April 20, 2024

Lukmaan IAS

A Blog for IAS Examination

KAZIRANGA: TWO NEW SPECIES IDENTIFIED

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TAG: GS 3: ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY

THE CONTEXT: Two mammal species, the binturong (Arctictis binturong) and small-clawed otter (Aonyx cinereus), were newly found in Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve by Wildlife enthusiasts in Assam.

EXPLANATION:

  • The binturong and small-clawed otter had been spotted in the region but had not been properly identified or recorded.
  • This identification increases the number of mammal species in Northeast India’s biggest national park to 37.

BINTURONG

  • Binturong also known as bearcat, is a mammal native to south and southeast Asia, is not easily found due to its nocturnal and arboreal habits.
  • It is also uncommon in much of its range and in India it is known to have a distribution exclusive to the Northeast.
  • It has been assessed as a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature because of its declining population.
  • Deforestation and fragmentation in their habitat threatened their populations.
  • They live in elevated areas and prefer dense forests with a lot of canopy cover.
  • The binturong is a shy nocturnal animal which makes it difficult to spot.

SMALL CLAWED OTTERS

  • The small-clawed otter, the smallest otter species in the world, has a wide distribution range, extending through India in South Asia to eastwards in Southeast Asia and southern China.
  • In India it is found mostly in the protected areas of West Bengal, Assam, and Arunachal Pradesh and in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and some parts of Kerala in the Western Ghats region..
  • The species is listed under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972.
  • It is also classified as a vulnerable species in the IUCN Red List.
  • It faces threat due to habitat destruction, poaching for pelt and reduction in prey.
  • There are three different species of otters found in India. Among them, smooth coated otters and Eurasian otters are already found in Kaziranga and now small-clawed species is also among them.

Source:

https://scroll.in/article/1063819/kaziranga-two-new-species-identified

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