The status of Sloth bears (Melursus ursinus) outside of protected areas in Nepal is unclear. This new project supported by Bears in Mind aims to investigate Sloth bear distribution, habitat use and conservation threats for the first time in a critical corridor of Lumbini Province.
Anecdotal records of bear signs, seizure of bear skin and bile, and very recent capturing of a bear cub in retaliation to a conflict event suggest a threatened Sloth bear population. Therefore, this project seeks to break barriers to Sloth bear conservation by initiating bear-specific research and conservation activities using camera traps, sign surveys, and evaluation of habitat and conservation threats.
The project also seeks to bring awareness and ignite bear monitoring and conservation through community outreach activities. Outputs from the project will be valuable for local-level conservation and development planning and for formulating a national bear conservation strategy and action plan for Nepal.