IUCN Current Affairs - 2020

Indian Gaurs facing Mutation

India with the help of World wide Fund had recently held an estimation exercise of Indian Gaur in the Nilgris forest division of Tamil Nadu. This is the first estimation exercise being held in region. According to the exercise, there are around 2,000 Gaurs across the division.

Highlights

The report generated by the exercise says that the animals in the region are prone to human-animal conflicts due to habitat loss, fragmentation. The Indian Gaurs in the region, specifically are inhabiting tea estates and human settlements.

The Gaurs are also affected by the invasive spread of the invasive species of plants in the reserve forest.

Also, the increase in resorts and buildings in the region has led to erection of fences that limit the traditional pathways used by the Gaurs to move between the habitats.

Indian Gaurs

The IUCN Red List has put the Indian Gaurs under Vulnerable category. The Wild Life Protection Act, 1972 has put the Indian Gaurs under Schedule I.

Indian Gaurs are the largest and tallest in the family of wild cattle. They are grazing animals.

Mutation

The scientists have found that a rare genetic condition of leucism is observed in Indian Gaurs. Leucism causes partial loss of pigmentation in the skin pattern of the animal. This is not good for the animals as leucism might compromise the immune system of the animals and reduce their survival rates.

The mutation is caused due to low quality diet, environmental alterations, follicular damage, in-breeding, pollution, etc.

Asiatic Lion population increased

On June 10, 2020, PM Modi on Twitter announced about the increase in population of Asiatic Lions.

Highlights

The Asiatic Lion population has increased by 29%. It was 523 in 2015 and has increased to 674 in 2020. India has recorded 36% increase in distribution area of lions. It was 22,000 square kilo metres in 2015. In 2020, the spread increased to 30,000 square kilo metres. The Asiatic Lions are currently in the protected areas of agro-pastoral landscape of Saurashtra, Gujarat.

How did the population increase?

The Asiatic Lion population increased steadily due to the following reasons

  • Community Participation
  • Emphasis on Technology
  • Proper Habitat Management
  • Wildlife Healthcare
  • Steps that minimize human-lion conflicts.

Asiatic Lions

The Asiatic Lion is listed under Endangered in IUCN red list. This is mainly because of their small population size and area of occupancy.

The Asiatic Lions are found in western and middle Asia. In India there were found in the region between the Indus river in the west, till Bengal in the east and till Narmada river in the south. Today they are restricted to Gir Forest National Park.

In India, the Asiatic Lions are listed in Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.