Sunday, March 20, 2011

Plight of the Himalayan Black Bear

A Himalayan Black Bear resting in the Kufri Nature Park, Simla, H.P. (India). Photo by Anita Chauhan at

Four species of bear are found in India - including, Himalayan Brown Bear, Himalayan Black Bear, and Sloth Bear. Listed as 'Vulnerable' in the IUCN Red List, the Himalayan Black Bear is hunted for its bile, which is supposed to have medicinal qualities and fetches a good sum for the poachers.

Arranging alternative employment for the poachers (most of whom are from the villages in or around the National park) will help in bringing down the incidents of poaching. For example, cultivation of high value medicinal plants, handicrafts, village museums, home-stays etc.
The bear-bile trade route has to be plugged. Also, building more anti-poaching patrol huts has shown to increase the efficiency of monitoring in remote inhospitable terrain.
Read about the plight of a bear in GHNP at -
Plight of the Himalayan Black Bear

IUCN Bear Specialist Group -

More about the bear bile problem -

An update:

The bear bile trade in Asia, TRAFFIC report


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