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2 February 2022 Sloth bears and anthropogenic risks in Karnataka, India
Attur Shanmugam Arun, Thomas Robert Sharp, Shanmugavelu Swaminathan, Yogaraj Pannerselvam, Kartick Satyanarayan, Geeta Seshamani
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Abstract

Sloth bears (Melursus ursinus) fall victim to anthropogenic hazards, including snares, small crude explosive devices, open wells, and roads, as well as gunshots, barbed wire, and mob attacks. While conducting rescue efforts in the southern state of Karnataka, India, Wildlife SOS collected data on 20 snare incidents, 8 crude explosive device incidents, 7 roadkill incidents, 5 open well incidents, 2 gunshot attacks, 1 barbed wire incident, and 1 mob attack that occurred between 2006–2007 and 2013–2019. Female sloth bears fell victim to anthropogenic risks more often than did males (68% vs. 32%), and 23% of the females had cubs or were pregnant. This study suggests that anthropogenic risks form a threat to the sloth bear populations in Karnataka, India. Our suggestions to mitigate these threats to sloth bears include stiffer penalties for the use of snares and crude explosive devices, putting lips on all open wells, and working with road agencies and forest departments to construct additional wildlife crossings.

Attur Shanmugam Arun, Thomas Robert Sharp, Shanmugavelu Swaminathan, Yogaraj Pannerselvam, Kartick Satyanarayan, and Geeta Seshamani "Sloth bears and anthropogenic risks in Karnataka, India," Ursus 2022(33e3), 1-8, (2 February 2022). https://doi.org/10.2192/URSUS-D-21-00005.2
Received: 27 April 2021; Accepted: 1 September 2021; Published: 2 February 2022
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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KEYWORDS
India
Melursus ursinus
open wells
poaching
roadkill
sloth bear
snares
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