Wildlife Conservation Efforts

Species in news: Himalayan Brown Bear


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Himalayan Brown Bear

Mains level : Not Much

A recent study has predicted massive habitat decline for the Himalayan brown bear (Ursus arctos isabellinus) by 2050 due to climate change.

Try this PYQ:

Q. The Himalayan Range is very rich in species diversity. Which one among the following is the most appropriate reason for this phenomenon?

(a) It has a high rainfall that supports luxuriant vegetative growth.

(b) It is a confluence of different bio-geographical zones.

(c) Exotic and invasive species have not been invasive species have not been introduced in this region.

(d) It has less human interference.

Himalayan Brown Bear

  • The Himalayan brown bear is one of the largest carnivores in the highlands of Himalayas.
  • It occupies the higher reaches of the Himalayas in remote, mountainous areas of Pakistan and India, in small and isolated populations, and is extremely rare in many of its ranges.
  • While the brown bear as a species is classified as Least Concern by the IUCN, this subspecies is highly endangered and populations are dwindling.
  • It is ‘Endangered’ in the Himalayas and Critically Endangered in the Hindu Kush.

What did the study say?

  • The study carried out in the western Himalayas by scientists of Zoological Survey of India, predicted a massive decline of about 73% of the bear’s habitat by the year 2050.
  • These losses in habitat will also result in loss of habitat from 13 protected areas (PAs), and eight of them will become completely uninhabitable by the year 2050, followed by loss of connectivity in the majority of PAs.
  • The study highlights for the need to adopt preemptive spatial planning of PAs in the Himalayan region for the long-term viability of the species.
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