BINTURONG AND SMALL-CLAWED OTTER
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- Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve in Assam, recently welcomed two new mammalian species.
- The newcomers are the elusive binturong (Arctictis binturong), colloquially known as the bearcat, and the small-clawed otter (Aonyx cinereus).
Binturong (Arctictis binturong)
- The binturong is a large, robust mammal with a unique appearance.
- It has long, shaggy fur that is predominantly black, sometimes with a silver or grayish sheen.
- The prehensile tail is as long as its body, aiding in climbing and balancing.
- Their face is characterized by small, rounded ears and a distinctive snout.
- Binturongs are native to the forests of Southeast Asia, including countries like India, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
- They are primarily arboreal and spend a significant amount of time in trees.
- Binturongs are known for their slow and deliberate movements.
- They are primarily nocturnal, being more active during the night.
- These creatures are excellent climbers and spend a considerable amount of time in trees, where they move with agility.
- Binturongs are omnivores with a diet that includes fruits, leaves, small mammals, birds, and eggs.
- They have a keen sense of smell, which they use to locate food in their forest habitat.
- The binturong is currently classified as "Vulnerable" on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.
- Threats to their population include habitat loss due to deforestation and the pet trade.
Significance in Kaziranga National Park:
- The recent addition of binturongs to Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve in Assam highlights the park's biodiversity.
- As a Schedule I species under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972, efforts are likely in place to ensure their protection and conservation in this region.
- The small-clawed otter is the smallest otter species, with a slender and streamlined body.
- It has short, sleek fur that is usually dark brown on the back and lighter on the underside.
- One of its distinctive features is its small, partially webbed claws, which are ideal for manipulating objects and catching prey.
- Small-clawed otters are found in a variety of aquatic habitats, including rivers, streams, mangroves, and coastal areas.
- They are well-adapted to both freshwater and saltwater environments.
- Small-clawed otters are highly social animals and are known for living in extended family groups.
- They are primarily diurnal, being active during the day, and are excellent swimmers.
- The diet of small-clawed otters primarily consists of fish, crustaceans, mollusks, and amphibians.
- They use their sensitive fingers to locate and capture prey in water.
- Small-clawed otters are vocal animals, using a variety of sounds, including whistles, chirps, and squeaks, to communicate with each other.
- The small-clawed otter is listed as "Vulnerable" on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.
- Threats include habitat loss, pollution, and illegal wildlife trade.
Significance in Kaziranga National Park:
- The recent addition of small-clawed otters to Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve in Assam highlights the park's commitment to biodiversity conservation.
- Being designated under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 emphasizes the need for protective measures to ensure their survival in this region.
- Small-clawed otters have a monogamous mating system, forming long-term pair bonds.
- They build nests using vegetation, and both parents are involved in raising the offspring.
Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve
- Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve, located in the northeastern state of Assam, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most renowned wildlife conservation areas in the world. Here's a comprehensive overview:
- Kaziranga National Park was established in 1905 as a response to the decline in the population of the Indian one-horned rhinoceros.
- It was declared a Tiger Reserve in 2006.
- The park is situated on the banks of the Brahmaputra River in the northeastern state of Assam.
- It covers an area of approximately 1085 square kilometers.
- Kaziranga is known for its incredible biodiversity and is home to a variety of wildlife species.
- The park is particularly famous for the Indian one-horned rhinoceros, which is one of the main conservation success stories in the region.
- Other notable species include Bengal tigers, Indian elephants, wild water buffaloes, and swamp deer.
- Kaziranga is a haven for bird enthusiasts, with over 500 bird species recorded.
- The park is home to a significant population of the endangered Bengal florican and the great Indian hornbill.
- The park's diverse ecosystems include grasslands, wetlands, and forests.
- The wetlands in Kaziranga are crucial for the park's ecology, providing habitat and sustenance for numerous species.
- Kaziranga has been successful in conservation efforts, particularly in the case of the Indian one-horned rhinoceros.
- The park's conservation model has been recognized globally as a success story in wildlife protection.
Threats and Challenges:
- Kaziranga faces threats from habitat loss, poaching, and human-wildlife conflict.
- Flooding during the monsoon season is a natural challenge that affects both wildlife and the park's infrastructure.
UNESCO World Heritage Site:
- Kaziranga was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985 in recognition of its unique natural beauty and outstanding universal value in biodiversity conservation.
Tiger Reserve Status:
- The park was declared a Tiger Reserve in 2006, acknowledging its importance in the conservation of the Bengal tiger.
- The park and tiger reserve are governed by the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972, providing legal protection to its flora and fauna.
Q. Consider the following statements:
1.Kaziranga National Park is situated on the banks of the Subansiri River.
2.Binturongs are primarily ground-dwelling mammals, rarely venturing into trees.
3.The Small-Clawed Otter is the largest otter species.
How many of the above statements are correct?
A) Only 1
B) Only 2
Answer: D) None of the statements is correct.
Therefore, none of the statements provided is correct.