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Koya Tribe Help Conserve Indian Bison

  • Context (TH): The Koyas of Papikonda Hills switched from Bison horns to palm leaves for their traditional flute, Permakore, as a conservation measure for the Indian Bison of Eastern ghats.

Indian Bison (Bos gaurus)

  • Indian bison (or Gaur) is the largest among the wild cattle and the bovids (mammals with cloven hoofs and unbranched hollow horns).
  • The domesticated form of the gaur is called Gayal or Mithun.
  • Distribution: It is native to South, Southeast, and East Asia. In India, it is found in parts of the Himalayan foothills, NE India, Eastern Ghats, and Western Ghats.
  • It is an attraction of Wayanad, Nagarhole, Mudumalai, and Bandipur national parks.
  • Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary in Tripura is India’s only natural breeding centre for bison.
  • Habitat: It is found in evergreen, semi-evergreen, moist deciduous and dry deciduous forests.
  • Threats: Habitat loss, hunting, invasive species and diseases.
  • Conservation status: IUCN: VU | CITES: Appendix I | WPA: Schedule I

Indian Bison

Koya Tribe

  • Koya tribe is found in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, and Odisha.
  • Traditionally, Koyas were soldiers of the palegars (feudal lords) and practised podu cultivation.
  • Today, Koyas are mainly settled cultivators and artisans.

Papikonda Hills

  • The Papikondalu hills of Andhra Pradesh are also known as the ‘Bison Hill range’.
  • In 1978, a section of the hill range was declared a sanctuary, with the Indian Bison as its megafauna.
  • The Papikonda National Park was declared in 2008.
  • The Polavaram irrigation project and clearing forest for Podu cultivation threatens the park.

Papikonda National Park

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