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Sloth Bear

United States Pckts Offline
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Anthony Malik
Sloth Bear comes close to our jeep . We saw this bear come out of the bushes & walk near our jeep . We keep a distance of 20 feet & he just kept walking straight in our direction. Tiger & a bear in the first hour of entering the forest.
Kanha




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-Oscar Wilde
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India Suhail Offline
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( This post was last modified: 10-24-2018, 11:28 AM by Suhail )

Interaction with wild dogs..



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United States Pckts Offline
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Ram Kumar Yadav Kanha
Sloth bear

October 2018


*This image is copyright of its original author
"Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is."
-Oscar Wilde
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( This post was last modified: 11-22-2018, 02:28 AM by Pckts )

Somesh Agrawal
Lucky to witness this Bear Fight at Panna national park

*This image is copyright of its original author
"Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is."
-Oscar Wilde
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Anesh AN Tadoba
Sloth Bear 

Summer Time


*This image is copyright of its original author
"Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is."
-Oscar Wilde
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India Sanju Offline
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Location: Our state's NSTR.
When Need turns to Greed, our Extinction happens.
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India Sanju Offline
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*This image is copyright of its original author

Bonding below the tree.

Picture By @sujathamurching

Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary, Karnataka
When Need turns to Greed, our Extinction happens.
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United States Pckts Offline
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Zeeshan Ali Pilibhit‎
# sloth bear#
# pilibhit tiger reserve #
# Utter pradesh India #
# tarai forest amazing# 

*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


One of the largest looking Sloth Bears I've seen^^
"Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is."
-Oscar Wilde
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"Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is."
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United States Pckts Offline
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"Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is."
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Guatemala GuateGojira Offline
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( This post was last modified: 08-20-2019, 07:19 AM by GuateGojira )

Size of the sloth bear: an unexpected confusion

Some days ago I decided to try to reconstruct all my database about the Indian animals that I had for the comparative images. Important to mention that I still need to create a new base for the animal comparisons just like the one that I used previously. However I found interesting in searching more information about an animal that I leave relegated to a third place in my tables, this is the sloth bear, an interesting but sometimes forgothed Indian treasure.

So, I started compiling sizes and weights from reliable sources, but like the deers (Sambar, Chital and Barasinga), it resulted that very few reliable sources exists, mostly are just copy-paste and do not quote they sources. Webpages are the worst, and some scientific papers present problems with they samples (ej, mixing adults with subadults). So, at the end, it resulted that only the "classic" sources do have reliable measurements in the flesh. Now, about the weights, there are more modern sources. Let's beggin.

Body size:
First, we have the famous tables of the Maharaja of Cooch Behar, which includes a table of sloth bears, here it is:

*This image is copyright of its original author


Now, as we know, the Maharaja always included the smaller animals in the text of the book, so after reading the entire document again, here is the table with the other specimens, mostly weights, but still very important.

*This image is copyright of its original author


These are really big bears, they actually looks more like Asiatic black bears, however check this picture just to make sure:

*This image is copyright of its original author


It seems that the bears of this region were almost giants of they species, because now that you will see the bears from other Indian regions, Nepal and specially Sri Lanka (in a next post), you will notice the BIG diference.

Let's see the bears from other regions of India, sadly, the sample is ridiculously small:

*This image is copyright of its original author


This table sumarize the information presented by Brander (1927) and Pocock (1941), and is very scanty. Now, if we compare these bears with those of northeast India, there is a big diference in size and weight, they almost look like a different subspecies. In that moment I remembered something important, the method of measurement was not the same, as the Maharaja of Cooch Behar measured his bears "over the curves" while those from Brander-Pocock were taken "between pegs". Now, as the Maharaha did not measured a single bear with the "between pegs" method, we can't make the correction like we made with his tigers and leopards. However, there is the document of Dr Boonie M. Blanchard about the study and measurements of grizzly bears in Yellowstone, check the table:

*This image is copyright of its original author


Now check the way to take the measurements:

*This image is copyright of its original author


If we infer that the diference between the bears measured "over the curves" and those measured "along its side" may be the same than the difference of the first method and "between pegs", then it will be necesary to substract c.32 cm to the measurements, and in this case, the largest bear from Cooch Behar will be of c.169 cm in head-body, just slightly longer than the large bear reported by Brander. The problem is how much he presed the tape with his bears, and to that we need to add the fact that bears have more curves than the cats, which can be put in a straigh line easier than bears.

Taking in count the picture of the large bears that I posted before (hunted by the Maharaha), I can estimate that a head-body lenght between 170-180 cm between pegs will be reliable and the average of the nine measured males measured in Cooch Behar will be about the same than the four bears in Central India (about 155 cm), using a correction factor of at least 30 cm. However, I don't think that this will be entiraly reliable, as this do not explain the huge weights and bigger chest girths recorded in the Cooch Behar region and that were not recorded in any other study in the Indian subcontinent at this moment (as far I know). Brander (1927) mentions a bear that he killed that probably weighed over 400 lb (c.180 kg) but he accepts the fact that these are exceptional specimens, but in northeast India this seems not the case!

Interestingly, Pocock (1941) consider unreliable all the measurements of bears over 6 ft (180 cm) long in Rowland Ward's Records of Big Game (1921) because of the fact that where measured "over the curves", so probably he also discarded the measurements of Cooch Behar because of the same reason.

Independently if we belive in Pocock and Brander, or if we believe in the records of Cooch Behar, there is a marked difference in sizes between these two populations, and although this is not quite marked in the tigers and rhinos (compared with other populations), it is with the deer and boar specimens, and now we know also with the sloth bears.

Weights:
There are more weights in modern studies than in the hunting records, however, is important to check the details.

Let's begin with Chitwant NP in Nepal, using the document of Tamang (1982) and that of Joshi et al. (1999) "Sociobiology of the myrmecophagous sloth bear in Nepal " document. The sample was of 24 bears, 9 adult males and 5 adults females:

*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


Here is the table with the 9 males of the sample, with the weights of all they captures:

*This image is copyright of its original author


If we use all the weights (n=20 captures) the average weight is of 114.7 kg, if we use the average of all the captures (n=9) the average will be 115.2 kg, and if we use only the maximum weights (n=9) the average will be 118.3 kg. It seems that the average figure of 114 kg came from taking in count all the captures.

If we use all the males and captures from Joshi et al (1999) and we add the male from Tamang (1982) the average weight of males (n=21) will be 114.2 kg (range: 92 - 131 kg).

Now, the document "Hematology of Sloth Bears (Melursus ursinus ursinus) from Two Locations in India" of Shanmugam et al. (2008) presents the following averages:

*This image is copyright of its original author


Certainly these figures are unreliable as it mix adults with subadults.

Finally, we have the study of Dr K. Yoganand which captured 12 bears in Panna TR, 6 males and 6 females, however in this case, while I tried to found information about the animals captured, I could not found anything in his thesis or work documents. It was Dr Johnsingh which give evidence of those weights:

*This image is copyright of its original author


He just present the range of the weights of the bears captured by Dr Yoganand, but they are quite similar to those of Nepal. We can roughly estimate an average of about 63 kg for females and about 110 kg for males (using only the extreme figures). This may suggest that males had similar weights in Panna TR and Chitwan NP, but that females are certainly smaller in Panna as the heaviest female with 80 kg is smaller than the average of 95 kg for the ones on Chitwan NP. 

Here we can see a picture of one of the bears captured in Panna TR:

*This image is copyright of its original author


Finally, a sample of three bears from North Bilaspur Forest Division, Madhya Pradesh, India, help us to complete an idea of the body mass of the bears in Central India. The document is "Radio-telemtry study of Sloth bear in India" of Chauhan et al. (2010) in the book "Telemetry in Wildlife Science":

*This image is copyright of its original author



Now, if we use the weights reported by Brander (1927) which are 90 kg and 145 kg, plus the two weights from Panna TR of 80 kg and 140 kg and the two males of NBFD with 120 kg and 130 kg, we can estimate an average weight of 117.5 kg (n=6; range 80 - 145 kg), which is more than the figure of 114.2 kg from Nepal. But remember that this figure ignores the other 4 males that we still don't know from Panna NP. With the females, we can do the same, using the two known weights from the females from Panna TR which are 45 kg and 80 kg with the female of 124 kg from Brander (1927) and the female of 95 kg from NBFD we can calculate an average of 86 kg (n=4; range 45 - 124 kg). Let's remember that Brander (1927) said that an average male in Central India will weigh 118 kg while the female will average 104 kg, although he don't provide the sample size for these figures. The figures from the studies seems lower than those of Brander in the case of the females but about the same in the case of males, but as we don't know the other 4 males and 4 females from the Panna study, we can only speculate.

Now, let's make a comparison with the three regions that we know:

Northeast India:
Males: 163 kg - n=10; range 133 - 192 kg
Females: 130 kg - n=2; range: 130 - 130 kg

Nepal:
Males: 114 kg - n=21; range: 92 - 131 kg.
Females: 95 kg - n=5; no range.

Central India:
Males: 117.5 kg - n=6; range 80 - 145 kg.
Females: 86 kg  n=4; range 45 - 124 kg.

While the figures of Northeast India (Cooch Behar, 1908) and Nepal (Tamang, 1982; Joshi et al., 1999) are the correct ones, those from Central India are just personal estimations and if we found the missing specimens the figures can be substantially diferent. However, it is clear to see that the specimens from Nepal and Central India are relativelly close in body mass but those from northeast India are clearly bigger in every sence.

So, this is the information that I have for the moment, if someone have more information feel free to share.

In a next post, the information about the size of the sloth bear in Sri Lanka, you will see a big difference, again.

Greetings to all. Happy
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Venezuela epaiva Offline
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(08-20-2019, 07:05 AM)YUGuateGojira Wrote: Size of the sloth bear: an unexpected confusion

Some days ago I decided to try to reconstruct all my database about the Indian animals that I had for the comparative images. Important to mention that I still need to create a new base for the animal comparisons just like the one that I used previously. However I found interesting in searching more information about an animal that I leave relegated to a third place in my tables, this is the sloth bear, an interesting but sometimes forgothed Indian treasure.

So, I started compiling sizes and weights from reliable sources, but like the deers (Sambar, Chital and Barasinga), it resulted that very few reliable sources exists, mostly are just copy-paste and do not quote they sources. Webpages are the worst, and some scientific papers present problems with they samples (ej, mixing adults with subadults). So, at the end, it resulted that only the "classic" sources do have reliable measurements in the flesh. Now, about the weights, there are more modern sources. Let's beggin.

Body size:
First, we have the famous tables of the Maharaja of Cooch Behar, which includes a table of sloth bears, here it is:

*This image is copyright of its original author


Now, as we know, the Maharaja always included the smaller animals in the text of the book, so after reading the entire document again, here is the table with the other specimens, mostly weights, but still very important.

*This image is copyright of its original author


These are really big bears, they actually looks more like Asiatic black bears, however check this picture just to make sure:

*This image is copyright of its original author


It seems that the bears of this region were almost giants of they species, because now that you will see the bears from other Indian regions, Nepal and specially Sri Lanka (in a next post), you will notice the BIG diference.

Let's see the bears from other regions of India, sadly, the sample is ridiculously small:

*This image is copyright of its original author


This table sumarize the information presented by Brander (1927) and Pocock (1941), and is very scanty. Now, if we compare these bears with those of northeast India, there is a big diference in size and weight, they almost look like a different subspecies. In that moment I remembered something important, the method of measurement was not the same, as the Maharaja of Cooch Behar measured his bears "over the curves" while those from Brander-Pocock were taken "between pegs". Now, as the Maharaha did not measured a single bear with the "between pegs" method, we can't make the correction like we made with his tigers and leopards. However, there is the document of Dr Boonie M. Blanchard about the study and measurements of grizzly bears in Yellowstone, check the table:

*This image is copyright of its original author


Now check the way to take the measurements:

*This image is copyright of its original author


If we infer that the diference between the bears measured "over the curves" and those measured "along its side" may be the same than the difference of the first method and "between pegs", then it will be necesary to substract c.32 cm to the measurements, and in this case, the largest bear from Cooch Behar will be of c.169 cm in head-body, just slightly longer than the large bear reported by Brander. The problem is how much he presed the tape with his bears, and to that we need to add the fact that bears have more curves than the cats, which can be put in a straigh line easier than bears.

Taking in count the picture of the large bears that I posted before (hunted by the Maharaha), I can estimate that a head-body lenght between 170-180 cm between pegs will be reliable and the average of the nine measured males measured in Cooch Behar will be about the same than the four bears in Central India (about 155 cm), using a correction factor of at least 30 cm. However, I don't think that this will be entiraly reliable, as this do not explain the huge weights and bigger chest girths recorded in the Cooch Behar region and that were not recorded in any other study in the Indian subcontinent at this moment (as far I know). Brander (1927) mentions a bear that he killed that probably weighed over 400 lb (c.180 kg) but he accepts the fact that these are exceptional specimens, but in northeast India this seems not the case!

Interestingly, Pocock (1941) consider unreliable all the measurements of bears over 6 ft (180 cm) long in Rowland Ward's Records of Big Game (1921) because of the fact that where measured "over the curves", so probably he also discarded the measurements of Cooch Behar because of the same reason.

Independently if we belive in Pocock and Brander, or if we believe in the records of Cooch Behar, there is a marked difference in sizes between these two populations, and although this is not quite marked in the tigers and rhinos (compared with other populations), it is with the deer and boar specimens, and now we know also with the sloth bears.

Weights:
There are more weights in modern studies than in the hunting records, however, is important to check the details.

Let's begin with Chitwant NP in Nepal, using the document of Tamang (1982) and that of Joshi et al. (1999) "Sociobiology of the myrmecophagous sloth bear in Nepal " document. The sample was of 24 bears, 9 adult males and 5 adults females:

*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


Here is the table with the 9 males of the sample, with the weights of all they captures:

*This image is copyright of its original author


If we use all the weights (n=20 captures) the average weight is of 114.7 kg, if we use the average of all the captures (n=9) the average will be 115.2 kg, and if we use only the maximum weights (n=9) the average will be 118.3 kg. It seems that the average figure of 114 kg came from taking in count all the captures.

If we use all the males and captures from Joshi et al (1999) and we add the male from Tamang (1982) the average weight of males (n=21) will be 114.2 kg (range: 92 - 131 kg).

Now, the document "Hematology of Sloth Bears (Melursus ursinus ursinus) from Two Locations in India" of Shanmugam et al. (2008) presents the following averages:

*This image is copyright of its original author


Certainly these figures are unreliable as it mix adults with subadults.

Finally, we have the study of Dr K. Yoganand which captured 12 bears in Panna TR, 6 males and 6 females, however in this case, while I tried to found information about the animals captured, I could not found anything in his thesis or work documents. It was Dr Johnsingh which give evidence of those weights:

*This image is copyright of its original author


He just present the range of the weights of the bears captured by Dr Yoganand, but they are quite similar to those of Nepal. We can roughly estimate an average of about 63 kg for females and about 110 kg for males (using only the extreme figures). This may suggest that males had similar weights in Panna TR and Chitwan NP, but that females are certainly smaller in Panna as the heaviest female with 80 kg is smaller than the average of 95 kg for the ones on Chitwan NP. 

Here we can see a picture of one of the bears captured in Panna TR:

*This image is copyright of its original author


Finally, a sample of three bears from North Bilaspur Forest Division, Madhya Pradesh, India, help us to complete an idea of the body mass of the bears in Central India. The document is "Radio-telemtry study of Sloth bear in India" of Chauhan et al. (2010) in the book "Telemetry in Wildlife Science":

*This image is copyright of its original author



Now, if we use the weights reported by Brander (1927) which are 90 kg and 145 kg, plus the two weights from Panna TR of 80 kg and 140 kg and the two males of NBFD with 120 kg and 130 kg, we can estimate an average weight of 117.5 kg (n=6; range 80 - 145 kg), which is more than the figure of 114.2 kg from Nepal. But remember that this figure ignores the other 4 males that we still don't know from Panna NP. With the females, we can do the same, using the two known weights from the females from Panna TR which are 45 kg and 80 kg with the female of 124 kg from Brander (1927) and the female of 95 kg from NBFD we can calculate an average of 86 kg (n=4; range 45 - 124 kg). Let's remember that Brander (1927) said that an average male in Central India will weigh 118 kg while the female will average 104 kg, although he don't provide the sample size for these figures. The figures from the studies seems lower than those of Brander in the case of the females but about the same in the case of males, but as we don't know the other 4 males and 4 females from the Panna study, we can only speculate.

Now, let's make a comparison with the three regions that we know:

Northeast India:
Males: 163 kg - n=10; range 133 - 192 kg
Females: 130 kg - n=2; range: 130 - 130 kg

Nepal:
Males: 114 kg - n=21; range: 92 - 131 kg.
Females: 95 kg - n=5; no range.

Central India:
Males: 117.5 kg - n=6; range 80 - 145 kg.
Females: 86 kg  n=4; range 45 - 124 kg.

While the figures of Northeast India (Cooch Behar, 1908) and Nepal (Tamang, 1982; Joshi et al., 1999) are the correct ones, those from Central India are just personal estimations and if we found the missing specimens the figures can be substantially diferent. However, it is clear to see that the specimens from Nepal and Central India are relativelly close in body mass but those from northeast India are clearly bigger in every sence.

So, this is the information that I have for the moment, if someone have more information feel free to share.

In a next post, the information about the size of the sloth bear in Sri Lanka, you will see a big difference, again.

Greetings to all. Happy
@GuateGojira
Thanks a lot for your valuable information
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Venezuela epaiva Offline
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Sloth Bear
Credit to @wanderingthru

*This image is copyright of its original author
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Guatemala GuateGojira Offline
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(08-20-2019, 07:05 AM)GuateGojira Wrote: With the females, we can do the same, using the two known weights from the females from Panna TR which are 45 kg and 80 kg with the female of 124 kg from Brander (1927) and the female of 95 kg from NBFD we can calculate an average of 86 kg (n=4; range 45 - 124 kg).

I found other weight from a female sloth bear reported by Hornaday (1901), which is a realiable source of information. The measurements are "between pegs" and the specimens says that it was fully adult:

*This image is copyright of its original author


So, using using the two known weights from the females from Panna TR which are 45 kg and 80 kg, the female of 124 kg from Brander (1927), the female of 95 kg from NBFD and the "new" female of 77 kg from Hornaday (1901), we can calculate an average of 84.2 kg (n=5; range 45 - 124 kg).

We still need to know the other 4 missing females from Panna TR, but this average give us a good idea of the size of the female sloth bears in India overall.

The text says "black bear" but because of the region and the old (and now unused) scientific name "Ursus labiatus", we know that this is no other than a sloth bear.
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