Daily Current Affairs Environment and Biodiversity

Himalayan Serow

Context: A couple of nature guides had spotted the Himalayan serow- a goat-antelope (resembling a cross between a goat, a donkey) in the Manas Tiger Reserve in Assam (80-110 metres above sea level)

Analysis

  • The animal is a high-altitude dweller who is usually found 2,000-4,000 metres above sea level.
  • Earlier it was sighted for the first time in the Himalayan cold desert Spiti Region in HP.
  • Spiti lies in the cold mountain desert region of the western Himalaya, and its valley floor has an average elevation of 4,270 metres above sea level.
  • Serows are generally not found at this altitude, and never before has a serow been seen in the Himalayan cold desert.
  • There are several species of serows, and all of them are found in Asia. 
    • The Himalayan serow is restricted to the Himalayan region. 
    • Himalayan serows have experienced significant declines in population size, range size and habitat in the last decade due to intensive human impact.
    • Himalayan serow is now been categorised as ‘vulnerable’ in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
  • It is listed under Schedule I of The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, which provides absolute protection.
    • Himalayan serows are herbivores and are typically found at altitudes between 2,000 metres and 4,000 metres (6,500 to 13,000 feet). 
  • They are known to be found in the eastern, central, and western Himalayas, but not in the Trans Himalayan region.

 

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