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Himalayan Yak

2022 NOV 29

Preliminary   > Environment and Ecology   >   Species extinction & protection   >   Species in news

Why in news?

  • The Himalayan yak has been accepted as a ‘food animal’ by the scientific panel of Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI), after recommendation from Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying (DAHD).
    • Food Animals are those that are raised and used for food production or consumption by humans.
  • The categorisation is expected to help check the decline in the population of the high-altitude bovine animal by making it a part of the conventional milk and meat industry

About Himalayan Yak:

  • The Yak belongs to the Bovini tribe, which also includes bison, buffaloes, and cattle.
  • It can tolerate temperatures as low as-40 degrees Celsius.
  • Adapted for living at high altitudes, they have long hair that hangs off their sides like a curtain, sometimes touching the ground.
  • Compared with domestic cattle, the rumen of yaks is unusually large, which allows them to consume greater quantities of low-quality food at a time, and to ferment it longer so as to extract more nutrients.
  • They are known as the lifeline of pastoral nomads in high altitudes of Himalayan region.
  • Yaks are traditionally reared under a transhumance system which is primitive and unorganized.


  • They are endemic to the Tibetan Plateau and the adjacent high-altitude regions.
  • Yaks are most comfortable above 14,000 feet.

Yak-rearing States/UTs of India:

  • Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.


Consider the following statements regarding Himalayan Yak:

1. They are traditionally reared under a transhumance system

2. Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) has recently approved the Himalayan Yak as a ‘food animal’.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2