World Sloth Bear Day

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    • The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has declared October 12 as the ‘World Sloth Bear Day’. 
      • The first ever World Sloth Bear Day celebrations were held by Wildlife SOS in Agra in collaboration with International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the UP Forest Department

    Sloth Bear

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    • It is a myrmecophagous bear species. 
    • Habitat: 
      • They are endemic to the Indian sub-continent and 90% of the species population is found in India with small populations in Nepal and Srilanka.
        • Sloth bears are found in all parts of the country except Jammu and Kashmir and northeastern States. 
    • Characteristics:
      • They are nocturnal animals. 
      • It feeds on fruits, ants and termites.
    • IUCN red list
      • It is listed as ‘vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List.
    • Wildlife Protection Act of India, 1972 
      • It is listed under Schedule I of the (Wildlife Protection) Act of India 1972 which gives the species the same level of protection as tigers, rhinos and elephants.
    • Species of bears 
      • There were eight species of bears across the world of which four were sloth bear, Himalayan black bear, brown bear and Malayan sun bear.
    • Challenges:
      • Animal-Human conflict: Over the past few years there has been a rise of incidents of human sloth bear conflict in States like Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra among other states.
      • Exploitation: 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. 

    Source: TH