Monday, October 31, 2016

Oldest lion of Gir forest ‘Ram’ dies!

Junagarh, Oct 31 (ANI): Gir National Park in Gujarat is the only place in the world where you can spot lions roaming free in the wild, but recently bad news has arrived for the visitors as the famous pair of lions ‘Ram’ and ‘Shyam’ has broken, as the lion (Ram) died. The forest official said that Ram (Lion) died a natural death.

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Brexit could 'seriously impact' Bristol Zoo's work to save extinction-threatened animals Read more at

By The Bristol Post  |  Posted: October 28, 2016
PIONEERS: Bristol Zoo successfully bred two Asiatic lions cubs in 2011. The species is in danger of extinction with only 350 left in the wild.
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BRISTOL Zoo has raised concerns with a city MP that Brexit could damage its attempts to save rare animals from extinction – including the popular Asiatic Lion.
Exiting the European Union could mean not only the end of free movement of people across the Continent but also the free movement of animals from zoo to zoo, experts have warned.
Thangam Debbonaire, MP for Bristol West, said she had been approached by Bristol Zoo, which laid out its fears about the impact Brexit could have on its work, especially its breeding of rare species.


Report: Wildlife populations halved on average since '70s

LONDON (AP) — Global wildlife populations have fallen an average of 58 percent from 1970 levels, with human activity reducing the numbers of elephants in Tanzania, maned wolves in Brazil, salamanders in the United States and orcas in the waters of Europe, researchers say.
Deforestation, pollution, overfishing and the illegal wildlife trade, together with climate change, "are pushing species populations to the edge," according to the Living Planet report released Thursday by WWF and the Zoological Society of London.
"For the first time since the demise of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, we face a global mass extinction of wildlife," said Mike Barrett, director of science and policy at WWF-UK. "We ignore the decline of other species at our peril - for they are the barometer that reveals our impact on the world that sustains us."
The assessment predicts that by 2020, populations of vertebrate species could have fallen by 67 percent from 1970 levels unless action is taken to reverse the damaging impacts of human activity.
One of the actions pushing the decline is the growing number of humans, which is driving overfishing, hunting and the destruction of habitats. The report detailed the strain that agriculture places on freshwater systems.
"Human behavior continues to drive the decline of wildlife populations globally, with particular impact on freshwater habitats," said Ken Norris, director of science at ZSL. "Importantly, however, these are declines - they are not yet extinctions - and this should be a wake-up call to marshal efforts to promote the recovery of these populations."

Mysuru Zoo awaiting permission to transfer lions from Gujarat


| Updated: Oct 27, 2016, 13:48 IST
Mysuru: Mysuru Zoo, which is planning in-captive breeding of lions, is awaiting approval from Central Zoo Authority (CZA) to transfer a lion from Gujarat

A Gujarat zoo had recently given consent to spare one of its big cats to Mysuru Zoo, which currently has three lionesses and a lion. It had recently received a lioness, Anitha, from Sakkarbaug Zoo in Gujarat.

The awaited Afro-Asiatic lion Shaurya will be brought from Rajkot, following which, breeding would be initiated.

Mysuru Zoo Executive Director K Kamala confirmed to TOI that they are awaiting nod from CZA to receive the lion under animal exchange programme. "The zoo used to breed lions some time ago and we are hoping to do it again."

To celebrate 125th year

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well done. hope they breedyash

The zoo, which is one of the oldest in India, is planning grand celebrations to mark its 125th anniversary, from March next year. It was established in 1892, during the period of then Maharaja of Mysuru — Chamarajendra Wadiyar. Nearly two decades later, the zoo was named after its founder — Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens.

Though initially opened in a area of 11 acres, the zoo today spans across 80 acres.

After death of 2 Asiatic cubs, efforts on to save third one

| Updated: Oct 26, 2016, 07:29 IST
Jodhpur: The good news over the birth of three Asiatic lion cubs did not last long. Two of them died in the past 24 hours, while the third one is struggling for survival. All these cubs were born on Friday.

One of the cubs died due to canine injury caused by mother herself while the other one died of under-weight and also due to the absence of mother feed. Doctors have been trying to save the third one.

Wildlife DFO Mahendra Singh Rathore said the first two weeks are critical for the cubs but the problem was that all of them were born under-weight and remained deprived of mother feed. This was the second motherhood of the Asiatic lioness at the Machia Biological Park. Earlier, two female cubs, who were born premature, could not be saved for the same reasons and similar fate stares at the three male cubs also.

Rathore said although the lioness showed a little more affection for the cubs unlike in the past, not feeding them with milk proved detrimental to their survival.

"The lioness is quite young and has not yet adapted to the motherhood despite being in a protected environment like in the park unlike the lionesses in forests who live in groups. Hopefully, next time there would be better adaptability," said Rathore.

Meanwhile, the park administration is trying hard to save the last cub, who is said to be in better condition compared to those who died.

The Pioneer announces the launch of its media partnership with the Yunnan Daily Press Group with a special four-page supplement. You are here : Home » Nation Nation Good response: Tourists come in droves to Gir

Wednesday, 26 October 2016 | Nayan Dave | GANDHINAGAR
Gir Wildlife Sanctuary — the last abode of Asiatic Lions which reopened for visitors after four months on 16th of this month, is witnessing overwhelming response from tourists across the globe as its safari tours have been fully booked for the first three months of 2016-17 tourist season.
According to official sources in the State forest department, the bookings are only done online for the jungle trail (Safari) inside the forest areas where maximum number of lions generally spotted. Ahead of the tourist season, which generally starts post Diwali, tourist from all across the globe booked their slots in advance, said the sources.
“Such overwhelming response is due to State tourism department’s advertising campaign endorsed by Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan played pivotal role to popularise the sanctuary. Along with other tourist destinations, Gir too was marketed globally. As a result of these efforts, tourists literally throng to Gir area,” said a senior official in the forest department.
The State forest department can issue 90 permits in a day. From November onwards all the permits have been booked in advance for the next 90 days. It means, no tourist would be allowing inside the Sanctuary for Safari. However, visitors need not to be disappointed as Gujarat forest department has developed an interpretation zone in over 400 hectares of land on the outskirts of Sanctuary where Asiatic Lions can be seen. Each permit allows six members to spend about three hours inside the sanctuary. In all, 1.32 lakh tourists visited the sanctuary in 2015-16.
It is worth mentioning that the Gir Sanctuary remains closed every year from June 15th to October 15th in wake of mating season of wild animals including the Asiatic Lions. But the Interpretation Centre at Devalia remains open entire year except for Wednesdays.
Scientifically known Panthera leo persica, the Asiatic lion found only in Saurashtra region of Gujarat. Also known as Indian Lion or Persian Lion is listed as International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). In the last census conducted in the year 2015 in its strolling areas of over 20,000 sq km in Saurashtra region, there were 523 lions including 109 adult males, 201 adult females and 213 cubs.
The Asiatic Lion is one of the five big cat species found in the country. The other four species are Bengal Tiger, Indian Leopard, Snow Leopard and Clouded Leopard. Once upon a time the Asiatic lion was found in West, South and Central Asian regions as well as in Eastern Europe. Now its areas shrink to Saurashtra region.

Veterninary colleges in Gujarat to have Crocodile Units

Sat,22 Oct 2016
Summary: He said in the year 1955, there were 1500 odd crocodile in the state and today there are around 2000 odd crocodile in the state. This is the practice which has been adopted by the forest department in case of rescue of Asiatic Lion. He said that apart from the mapping the department has also decided that they would carry out regular population estimation of the crocodile in the state. They are only trained to handle domestic vets," he said.Singh further said that the it was also decided that the department will also go in for a mapping of the areas which have strong crocodile population. The action plan will also give guidelines of where to release the rescued crocodile.During the meeting it was also decided to have a study on the diseases and its surveillance in the crocodile.
AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat forest department has decided to not only recognize the non-government organizations working in the field of rescue and research of crocodiles but will also set up a separate unit on crocodile which will carry out the research and other studies related to crocodile During a meeting held in Sasan on the World reptile day, the department decided that a microchip would also be inserted in all the crocodiles that have rescued or have been found to have attacked human. This is the practice which has been adopted by the forest department in case of rescue of Asiatic Lion. The microchip will inform the department if the reptile rescued was for the second time.Chief Conservator of Forest A P Singh said that during the meeting held in Sasan on Friday on the World Reptile Day it was decided that apart from having a special unit for crocodile has plans to suggest a special course on wildlife studies.

"We have observed that those veterinary persons who are recruited are to be trained. They are only trained to handle domestic vets," he said.Singh further said that the it was also decided that the department will also go in for a mapping of the areas which have strong crocodile population. He said that apart from the mapping the department has also decided that they would carry out regular population estimation of the crocodile in the state.


Lioness Jessica's cubs open their eyes

| Oct 23, 2016, 10:23 IST
Kanpur: The two newly born lion cubs opened their eyes for the first time at Etawah lion safari on Friday.

The Asiatic lion cubs were born to lioness Jessica on October 5. "The cubs are doing well. They are drinking milk at a gap of 18 to 20 hours and continue to do so until they are two months old. The nursing the cubs takes about 70% of the mother's time in the first few months. In six to eight weeks, they may begin to eat solid food," lion safari director Sanjay Srivastava said.

With fewer lions left in the wild, the new additions to the population in Etawah's safari offers a ray of hope for a species on the edge.

The safari authorities are monitoring the activities of the cubs with the help of CCTV cameras.

The cubs are 17 days old and their mother is a lioness brought along with Pataudi and Tapasya from Gujarat on December 15. The safari staff are working to make sure that the young ones of Jessica are protected.

Jessica has given safari officials much to celebrate with the arrival of her litter. Lion cubs are playful and active and have opened their eyes and pounce on one another and often roll around with each other in mock fighting positions.

After mating with Manan, a lion brought from a safari in Gujarat in 2014, Jessica became pregnant in June this year.

Another lioness, Girishma is being treated for canine distemper virus (CDV). Officials claim the lioness is recuperating.

To prevent the deadly CDV virus from spreading further, experts from San Diego Zoo in US visited the safari recently and vaccinated the big cats.

19-yr-old Jodhpur lion finds match

Lioness Gauri from Kota ZooLioness Gauri from Kota Zoo

| Updated: Oct 20, 2016, 09:37 IST
JODHPUR: On the day of Karwah Chauth on Wednesday, an auspicious day for the married women fasting for the long life of their husbands, Love of Jodhpur will be getting paired with Gauri of Kota at the Machia Biological Park.

Love, a 19-year-old lion at Jodhpur has been leading a solitary life since 2008 after the death of the lioness and the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) has permitted the only lioness at Kota zoo to be shifted to Jodhpur to align with Love.

Against lion, sisters show real gau raksha

Santok, who with her sibling Maiya, warded off a lionSantok, who with her sibling Maiya, warded off a lion

| | Updated: Oct 20, 2016, 15:19 ISTT
AHMEDABAD: A popular poem by Jhaverchand Meghani hails a 14-year-old girl of the Gir forest who protects a calf from a lion, using only a stick and fearlessness. The heroism extolled in the 20th century Gujarati verse, 'Charan Kanya', was displayed on October 9 in real life in Gir when two sisters repulsed a lion attack to save their cows.

Santok Rabari (19) and her younger sister Maiya (18) live in Mendhawas, a hamlet in the Gir sanctuary near Tulsishyam in Amreli district. The sanctuary is the only abode of Asiatic lions. Ten years ago, their father Jehabhai suffered a paralytic stroke. Since then, the sisters have been taking their cattle to graze in the forest.

"When a lion approached their herd, Santok and Maiya stepped between the lion and cattle, holding up their sticks and looking squarely into the lion's eyes," said Mansukh Suvagya, the founder of Jal Kranti, an NGO which works for cow welfare and water conservation. "When the lion backtracked, the sisters pressed ahead, forcing the lion to bolt."

Suvagya said he learnt of the girls' courageous stand from beat guards and local residents. "We joined the girls for five days when they took their cattle into the forest," he said. "We noted their confident body language". Santok, a demure girl clad in salwar-kameez, said their understanding of the big cats helped them. "If you show a lion your back, it will attack you. If you stand firm, it will leave you alone," she said.

Top Comment

Bravo,the girls are real heroine. Our aashirwad to all of them.surendra sharma

Though Santok is modest, forest officials testify to her steeliness. "I have personally documented at least five incidents in which Santok has shooed away a lion," said the range forest officer of Liliya, P A Vithlani. The sisters were feted for their bravery on Monday by Jal Kranti.

Wildlife experts say that people who live in Gir have a way with the big cats. "Lions are generally afraid of humans," said Y V Zala, a member of the Wildlife Institute of India. "If not provoked, they will generally backtrack on coming face to face with a human." H S Singh, a lion expert and a member of the National Board for Wildlife, said: "Most local residents grow up with knowledge of lion behaviour."

Gir Wildlife Sanctuary opens today, all safaris for next 3 months booked

Wild life Wild life

| Oct 16, 2016, 07:54 IST
RAJKOT: Nature lovers who wish to see Asiatic lions in their natural habitat can rejoice as the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary will open for tourist on Sunday after a four-month closure. However, those planning to book a safari now will have to wait for 90 days as bookings for this period are already full.

Gir region in Saurashtra, which is the last abode of the endangered Asiatic lion, has recorded a rise in the inflow of tourists ever since the state tourism department launched a campaign featuring Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan.

"The booking for Gir Jung le trail or safari as it is called is only done online. This time the sanctuary opens with bookings for the next three months full in advance," chief conservator of forests, (wildlife), Junagadh, A P Singh told TOI.

"In all, 90 permits are issued per day . Since the bookings for the next three months are full, those wishing to catch a glimpse of lions can visit De valia Interpretation Zone that is spread over 412 hectares," Singh added.

Devalia Interpretation Zone remains open throughout ne remains open throughout the year, except for Wednesdays. Tourists can get ticket at its current booking counter at Devalia Interpretation Zone or online. It is located some 7 km from Sasan Gir. Tourists are taken for safari in buses in the fenced zone where lions are kept in the open.

Singh said that on the first day on Sunday , forest officials will welcome tourists with garlands as the excitement among the tourists remains high during the `first show'. There are eight routes in Gir Wildlife Sanctuary for tourists who get vehicles from Sasan (Gir).

Each permit allows six members to spend about three hours inside the sanctuary. The forest department issues 90 permits a day and it goes up to maximum 150 a day during holiday and festival seasons when tourist inflow is more. In all, 1.32 lakh tourists visited the sanctuary in 2015-16.

Also, from this tourist season, Global Positioning Systems (GPS) have been installed in all tourist vehicles entering the sanctuary.There are 150 vehicles which operate as tourist vehicles.

Meet the women who are protecting Gujarat's lions

13 October 2016 by Julia Hudson
This article originally appeared in Traveller magazine, authored by staff writer Kevin Pilley.
Her workplace is a jungle. Her office is the scrub. She shares it with Indian rock pythons, marsh crocodiles and spectacle cobras.
Tripti is one of the Cat Women of Gujarat. Her job is to protect and nurse India’s pride. She has the scars to prove it.
Tigers are found across 17 Indian states, but lions in only one. The dry deciduous forest of the Gir in Gujarat, western India, is the world’s last remaining home of the Asiatic or Persian lion. It is the only place where you can see Leo panticara in the wild.
‘Isn’t he a good-looking chap?’ Tripti whispered, as we sat ten metres away from a fully-grown male, panting after its dusk breakfast.
The moon was waning and the temperature was already 40C.
Nearby, under a flame tree, a sorority of lionesses picked at the carcass of their morning kill, a spotted chital deer. Vultures waited in the tree tops. A crested serpent eagle circled above. There is a strict hierarchy among the scavengers. Jackals and hyenas would not be far away.
‘Welcome to the home of the jungle king!’ smiled 28-year-old Rasila Vadher from Junagadh district’s Bhanduri village. She has worked alongside Tripti as a ranger at the Gir National Park and Sanctuary since 2008, and was one of the first ‘lady rangers’ or behens. There are now 400 lady rangers and ‘lion nurses’, with a hundred more soon to be recruited. They were part of the team that rounded up lions held responsible for recent attacks in which three local people were killed.
Both Tripti and Rasila have rescued lions and leopards from village wells. Rashila needed 15 stitches on her wrist after being attacked while trying to tag a leopard with a micro-chip. She has undertaken over 800 rescues. ‘The most memorable was trying to rescue a lioness badly injured by a porcupine quill,’ she said. ‘We spent a whole day trying to get her into the cage.’
I met them on a dawn safari at the park, 400 kms’ drive from Ahmedabad. I had opted for this three-hour, £120 safari by jeep, in place of the unique, on-site attractions at my family-friendly Fern Resort in Sasan Gir – kite flying (seasonal), jiggery making, beginners’ kabaddi, lemon- and egg-racing, kho kho (tag), musical chairs and ‘make your own lion pug mask’. Instead I was hoping to see a very rare gene pool.
There were four of us on the dawn tour. A fat-tailed, rufous-faced American, a thick-kneed German couple, and bandy-legged, bald-headed me. The American was a keen photographer who couldn’t close his aperture. He went on and on about preventing motion blur and how he was on evaluative meter mode in JPG format and trusting to horizontal stabilisation. He thrust his outsize lenses past my nose. He was eager, he said, to add to his on-field wildlife portfolio.
He asked me what I was using. I said ‘O2 energy drink.’ To reduce camera shakes, I had invested in a tourist alcohol licence. Gujarat is India’s one dry state.
We bumped up and down through the scrub. Every tree root tested the coccyx. And met up with more lady rangers.
Rashila needed 15 stitches on her wrist after she was attacked while trying to tag a leopard with a micro-chip. She has undertaken over 800 rescues. ‘The most memorable was trying to rescue a lioness badly injured by a porcupine quill. We spent a whole day trying to get her into the cage.’
Begun in 1962, the Gir Lion Project is a conservation success story. The first lion count was undertaken in 1880 by a Colonel Watson. He recorded 12 lions. The first Forest Service tally was in 1963 and found 285. In 2010, 411 lions or vanrajs (kings of the forest) were recorded. In 2015, the numbers had risen to 523, a 27% increase in five years.
‘Gir forest management has become a model for the study of human-wildlife management,’ said Divisional Forest Officer Dr Sandeep Kumar, who oversaw the 2015 count. It involved 2,200 people, 30 zones, 625 counting points (mainly waterholes) and 22,000 square kms of the Saurashtra region. For the first time camera traps, drones and e-surveillance was used in the form of GPS (global positioning system). The whole operation took four days.
‘The numbers are rising because the women guards have been successful in creating new awareness amidst women and children in villages, as well as amidst the local semi-nomadic local tribespeople, the Maldharis,’ Dr Kumar explained as we crossed the Hiran river and followed the rangers on their Hondo Hero motorbikes. ‘The lions trust them more than men! They respond better. Reduction in the animal’s fear complex is so important.’
Once lions were widespread from Greece through the Middle East to eastern India. In Europe they died out 2,000 years ago. And were hunted near to extinction in India by princes, maharajahs and British nabobs on shikars (hunting safaris) – until hunting was banned by the Nawab of Junagadh, Mahabat Khanji 11 in the nineteenth century. The last reported sighting of a lion in Delhi was in 1834.
The lion has always had iconic status in India. Buddha’s first sermon was called simhanada (the lion’s roar) and he was known as Sakyasimha – the lion of the Sakya tribe. In Hindu mythology, the lion was the symbol of royalty and the king and his throne (the singhasan or lion’s seat) were inseparable. In northern India, Singh, meaning lion, has been a common middle or surname among Hindus as well as Sikhs since the seventh century. India’s national emblem, adopted in 1950, comes from the emperor Ashoka’s Lion Pillar of the third century BC.
India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, placed a lion pillar on the gates of his official residence in New Delhi. It replaced the Victorian symbols left by the British. In 2007 Modri, who was born in Gujarat, started a programme to involve more female villagers in conservation work. He has described the Cat Women of Gir as ‘gutsy girls’.
‘Our job is a serious and important one,’ says 27-year-old Manisha Vaghela, who once caught a gang of poachers hunting chinkara (gazelle). She and her colleagues are involved in rescue operations and have been trained to track injured animals.
Ranger Shabna says her job has been an empowering experience. She comes from the closed Muslim community of Jamanvada and it has changed her life: ‘I am very proud to be a forest ranger. To serve the Gujarat Forestry Department, to be a vanrackshak sahayak – a servant of the sanctuary.’
Vilas is a graduate who studied Sanskrit. ‘Before I knew nothing about the place where I lived and the animals I shared my life with. Now I can tell you the scientific names of wildlife. And the threats they are under.’
The behens work under the 1972 Wildlife Protection Act. There are fines for illegal grazing and teak-wood cutting as well as fires and other depredations of the environment. Ranger Kiran explained as we stopped for lunch: ‘We are preserving our heritage. The lion is the symbol of Indian sovereignty. The four-headed lion is on our bank notes. The Persian lions are the last remaining gene pool of the lions of Daniel, Androcles and the Roman gladiators.’
‘We are very lucky.You see some amazing sights,’ said her colleague Sonal as the jeeps moved on. ‘Like lions chasing a pangolin and leopards resting on termite mounds. The Gir has the largest population of leopards in India.’ A deer raced past. She smiled. ‘Their menu!’
The Asiatic lion is paler and slightly smaller than its African counterpart. It has less prominent ears, bushier elbow tufts and a fuller tail tassle. It has a characteristic skin fold down its stomach. Males can weigh up to 420 pounds. Lionesses, which do the hunting and can have six litters, weigh less at 190 pounds.
Lions are great wanderers and this is raising challenges. A male requires 50 square kms as his territory. Drought and dry riverbeds (caused by illegal mining of sandstone and limestone) as well as general habitat shrinkage have meant that lions are moving out of the Gir. Satellite colonies have been established in coastal areas, 60 kilometres away. Forty per cent of the lion population is now thought to live outside the forest.
For many people, translocation of the species is urgently needed: one outbreak of distemper could kill off the entire breed. But roaming lions are being electrocuted, drowned in parapet-less wells or hit by cars and trains. Fifteen people have been reported killed and 114 wounded in lion attacks in the last two years: 260 lions have been killed. And lions need to eat.
Kamlesh Adhiya is President and Founder of the Asiatic Lion Protection Society. He says: ‘Lions are great nomads. Great wanderers. Migration of lions has been recorded at Mithiyala and coastal forests up to Porbandar.
‘In the 1960s, 75 per cent of the lion’s diet was domestic livestock. By relocating and compensating Maldhari cow-men out of the forest, and by increasing the ungulate population, the share of domestic cattle in the menu of the lion has been reduced. The lions at Gir have changed their choice from domestic cattle to the wild ungulates like chital, wild boar, sambar and langur.’
In 2005, Asiatic lions were removed for the critically endangered species list. A breeding centre has been established at Sakkarbaug Zoo in Junagadh, Gujarat. ‘It is government and local people working together,’ concluded Dr Kumar as our Indian lion safari came to an end. ‘The lady rangers are frontline defenders of our wildlife. They are our foot soldiers. We have carried out hundreds of rescue and release operations over the years, as well as creating fire-towers, fire lines, dam work and other vital habitat management.’
A lion yawned and stretched in front of us. ‘They are remarkably resilient animals. They have shown that given half a chance they can survive. And thrive.’

Gir, Girnar vie for double pride

| TNN |
The sanctuary area is not only the sole abode of the Asiatic lion but also has a large number of ancient monumentsThe sanctuary area is not only the sole abode of the Asiatic lion but also has a large number of ancient monuments
AHMEDABAD: To draw international attention to Asiatic lions, the forest department has begun the process to secure Unesco recognition for Gir and Girnar sanctuaries. The department's success could make the zone the county's first to figure on both cultural and natural World Heritage Site lists. The area is not only the sole abode in the world of Asiatic lions but also the site of a large number of ancient monuments, including the Adi-Kadi Vav, Navghan Kuwo, Buddhist caves, and Ashoka edicts. A sun temple lies atop Girnar hills.

The forest department is likely to forward the dossier in 2017. "Later this month, I will hold a meeting with forest officials and expedite the matter," said Ganpat Vasava, the minister of forests. "We are preparing the proposal as we stand a good chance of getting the recognition," said chief conservator of forests A P Singh.

This will probably be the first proposal from the country in the mixed category of cultural and natural World Heritage Sites. Girnar hills, which attract pilgrims with their heritage sites, represent vital ecological heritage as well. For instance, they are vulture breeding grounds. The adjoining Gir forest is a national park and wildlife sanctuary.

The proposal will have to be cleared by the state's wildlife warden because the area in question is protected under India's forest laws. Subsequently, the proposal will be sent to the Union ministry of forests and environment, and then forwarded to Unesco. Officials said that the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, has been marked as a category-2 centre of the UN body for World Natural Heritage Management and Training, Asia-Pacific region.

As for lions' place in Gujarat, the world's first conservation manual was etched on the foothills of Gir 1,200 years ago by Ashoka, whose edicts on protecting animals sounds modern today. Much later, in the 20th century, Muhammad Mahabat Khan III - the last nawab of Junagadh - helped forestall lions' extinction by preserving vast tracts of the Gir forest to provide the royal beasts with a stable habitat. He banned hunting as well. The lion population had dropped to less than 20 in 1913; the population increased to 287 by 1936.

Railways wants retiring room in lion's abode

Wed,12 Oct 2016

Summary: The proposal for retiring room is totally unjustified as passengers don't need to take halt here as there are no connecting trains. "There are hardly four trains that come to Sasan station daily. The proposal recently came for discussion at the Gujarat State Wildlife Advisory Board which went ahead with a conditional nod that the facility would be for the use of railway officers and staff only. But the conditional nod says that it would be for official use only. We have to ensure that lion sanctuary remains intact," said Rohit Vyas, member of the board.Lions have often been spotted sitting on the Sasan platform and there is movement of other wild animals round-the-clock near the station.Railway officials have claimed that the facility will help generate revenue.
SASAN : At a time when haphazard constructions in and around Gir Wildlife Sanctuary has triggered concerns about crunching space for Asiatic lions, a proposal by the railways to build a sprawling retiring room at the Sasan Gir station has raised several eyebrows.Wildlife experts say that the retiring room is absolutely unnecessary and smacks of vested interests aimed at providing a cushy stay for officers at the picturesque station located inside the sanctuary.The railways proposes to build retiring rooms on 8,000 square foot area at the station even as only two meter gauge trains operate in the day time and the need for night halt for passengers does not arise. The proposal recently came for discussion at the Gujarat State Wildlife Advisory Board which went ahead with a conditional nod that the facility would be for the use of railway officers and staff only."There are hardly four trains that come to Sasan station daily. The proposal for retiring room is totally unjustified as passengers don't need to take halt here as there are no connecting trains.

We have to ensure that lion sanctuary remains intact," said Rohit Vyas, member of the board.Lions have often been spotted sitting on the Sasan platform and there is movement of other wild animals round-the-clock near the station.Railway officials have claimed that the facility will help generate revenue. But the conditional nod says that it would be for official use only. This shows that the intention is only to provide a luxurious stay within the forest," said Vyas, a recipient of Amruta Devi Bishnoi Wildlife Protection Award of the union forest ministry.V C Soni, a wildlife expert and board member, said, "If at all such a facility is required, it can be developed outside the sanctuary area.".


Deer numbers drop, foresters worried

(Representative image)(Representative image)

| TNN |
AHMEDABAD: For the first time in the past decade, the ungulate (hoofed mammal) population in Gir Sanctuary has registered a decline of around 15%. This was revealed when data collected during the summer census in May was collated by forest department in an internal exercise. Worried at the decline, the forest department has decided to re-conduct the census of sambhar and other ungulates in Gir forest.

A senior forest department official said that summer census figures show that the population of ungulates in Gir had dropped from 75,000 to 65,000 - the sharpest decline in a decade.

"The department has not been able to find an explanation for the nearly 15% decline in ungulate population," said an officer who assisted in the census and enumeration of data. Another officer, however, said, "The decline in reported numbers is due to the method of enumeration used."

Chief conservator of forest, Junagadh, R L Meena said, "This is an internal count of the department. The official census is held every five years, and the same was conducted in 2015."

Meena said, "However, we are again conducting the census for a couple of species in the forest including sambhar, as there has been a sharp decline in their numbers."

A senior forest department officer in Gir said the May census figures had not been collated until now and the report was yet to be sent to the department. Usually, the department takes two counts of ungulates - one in May and the other during winter. The report is usually sent to higher officers within a fortnight.

Principal chief conservator of forest (wildlife), J A Khan, said, "We are yet to receive the report as the final count has not been calculated, and hence it would be too early to comment on the decline."

However, experts feel that a decline in ungulate numbers would result in more lions moving out of the sanctuary to seek prey. The census 2015 has revealed that there were over 160-odd lions outside the protected sanctuary area. At present that number has crossed 250.

Forest officials said that around 40-odd lions had moved from Gir sanctuary due to monsoon and lack of prey.

HS Singh, a lion expert said, "I feel that the livestock population within the sanctuary is competing with the ungulate population. An increase in livestock may be related with the decline in ungulates."

Posted at: Oct 7, 2016, 1:42 AM; last updated: Oct 7, 2016, 1:42 AM (IST) Work nearing completion at Mattewara Nature Reserve

Posted at: Oct 7, 2016, 1:42 AM; last updated: Oct 7, 2016, 1:42 AM (IST)n Butterfly, botanical gardens, lion safari, elephant camp and interpretation centre to be added attractions

Butterflies have started visiting the butterfly garden.
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service
Ludhiana, October 6
The Forest Department is developing the Mattewara forest area into a nature reserve on around 2,000 acre forest land. Mattewara forest and the adjoining Jaspal Khadam area forest have been walled and this would be named as Mattewara Nature Reserve where a butterfly garden, a botanical garden, a lion safari as well as an elephant camp and ride in addition to an ‘interpretation’ area will be developed. While the work at butterfly garden is almost complete and botanical garden is expected to be completed in a month DFO Vishal Chauhan said they have sought permission from the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) to get animals from Gujarat. “We have already submitted a detailed project report to CZA, which had raised some objection, which have been resolved from our end. We are expecting an approval soon. Once it is done, we’ll start construction of the wall around the area where the lion safari will be developed,” he said. Meanwhile, three ponds have been created in the forest to provide water to animals and birds in the forest. “Earlier, animals used to go to the river for drinking water, but since the wall has been created for the forest reserve, ponds had to be created within the complex to provide water to animals within the reserve,” an official said. According to the officials, the work on the widening of the road leading to Nawanshehar from the district is on, which would see a rise in traffic from the road, where Mattewara Nature Reserve is coming up. “It will be near for Ludhiana residents and a ‘’showpiece of forests of Punjab’’ for people of Central Punjab to get close to nature and know more about it,” Chauhan said. Botanical garden to have 300 species of rare trees, plants  A botanical garden, adjoining the butterfly garden, is also being developed, where around 300 species of trees and plants, which are not common in the region, will be planted. These plants would also be brought from other areas, including Dehradun. "Landscaping is already being done in which three mounds have been created along with a small ''lake'' in the middle. A small ''island'' is also being made here. Apart from these, there will be areas in which different  species of plants including medicinal plants, palms, etc. would be planted," Nageen Kumar, forest guard at the reserve said. Plant varieties growing in water would be planted in the gardens. 20 varieties of shrubs, flowers to attract butterflies at the Butterfly garden  A butterfly garden is being developed, where around 20 varieties of shrubs and flowers, which attract butterflies, have been planted. These plants include both host varieties of plants on which butterflies lay eggs and nectar varieties of plants and shrubs from which butterflies draw nectar. These were planted around a month ago and butterflies have started coming to the garden already! "A small shed will also be created to provide shelter to butterflies in case it rains. The shrubs and plants have been brought from Dehradun," Pritpal Singh, block officer at the forest said. "As butterflies like natural environment, least amount of cement and unnatural objects will be used," he said. 7-8 lions to be brought from gir forest As a major attraction for tourists, a lion safari will also be planned on around 50 hectare land. Around 7-8 lions will be brought to the reserve from Gir Forest National Park and a wildlife sanctuary in Gujarat.  In addition to fencing of the area, sheds will be created for lions. There will be arrangement for visitors to see the area in a caged vehicle. 
Elephant ride
Another attraction at the park is an elephant camp. Elephant sheds have already been made in the area. Around three to four elephants will be brought to the reserve. There will also be an arrangement for having a ride atop an elephant.  Get all info at interpretation Centre For welcoming visitors to the complex, an interpretation centre will also be set up which will have information about the reserve and the forest in general. It will house a museum and a library regarding forests and wildlife. The centre will be made by the Public Works Department.

Gir lions to add volume to Neyyar pride

Lions at Gir wildlife sanctuary

By Express News Service  |   Published: 05th October 2016 10:16 PM  |  
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The lion safari park at Neyyar wildlife sanctuary in the district is set to reverberate with the roar of more lions. The Forest and Wildlife Department launched an all-out effort to get two more lions from Gujarat, the home of the Asiatic lion. The government has kicked off a process to get a pair of lions from Sakkarbaug Zoological Garden (also, Junagadh Zoo), Forest Minister K Raju told the Assembly in reply to a question. This will take the number of lions at the park to five. The Sakkarbaug zoo supplies pure breed lions for captive breeding programmes to conserve the endangered species. Forest and Wildlife officials said that the plan was to get a male and a female lion from Gujarat to boost the tiny lion population in Neyyar park. At present, the park has three lions, one male and two females. “The plan to get the lions had been hanging fire for some time. But now it has been revived,” an official said.

In the red list
The ones found in zoos aside, Asiatic lion, a sub-species (Panthera leo persica) is now confined to Gujarat. The IUCN red list names the sub-species, which is smaller in size than the thick-maned African lion, as ‘endangered.’ The 14th Asiatic Lion Census conducted last year revealed the presence of 523 individuals, including 201 females.
With an eye on increasing tourist foot-fall, the state government is planning to renovate and develop basic infrastructure at the the lion safari park, deer park and crocodile farm in Neyyar, the Forest Minister said. It is as part of this programme that the canteen in the park has been renovated, he said. The Neyyar Wild Life Sanctuary covers 128 sq km and has considerable ecological significance. The sanctuary is situated close to Kallakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu.

Lioness death: HC seeks report

Tue,04 Oct 2016
Summary: After the death of the lioness, two other lions had gone missing. AHMEDABAD: Gujarat high court on Monday asked the state government to submit a report on the investigation conducted into the death of a pregnant lioness caused by electrocution.The HC questioned the authorities after a PIL was filed in the matter demanding investigation by CID (crime) into the death. He has demanded formulation of a Standard Operating Procedure in case of unnatural deaths of lions. The court has also sought explanation about vacancies in the forest department, because the petitioner has demanded immediate filling up of the posts.The HC has kept further hearing in the matter on October 13. The Wild Life Crime Cell constituted in the past also remains dormant in such cases.
AHMEDABAD: Gujarat high court on Monday asked the state government to submit a report on the investigation conducted into the death of a pregnant lioness caused by electrocution.The HC questioned the authorities after a PIL was filed in the matter demanding investigation by CID (crime) into the death. The incident took place on September 1, and the carcass was found two days later in Hiran river in Talala range of Gir sanctuary - the last abode of the Asiatic lions Animal rights activist, Biren Pandya , has sought a police probe in this case on the ground that forest officials failed to conduct any inquiry in this case. After the death of the lioness, two other lions had gone missing.

Postmortem has revealed that the death was due to electrocution.Pandya has raised the issue that farmers around Gir sanctuary have put up electric fences around fields, and there are nearly 168 out of 523 lions that live outside the protected area. Their lives are at risk because of hostile behaviour by local residents.Pandya argued that inaction on part of forest officials, their apathy towards proper investigation, and their failure to crack the case would boost the morale of those who commit crimes against wildlife.Asiatic Lions have been facing the threat of extinction for more than a century and the task force that was to be set up to protect lions and probe their deaths has not been formed.The petitioner has cited the 2007 case of lion poaching and then crackdown on poachers by cops. He has demanded formulation of a Standard Operating Procedure in case of unnatural deaths of lions.


World Animal Day: 10 endangered Indian animals we need to save

Celebrating their existence, we have brought you 10 most endangered animal in India, who need our instant attention.
4 October  12:24 2016

New Delhi, October 4: Since 1929, October 4 is celebrated as World Animal Day every year with a purpose to benefit animals and the people who strive to improve their welfare. The day coincides with the feast day of Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.
According to the official website of Worlds Animal Day, their mission is to improve the lives of animals, to end animal cruelty and to advance animal welfare standards around the world.
The occasion celebrated for the welfare of animals is led and sponsored by UK-based animal welfare charity, Naturewatch Foundation since 2003.
Celebrating their existence, we have brought you 10 most endangered animals in India, who need our instant attention.
1. Bengal Tiger

The Bengal tiger also called the royal Bengal tiger, is the most numerous tiger subspecies. It is the national animal of both India and Bangladesh. We have 2,500 tigers left as per a 2011 report with a decreasing trend. None of the Tiger Conservation Landscapes within the Bengal tiger's range is considered large enough to support an effective population size of 250 adult individuals.
2. Asiatic Lion

The Asiatic lion, also known as the Indian lion or Persian lion, is a lion subspecies that exists as a single population in India's Gujarat state. Some Asiatic lions also live in zoos. It is listed as Endangered by IUCN due to its small population size.
3. Snow Leopard

The snow leopard or ounce is a large cat native to the mountain ranges of Central and South Asia. It is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species because, as of 2003, the size of the global population was estimated at 4,080–6,590 adults, of which fewer than 2,500 individuals may reproduce in the wild.
4. Blackbuck

The blackbuck is an antelope found in India. The blackbuck is the sole extant member of the genus Antilope. Bollywood actor Salman Khan had been under the scanner for a long time for its killing.

5. Red Panda

The red panda, also called the lesser panda, the red bearcat, and is a mammal native to the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. The red panda has been classified as Endangered by the IUCN because its wild population is estimated at less than 10,000 mature individuals and continues to decline due to habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching, and inbreeding depression, although red pandas are protected by national laws in their range countries.
6. Indian rhinoceros

The great Indian rhinoceros, also called the greater one-horned rhinoceros, is a rhinoceros native to the Indian subcontinent. It is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List, as populations are fragmented and restricted to less than 20,000 km square.
7. The Nilgiri Tahr
The Nilgiri Tahr is an ungulate, endemic to the Nilgiri Hills. Nilgiri tahrs are stocky goats with short, coarse fur and a bristly mane.
8. Kashmir Red Stag (Hangul)

The Kashmir stag also known as Hangul is a critically endangered species. This deer has a light rump patch and don't have a tail. Each of its antlers consists of 5 tines.
9. Lion Tailed Macaque

The lion-tailed macaque, or the wanderoo, is an Old World monkey endemic to the Western Ghats of South India. Its outstanding characteristic is the silver-white mane which surrounds the head from the cheeks down to its chin, which gives this monkey its German name Bartaffe - "beard ape". From 1993 to 1996, 14 troops were observed in Silent Valley National Park, Kerala, one of the most undisturbed viable habitats left for them.
10. Indian Bison (Gaur)

Indian Bison is the largest extant bovine, native to South Asia and South-East Asia. The bisons are highly threatened by poaching for trade to supply international markets.

Eco-tourism to conserve forests, wildlife

| TNN |
Varanasi: The department of tourism has joined hands with the forest department to promote eco-tourism to help in conservation of forests and wildlife in Uttar Pradesh. The department of tourism will provide civic and tourist amenities in national parks and wildlife sanctuaries jointly with forest department to attract visitors.

The state government has created nine ecotourism circuits to connect 34 ecotourism destinations in UP. One of the circuits Vindhya Mountain Circuit in eastern UP covers forest areas and wildlife sanctuaries of Kaimoor Wildlife Sanctuary (Mirzapur), Chandraprabha Wildlife Sanctuary (Chandauli), Hathinala (Sonbhadra), Vijaygarh (Sonbhadra) and Chunar/Vindham (Mirzapur).

"We have invested Rs 1.5 crore to improve amenities for tourists at Rajdari and Deodari waterfalls in Chandraprabha Wildlife sanctuary in Chandauli district. Besides, a fund of Rs 2.7 crore was invested for the conservation of Salkhan Fossil Park and tourist amenities in Sonbhadra district," regional tourism officer Ravindra Kumar Mishra said. According to ecotourism policy, the ecotourism plan for forest areas and nearby tourist destinations will be conservation centric. UP, with its 16,620 sq km forest area, is home to some exquisitely beautiful landscapes, forest vistas, meandering rivers and beautiful waterfalls and a large number of endangered birds and animals. There is one national park, 11 wildlife sanctuaries and 24 bird sanctuaries to provide protection to endangered biodiversity.

For the promotion of ecotourism, nine circuits have been created that include Western Wildlife Circuit, Lion Safari and Riverine Circuit, Terai Tiger Circuit, Bundelkhand Adventure Circuit, Vindhya Mountain Circuit, Western Bird/wetland Circuit, Central Bird/Wetland Circuit, Ganga Basin Circuit and Eastern Wildlife Circuit.

The Vindhya Mountain Circuit spreads in Chandauli, Mirzapur and Sonbhadra districts of eastern UP. It has Chandraprabha Wildlife Sanctuary and Kaimoor Wildlife Sanctuary. The Chandra Prabha Wildlife Sanctuary is the part of Kashi Wildlife Division situated in Chandauli district. It is endowed with beautiful picnic spots, dense forests and scenic waterfalls like Rajdari and Devdari. Once it was also the home of Asiatic lions brought here from the Gir forest of Gujarat.

Kaimoor Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Kaimur hills range in Mirzapur and Sonbhadra districts. It is the largest sanctuary in the state and occupies an area of about 1342 sq km. This sanctuary has ancient cave paintings and a fossil park. According to records, the animals making part of the habitat of the sanctuary are tigers, leopards, wild boars, sambar deer, chitals, four-horned antelope and nilgai. It is home to more than 70 species of resident birds, which stay here all around the year. The number increases in the migratory season during the winters, when there is an influx of birds from the Central Asia.

SAVE THE LION - `Fencing pvt farms around Gir a threat to lions, humans'

(Representative image)(Representative image)

| TNN |
RAJKOT: Forest department officials and experts on Tuesday voiced serious concern over iron fencing around private farms and houses that are coming up in large numbers on the periphery of the Gir sanctuary .
Experts said that the fencing had blocked the natural corridor of lions movement, forcing these wild cats to stray into areas of human habitation and even on the main roads.

The issue was discussed in detail on the concluding day of the two-day national workshop on `Conservation of Asiatic lions in Gujarat and initiatives for future management' held at Sasan Gir.

"Large number of farm houses are being constructed and most of them have an average eight feet high fencing around Gir forest and in greater Gir where lions are moving. Lions have been using these space as their natural corridors to move from one area to another. Many farms are spread in hundreds of acres land and are fenced. This is a serious issue in lion conservation," said Rohit Vyas, member Gujarat State Wildlife Advisory Board.

AK Sharma, former IFS officer, endorsed the idea and said that the fencing should be for demarcation purpose only . The fencing can be built as a stone wall too. "Ironically , forest depart ment provides subsidy to far mers to protect their crops from wild animals," Sharma said.

Giving an ex ample of one such big fencing area, a senior forest officer told TOI that a senior political lea der of Saurashtra has acquired 1,200 bigha land near Jesar in Bhavnagar, which is a major lion corridor towards Ranigala area. The entire area is fenced. "Naturally , lions will have to choose other routes which could be through human habitat or roads," he said.

The Ambardi interpretation zone is an example where 400 reserved forest land is fenced.

Lion conservation in Gir forest: Experts stress on landscape development, cattle policy

lion conservation, gir forest, gir lion conservation, gujarat wildlife, gir lions, forest conservation, rajkot news, india news, indian express news Forest Department of Gujarat has proposed to initiate drone surveillance in the forest areas of the state including in the Gir National Park, the only habitat of Asiatic Lion in the world.Retired IFS officer A K Sharma advised forest officers not to consider lions their assets, but their kings and “serve” them as their subordinates and servants.
By: Express News Service | Rajkot | Published:October 5, 2016 1:54 am

EXPERTS AND forest officers discussed on challenges facing the lion conservation efforts over the next 50 years and identified a few important areas which will require special focus at the end of a two-day national workshop at Sasan in Junagadh on Tuesday. “At the end of the workshop, the broader consensus was that for efficient conservation of lions over the next 50 years, lion movement areas should be brought under legal regime to the extent possible, staffing should be augmented, there should be a policy on cattle and dogs entering the forest, community participation should be increased and landscape development approach should be adopted,” chief conservator of forests of Junagadh wildlife circle, Aniruddh Pratap Singh, said.
The two-day workshop started on Monday at Sasan, the headquarters of Gir National Park and Sanctuary (GNPS) and concluded on Tuesday as part of the culmination of year-long golden jubilee celebration of Gir sanctuary. Senior forest officers, retired Indian Forest Service Officers and researchers shared their views on the success story of lions conservation in the state over the past 50 years and suggested plans for the next 50 years to strengthen and sustain the conservation regime.

Top official suggests pruning and thinning of Gir forest, but minister says no such proposal

Minister of State for Forest and Environment Shabdasharan Tadvi, however, said no such proposal was under consideration as of now.
Written by Gopal B Kateshiya | Sasan | Published:October 4, 2016 4:50 am

ADDITIONAL CHIEF secretary Punamchand Parmar, who held the charge of forest and environment department in the Gujarat government till recently, on Monday said the department should consider ways of accommodating more wild animals within protected areas to mitigate man-animal conflict, and suggested the idea of pruning and thinning of forests should be looked into.
Minister of State for Forest and Environment Shabdasharan Tadvi, however, said no such proposal was under consideration as of now.
Addressing the inaugural session of a two-day national workshop on conservation of Asiatic lions in Gujarat at Sasan, the headquarters of Gir National Park and Sanctuary, Parmar said it was encouraging that the population of Asiatic lions has gone up to 523 in 2015 from 177 in 1968. But at the same time, he said, it was a matter of concern also since the big cats were moving out of sanctuaries and roaming in areas dominated by humans.

Incidents of lion attack mostly during summer in Gujarat, says Jamal Khan

Written by Gopal B Kateshiya | Rajkot | Published:October 4, 2016 4:44 am

He said the highest number of casualties — seven — was recorded in 1989-90 and 1990-91 each.

AFTER SIX human deaths in attacks by lions this year in Gujarat, principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife) and chief wildlife warden of the state Jamal Khan Monday said such attacks are mostly reported in the summer as he called for more research on the matter.
Making a presentation on the topic of Policy and Planning Level Interventions for Conservation of Asiatic Lions: Past, Present and Future at a two-day national workshop on lion conservation at Sasan, Khan said the number of deaths recorded this year was the highest in decades. “Data available since 1978-79 suggest that 51 humans have been killed in lion attacks. Almost all of these lion attacks on human have taken place in the months of March, April and May. This calls for more research. The data also suggested that years which recorded the high number of human casualties in lion attacks were also the years of drought,” said the PCCF.
He said the highest number of casualties — seven — was recorded in 1989-90 and 1990-91 each. The year 1988-89 also had reported six casualties. Barring these three years, the number of human deaths in lion attacks had never been more than three in any year from 1978-79 to 2015-16. But the trend changed this year — so far, this calendar year has witnessed six human deaths lion attacks, he said.

50 YEARS OF GIR SANCTUARY - Experts to talk on lion conservation at Sasan

(Representative image)(Representative image)

AHMEDABAD: The two-day national seminar on `Asiatic lions' conservation in Gujarat and its future management' will begin from October 3 at Sasan-Gir.
The seminar is part of the concluding ceremony of Golden jubilee celebration of Gir Sanctuary. Chief conservator of forests (wildlife), Junagadh circle, A P Singh, said that nearly 200 experts and forest officials will attend the national seminar.

"The experts and resear chers will deliver lectures on the present situation of Asiatic lions in context with lions spreading outside sanctuary limits," he said.

State forests and environment minister Ganpat Vasava will preside over the function.

Alongside the seminar, an exhibition of paintings prepared as part of competitions held in primary, secondary and higher secondary schools on wildlife, human and wildlife and humanwildlife co-existence subjects, will also be organized.Around 3,500 students from 66 schools in 13 talukas participated in the competition. A committee will select 10 best paintings each from three ca tegories and the makers wil be given appreciation certifi cates, said Ram Ratan Nala, deputy conservator of forests, Sasan Gir (wildlife division).

On the occasion, a Gir Heritage Gallery showcasing conservation efforts from the time of the Nawab o Junagadh to the present, wil also be inaugurated. "The de partment will also display messages with their photog raphs. Messages of all the Prime Ministers and Presidents and those of important dignitaries will be on dis play," Singh said.

The gallery will also serve as a re search laboratory for those who want to study lions and their behaviour.

An eight-minute film highlighting the conservation and growth of lions over 50 ye ars will also be screened.

Singh said that 20-odd senior staffers will also be felicitated. These staffers have been working in the sanctuary for between two and three decades.

Trade in Wild African Lion Bones Banned

For Immediate Release, October 2, 2016
Contact: Tanya Sanerib, (503) 544-8512,

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa— Countries from around the world today banned all commercial trade in wild African lion bones and parts in response to growing evidence  that lion parts are increasingly being substituted for rare tiger parts in Asian markets. The huge demand for these tiger products is fueling illegal trade in lion parts. In protecting African lions domestically last year, the United States recognized the “considerable potential for extensive poaching of wild lions to occur in order to meet demand.”
Today’s decision was agreed to by countries that are party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), a treaty that protects imperiled wildlife and plants affected by trade. A ban already exists on commercial trade in Asiatic lions and their parts.
“The ban on trading wild African lion bones is an important first step to protecting these regal animals from the harmful effects of commercial and illegal trade,” said Tanya Sanerib, an attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “At a time when we are fighting tooth and nail to save tigers from extinction, we can’t turn a blind eye to the lion parts trade, which is fueling further demand for big-cat products in Asia.” 
South Africa breeds lions in captivity primarily for “canned” trophy hunting, but the skeletons and bones not used as trophies are increasingly being sold commercially to Asia. To combat this development, nations also agreed South Africa must create a quota for this trade and report it to the Convention. And the nations passed a suite of decisions calling for further study of lions, which now exist in only 8 percent of their former range.
“Worldwide scrutiny on the growing lion bone trade will help ensure that these beautiful and important cats persist into the future,” said Sanerib.
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.1 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

Video: Lions spotted roaming around in area inhabited by humans in Junagadh

DECCAN CHRONICLEPublished Oct 2, 2016, 1:57 pm IST
Junagadh: Lions are spectacular creatures and people from all over the world flock to lion centuries in Africa and Gir in Gujarat, as they spend hours with guides on safaris in order to catch a glimpse of the big cats in the wild.
But while the king of the wilderness may look majestic in the jungle, bumping into one in an area inhabited by human beings can be terrifying.
A video showing two Gir lions roaming around near a town in Junagadh district of Gujarat is doing the round on the social media, as it shows one moving out of sight after being caught on camera, the other is seen walking unfazed.
While such sightings are not rare in the villages and towns close to the Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, it does reflect how human settlements can get in conflict for animals as seen in different parts of the country.

Nahargarh Biological Park in Jaipur to get 2 Asiatic lions

Press Trust of India  |  Jaipur 
Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has arranged for the only pair of Asiatic lions in Jodhpur's Machia Biological Park to be shifted to the Nahargarh Biological Park in Jaipur.

Raje has instructed that the Asiatic lion pair, named Shravan and Tithi, be shifted to and colonised with another pair of Asiatic lions at the Nahargarh Biological Park.

Confirming the proposed displacement of the pair from to Jaipur, the DFO (Wildlife) Singh Rathore said would be getting a pair of lions in exchange.

The Gir National Forest is known as the last and the only refuge of this endangered animal, the total count of which has been reported at 359 as per a 2005 census.

Its population extended up to the Northern once but before the end of the last century, the Asiatic Lion had become extinct from everywhere except Gir, where since the conservation programme started in 1965, its count increased gradually on account of the endeavours of the local people and the state government.

Nahargarh has been proposed to be established as a centre for the breeding of the Asiatic lion.

Veterinarian of Machia Park Sharavan Singh Rathore said the pair is quite young and can easily be colonised with another pair of Asiatic lion already present in Nahargarh.

This is second such initiative in aimed at the conservation and population growth of the Asiatic lion.

Another such breeding farm for Asiatic lion is proposed to come up in Etah in UP.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Surat Zoo: Health of Asiatic lion 'Shyamal' leaves doctors worried

ANI  |  Surat (Gujarat) [India] 
The health of the famous Asiatic lion, 'Shyamal', one of the major attractions of the Sarthana Nature Park and Zoo in Surat, Gujarat, has left veterinarians worried.
The lion has been deteriorating for the last 25 days and has stopped eating and drinking water. It has been undergoing treatment for diarrhea.
Veterinarian Rajesh Patel said the big cat may be suffering from kidney disease.
"Shyamal did respond to treatment in between. However, his condition is worsening because he is not responding to medicines well, "said Patel.
Shyamal is the only lion in Surat's zoo.
Asiatic lions, different from African lions, with a characteristic skin fold on their bellies and thinner manes on the males , once roamed most of Asia.
India is also struggling to save its endangered tigers, as people invade their habitat and poachers kill them for body parts that fetch huge sums in the international black market.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Plea Seeks State Investigator To Probe Into Death Of Pregnant Gir Lioness

Plea Seeks State Investigator To Probe Into Death Of Pregnant Gir Lioness
Gujarat high court may hear the PIL seeking a CID probe on Monday. (Representational photo)