Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Government clueless on deadline to shift Gujarat Asiatic lions to MP

Congress MLA Dr Govind Singh asked the minister that whether he would urge the Prime Minister in this regard.

By: PTI | Bhopal | Published:February 28, 2017 6:02 pm
Madhya Pradesh government Tuesday said in the Legislative Assembly that it is clueless about the deadline to translocate some Asiatic Lions from Gujarat’s Gir National Park to state’s Palpur-Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary. State forest minister Dr Gaurishankar Shejwar, in his reply to a question raised by Congress MLA Ramniwas Rawat, said a decision in this regard was to be taken by an expert committee set up by the Centre in accordance with Supreme Court directives.
“No deadline has been set for the translocation of Asiatic Lions from Gujarat’s Gir to state’s Palpur-Kuno. The decisions in this regard are to be taken by the committee appointed by the Supreme Court,” Shejwar said. Congress MLA Dr Govind Singh pointed out that a long period has passed and several tribal families have been shifted from Palpur-Kuno. They are deprived of their farm land in order to prepare the sanctuary for the arrival of Gir lions.
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Singh asked the minister that whether he would urge the Prime Minister in this regard. To which, Shejwar said that the Prime Minister has no direction connection with the issue as all the decisions were to be taken by the SC-appointed committee. He further informed that the members of the committee have already inspected the preparations at Palpur-Kuno in Sheopur district.

“State government rehabilitated the families. A tripartite agreement including Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Centre would be signed before the translocation. The committee will have to take initiatives in this regard,” Shejwar said. Intervening in the matter, BJP MLA from Durgalal Vijay urged the state government to take pro-active initiatives to ensure early shifting of lions.
It may be noted that the state government has been seeking transfer of Asiatic lions from Gujarat to Palpur-Kuno sanctuary for quite sometime now. The reintroduction plan of the lions had faced a stiff opposition from Gujarat.
In April 2013, the Supreme Court had ordered shifting of some lions to Palpur-Kuno. The SC-appointed committee had also made a visit to the sanctuary in December last year.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/government-clueless-on-deadline-to-shift-gujarat-asiatic-lions-to-mp-state-forest-minister-4548184/

Watch: Brave milkman chases away lioness to protect cows

The Gir region is one of the most important protected areas in Asia as it is the home of the Asiatic lioness


By   |  Updated On : February 27, 2017 11:41 PM
New Delhi :   A milkman residing near Gir who was travelling with his cows successfully chased away a lioness. Afraid that the lioness may target its cows, the man ran towards it with full force.
Surprised by the man's sudden spurt, the beast was terrified and fled the scene.  A passerby recorded the man's valiant act in his mobile phone.
The Gir region is one of the most important protected areas in Asia as it is the home of the Asiatic lion. In recent years, however, as the lion population has grown, man-animal conflict has increased in the region.
for video;
http://www.newsnation.in/india-news/video-watch-how-brave-milkman-chases-away-lioness-to-protect-his-cows-article-162855.html

Shaurya to fuel Mysuru zoo breeding project

Shankar Bennur Mysuru February 25, 2017 23:00 IST
Shaurya is all set to begin his journey to Mysuru in the second week of March. Special Arrangement  

Three-year-old Asiatic lion from Gujarat zoo to arrive in Mysuru soon

Shaurya, a three-year-old male Asiatic lion from Rajkot in Gujarat, will soon be making the century-old Mysuru zoo, one of the country’s biggest and famed zoological gardens, its home, and give a greater push to the zoo’s grand plan of breeding the highly endangered species in captivity.
The zoo has set its vision on becoming a successful centre for the captive breeding of Asiatic lions, found only in Gujarat, and share them with other Indian zoos. There are very few Asiatic lions left both in the wild and in captivity since their breeding in captivity was considered to be a huge challenge.
The zoo has got a young lioness, Renita, from Sakkarbaugh zoo in Gujarat. Sakkarbaugh zoo is one of the most sought after zoos across the globe, as it is the largest and most successful breeder of Asiatic lions. Besides exchanging lions across the world, it also releases them into the wild – Gir forest – to increase their numbers.
The Mysuru zoo signed a deal with Rajkot Zoological Park to procure a male lion in return for surplus animals and birds in its stock.
Shaurya is all set to begin his long journey to Mysuru in the second week of March. Mysuru zoo veterinarian Ramesh had gone to Rajkot for screening of the animal before it could be transported it to Mysuru.
With Asiatic lions being in great demand and enjoying a high exchange value, the Mysuru zoo agreed to give quite a lot of animals and birds for the ‘prized’ animal.
“It’s not easy for a zoo to get an Asiatic lion. The young male will be heading to Mysuru soon. Its holding room is being readied. I’m sure Shaurya will be one of the biggest attractions for visitors. The zoo houses only one male lion which is Afro-Asiatic in breed,” zoo executive director K. Kamala told The Hindu. A pair of Indian grey wolf, a male Himalayan black bear, two female hog deer, two male Common Sand Boa, a pair of Alexandrine parakeet, a pair of Lady Amherst pheasant, two pairs of red junglefowl, a pair of white ibis, a pair of rose-ringed parakeet, three pairs of Java Sparrow and ten pairs of budgerigar will be exchanged with Rajkot zoo. Only a few zoos in the country have housed the Asiatic lion.
Mysuru zoo had Asiatic lions in 1989 but could not breed them. Five years ago, it got a pair of lions from Sakkarbaug zoo. The lioness, Gowri, suffered health problems. She delivered a cub that died. Gowri has been taken off display.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/Shaurya-to-fuel-Mysuru-zoo-breeding-project/article17368368.ece

Gujarat’s four national parks have least buffer zone

  • TOI
  • Rajkot

Gujarat: Striped hyena killed by vehicle near Gir National Park

The hyena was killed on Tuesday after an unknown vehicle hit it and sped away.

By: PTI | Vadodara | Published:February 22, 2017 2:12 pm
A striped Hyena was killed in the Savarkundla forest range in Amreli district of Gujarat, forest officials said on Wednesday. The rare carnivorous dog-like species was found dead yesterday near Adsang crossing at Ambardi-Ghorda village on Savarkundla-Rajula road, they added. Rambhai Mor, a range forest officer at Savarkundla, told PTI that the hyena was killed in the wee hours when an unknown vehicle hit the animal and sped away.
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After receiving information, a forest team rushed to the spot and recovered the carcass, he said. This forest range is located near the lion sanctuary at Sasangir near Junagadh district. Hyenas have a large head and strong jaws filled with huge teeth used to crush bone. Their powerful jaws and strong teeth are a sign of their carnivorous diet. Although they are mostly scavengers, hyenas are also skilled hunters able to take down relatively large prey. Some striped hyenas even prey on sheep, goats, donkeys, and horses. When foraging, striped hyenas move in a zigzag pattern at a slow trot.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/gujarat-striped-hyena-killed-by-vehicle-near-gir-national-park-4537867/

Gujarat: Una farmer arrested for killing leopard

Officers said that the leopard had attacked Bhaliya Thursday night while he was keeping night vigil on his wheat field.

By: Express News Service | Rajkot | Updated: February 20, 2017 10:57 am
A farmer was arrested by Gir East forest division officials on Saturday after he and six others allegedly beat a leopard to death on his farm and later burnt down its carcass, in Una taluka of Gir-Somnath district. Forest officers arrested Bhagwan Bhaliya, a farmer of Chikhali village of Una taluka on Saturday after they came to know that he was among seven men who beat a leopard to death and later burnt its carcass to leave no trace of the incident. Officers said that the leopard had attacked Bhaliya Thursday night while he was keeping night vigil on his wheat field. Bhaliya sustained minor injuries in the attack.
WATCH VIDEO | 4 Villagers Dead After Leopards Held In Jaipur Zoo Released Back Into Sariska Tiger Reserve 3 Weeks Ago

Setup Timeout Error: Setup took longer than 30 seconds to complete.However, the farmer shouted for help and six others came to his rescue. They found the leopard at the same wheat field and clubbed it to death. Later, they threw its carcass in a nearby river. Officers said that the accused fished out the carcass a day later and burnt it to ashes as the word spread in the village that the leopard had been killed.“The accused dumped the carcass in a river but later fished it out and burnt it to ashes so as to escape punitive action. We have collected its hair and bones from crime scenes and arrested farmer Bhagwan Bhaliya. He has also given us names of five to six other persons who were part of the group and the investigation is on,” range forest officer of Jasadhar in Gir East division forest, Jagdish Pandya, said.
 
http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ahmedabad/gujarat-una-farmer-arrested-for-killing-leopard-4532348/

Sightseeing in India Off the Beaten Path Somnath-Porbandar-Diu and Gir National Forest

Tuesday, February 28, 2017
 
An unexpected discovery was the Huzoor Palace on the beach in Porbander. The palace appears abandoned, but you could imagine the type of lavish living Rana Narwarsinghji and his descendants held here. Imagine a Downton Abbey of India!
An unexpected discovery was the Huzoor Palace on the beach in Porbander. The palace appears abandoned, but you could imagine the type of lavish living Rana Narwarsinghji and his descendants held here. Imagine a Downton Abbey of India!
By Pramod Kulkarni
On the Road: This is the second episode describing my wife Jyoti and I’s visit to India during Dec.-January 2016. As outlined in the first episode, we undertook a 9-day trip to Gujarat.
Travel-in-3
Our Gujarat saga began with a flight from Mumbai to Ahmedabad. Our tour driver met us at the airport and journeyed with us until our flight from Vadodara back to Mumbai nine days later.
The first temple at Somnath was a wooden structure built as early as 500 AD. Muslim invaders destroyed the temple multiple times. The inset photo shows the dilapidated temple in 1869. The temple shown here was reconstructed in 1951 under the direction of Sardar Vallabhai Patel.
The first temple at Somnath was a wooden structure built as early as 500 AD. Muslim invaders destroyed the temple multiple times. The inset photo shows the dilapidated temple in 1869. The temple shown here was reconstructed in 1951 under the direction of Sardar Vallabhai Patel.
The previous episode provided a cursory view of our entire Gujarat trip. This episode picks up at Somnath. The temple is situated at the edge of the Arabian Sea near the confluence of three rivers— Kapila, Hiran and the mythical Sarasvati.
Our next stop was Porbander, the ancestral home of Mahatma Gandhi. A memorial built at the site is called Kirti Mandir.
The house and room where Gandhiji was born is preserved and includes a photo exhibit of the life and times of the Father of India.
Gir National Forest is a protected area for lions, deer, neelgai and peacocks. The lion population has increased to 522, but they are to be seen in only early morning or evening when they come to drink out of the streams and brooks.
Gir National Forest is a protected area for lions, deer, neelgai and peacocks. The lion population has increased to 522, but they are to be seen in only early morning or evening when they come to drink out of the streams and brooks.
A most interesting discovery at Porbandar was the Huzoor Palace built by Rana Natwarsinhji, who was the last Maharaja of the Princely State of Porbandar, in the early years of the 20th century, with clear European influences. Descendants of the Rana now live in London and the palace is desolate and appears to be abandoned.
The journey from Porbandar to the island of Diu was through dry, desolate land hugging the Arabian Sea. We passed rows of windmills that took advantage of the stiff coastal winds to generate electricity.
Diu fort has impressive ramparts, massive gates and a moat on the land side.
Diu fort has impressive ramparts, massive gates and a moat on the land side.
Diu is one of the three islands that were reclaimed from the Portugese in 1961. In 1535, Bahadur Shah, the Sultan of Gujarat, allowed the Portuguese to construct the Diu Fort and maintain a garrison on the island. Diu is now a beach resort that attracts tourists from Gujarat for its wine shops and bars. Diu is one of the few “wet” areas in the dry Gujarat state.
Next stop on our trip was the Gir National Forest. This is the sole sanctuary for the Asiatic lion. The Nawab of Junagadh hunted liona, but when their population dwindled, he declared the forest as a sanctuary as long back as 1900. The 2015 Asiatic Lion Census lists the lion population at Gir as having grown to 523 (up 23% from the 2010 Census).
The Gujarat Forests & Environment Department conducts safaris through the forest daily in the mornings and evenings.
St. Paul’s Church in Diu is known for its traditional baroque architecture in white stucco. The altar, which has the image of St. Mary, is carved out of a single piece of Burmese teak and can be lit up with up to 101 candles.
St. Paul’s Church in Diu is known for its traditional baroque architecture in white stucco. The altar, which has the image of St. Mary, is carved out of a single piece of Burmese teak and can be lit up with up to 101 candles.
You have to, however, register at their online site at least two days in advance. We couldn’t get on the government safari, but managed to go on a private tour to see deer, peacocks and neelgai (blue bull), but were not lucky enough to see any lions.
The next episode of this travelogue will cover sights in Junagadh and Vadodara, then reports from Pune, Konkan coast and Hyderabad.

http://www.indoamerican-news.com/sightseeing-in-india-off-the-beaten-path-somnath-porbandar-diu-and-gir-national-forest/

With 100m eco-sensitive zone, Gir lions have lesser protection than tigers

| | Feb 17, 2017, 09.23 AM IST

Highlights

  • The Asiatic lions, which are 523 in numbers, have the least protection
  • Three tiger reserves have a protection area ranging from 2 km to 14.85 km
  • The decision to modify the ESZ was taken at a meeting held on November 28(Representative image)(Representative image)
RAJKOT: In an election, every vote counts. And, the BJP government does not want to displease anyone living near Asiatic lion's last abode the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary , even if a decision results in dangerously less protection to this endangered animal.

A right to information (RTI) reply has revealed that the government has finally shrunk drastically the eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) from the earlier 8 km to 17.9 km around the sanctuary to a meagre 100 metres to maximum 500 metres in the modified ESZ proposal.

In fact, the Asiatic lions, which are 523 in numbers as per latest census, have the least protection; lesser than the equally endangered tigers in India. Three tiger reserves, where ESZ has been finalised, have a protection area ranging from 2 km to 14.85 km. Other tiger reserves are yet to send their ESZ pro proposals.

The decision to modify the ESZ was taken at a meeting held on November 28 where wildlife conservationists were not even invited for suggestions. " As revealed in the RTI reply , the meeting was held on November 28 last year in the presence of ministers in Gandhinagar with `affected' people around Gir and the decision to modify ESZ was taken. Now, ESZ has been kept minimum 100m and maximum 500m around Gir Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park, Mitiyala Wildlife Sanctuary and Paniya Wildlife Sanctuary ," said Biren Padhya, the wildlife activist who filed the RTI, told TOI. Ironically , lion is the symbol of Prime Minister Naren dra Modi's `Make in India' campaign. Now, the ESZ covers only 207 sq km in 114 villages in nine talukas of three districts as against the original 3,328.8139 sq km covering 291 villages, said Padhya.

Earlier, the central government had notified an area up to 17.9 km from the boundary of the Mitiyala Wildlife Sanctuary , 16.3 km from the boundary of the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary and up to 14.98 km from the Paniya Wildlife Sanctuary . A senior IFS officer told TOI, "The forest department was completely left out while deciding on ESZ. Earlier proposal of 17.9km that we had prepared was made using sound scientific data. If the modified proposal is legally challenged, it would be very difficult to defend the decision."

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Forest ministry should now wake upSaranathan Lakshminarasimhan


Experts said the alarming consequences of a shrunk ESZ would be little control over mining, haphazard and illegal tourism and chances that even polluting industries coming up dangerously close to lion movement. Even the lions outside the protected area would not be safe and chances of human-animal conflict would only strengthen.

Recently , the parliamentary committee headed by Renuka Chaudhary had lambasted the shrunk ESZ as a joke."Chaudhary had even pulled up a forest officer who was defending the haphazard tourism at the cost of wildlife and asked them whether he was a forest officer or a tourism officer" an official present in the meeting said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/rajkot/with-100m-eco-sensitive-zone-gir-lions-have-lesser-protection-than-tigers/articleshow/57196802.cms?