Pumas | UPSC

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Pumas UPSC

Pumas | UPSC

      HEADLINES:

Pumas adapt behaviour to save energy for mountain survival: Study

      WHY IN NEWS:

The new study conducted by Queen’s University in Belfast, UK

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Conservation of Biodiversity : IUCN : Flora and Fauna

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS go through popuplation distribution and IUCN Status .

For MAINS do you think international efforts should focus such issues ?

      ISSUE: 

Findings are important as many top predators are being forced to move into areas where they have to expend more energy to travel

PUMAS

Pumas, also known as mountain lions or cougars.

  • They have an ability to assess their surrounding terrain.

KEY FINDINGS

  • The cats travel more slowly while ascending or descending mountains to conserve energy.

Top predators were moved to‘energetically challenging environments’ as the areas they usually inhabited were being occupied by humans.

  • The areas that these animals move into, force them to use more energy and cause declines in their populations.
  • The puma is the top feline predator in the Americas, along with the jaguar.
  • However, its native range is diminishing due to increasing agriculture and urbanisation.

Pumas | UPSC

  • The animals spent much of their time resting (60 per cent).

They spent less than 10 per cent of the day travelling, further conserving their energy.

  • Researchers also found that pumas traversed hillsides to decrease the angle that they climb.

IUCN STATUS

CONSERVATION STATUS

  • Pumas once ranged from the Pacific to the Atlantic, but they were eliminated from eastern North America within 200 years of colonization.

The puma population is not increasing and more are being killed now than ever before because of habitat destruction, trophy hunting, poaching, poisoning and being struck by vehicles on roadways.

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Pumas are extremely athletic. They can run up to 50 mph (80 kph) and jump as high as 15 feet (4.6 meters).
  • Pumas don’t roar.
  • They use whistles, screams, squeaks and purrs to communicate.
  • Though pumas are problems for ranchers or farmers, they have a very important role in the environment.
  • They keep populations of animals lower down on the food chain in check.

Without them, for example, those same farmers may have their crops overrun by hungry rabbits.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • Puma habitat in California is predicted to diminish 35 per cent by 2030.
  • Road collisions, fires and poaching of their wild prey are other threats.
  • As a result, the animals are being forced to move into ‘the steepest and most energetically costly mountainous parts of their range’.
SUGGESTED READING : https://www.livescience.com/27267-pumas.html 
     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB | Pumas | UPSC

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