Asiatic Black Bears

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    • Recently, Scientists from the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun and the Himachal Pradesh forest department have calculated the density and population of Asiatic black bears in two Protected Areas (PAs) of Himachal Pradesh.

    About Asiatic Black Bears

    • The scientists calculated the population density of the bears for Darangati Wildlife Sanctuary and Rupi Bhaba.
    • Names: The Asiatic black bear is also called the Himalayan bear, Tibetan bear, or moon bear.
    • The Asiatic black bear is one of eight extant species of the bear family: along with the American black bear, the sun bear, the spectacled bear, the brown bear, the polar bear, the sloth bear and the giant panda.
    • Omnivorous: The Asiatic black bear is omnivorous, eating insects, fruit, nuts, bees and honey, small mammals, and birds as well as carrion.
    • Habitat: Asiatic black bears live predominantly in forested areas, especially in hills and mountainous areas.
    • Distribution: Asiatic black bears are found over a wide area of southern Asia.
      • They occur along the mountains from Afghanistan, through Pakistan and northern India, Nepal, Sikkim, and Bhutan, into Burma and northeastern China.
      • They are also found in southeastern Russia, and on Taiwan and the Japanese islands of Honshu and Shikoku.
      • The bears are found in 83 protected areas of India spread across five states and 2 Union Territories in the Himalayas.
      • It is one of the large carnivore species having negative interactions with humans in the Indian Himalayas.
    • IUCN red list: It has been categorised as Vulnerable under the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species and is also listed under Appendix I of CITES and Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
    • Methods used to determine the population status of Asiatic black bears in India have been limited to questionnaires, sign surveys and genetic sampling using hair samples.

    Source: DTE