Thursday, February 11, 2010

Gujarat to conduct lion census at Gir in April .

18 Jan 2010, 1702 hrs IST, PTI
AHMEDABAD: The forest department of Gujarat is gearing up to conduct census of lions at the Gir Sanctuary in April this year.

"We will conduct the census at the Asiatic Lions Sanctuary at Gir in April," said Pradip Khanna, principal chief conservator of forest (PCCF) of Gujarat.

Khanna said that lion census is conducted every five years and the previous one was conducted at Gir in 2005.

In the last census, a total of 359 lions -- plus or minus 10 -- were reported at the Gir sanctuary, he said.

"We had counted 359 lions with plus or minus 10 in the Gir forest. In last five years, around 150 lions including cubs must have died," he said.

According to him, 30 to 35 lions die every year and that is 10-12 per cent, which is normal.

"I don't know the exact number of lions which died after the last counting, but 30 to 35 deaths a year is absolutely natural," he said, adding, "We do report each and every death of a lion including death of a 15-day-old cub to a 15-year-old animal".

However, he said that the forest department does not report birth of lions.

"We follow transparent system of reporting death of the animal but we don't report births because we don't keep track of new births," he said.


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