Himalayan Serow – a Himalayan mammal, somewhere between a goat and an antelope, has been confirmed as the newest creature to be spotted in various locations in India such as in Assam (Manas Tiger Reserve) and in Himalayan cold desert region Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh.
|Himalayan Serow – Key Facts|
|Official State Animal||
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What are Himalayan Serows?
- Himalayan Serows are medium-sized mammals with a large head, thick neck, short limbs, long, mule-like ears, and a coat of dark hair.
- They resemble a cross between a goat, a donkey, a cow, and a pig.
- Himalayan serows are herbivores.
- The onlookers described it as an extremely shy animal, and informed that its sighting is possible only when it migrates to lower elevations.
- They are typically found at altitudes between 6,500 to 13,000 feet i.e. 2000m to 4000m.
- Eastern, Central, and Western Himalayas inhabit the Himalayan Serow, but not the Trans Himalayan region.
- The Trans-Himalayas Mountain Region is located to the north of the Great Himalayas. It is also called Tibet Himalayan Region. It consists of Kailash, Ladakh, Zaskar and Karakoram mountain ranges.
Go through the list of Highest Peaks in States of India on the linked page.
About the Specie
- The Himalayan serow, scientific name Capricornis sumatraensis thar, is restricted to the Himalayan region.
- It is a subspecies of the mainland serow (Capricornis sumatraensis).
- There are several other species of Serows and all of them are found in Asia.
Aspirants can go through the following relevant links to prepare comprehensively for the exam-
|Great Indian Hornbill||Indian Crocodile|
|Asiatic Lion||Indian Bison|
|Himalayan Ibex||Asian Elephant|
|Great Indian Bustard||Nilgai – Asian Antelope|
|Hoolock Gibbons||Sloth Bear|
|Houbara Bustard||Himalayan Brown Bear|
Status of Himalayan Serow Conservation
- According to the IUCN, the animals have experienced significant declines in population size, range size and habitat in the last decade, and this is expected to continue due to intensive human impact. The Himalayan Serow is categorised as ‘vulnerable’ in the IUCN Red List, earlier it was assessed as ‘near threatened’.
- The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora & Fauna (CITES) has placed them on the most sensitive listing which prohibits any commercial trade of these animals.
- The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, provides absolute protection to the Himalayan Serow under Schedule I.
|What is Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972?
Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 provides for the safeguard and protection of the wildlife (flora and fauna) in the country in order to ensure environmental and ecological security.
Latest Sightings of Himalayan Serow
- The animal was recently spotted near Hurling village in Spiti, Himachal Pradesh. This is the first recorded human sighting of the serow in Himachal Pradesh.
- 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, generally Serows not found at this altitude, and never before has a serow been seen in the Himalayan cold desert.
- Spiti Valley is known for its thriving population of endangered Snow Leopards.
- The Manas Bansbari-Mathanguri forest close to the border with Bhutan witnessed the sighting of the Himalayan serow.
- The serow has been spotted for the first time in the tiger reserve or anywhere else in Assam. Go through the information on Tiger Conservation in India on the given link.
- Himalayan serow has been spotted in the Great Himalayan National park, Kullu and upper region of Chamba District.
- Rupi Bhaba Wildlife Sanctuary has also witnessed the Himalayan Serow. The Sanctuary is locally well known for its extensive alpine pastures. Its numerous treks, trails and passes connect Rupi Bhaba Wildlife Sanctuary with the Pin Valley National Park and Great Himalayan National Park in its neighbourhood. Check out the list of National Parks in India on the linked page.
Information in the article will be helpful to prepare for the upcoming IAS exam –