Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Lions to roar in Vibrant Gujarat



| TNN |
AHMEDABAD: Not just investments and business, the next edition of Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors' Summit will also be looking at fostering cultural co-operation. To begin with, Gujarat and Kenya will work jointly in lion conservation and promotion of wildlife tourism focused on big cats.

The possibility of cooperation was discussed during a recent visit of Vibrant Gujarat delegation to Kenya. "We decided to formally share best practices in lion conservation, including scientific study of both Asiatic and African lions.Kenya has good wildlife focused tourism model, which we can also adopt," said N Srivastava, managing director, Tourism Corporation of Gujarat Ltd (TGCL), who was also part of the delegation to Kenya.

"Gujarat and Kenya or Africa for that matter, have two major connecting dots. One is lions and other Gujaratis settled in African nations. We met top government officials of Kenya, who look after lion conservation and wildlife tourism.Here in Gujarat we also focus heavily on conservation of lions. So we discussed possibility of mutual co-operation centered on lions," he added.

Experts in tourism opine that both Gujarat and Kenya can learn from each other in the field of wildlife. Kenya has developed lions safari in such a way that it ensures safety of lions. The African nation has used latest technology to protect the natural habitats. This can be emulated by Gujarat.

The population of lions in Africa, including Kenya, is dwindling with the entire continent left with 20,000 to 30,000 as per different sources including International Union for Conservation of Nature. Kenya has 2,000 majestic cats. Gujarat has done well in lion conservation with population rising to 523 as per census 2015.

The state government may also sign an MoU with Kenya for conservation initiatives during the summit in January 2017. Probably , it will be the first cultural tie-up at the summit.

"Our focus will be on cultural exchange and knowledge sharing about lions," said Srivastava, who is also a senior Indian Forest Service officer. "Such co-operation will boost wild-life tourism and create awareness about it," said Manish Sharmahttp://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/Lions-to-roar-in-Vibrant-Gujarat/articleshow/54558137.cms

6 National Parks Around India You Have To Visit At Least Once In Your Life


September 19, 2016
AHMEDABAD: Not just investments and business, the next edition of Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors' Summit will also be looking at fostering cultural co-operation. To begin with, Gujarat and Kenya will work jointly in lion conservation and promotion of wildlife tourism focused on big cats.

The possibility of cooperation was discussed during a recent visit of Vibrant Gujarat delegation to Kenya. "We decided to formally share best practices in lion conservation, including scientific study of both Asiatic and African lions.Kenya has good wildlife focused tourism model, which we can also adopt," said N Srivastava, managing director, Tourism Corporation of Gujarat Ltd (TGCL), who was also part of the delegation to Kenya.

"Gujarat and Kenya or Africa for that matter, have two major connecting dots. One is lions and other Gujaratis settled in African nations. We met top government officials of Kenya, who look after lion conservation and wildlife tourism.Here in Gujarat we also focus heavily on conservation of lions. So we discussed possibility of mutual co-operation centered on lions," he added.

Experts in tourism opine that both Gujarat and Kenya can learn from each other in the field of wildlife. Kenya has developed lions safari in such a way that it ensures safety of lions. The African nation has used latest technology to protect the natural habitats. This can be emulated by Gujarat.

The population of lions in Africa, including Kenya, is dwindling with the entire continent left with 20,000 to 30,000 as per different sources including International Union for Conservation of Nature. Kenya has 2,000 majestic cats. Gujarat has done well in lion conservation with population rising to 523 as per census 2015.

The state government may also sign an MoU with Kenya for conservation initiatives during the summit in January 2017. Probably , it will be the first cultural tie-up at the summit.

"Our focus will be on cultural exchange and knowledge sharing about lions," said Srivastava, who is also a senior Indian Forest Service officer. "Such co-operation will boost wild-life tourism and create awareness about it," said Manish Sharma

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/Lions-to-roar-in-Vibrant-Gujarat/articleshow/54558137.cms

Gujarat: Mutilated carcass of leopard found in Tilakwada

Officials said that the female leopard could have possibly been prey to a “black magic” ritual, as its front paws were severed from the body and the nails found missing.

By: Express News Service | Vadodara | Published:September 27, 2016 1:27 am
The Narmada forest department is investigating the mysterious killing of a female leopard in Tilakwada taluka of the district. The mutilated body of the leopard was discovered late on Sunday in a forest, with a noose around its neck.
On Monday, the forest department consigned the leopard’s carcass to flames as per the procedure of disposing of dead animals. It has also registered a case of animal atrocity and killing.
Officials said that the female leopard could have possibly been prey to a “black magic” ritual, as its front paws were severed from the body and the nails found missing.
An official said, “The autopsy was conducted on the leopard and it appears to be a torturous killing of the animal. While the body is mutilated — front paws and nails missing, there are visible injury marks and the leopard was also found with a metal wire around its neck, which means it was killed by strangulation. It is possible that the perpetrators could have held the animal by the neck before maiming while it was alive.”
http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mutilated-carcass-of-leopard-found-in-tilakwada-3051725/


Awareness drive to check increase in human-leopard conflicts in south Gujarat

(Representative image)(Representative image)


| TNN |
SURAT: Nature Club Surat, a city-based organization working for environment and animal rescue, has kick-started a human-leopard conflict management programme in Surat district in association with forest department to spread awareness among villagers on the dos and don'ts for reducing man-animal conflicts.

A few villages have been selected under the programme where man-animal conflicts are on the rise. The programme will be extended to the interior villages in Bharuch and Dang district in the coming months.

The programme is being held under the guidance of Vidya Athreya, a well-known leopard expert. As per Athreya's recent research, leopards have adopted agricultural landscape due to easy availability of food, water and hiding place. Translocation of leopards is increasing conflict.

When a leopard is rescued from a certain village and released in forest, the vacant place is filled up by another leopard. The leopard which was released at a totally new place may create conflict situations. Leopards are scared of humans and they only attack them if left with no other option.

This year, more than 25 cases of human-leopard conflicts were registered from across south Gujarat, without any casualty though. In almost 75 per cent cases, the conflicts occurred when humans and leopards came face to face, especially in sugarcane fields.

"The leopard population is increasing in south Gujarat. In many villages, there is no conflict at all between human and leopards. It is only when the leopards are translocated that they attack humans sensing trouble," Nature Club Surat activist Kaushal Mody said.

Nature Club Surat has also started camera trapping of leopards in some villages near Kosamba and Kim. The high resolution infrared cameras have been fitted to monitor the trail of leopards.

Nature Club Surat's Snehal Patel said, "The programme is to make villagers aware about leopards and their behaviour. We are distributing pamphlets and showing them video footages of leopards to teach them about precautions to reduce conflicts."
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/surat/Awareness-drive-to-check-increase-in-human-leopard-conflicts-in-south-Gujarat/articleshow/54263376.cms

35% leopard and sloth bear population close to human habitation


File photoFile photo

|
AHMEDABAD: The census of sloth bears and leopard conducted in May this year has revealed that there are around 35-40% of the leopards and sloth bears in the areas close to human habitations than in the forests. According to the senior officials in the state forest department, which had taken the count in May this year, reveals that more leopards and sloth bear which have made revenue areas — the areas away from jungles close to human habitations — as their homes rather than safe and protected environment of forests.

Census estimation by the forest department pegs a 70% rise in leopards' count in human settlements near cities and big towns of Gujarat. The leopard census 2011 revealed 1,160 big cats in the state, out of which 290 or a quarter were spotted in human settlements. Census estimates taken up between May 20-22, peg a 70% rise in this number. The number of leopards, according to the May census, was over 1,400, but the officials said that around 500-odd leopards were in the human settlements. The officials said that number of animals in the state is likely to increase by around 20%, taking the bear population to approximately 350. The 2011 census had shown that 297 sloth bears lived in the state. Of these, over 100 are estimated to be living close to human habitats.

The officials said that while it was the search of small animals like dogs which was leading leopards out, in the case of sloth bears it was the illegal honey combing by humans and increasing human pressure which were driving them out of the sanctuaries. A similar trend was noticed in sloth bears where there was more sighting outside the protected areas than the sanctuaries. The sudden spurt in the number of leopards and sloth bears outside the sanctuaries spells possibility of more incidents of man-animal conflicts in the future. Currently, on an average one leopard attack takes place once in three days in the state. In 2015-16, 12 persons had been killed and 107 attacked by the leopards.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/35-leopard-and-sloth-bear-population-close-to-human-habitation/articleshow/54365126.cms

Leopards, sloth bears feel at home near humans: Census



TNN |
AHMEDABAD: The census of leopards and sloth bears conducted in May this year has revealed that there are more leopards which have made revenue areas - the areas away from jungles close to human habitations - as their homes rather than safe and protected environment of forests.

According to the senior officials in the state forest department, which had taken the count in May this year, there were around 35-40% of the leopards and sloth bears in the areas close to human habitations than in the forests.
Quest for food is bringing leopards dangerously close to humans. Census estimation by the forest department pegs a 70% rise in leopards' count in human settlements near cities and big towns of Gujarat. The leopard census 2011 revealed 1,160 big cats in the state, out of which 290 or a quarter were spotted in human settlements. Census estimates taken up between May 20-22, peg a 70% rise in this number. The number of leopards, according to the May census, was over 1,400, but the officials said that around 500-odd leopards were in the human settlements.

A similar trend was noticed in sloth bears where there was more sighting outside the protected areas than the sanctuaries. The sudden spurt in the number of leopards and sloth bears outside the sanctuaries spells possibility of more incidents of man-animal conflicts in the future. Currently, on an average one leopard attack takes place once in three days in the state. In 2015-16, 12 persons had been killed and 107 attacked by the leopards.

The officials said that number of animals in the state is likely to increase by around 20%, taking the bear population to approximately 350. The 2011 census had shown that 297 sloth bears lived in the state. Of these, over 100 are estimated to be living close to human habitats.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/Leopards-sloth-bears-feel-at-home-near-humans-Census/articleshow/54205417.cms

This Sasan vet injects life into sick lions

| TNN |
Dr Solanki tranquillizing a lioness in Gir.Dr Solanki tranquillizing a lioness in Gir.
SASAN GIR: Dr DP Solanki had his heart in the mouth when an ill Asiatic lion he was trying to tranquilize suddenly charged at him last year. In a bid to escape the assault, he even suffered a fracture and was advised complete rest for three months.

This scary experience, however, did not deter this 28-year-old veterinary doctor of Sasan Rescue Centre. In fact, for the last five years, Dr Solanki has been the most crucial member of the forest teams in Sasan, which conduct nearly 300 operations of rescue ill or trapped wild animals every year. Often, Dr Solanki is seen venturing into farm wells, some that are nearly 80 feet deep, to rescue trapped animals, mostly wild ones.

While it is an amusing sight for villagers seeing him get into the well inside a 'parrot cage', the risk is always high.

"In 2013, we received a rescue call from Ghusiya village where a lion had fallen into an 80 feet deep well. We were unsure whether it was ill or injured. So, we first need to tranquilize him for physical examination.So, I sat inside the parrot cage that was pushed into the deep well slowly by the other staff. I fired one shot to tranquilize the lion," recalled Solanki.

"However, I soon started feeling severely out of breath but was pulled out in time by other members," he said. The lion was later released into the wild after inserting a micro chip in its body . "To my surprise and joy, I rescued the same lion in February near Devaliya,'' Solanki said.

Talking about the lion attack in Gir west, Solanki said, " As soon as I fired the tranquillizer at the lion, he got charged up and rushed to chase me. I fell down and suffered fracture," he said, adding it takes at least 15 minutes for the animals to get fully tranquillized.

Solanki is credited with having conducted at least 500 post-mortems of wild animals, mostly lions and leopards in the last five years, considered the highest in the country by a veterinary doctor. "Despite permanent risk of attacks or injuries during rescue operations, I love this job as it gives immense satisfaction of helping our wildlife flourish," Solanki said.

After working on ad hoc basis for one year in 2010 at Sasan, he left the job to take the Gujarat Public Service Commission (GPSC) examination for veterinary doctor.He was selected in the animal husbandry department but the forest department sought his service.

Ram Ratan Nalla, deputy conservator of forests, Sasan Gir, wildlife division, "Conducting over 500 postmortem is in itself a remarkable achievement for this young veterinary . It is not an easy job as the area of rescue is vast and the risk of working amid carnivoures. All rescue calls have to be responded promptly so that the wild animals don't die and get treatment in time."
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/rajkot/This-Sasan-vet-injects-life-into-sick-lions/articleshow/54557806.cms

Gujarat: Kamleshwar Dam inside Gir forest develops minor breach

The dam is the largest in Gir forest and a major lifeline for flora and fauna of the local ecology.
By: Express News Service | Rajkot | Updated: September 25, 2016 1:08 am

gir dam, kamleshwar dam, gujarat dam, gir forest, gujarat forest, gujarat dam breach, gir forest dam breach, gujarat news, india news Water leaks from Kamleshwar dam, inside Gir forest on Friday. (Express Photo)

Water started leaking from Kamleshwar dam, a major reservoir inside the famous Gir forest which is the only natural habitat of endangered Asiatic lions, after its releasing head-work developed a minor breach on Friday.
Gir Somnath district collector Ajay Kumar said the breach was reported on Friday morning. “We were informed about the breach in the morning. It is a very minor breach in the structure called release head-work from which water is released in irrigation canal. A team of experts from Gandhinagar has reached the dam site and they are working to plug the leakage. By evening, around 30 per cent of leakage was plugged. The operation to repair the breach will continue overnight and we are confident the leakage will be stopped by Saturday afternoon, ” the collector told The Indian Express late on Friday evening.
Kamleshwar dam is located in western part of Gir forest. It falls in Talala taluka of Gir Somnath district. The dam is the largest in Gir forest and a major lifeline for flora and fauna of the local ecology. It also provides irrigation water to many villages in Talala taluka.
However, the leakage comes at a particularly bad time. Rains have not been good in that part of the state this monsoon and the collector said that the dam was filled only around 30 percent.
The dam is also home to hundreds of marsh crocodiles. It is also a major tourist attraction. It is located inside tourism zone of Gir forest and tourists going on lion safaris inside Gir forest from Sasan pass on the bunk of the dam. Downstream the dam is the scenic valley of Hiran river.
Gir forest and other protected areas spread over Gir Somnath, Jinagadh, Amreli and Bhavnagar districts in Saurashtra region is the only natural home of Asiatic lions in the world. In fact this region is the only place outside Africa where a subpopulation of wild lions is living.
The collector said the administration was aware of the importance of the reservoir and was sparing no effort to plug the leakage at the earliest.