Indian Gaurs facing Mutation

India with the help of World wide Fund had recently held an estimation exercise of Indian Gaur in the Nilgris forest division of Tamil Nadu. This is the first estimation exercise being held in region. According to the exercise, there are around 2,000 Gaurs across the division.

Highlights

The report generated by the exercise says that the animals in the region are prone to human-animal conflicts due to habitat loss, fragmentation. The Indian Gaurs in the region, specifically are inhabiting tea estates and human settlements.

The Gaurs are also affected by the invasive spread of the invasive species of plants in the reserve forest.

Also, the increase in resorts and buildings in the region has led to erection of fences that limit the traditional pathways used by the Gaurs to move between the habitats.

Indian Gaurs

The IUCN Red List has put the Indian Gaurs under Vulnerable category. The Wild Life Protection Act, 1972 has put the Indian Gaurs under Schedule I.

Indian Gaurs are the largest and tallest in the family of wild cattle. They are grazing animals.

Mutation

The scientists have found that a rare genetic condition of leucism is observed in Indian Gaurs. Leucism causes partial loss of pigmentation in the skin pattern of the animal. This is not good for the animals as leucism might compromise the immune system of the animals and reduce their survival rates.

The mutation is caused due to low quality diet, environmental alterations, follicular damage, in-breeding, pollution, etc.

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