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Thread: Lions: When will they get a second home?

  1. #1
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    Default Lions: When will they get a second home?

    Found this article in ToI.

    Gir lions can breathe easy for now

    AHMEDABAD: The standing committee of the National Board for Wildlife which met in New Delhi on Wednesday has asked experts to review and give

    their opinions on the scientific and social aspects of translocation of Asiatic Lions from Gir to Kuno Palpur in Madhya Pradesh (MP).

    Union minister of environment and forest and chairman of the standing committee Jairam Ramesh accepted Gujarat government's point of view and asked the panel if there were any other options available.

    Principal chief conservator of forest, Gujarat, Pradeep Khanna and principal secretary SK Nanda raised the point that earlier attempts to translocate lions to Chandraprabha in Uttar Pradesh had failed. Also, it was pointed out that conservation efforts of Gujarat were much better than any other state which had led to the increase in lion population.

    The duo also said that lions need peaceful co-existence with the people in their surroundings. "People of Gujarat take pride in living in harmony with lions which would not be the case in MP," they added.

    Official sources said that it was also proposed that MP can get lions from the various zoos in the country and they can then release the second generation of the big cats in the wild. Officials said during the meeting, the experts also raised doubts over conservation aspect of zoo-bred lions.

    Nanda said the minister has asked experts to give their opinions and papers on doubts raised over translocation by the Gujarat government. The Union ministry would then, based on these, file their reply in the Supreme Court to a petition by Biodiversity Conservation Trust of India, a Delhi-based NGO seeking transfer of lions from Gujarat to MP.

    He said that it was a victory for the state as Gujarat's viewpoint was accepted in principle by the minister. Meanwhile, the mail and fax campaigns against shifting of lions continued through Wednesday. Officials said that over 1,500 mails and 500 faxes were sent to Ramesh and the Wildlife Trust of India.

    The original article in TOI can be found at the following link

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/n...ow/5020207.cms
    Regards,
    Mrudul Godbole

  2. #2
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    Default Lions need a second home soon.

    I don't understand the heading of this news item. How can the Gir lions breathe easy when they are confined to one particular location?

    They can be wiped out by a single stroke of disease outbreak, earthquake, flooding etc. In 1962, an epidemic had virtually decimated the lion population in Ngorongoro crater in Tanzania. In 1993 outbreak of rhinderpest had killed thousands of lions in Serengeti. These are well known facts of history. Why do we turn a blind’s eye to these facts?

    The lions need an alternate home to prevent such an eventuality.

    I won’t consider the reintroduction of lions in Chandraprabha Sanctuary to be a complete failure. It gives us valuable lessons.

    The Chandraprabha Sanctuary was created in the Varanasi Forest Division as these forests had similarities in terrain as well flora and fauna. The total area of the sanctuary was only 37 Sq miles with a perimeter of 28 square miles. One lion and two lionesses were captured and translocated to this place. The lions had reached the Chandraprabha Sanctuary on 21st Nov, 1957. In feb 1958 one of the females was seen with a cub there by increasing their numbers to 4 in 1958.
    The population in 1960 was 5
    In 1962 it was 7
    And in 1965 it was 11.

    11 lions in a small area of 37 square miles. It is quiet natural that these lions started moving out of the sanctuary and were reported far away in Mirzapur forests. After that they vanished.

    Certainly, not much thought had gone behind selecting a suitable habitat at that time in terms of space. There were also a lot of anthropogenic pressures. Cattle grazing was rampant. No body knows how the lions vanished. They probably succumbed to poaching and poisoning.

    This reintroduction story tells us that reintroduction is not a problem. The lions can survive outside Gir and Gujarat (though the officials from Gujarat won’t like to believe it).

    Gujarat should learn from the Assam. Assam is known for their one horned rhinos. They allowed rhinos to be transferred to Dudhwa. Politics should not be at the cost of our natural heritage. I hope the politicians in Gujarat, especially the Hon'ble Chief Minsiter Shri Narendra Modi will realise the situation and would allow relocation of lions to help secure the future of our lions in the wild.

    Cheers,
    Sabyasachi


    We can keep on playing politics. Conservation efforts of Gujarat are better than MP or not don’t matter. Conservation efforts can always be strengthened.

  3. #3
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    Default MP says Kuno Palpu sanctuary can house 60 Asiatic lions

    Sharing a PTI news about the carrying capacity of Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary.
    Sabyasachi

    MP says Kuno Palpu sanctuary can house 60 Asiatic lions

    STAFF WRITER 14:0 HRS IST New Delhi, Nov 12 (PTI) Waiting anxiously to bring the 'king of the jungle' to Kuno Palpur sanctuary, Madhya Pradesh Government has claimed that the park spread over 900 sq kms can house as many as 60 Asiatic lions.

    With Gujarat Government refusing to part with its "pride" from Girnar forests which is the only habitat of lions in the country, the Centre has proposed "soft release" of the zoo-bred lions in Kuno Palpur sanctuary as an alternate home to the animal.

    The Centre has already identified pure-gene Asiatic lions in the Delhi and Hyderabad zoos for relocating them in Kuno Palpur with an aim to strengthen the population of the endangered species in the country.

    "Almost 60 lions can be accomodated in the sanctuary having 900 sq km of buffer area.

    The link to the source article is given below:
    http://www.ptinews.com/news/373442_M...-Asiatic-lions

  4. #4
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    Default

    It is definitely better to find a second home for lions in Kuno for many good reasons which Sabyasachi has listed.

    Dr. Johnsingh - India's seniormost wildlife biologist vouches Kuno as home for lions for the prey density is good and habitat is very similar to Gir .(Ref: Field Days).

    However it is disturbing to note that lions from captivities are planned for relocation in to Kuno. It is better to persuade Gujarat to part few wild lions for translocation.

    A pride comprising more young lionesses can be identified for translocation as they can easily accustom to the new conditions and can bringdown prey for the whole pride.

    It is doubtful whether a captive lion can survive in wild conditions.

  5. #5
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    Default Move to relocate lions from Gir reserve splits BJP

    The Narendra Modi government will not make any compromise when it comes to Asiatic lions found only in Gujarat's Gir reserve forest.

    Not even when it a friendly and BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh government's fervent request for relocating one or two prides of lions to Sheopur district.

    Before the Supreme Court, the Modi government through senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi on Thursday raised as many as six objections to the Centre's almost decade-old proposal to relocate some lions from Gir to a 300 sq km forest at Kunopalpur in Sheopur district of MP.

    Though the Modi government virtually signalled burial of the plan, the Shivraj Singh Chauhan government would not mind giving a final try as its counsel senior advocate Soli J Sorabjee said both sides would sit down and try for a solution.

    A Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices B S Chauhan and C K Prasad gave four weeks time to report back about the outcome of the last ditch attempt to make the relocation project workable and even suggested taking out an insurance package for the lions.

    The Centre's plan, devised to save lions from a potential future disaster that could wipe them off as all of them are concentrated in the Gir forest, involved relocating two prides of lions numbering between 12 and 16 to Madhya Pradesh.

    Amicus curiae Raj Panjwani informed the Bench that residents of as many as 24 villages falling within the identified area have been relocated in 2003, but the plan mooted by the Wildlife Insitute of India and approved by the National Board for Wildlife was still hanging fire.

    Rohtagi said the state's opposition to the plan was based not on political but on solid environmental grounds. He said even the wildlife experts feel that lions could not be relocated to experimental surroundings already habited by tigers.

    He said the number of Asiatic lions was increasing in Gujarat because of comprehensive action against poachers and the friendly villagers in and around Gir who do not wreck vengeance even if a lion occassionally mauled a bovine animal. In contrast, the tiger population in the jungles of MP were dwindling fast because of poaching and shrinking habitat, he added.

    Rohatgi also objected to the relocation project being continued for 20 years. "It is not a question of taking away one or two lions. What they want is a continuance of the exchange programme for 20 years, which is not feasible," Rohatgi said.

    The study for the relocation of some of the Asiatic lions to MP took into account the disaster some years back in Seringeti forest in Africa where a disease -- canine distemper -- wiped out 80% of the lion population within a short span.

    Rohatgi said this apprehension has been taken care of as the state has already started building a second home for the Asiatic lions at a safe reserve forest in Girnar area.

    Article taken from http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/i...ow/5561787.cms
    Regards,
    Bibhav Behera
    www.bibhavbehera.com

  6. #6
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    Default Centre offers to swap Gir lions for tigers

    Facing stiff opposition from Gujarat, the Centre has made an offer to re-introduce tigers in the Dangs region of the state in exchange for Asiatic lions which it plans to relocate in Madhya Pradesh. Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh today said he had made an offer to re-introduce tigers in the Dangs region of Gujarat where the big cats ruled the jungles about 25 years back.

    "I have suggested to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi that the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) will work to re-introduce tigers in Dangs as an incentive for the state to part with its lions," he said at a function to release a 'Handbook on Wildlife Law Enforcement in India'.

    Gujarat has been opposing the Centre's decade-old proposal to relocate Asiatic lions from the Gir reserve to a 300 sq km forest at Kunopalpur in Sheopur district of Madhya Pradesh. The matter is before Supreme Court. Ramesh admitted that he has been unable to find a reasonable reply to Gujarat Chief Minister's contention of community protection of wildlife in the state. The Maldhari community is known to protect the lions even at the cost of their own lives, he noted.

    Article taken from http://www.business-standard.com/ind...tigers/385908/
    Regards,
    Bibhav Behera
    www.bibhavbehera.com

  7. #7
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    Gujarat not interested in tiger-lion swap

    AHMEDABAD: Gujarat is likely to reject outright the proposal of Union minister for forest and environment Jairam Ramesh’s offer for tigers in lieu of lions. The main reason why Gujarat is refusing to transfer lions to Madhya Pradesh under a central plan, is the worry that the neighbouring state would walk away with all its tourists who come to Gujarat to see the Asiatic lions in and around Gir.

    Over one lakh domestic and international visitors visit Gir and Devalia national park. Officials in the forest department said that Gujarat government had fears that a majority of tourists coming to Gujarat for lion tourism would be diverted to Madhya Pradesh if the lion roams the wild there in Kuno Palpur which has been notified as a sanctuary.

    Officials said lions are the pride of Gujarat, the last abode of the Asiatic lions. They fear Madhya Pradesh, which draws more tourists than Gujarat, will be able to attractively package the lions to tourists who come to Khajuraho. MP promotes its tourism quite aggressively while Gujarat has its dry laws as a handicap.

    Link - http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/i...ow/5586179.cms
    Regards,
    Mrudul Godbole

  8. #8
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    Can't understand why MoEF can't pass an order for removing some lions from Gir? After all Forest is a concurrent matter and Gir is also supported by central government funds. Lions are of national importance and need to be protected. They definitely need one or two more homes across India. I sincerely hope the Hon'ble Supreme Court rules in Lions' favour. The only reason India has a good chance of succeeding in saving the tigers because of the even spread of Tigers across various states.

  9. #9
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    Default In 2 years, 72 lions die in Gir sanctuary

    GANDHINAGAR: Narendra Modi says Asiatic lions are the pride of Gujarat and he won't part with them. But the animals seem to be endangered in their sole habitat.

    The state government has admitted that 72 lions died in the Gir sanctuary in the past two years. Of them, one was killed by poachers and the rest, the government claimed, were from natural causes.

    Replying to a question in the assembly, the state government said on Tuesday that there were only 291 lions left in the Gir sanctuary as on December 31, 2009. Among them were 100 lionesses and 123 cubs in a park spread over 1,400 sq km of forest area.

    Conservationists have long complained that Gir was overcrowded and some lions need to be shifted to a sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh. But Modi has repeatedly said he wasn't going to share the state's biggest tourist attraction.

    More than 13,500 open wells in Gir pose a threat to lions, many of which have been killed after falling into them.

    Many lion deaths in Gir have occurred from fights between the animals. "There are several deaths because of territorial fights over lionesses," says conservationist Sanat Chavan.

    However, some officials say though lions are dying in large numbers, the total population is higher than what the government gave the assembly. Principal chief conservator of forests Pradeep Khanna told TOI that the data was only about lions in the protected area.

    "Lions are also found in Girnar hills, in the coastal area as well as in Bhavnagar and other parts outside the sanctuary. The last census showed there were 359 lions. The next census will be held by April this year," he said.

    Link - http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/i...ow/5669490.cms
    Regards,
    Mrudul Godbole

  10. #10
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    Default Guj govt identifies area in Rajkot for lion conservation

    AHMEDABAD: Gujarat government has identified an area near Wankaner in Rajkot district for relocation of lions from the Gir National Park.

    The area near Wankaner is the second area identified by the state government after Bardo Dungar in Porbandar district for the lion gene pool project which aims to guard against the threat of an epidemic that can wipe out the entire population of lions in Gir.

    Gir is the last abode of Asiatic lions where there are an estimated number of 360 lions. The Gujarat forest department would conduct a fresh census later this month.

    "We have identified vast area of land near Wankaner for conservation of lions," state forest minister Mangubhai Patel told the state Assembly recently.

    The state government said they have identified this land for long-term conservation of lions. They have also planned to make drinking water available in the area and construct check dams, the minister informed the House.

    "Land identified in Wankaner will be used for gene pool project to maintain gene diversity of lions," Chief wildlife conservator Pradeep Khanna said.

    Link - http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/h...ow/5686346.cms
    Regards,
    Mrudul Godbole

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