Pralad Yonzon Conservation Forum- Series 108

  • By : resources_himalaya
  • January 10, 2022

Pralad Yonzon Conservation Forum- Series 108

Event Date : 2022-01-7

Resources Himalaya Foundation and Environmental Graduates in Himalaya successfully organized our monthly talk program PYCF with Dr. Rabin Kadariya, Conservation Officer at National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) on January 7, 2022. He presented a talk on “Genetics, Ecology and Conservation of Himalayan Black Bears (Ursus thibetanus laniger) in Nepal.” With short welcoming note and introduction of guest speaker from the EGH coordinator, Ms. Srijana Sigdel, the platform was handed over to the speaker.
Mentioning different species of Asiatic black bears, their global distribution and the conservation background, the talk focused on the genetic diversity, distinct ancient lineage of black bears which was revealed by non-invasive surveys along with the seasonal diet and general habitat characteristics of Himalayan black bears in the Annapurna Conservation Area (ACA). The mean expected heterozygosity of this study was higher than other reported Asiatic black bear populations. The estimated minimum population density in ACA (11.5 bears/ 100km2) was less than in Western Himalayas (17 bears/100 km2. No signature of population sub-structure was found among the ACA populations, indicating a high degree of admixture throughout the conservation area. The intraspecific phylogeny demonstrates that the wild population of Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus laniger) from Nepal are genetically distinct than Ursus thibetanus tibetanus and belong to an ancient lineage of continental populations. Whole mitogenomes (without the VNTR’s of the CR) were more informative and provided high resolution of Asiatic black bear phylogeny than CR and cytochrome b region.Contrary to expectation, the bear presence was found to be highly co-existing with livestock grazing, which might be due to temporal differences in foraging of livestock and bears. The study also found that they are not so affected by human disturbances. Himalayan black bears preferred mixed broad-leaved, particularly Quercus dominant forests in ACA having a variety of foods and high abundance, which showed a similar forest habitat in Manaslu Conservation Area. These omnivorous animals were found to have preference to wild fruits/nuts in autumn and maize in rainy seasons. This tendency might be due to the high abundance and high energy content. The talk also gave an insight that the human-bear conflict management is important, in the area since the major food has been found to be agricultural crops. As the Himalayan black bear in ACA (Ursus thibetanus laniger) have been conserved with maintained genetic diversity, Dr. Kadariya appreciated the success of community based conservation in the area. The presentation was followed by a discussion session and ended with a vote of thanks from Dr. Ramji Bogati, Board Member at RHF.


Stay connected with us Get Our Newsletter