w w w . i n d i a w i l d s . c o m
about Sabyasachi Patra
image gallery
contact IndiaWilds

User Tag List

Results 1 to 2 of 2

Thread: Gujarat government to file review plea against lion shifting today

  1. #1
    Join Date
    0 Post(s)
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Gujarat government to file review plea against lion shifting today

    Gujarat government to file review plea against lion shifting today
    Ajay Umat & Himanshu Kaushik, TNN | May 14, 2013, 04.43 AM IST

    AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat government will file a review petition on Tuesday to stop Gir lions from being translocated to Madhya Pradesh.

    Officials are set to file a review petition against the Supreme Court's April 15 order which said some Lions should be sent to the neighbouring state's Palpur Kuno Sanctuary.

    An important technical ground that the government will raise is that the provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, have been violated. The act says that no translocation process can be started without the permission of the chief wildlife warden of the state where he animal belongs. The permission has to be sought even if one animal has to be shifted for research. The Gujarat government alleges that no such permission was sought and yet the Madhya Pradesh government had started investing in Palpur Kuno.

    This would be the second such plea in the apex court after Congress MLA from Manavadar Jawahar Chavda filed a petition on similar grounds a week ago. Both petitions underline the dangers to the lions in Madhya Pradesh including rampant poaching.

    The state government's petition covers about a dozen issues, and says that the fear of epidemic in Gir's lions is imaginary. The cats are not critically endangered species, it says. It adds that Madhya Pradesh has no clear roadmap for translocation.

    The has also stated that the lions has dispersed to a much larger area outside Gir covering 10,000 sq km and is found in seven different natural pockets in the state.

    Top forest officials have included in the petition the fact that the gene pool of Gir lions has improved and not deteriorated as suggested in the project report for translocation. Gujarat forest officials will quote the study 'Genetic variation in Asiatic lions and Indian tigers' jointly conducted by the Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad; Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata; and Center for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics, Hyderabad.

    Besides, the government says that opinion of independent experts have not been taken into account by the court. Many of those whose opinions were considered were a part of the translocation process.

    Questioning Madhya Pradesh's claim that there is enough prey for the lions in Palpur Kuno, that plea says, "There is no cogent explanation why the population of prey at Kuno as recorded by Raman showed an unnatural, dramatic increase in numbers. The flaws and limitations in the Cheetah Task Force Report 2011 have been highlighted by (Ravi) Chellam in his note and are not repeated here."
    Mrudul Godbole

  2. #2
    Join Date
    New Delhi
    0 Post(s)
    2 Thread(s)


    This is unfortunate. However, it was expected that Gujarat Government which had made lions as a prestige issue will file the review petition. Conservation in India is not seen above self by many. The welfare of the species is not the main consideration in this argument made by Gujarat.

    There are many species that had been wiped out due to anthropogenic pressure and have been limited to few pockets. That is not a ground for the particular State Government to resist introduction of the species in their former range which falls outside their State boundaries.

    Out of 410 lions as per the 2010 census, 92 died in 2011 and 2012. So 22.62% of the species has been wiped out in two years time. One should realise that it is extremely easy for the entire population to be wiped out in one epidemic. It might be pertinent to remind everybody about the bubonic plague situation in Surat in 1994. It was first noticed when large number of rats were found dead and then people started faling ill and dying. About three lakh people including workers in the diamond trade left the city in two days.

    In Gir, due to paucity of water cement waterholes have been created. The sanitation of these cement waterholes will never be the same as naturally occurring waterholes. There is a lot of anthropogenic pressures in Gir. We can never predict from where an epidemic can start. It is dangerous to boast that epidemic will never occur of the proportions witnessed in Serengeti and Mara. Infact out of the 2500 lions there roaming over an area of some 40,000 square kilometers, 30% had died. That number is more nearly two times the population of Gir lions. So an epidemic of smaller scale than that was witnessed in Serengeti and mara can wipe out our lions.

    The Hon'ble Supreme Court has already mentioned in its judgment that no state can claim ownership of a wild animal. So the point of seeking permission from the CWW of Gujarat is not valid argument.

    Madhya Pradesh has relocated villages out of Kuno and these have been done with the express permission of the MoEF/NBWL (National Board of Wildlife). So Madhya Pradesh does have a clear road map.

    In fact it is not just a case of lions shifting to Madhya Pradesh. It is not a one time job. There has to be shifting of lions to Kuno several times to augment the genetic pool. Some of the male lions from Kuno later need to be shifted out of Kuno to maintain genetic diversity. It is a scientific exercise which needs to be carried out for the next couple of decades.

    I hope the Hon'ble Supreme Court disposes of these petitions as fast as possible so that the lions can be shifted within the 6 months timeframe given in the order.


Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts