Source: The post is based on the article “A day to explore bear necessities” published in The Hindu on 13th October 2022.
What is the News?
The first World Sloth Bear Day was observed recently to generate awareness and strengthen conservation efforts around the unique bear species endemic to the Indian subcontinent.
About Sloth Bear
The sloth bear (Melursus ursinus) was an important species and endemic to the Indian subcontinent. Sloth bears were omnivorous and survived on termites, ants and fruits.
IUCN Red List: Vulnerable
CITES: Appendix I
Wildlife (Protection) Act of India, 1972: Schedule I
Habitat: Around 90% of the species’ population is found in India. A small population of bears is also found in Nepal and Sri Lanka.
Sloth bears are very fond of honey, hence their alternative name of “honey bear”.
Sloth bears do not hibernate.
Threats: a) For a long time, sloth bears were exploited as dancing bears by the nomadic Kalandar community members, b) There has been a rise of incidents of human sloth bear conflict in States like Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra among other states, c) Habitat loss, and d) They are also poached for body parts and hunted because of their aggressive behaviour and destruction of crops.