Melursus ursinus - Sloth Bear

Sloth Bear

Environment: Sloth bears are present in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bhutan. Until recently they were also known to occur in Bangladesh, but their continued existence there is uncertain: the last documented records are from the late 1990s.

Status: Vulnerable A2cd+4cd; C1 ver 3.1

Population trend: decreasing

Native Habitat: Bhutan; India; Nepal; Sri Lanka

Habitat Loss / threats: Major threats to this species are habitat loss and poaching (Johnsingh 2003, Chauhan 2006). Habitat has been lost, degraded, and fragmented by overharvest of forest products (timber, fuel wood, fodder, fruits, honey), establishment of monoculture plantations (e.g., teak, eucalyptus), settlement of refugees, and expansion of agricultural areas, human settlements, and roads (Santiapillai and Santiapillai 1990). Poaching, mainly for the commercial trade in bear parts, has been reported (Servheen 1990, Garshelis et al. 1999b), but its current extent and impact on bear populations is uncertain.