Wildlife Conservation Efforts

Species in news: Sloth Bear


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Sloth Bear

Mains level: NA

sloth bear

The first World Sloth Bear Day was observed yesterday to generate awareness and strengthen conservation efforts around the unique bear species endemic to the Indian subcontinent.

Sloth Bear

  • The sloth bear (Melursus ursinus) is an important species and endemic to the Indian subcontinent with small populations in Nepal and Sri Lanka.
  • Classified as “vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List, sloth bears are endemic to the Indian sub-continent and 90% of the species population is found in India.
  • Listed under Schedule I of the (Wildlife Protection) Act of India, 1972, the species has the same level of protection as tigers, rhinos and elephants.
  • Commercial international trade of the sloth bear (including parts and derivatives) is prohibited as it is listed in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
  • The sloth bears are omnivorous and survived on termites, ants and fruits.

Why protect sloth bears?

  • For a long time, sloth bears were exploited as dancing bears. Though the practice has been banned there are still a few cases of rescue.
  • Sloth bears are one of the most aggressive extant due to large human populations often closely surrounding reserves that hold bears.
  • Aggressive encounters and attacks are relatively frequent, though in some places, attacks appear to be a reaction to encountering people accidentally.


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