asiatic buffalo has the widest horn span among all bovids found globally.
- They are of enormous economic significance as they are the direct ancestors of all the breeds of the domestic buffaloes.
- However, over time their population has decreased at an alarming rate because of various reasons such as poaching, loss of habitat and breeding with domestic buffaloes.
- It has been listed as an Endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
- It is listed under Schedule-1 of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.
- It is included in CITES Appendix-III and is legally protected in Bhutan, India, Nepal, and Thailand.
- Pobitora WLS is a wildlife sanctuary on the southern bank of the Brahmaputra in Morigaon district in Assam, India.
- It has the highest concentration of one-horned rhinos in the world and is often called ‘Mini Kaziranga’ due to similar landscape and vegetation.
- Pobitora is running a successful Rhino breeding program within its sanctuary.
- It is running under Indian Government as “Indian Rhino vision 2020”.