Bears at risk due to mining, poaching: wildlife group

Nov 26, 2012
The populations of four vulnerable bear species have fallen by at least 30 percent in the last 30 years due to rampant deforestation, mining and poaching, a conservation group said.

The populations of four vulnerable bear species have fallen by at least 30 percent in the last 30 years due to rampant deforestation, mining and poaching, a conservation group said on Monday.

The Asiatic black bear, sloth bear, sun bear and Andean bear have suffered a 30-49 percent decline and are expected to plunge further, a biologist from the IUCN-SSC Bear Specialist Group (BSG) said at a conference in New Delhi.

"These four species are declining in most places where they live. The reasons include a decrease in habitat, poaching for bear parts and human retribution over damaged crops," Dave Garshelis, co-chair of BSG, told AFP.

The population of sloth bears, which are native to South Asia, now stands at less than 20,000, and has entirely vanished from Bangladesh where the species used to roam freely.

"In India, mining and breaking up land to build roads has done a lot to destroy the habitat of sloth bears who cannot move to highland areas," Garshelis said.

The Asiatic bear population has also plummeted, due to excessive poaching to meet the surging demand for the bile found in the bear's , an ingredient used in .

"In China, bear numbers have fallen because of the in bear parts to satisfy the ," Garshelis said.

The five-day conference, which began on Monday, will see experts from 35 countries present research papers and reports on bear populations around the world.

Explore further: NOAA's Marine Debris Program reports on the national issue of derelict fishing traps

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Pa. bear hunt may set record

Nov 18, 2005

Pennsylvania Game Commission officials said this year's black bear season, which opens Monday, is likely to produce some exceptionally large bears.

Pet bears to be returned to wild in Vietnam

Mar 05, 2012

Seven Asiatic black bears kept as pets in small cages will be prepared for a return to the wild in Vietnam after their owner decided they were too big for captivity, an official said Monday.

Bulgaria to ban bear-hunting again

Nov 14, 2012

Bulgaria's government tabled on Wednesday a bill in parliament reinstating a ban on hunting brown bears that had been eased in 2010 after a man was mauled to death.

Chinese scientists call for ban on bear farming

Apr 26, 2012

(Phys.org) -- Three Chinese scientists, Xia Sheng, Haolin Zhang and Qiang Weng, all from Beijing Forest University, have published a correspondence paper in the science journal Nature, calling for a ban on the practice of bea ...

Polar bear habitats expected to shrink dramatically

Oct 20, 2011

Habitats of polar bears are expected to shrink dramatically over the coming decades, the International Union for Conservation of Nature warned Thursday, urging immediate action to save the Arctic animals.

Scientists want polar bear protection

Jun 20, 2006

A U.S. climate researcher is leading a team of 30 North American and European scientists in urging the polar bear be listed as a threatened species.

Recommended for you

New study charts the global invasion of crop pests

14 hours ago

Many of the world's most important crop-producing countries will be fully saturated with pests by the middle of the century if current trends continue, according to a new study led by the University of Exeter.

Zambia lifts ban on safari hunting

16 hours ago

Zambia has lifted a 20-month ban on safari hunting because it has lost too much revenue, but lions and leopards will remain protected, the government said Wednesday.

The devastating spread of the mountain pine beetle

23 hours ago

When the mountain pine beetle began blazing a path across forests in British Columbia and Alberta, nobody could have imagined the extent of the damage to come. But as the insect devastated pine forests and ...

User comments : 0