INDIA GAUR (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env and Eco)

News-CRUX-10     5th July 2024        

Context: After several decades, the Indian gaur, locally extinct, has been sighted once again in the Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve (NSTR) in Andhra Pradesh.

Indian Gaur

  • About: The Indian Bison, or Gaur, is the largest and tallest wild cattle species.
  • Scientific Name: Bos gaurus
  • Distribution: Gaurs are native to South and Southeast Asia.
  • Habitat: Gaurs inhabit evergreen and semi-evergreen forests, along with moist deciduous forests and open grasslands. 

oThey prefer hilly terrains below 1,500-1,800 m altitude with large, undisturbed forest tracts and abundant water.

  • Features: Indian Bison can reach lengths of 240-340 cm and heights of 170-230 cm. Adult males weigh 600-1500 kg, while females weigh 400-1000 kg. Conservation Status: Listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List, protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 (Schedule I), and included in CITES Appendix I.

Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve (NSTR)

  • Location: Situated in the Nallamala hill ranges of Andhra Pradesh, spanning Guntur, Prakasam, and Kurnool districts.
  • Establishment: Designated as a Tiger Reserve in 1983, it is the largest in India, covering 5,937 sq. km.
  • Name Origin: Named after the Nagarjuna Sagar Dam and Srisailam Dam, major dams in the area.
  • Wildlife Sanctuaries: Includes Rajiv Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and Gundla Brahmeswaram Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • River: The Krishna River runs through the reserve for approximately 270 kilometers.
  • Flora: Andrographis nallamalayana and Dicliptera beddomei.
  • Fauna: Tigers, Leopards, Wolves, Wild Dogs, Jackals, and prey species like Sambar, Chital, and Wild Boar. The Krishna River hosts Muggers, Otters, and Turtles.