Climate change is affecting all the living bodies on Earth, humans, animals, and plants alike. While humans are finding ways to live through the deteriorating weather conditions while animals especially some rare species are on the verge of extinction. Like the near extinction of Himalayan bears in northern Pakistan.
The Himalayan bears are usually brown or reddish-brown with a large build. In Pakistan, they are mostly found in the Deosai area of the northern plateau. A few years back the number of Himalayan bears was reportedly increasing however, with the changing climate change their number is also decreasing to the point of extinction.
According to a wildlife ranger, Mehdi Sadpara, who works at the Deosai National Park, the number of Himalayan bears in Deosai is 78. It was 15 when he started around 22 years ago. During an interview, he said “For many years we have observed the weather is changing. The rains are not on time. This year, there were no rains in June, July, and August.” Now the land is not the way it used to be. The greenery and flowers are becoming less and less with time. While reminiscing the old days he said “There used to be marshlands full of water here. The grass was green here, but this year everything has gone.”
Diversity is what makes a country more beautiful. Different types of eco-systems, rare species, and pleasant weather conditions are a part of nature. If anyone of it disappears it affects the whole area. Less diversity is one thing but that replicates its consequences on the surroundings as well. As in this case, the near extinction of Himalayan bears in northern Pakistan is causing human-animal conflicts.
One of the residents of Deosai, running a camp in the area since 1997, Ghulam Hussain said “The nutritional deficiency of bears can be gauged from the fact that I had my yak worth Rs80 to Rs100 thousand. It was out grazing one night and the bear ate it.” He further added that when people visit here often and offer food to the bears so, they don’t have to go anywhere for food. But when people visit Deosai less, the bears turn towards the village in search of food.
The climate conditions in Deosai are getting worse with each passing year. This is making living for the people and animals difficult in the area. Like the bears are nearing extinct in the area, the residents are also migrating to other areas to enjoy favorable weather conditions which will help them make living.
The government needs to take immediate action on both the near-extinction of Himalayan bears in northern Pakistan and the deteriorating climate conditions. As globally, the Himalayan bears have lost almost 98 percent of their population. And another 11 percent loss is expected by 2050. This includes the ones in Pakistan. If measures are not taken to prevent this, we will lose yet another rare species.