Critical Reasoning for CLAT, Passage- Himalayan

Monday, April 19th, 2021

In 1968, when the book, The Population Bomb, was published, there were a little over 350 crore people on Earth. Today, the whopping 750 crore human population has made an impact on most flora and fauna. Taking into consideration this lack of abatement in human population growth, an international team of researchers observes how these ecological disruptions affect the life of ungulates (hoofed large mammals). The team notes that humans have brought about changes in the Himalayan realm – there is an increase in cashmere goats, and also, stray dogs have started hunting ungulates including threatened, endangered, and rare ones such as kiang, chiru, saiga and takin.

The team also draws similarities between the two giant mountain ranges – the Himalaya and the Andes, both homes to unique ungulate fauna. Both are currently experiencing increased deglaciation, human colonisation, climate alteration, livestock and tourism-induced changes.

A paper published in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution stresses that the “world’s 400 million free-ranging dogs – through disease, predation, and displacement – have changed the face of ungulate communities on every continent.” Dogs prey on saiga, blue sheep, argali, chiru, kiang, goral, ibex, sambar, chital and blackbuck.

Joel Berger from Wildlife Conservation Society, the first author, witnessed multiple predation attempts on takin and blue sheep in Bhutan. He writes about seeing up to four dogs in 11 attacks of takin; three of nine calves were individually separated from the groups and disappeared. “Their fates remained unknown… death appeared likely.”

The high elevation dogs of Bhutan also harbour tapeworms which when consumed via grasses by yaks can cause coenurosis, a neurological disease that may result in about 10% mortality of young yaks.

Human activities such as the seasonal relocation of agro-pastoralists to collect the worm fungus Cordyceps can also have an impact on the ungulates. These high-elevation environments have experienced minimal direct human disturbance, and this movement can lead to the displacement of native species. Previous studies have shown that many apex predators have been lost due to fear, habitat conversion and loss of prey.


Source with edits and revisions: Editorials, The Hindu


1. Which of the following can be inferred from the passage?
a. The prediction done in the book The Population Bomb was highly stretched.
b. Dogs are bigger threat to environment that humans.
c. Stray dogs carries tapeworm.
d. Humans have changed the ecology in Himalayan ranges.


2. What is the role played by the claim that dogs prey on saiga, blue sheep, argali, chiru, kiang, goral, ibex, sambar, chital and blackbuck in the argument?

a. It acts as a premise of the argument.
b. It acts as the conclusion of the argument.
c. Both A and B
d. Neither A nor B

3. Which of the following strengthens the inference drawn by the author?

a. Humans amicable coexist with the flora and fauna in and around their residence
b. The free ranging dogs are only found in Himalayan region.
c. Increase in human population means increase in number of stray dogs.
d. The ecological balance gets disturbed every time the number of stray dogs increases.


4. Which of the following represent the main point made by the author?

a. The book The Population Bomb predicted the population explosion correctly.
b. Stray dogs causes to 10% fatalities amongst yaks.
c. Exploding human population led to ecological disruption in various regions.
d. The high-elevation environments are most vulnerable to disturbance due o human contact.


5. What is the role played by the author’s description of the similarity discovered between Himalayan and Andes by the team, in relation to the conclusion?

a. It supports the conclusion by providing an example.
b. It supports the conclusion by providing a contrary example.’
c. It weakens the conclusion by providing an example.
d. It is unrelated to the conclusion.









1. D
2. A
3. C
4. D
5. A