Himalayan Yak – UPSC Prelims

Himalayan Yak:
  • Himalayan Yak is a long-haired domesticated cattle found throughout the Himalayan region of the Indian subcontinent, Tibetan Plateau, Myanmar and as far north as Mongolia and Siberia.
  • They are accustomed to very cold temperatures and can survive up to -40 degrees but find it difficult when the temperature crosses 13 degrees.
  • The total yak population in India is about 58,000.
  • The Highest Yak Population is in Union Territories of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir.
  • It is followed by Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh and West Bengal and Uttarakhand.
  • IUCN Status : Vulnerable
Importance of Himalayan Yak:
  • Himalayan Yak is a lifeline for pastoral nomads living in the higher reaches of the Himalayas as it provides them milk, fibre, and meat.
  • The long hair of yak has water-resistant properties and can be a good packing material. Nomads also use yak hair to weave material for making tents.
Decline in Yak Population:
  • According to a report, the number of yaks across the country has declined by almost 24.7% between 2012 and 2019.
  • The reasons include climate change, heat, diseases, surgical operations among others.

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