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In a first, Himalayan yaks to be insured

Context:

Recently, the National Research Centre on Yak (NRCY) at Dirang in Arunachal Pradesh’s West Kameng district has tied up with the National Insurance Company Ltd. for insuring the high-altitude yak.

Relevance:

Prelims, GS-III: Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About the Himalayan Yak
  2. The Need for Insuring Yaks

About the Himalayan Yak

  • The Yak belong to the Bovini tribe, which also includes bison, buffaloes, and cattle.
  • IUCN Red List status of the Wild Yak (Bos mutus) is Vulnerable (IUCN considers the wild species of yak under Bos mutus, while the domestic form is considered under Bos grunniens), and it is also listed in Appendix 1 of CITES and Schedule 1 of the Indian WildLife (Protection) Act of 1972.
  • It can tolerate temperatures as low as negative 40 degrees Celsius as they are adapted for living at high altitudes with long hair that hangs off their sides like a curtain, sometimes touching the ground.
  • Yaks are highly valued by Himalayan peoples. According to Tibetan legend, the first yaks were domesticated by Tibetan Buddhism founder Guru Rinpoche.
  • They are also known as the lifeline of pastoral nomads in high altitudes of the Indian Himalayan region.
  • They are endemic to the Tibetan Plateau and the adjacent high-altitude regions.
  • The yak-rearing states of India are Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir.

The Need for Insuring Yaks

  • The countrywide population trend shows that the yak population has been decreasing at an alarming rate. The total yak population in India is about 58,000.
  • The increasing trend of environmental temperature at high altitudes is resulting in heat stress in yak during warmer months of the year. This, in turn, is affecting the rhythms of physiological responses of the animal.
  • As wars and conflicts have led to the closing of borders, the yaks outside borders are thought to be suffering from inbreeding due to the lack of availability of new yak germplasm from the original yak area.

-Source: The Hindu

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September 2022
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