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  • 12 October, 2022

  • 4 Min Read

World Sloth Bear Day

World Sloth Bear Day

  • On October 12, 2022, the inaugural World Sloth Bear Day was marked in an effort to raise awareness about and support conservation efforts for this rare bear species that is only found on the Indian subcontinent.
  • The International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) Species Survival Commission (SSC) sloth bear expert team accepted the proposal made by Wildlife SOS India, an organisation that has been working to protect and conserve sloth bears for more than 20 years, and declared the day to be observed globally.

About Sloth Bear:

  • One of the eight bear species that can be found worldwide is the sloth bear.
  • In contrast to other bear species, sloth bears frequently carry their offspring on their backs and their main food sources are termites and ants.
  • They also enjoy honey, hence their alternate name of "honey bear."
  • Sloth bears do not go into hibernation.
  • They are fast and considered one of the most dangerous wild animals.
  • They are also known as the bear species with the least amount of research.
  • Melursus Ursinus is the scientific name.
  • Habitat: Currently Sloth bears are only found in India, Nepal, and a subspecies in Sri Lanka.
  • India is home to roughly 90% of the world's Sloth Bear population.
  • IUCN Red List status is vulnerable.
  • Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.
  • Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
  • Threats: An ethnic group known as the Kalandars, who were mostly poor, engaged in a practice known as a dancing bear, in which captured sloth bears are tortured in order to make them dance.
  • Several reports claim that their population has declined by 40 to 50% in the last three decades, owing primarily to habitat loss, fragmentation, poaching, and increased human-bear conflict.
  • Conservation efforts: Sloth bears are being rescued and reintroduced to their natural habitat by Wildlife SOS Bear rescue centres, where they are also receiving veterinary care.
  • Furthermore, in Kalandar community is working to prevent the poaching of wild animals, Wildlife SOS collaborated with the Kalandars to provide them with alternative sources of income and access to education.
  • Through the declaration of World Sloth Bear Day, Wildlife SOS and the IUCN-SSC (Species Survival Commission) Sloth Bear Expert Team hope to set an example for the rest of the world in promoting the conservation of Sloth bears and their habitats across their range.

Read Also: Animals-of-India-UPSC

Source: Times Of India

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