Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Will rule alter diet of Mysuru zoo animals?

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  • Mysore

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Roaring success: Lion cub triplets celebrate their first birthday at Cotswold Wildlife Park near Burford

Naomi Herring Reporter covering Bicester. Call me on 01865 425427
THE first lion cub triplets to be born at Cotswold Wildlife Park turned one this week – and it was only to fair for dad to get in on the action when it came to unwrapping presents.
Cubs Kali, Sita and Sonika, celebrated their birthday at the zoo, near Burford, on Thursday. And they received a pile of presents which mum Kanha and dad Rana couldn't resist a sneaky peek at.
Gifts included the cubs' favourite food treats.
The trio were welcomed to the wildlife park on May 25, 2016, the park's pair of rare Asiatic Lions making history with the park's first ever lion triplet litter.
Kanha gave birth to the three female cubs in seclusion in the park's birthing den. One year on, the lively litter are out playing and messing about in the lion enclosure.
Asiatic Lions, native to Gujarat, India, are one of the world’s rarest big cat species. Wild population numbers have declined drastically over the last century, almost to the point of extinction. 

Let the Asiatic lions roar in Kuno-Palpur , death of 160+ lions in GIR in last years !

Palpur-Kuno Sanctuary in Sheopur district is “ideally suited” for relocation of endangered Asiatic lions found in Gujarat’s Gir Sanctuary, a Supreme Court appointed expert committee has observed.
Even after evacuating 344 sq km area for Palpur-Kuno sanctuary and an additional 900 sq km of buffer zone, the Gujarat government is still not prepared to part with its Asiatic lions. Incidentally, both the states are BJP-ruled.
As Asiatic lions exist only in Gir sanctuary, experts have often expressed apprehensions that high rate of inbreeding and less genetic diversity could make them susceptible to epidemics and make them extinct. In 1993, WII conducted a study to identify the best area for translocation of lions and they found Kuno-Palpur in Sheopur district, nearly 140 kms from Gwalior, most suitable. In this light, a proposal was mooted to translocate a few of the Gir lions to MP in 2000. Wildlife activist Fayaz Khudsar filed a public interest petition in the apex court in 2006 and sought translocation of Gir lions to MP. In April 2013, the apex court in a judgment directed that the lions be translocated to Kuno-Palpur in MP.
Supreme Court-constituted committee and the Madhya Pradesh government held a meeting, after which the panel found the environment at Palpur-Kuno sanctuary fit for the Asiatic lions.
Forest department officials said that only political will is required for translocating the Gujarat lions. "Madhya Pradesh has addressed all concerns raised for over a decade by Gujarat officials with regard to the issue," a senior forest department official said.
The Gujarat Forest Department has admitted that more than 160 Asiatic lions have died in the Gir forest in the last two years since the 2015 census put their population at record 523.
This included death of 95 lions from April 2015 to March 2016, and another 67 from April last year to date. What was more shocking of the 95 deaths recorded last year was that 25 died unnaturally, including of electrocution by coming in contact with live wires put up by farmers to save their crops from herbivorous animals, and falling into wells left open by farmers in their fields, the department revealed in a reply to a query under the RTI Act.

More than 2 decades have passed but Asiatic Lions have not been translocated to Kuno Palpur . Kuno is one of the best habitats possible for the Asiatic Lions to roar !
The opposition has been raising the issue but no steps have been taken for the translocation of Asiatic Lion to Kuno Palpur .

Travel: 4 top wildlife destinations in India to visit before monsoon

Discover big cats, primates, birds and more as you go wildlife spotting across India before the monsoon

For tigers: Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve, Maharashtra
Spread across an area of 1,727 sqkm, this reserve is home to not just the majestic tiger, but also panthers, barking deer and dhole.While the park is open throughout the year (unlike many others in the country), the best time to spot tigers is from February to May. Summers are blisteringly hot in Tadoba, with temperatures crossing 45°C, but this is the ideal time for sightings, as vegetation is scarce and the mammals come outto drink from the few remaining water sources. Excursions take place early in the morning, and in the evening.

For Apes: Hoollongapar Gibbon Sanctuary, Assam
Kaziranga and its rhinos overshadow Assam's other gems, but the entire Northeast is, in fact, home to fascinating flora and fauna.
And this sanctuary, situated amidst lush tea plantations, is where you will find one such rare species — the Hoolock Gibbon. India's only apes, these adorable creatures spend most of their time up in the trees, swinging from branch to branch, picking fruits along the way.
Hoolock Gibbons are an endangered species, with their population having severely diminished over the last three decades. Set out early in the morning with a guide for a chance to spot one.
How to get there
The airport in Jorhat (30km away) is connected by flights via Kolkata and Guwahati.

For birds: Nagarhole National Park, Karnataka
This national park in Karnataka is known to be a birdwatcher's paradise. The best time to go birding is early in the morning, before it starts getting hot.
You will find around 200 species of birds here, from common ones like painted storks (in pic) and kingfishers to the critically endangered Oriental White-backed Vulture and the yellow-beaked Malabar Pied Hornbill.
There are also animals to be spotted here, including the Chital, Sambar, Gaur, and Asian Elephant. The forest department conducts safaris through the park in the mornings and evenings.
How to get there
Nagarhole National Park is 90km away from Mysore, which is connected by train to Bengaluru.

For lions: Gir National Park, Gujarat
Catch a glimpse of the king of the jungle by going on a lion safari through this national park. Gir is the only natural habitat of the Asiatic Lion, and housed around 523 of them at last count (2015 census). This number that has gone up steadily over the last few years. However, that's not all you get to sight here. The park is also home to leopards, sloth bears, striped hyenas, blackbucks and monitor lizards, among a variety of other species. Gir National Park is open till mid-June, from 6 am to 12 pm and from 3 pm to 6 pm.
How to get there
Gir National Park is 78km away from Junagadh, which has a railway station that connects to bigger cities.

Gir National Forest: Abode of Asiatic Lion in the world

The sanctuary has enough wildlife to keep you occupied even if you’re not lucky to see a lion.

Gir National Forest: Abode of Asiatic Lion in the world
By Venkat Ganesh
Imagine this. As you enter the jungle to look at the famed Asiatic lions on a misty morning in an open air jeep, the crisp winter air bites you. Your eyes begin to water and your ears begin to go numb due to the cool air. And yet your senses are on the lookout for any movements from bushes on both sides of the dusty track or some sounds from canopy above warning of the presence of a predator.
All of a sudden your forest guide asks the driver to stop and warns you not to get off the vehicle as he gets downs. He bends down and points his fingers at the pug marks on the dirt road. A look at them for a few seconds and he can tell the animals gender, the number of them in the pride, their age and how many minutes ago the pride would’ve passed by.  He follows the footprints a few feet down the road and then climbs back into the vehicle but this time asking the driver to follow the pug marks and drive slow.
A few hundred meters (or a couple of kilometers) down the track he asks the driver to kill the engine. He has spotted a pride of lionesses and cubs. You’re still struggling to see them among the bushes, camouflaged well but he can. And then you see them as well. It as he had told you to expect. A chill runs down your spine. Especially when it’s the first big cat that you’ve seen in a wild.
Though not as big in size or possessing as lustrous mane as its African sibling, the Asiatic lion does not lack in majesty. And having almost gone to the brink of extinction due to relentless game hunting in the first half of 1900s, the lion population made a revival due to conservation efforts of the royal family of Junagad, the local tribes and the forest department. Today there are more than 400 of them and growing.
Gir National Forest
Located at an hour’s drive from Junagadh, Gir National Forest is the only abode of the Asiatic lions in the world. However, the national part is not just home to lions but also to more than 300 leopards, 200 species of birds, and numerous animals, reptiles and amphibians.
The sanctuary has enough wildlife to keep you occupied even if you’re not lucky to see a lion. The best times to spot maximum wildlife, the guides advice are the months of summer when all the animals come to the watering holes to have their quench their thirst. However, the cooler months February and March are much better if you can’t bear the heat.
And not just other wild animals, for centuries humans have co-existed with the lions in this part of the world. The Maaldharis are semi nomadic herdsmen tribe and still continue to live in small scattered settlements throughout the national park. Being cattle herders, living in a land of lions can be dangerous and ever so often they lose an animal to the bug cats. But they think of it as nothing more than an offering to the Gods who have taken their share for all they have offered to the tribe by giving them everything they need in the jungle. In fact a few of the government appointed guides themselves are from the maaldhari tribel and they play a huge rule in the conservation of the Asiatic lions.
Wildlife enthusiasts can enter the sanctuary in one or all of the 3 three hour slots of the day. The first of the slot is the 6am-9am slot, followed by the 9am to 12pm and then the final set of jeeps are allowed to enter the sanctuary at 3pm in the afternoon.
The access to the sanctuary is by permit only which cost Rs 500 per 4 wheeler. For those who don’t have their own mode of transport, the forest department provides a jeep with a driver which is another Rs1200. Along with the permit having a guide is mandatory and costs another 500. If you’re in a group, it is possible to share all these costs otherwise a single trip to catch a glimpse of the big cat can turn out to be an expensive affair at Rs 2200.
In a country like India which is full of tiger reserves, it’s definitely worth a visit to the lion country of Sasan Gir to know for yourself why it is called King of the Jungle.


Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park: Asiatic lion, giraffe, rhinoceros, chimpanzee likely to arrive this year

The zoo authorities are in talks with seven zoos — Jaipur Zoo, National Zoological Park Delhi, Nehru Zoological Park Hyderabad, Bannerghatta National Park Bangalore, Mysore Zoo, Pardyuman Park in Rajkot and Sanjay Gandhi Jaivik Udyan Zoological Park
Written by Shub Karman Dhaliwal | Chandigarh | Published:May 22, 2017 10:41 am

 THE AUTHORITIES of The Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park, also known as Chhatbir Zoo, are making attempts to get new attractions including giraffe, rhinoceros, chimpanzee, Asiatic lion and a Royal Bengal Tiger through animal exchange programmes this year. The zoo authorities are in talks with seven zoos — Jaipur Zoo, National Zoological Park Delhi, Nehru Zoological Park Hyderabad, Bannerghatta National Park Bangalore, Mysore Zoo, Pardyuman Park in Rajkot and Sanjay Gandhi Jaivik Udyan Zoological Park.

More than a decade ago, Chhatbir zoo was home to a rhinoceros and is now again pushing to get the animal from the Patna zoo. “It was in 2003 when we last had a rhino and it died a natural death. Since then the zoo hasn’t had any rhino and this time around we are pushing for it. Hopefully we will get it by October,” said a zoo official, requesting anonymity. The zoo is also reattempting to bring in a giraffe after two failed attempts in the past.
“The problem we face with an adult giraffe is its transportation from one place to another as it is risky given its height. There have been two incidents in India when giraffes died during transportation. This was the reason we cancelled the deal seven to eight years ago. But now instead of an adult, we are looking to bring in a calf from the Mysore zoo,” added the official.
The exchange between zoological parks across India is based on the availability of the surplus species. At present the Chhatbir Zoo has sambar, spotted deer, black bug, goral, hog deer, painted stork bird, spot billed duck, budgerigar parrots and a few other exotic birds in surplus.
The zoo is home to 1,270 animals from 102 species. Among other animals that the zoo authorities are trying to bring are Indian wolf which is a sub-species of grey wolf, Asiatic Lion, Royal Bengal Tiger and chimpanzee. The zoo last had a chimpanzee in 2009. The zoo official said, “The lion and tiger are being brought to bring in a change in the blood line of the these very species present in the zoo.”
If all goes well then the zoo will be home to these new animals in the month of October since during extreme summers animals are not shifted to new places as it involves risk to their health.
Chhatbir Zoo is among the most visited zoos in the region. In the beginning of the year, it broke its own record of highest number of visitors when over 14,000 people thronged the place on January 1.

Rajasthan lioness that gave birth to 5 cubs gets parenting tips from BBC, Nat Geo

Asiatic lioness Tejika was shown documentaries on how lions behave with their cubs in the wild. She gave birth to five cubs at Nahargarh Biological Park recently.
Updated: May 24, 2017 13:05 IST
Manoj Ahuja

Lioness rescued from Indian circus shown BBC and Nat Geo wildlife videos for parenting tips

Zoo staff are showing documentaries to the lioness after her sister fatally injured a cub from her first litter.

A lioness at a zoo in the north Indian state of Rajasthan is reportedly being shown videos of big cats parenting their cubs. The novel method was adopted as the lioness, which was rescued from a circus along with her sister a few years ago, has not experienced motherhood or seen other cats parenting their cubs.
Authorities at the Nahargarh Biological Park have installed a television in cage of Tejika, an Asiatic lion. She is being shown documentaries - from the BBC and National Geographic - of how big cats in the wild behave with their cubs, and how they lift cubs in their mouth and move around without hurting them, the Hindustan Times reported.

The decision to show the videos to the lionesses was made after Tejika's sister – named RT and kept in a different park – accidentally killed one of her two cubs earlier this month while trying to pick them up using her mouth. One of the cubs died instantly while the other was seriously injured.
Taking care of cubs was new for the sisters, forest officials were reported as saying. Asiatic lions are found only in India's Gir National Park in the Gujarat state. Tejika and RT were rescued from a circus in Gujarat a few years ago.
Tejika gave birth to five cubs over a period of three days, said Rajasthan's chief wildlife warden Arindam Tomar. One of them was stillborn, while another one is battling for life due to extreme weakness, he said.
The other three cubs are healthy and the lioness is taking good care of them and feeding them regularly, Tomar said.
"We don't know what impact the documentaries had on her but she is doing better than her sister," he added.
The lioness was not keen on watching the videos initially but started paying attention after a few days, Tomar said. The videos are shown to her only for a short period of time each day, and the zoo officials say that injuries are common for the first litter of lions even in the wild.
The zoo officials hope the TV experiment will work for the lioness and her cubs but wildlife experts doubt whether watching documentaries would make a difference to an animal's behavior.
The behaviour of lionesses towards their newborn is not uniform and cannot be compared, said wildlife expert Raza H Tehsin. It would be "very difficult" to say what impact the videos have had on a particular lioness, he said.
Behaviour of lionesses towards their newborn is not homogeneous ~ representational imageWill Burrard-Lucas/ WWF

Roaring success: Lion cub triplets celebrate their first birthday at Cotswold Wildlife Park near Burford

Naomi Herring Reporter covering Bicester. Call me on 01865 425427

THE first lion cub triplets to be born at Cotswold Wildlife Park turned one this week – and it was only to fair for dad to get in on the action when it came to unwrapping presents.
Cubs Kali, Sita and Sonika, celebrated their birthday at the zoo, near Burford, on Thursday. And they received a pile of presents which mum Kanha and dad Rana couldn't resist a sneaky peek at.
Gifts included the cubs' favourite food treats.
The trio were welcomed to the wildlife park on May 25, 2016, the park's pair of rare Asiatic Lions making history with the park's first ever lion triplet litter.
Kanha gave birth to the three female cubs in seclusion in the park's birthing den. One year on, the lively litter are out playing and messing about in the lion enclosure.
Asiatic Lions, native to Gujarat, India, are one of the world’s rarest big cat species. Wild population numbers have declined drastically over the last century, almost to the point of extinction.

Near Gir Sanctuary: Youth held for holding ‘illegal’ lion shows

The accused knew of spots where lion pride could easily be spotted and used to conduct his operations after nightfall.

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad | Published:May 7, 2017 5:25 am
A youth was arrested from near the Gir Sanctuary for illegally organising “lion shows” for tourists, forest department sources said Saturday.
The accused, Ashish Agrawat, a resident of Talala in Gir-Somnath district, was detained by the Range Forest Officer of Talala on Friday. The forest department has been searching for him, for his alleged involvement in a two-month-old case where a forest trekker was ‘stabbed to death’ by seven persons who were conducting an illegal lion show, near Dhari in Amreli district. “During the interrogation of the accused caught in the Dhari case, the name of Agrawat came up. We have been searching for him since then,” said a forest official who requested not to be named.
During the interrogation of Agrawat, he admitted that he used to conduct lion shows in the revenue area close to Hiran river between Mandor and Bherala villages of the district, the official added. The accused knew of spots where the lion pride could be spotted and used to conduct his operations after nightfall. “We have confirmed this from the villagers who lived nearby,” the official said. Agrawat is currently out on bail and will be called in for questioning in the presence of senior forest officials on Monday, the officer added.
These incidents of organising “illegal” lion shows have come to light in areas that lie in close proximity to the Gir sanctuary.
Earlier in March this year, a forest trekker, Dharmendra Vala, was killed on the spot after a forest patrol came under attack from a group of persons who were conducting an illegal lion show, near Bordi village, in Dhari taluka of Amreli district.

Records show shrinking of ESZs finalized before HC stay

| | May 9, 2017, 04.00 AM IST
AHMEDABAD: Even as the Gujarat high court on April 19 had ordered a stay on issuance of final notification by the Centre on declaring the Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ) around Gir Wildlife Sanctuary, it has emerged that the Expert Committee on ESZ had already cleared the area reduction of ESZs proposed in Gujarat and recommended them for final notification on April 11.

The committee chaired by Dr Amita Prasad, additional secretary of ministry of environment, forest and climate change, had apparently met on April 11 for the committee's 25th meeting in New Delhi. Minutes of the meeting show that the Eco-Sensitive Zone revisions had been cleared and sent for final notification.

Sources in the Union MoEF ministry said the April 11 meeting had cleared the revised proposals for Nalsarovar, Hingolgarh and Porbandar wildlife sanctuaries, besides the revision for Gir ESZ, following a proposal forwarded by the state government.

Sources in the ministry said that the April 11 meeting had been convened for taking up just one proposal of Maharashtra and eight proposals of Gujarat.

The other two proposals that were cleared included finalizing the ESZ limits of Barda and Velavadar wildlife sanctuaries. The ESZ expert committee shrunk the revised ESZ for Gir by increasing the near limit from 0 km to 0.5 km and slashing the far limit from 17.9 km to 9.4 km.

The committee had also reconsidered and cleared the revised proposal for Nalsarovar, Hingolgarh and Porbandar wildlife sanctuaries while it rejected the revision proposal for Gaga wildlife sanctuary and Khijadia wildlife sanctuary.

Ironically, the ESZ committee in its meetings held between October 19 and October 29, 2016, had already approved all these proposals for final notification.

The minutes of the April 11 meeting, while clearing the proposal for Gir, reads, "The Chairperson pointed out that the Gir Sanctuary possesses high visibility and has international recognition and therefore, optimization of the extent (ESZ boundaries) proposed by the state should not adversely affect the biodiversity of the protected area."

"However, the Chairperson emphasized to maintain minimum distance of 500 metre where zero extent is proposed and map to be revised accordingly," the minutes mention.

"After deliberations, the Committee recommended the proposal for final notification subject to submission of revised map with minimum distance of 500 metre so as to have minimum adverse effect," record the minutes.

Sources said that curiously the final gazette notification for the five proposals of Nalsarovar, Khijadia, Hingolgarh, Porbander and Gaga were not printed in the Gazette even as they were cleared in the meeting in October last year.

The publication of notification regarding ESZs around Gujarat's sanctuaries may have been stalled at the behest of Gujarat government, which therafter shrunk ESZ boundaries in almost all important sanctuaries, said sources.

The final gazette notification for majority of the sanctuaries from other states that were cleared in October, were published soon. For example, the final notification for Bir Shikargarh Wildlife Sanctuary in Haryana, cleared in the October 2016 meeting, was printed in the gazette on November 23, 2016.

Different yardsticks

Officials pointed out that the ESZ expert committee seemed to have different yardsticks for similar issues. In the proposal for Gir Sanctuary, while excluding the gramtal of Talala from ESZ, the committee accepted the argument: "In case of Talala town; the Gamtal (areas of villages) have been kept outside the ESZ for local development needs."

But in the same meeting. while taking up reconsideration for Khijadia, it declined to exclude one village citing that need for local development of the area was already addressed in the ESZ notification. "Therefore, the committee was of the view that the proposal which was earlier recommended shall remain same for final notification," the committee said, thus rejecting the change proposed by the state government.

Parliamentary panel worried about shifting of lions

| | May 5, 2017, 01.34 PM IST
AHMEDABAD/RAJKOT: Contrary to the apex court judgement, the parliamentary standing committee on science and technology, environment and forests, has in its recent report, expressed its apprehensions at the shifting of lions to Kuno Palpur from Gujarat.

The committee report, which was tabled in the Rajya Sabha

The report says, "During the meeting, the committee also expressed apprehension about the shifting of some extra lions from Gujarat to Kuno Palpur in Madhya Pradesh. In this context, the committee was informed by the ministry that carnivore populations restricted to a single site are prone to various epidemics as well as natural calamities or retaliatory killings, which may result in their extinction."

However, the committee report has noted the fact that lions were found in an area of around 22,000 sq km. The present distribution range of Asiatic lions, also called the "Asiatic Lion Landscape" (ALL) falls in the seven districts of Saurashtra region of Gujarat state. ALL is also known for high density of large carnivore population in many protected areas such as Gir National Park, Gir sanctuary, Girnar sanctuary, Pania sanctuary, Mitiyala sanctuary and many other reserved and protected forests.

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Officials in the Gujarat forest department said the report comes at a time when the 12-member committee, formed on the apex court's order of April 2013, ordered the translocation of lions to Kuno Palpur.

The committee in its last meeting in December 2016 at Kuno, had stated that the wildlife habitat was "ideally suited for a second home for lions". However, in principle, the Gujarat government had not opposed translocation, the minutes showed that Gujarat wants all 33 studies, mandated by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) in 2013 for wildlife relocation across the world, to be conducted to check whether Kuno was suitable for translocation or not.

‘Windmills in Gir can harm lions’

HC has issued notices to State govt, PCCF and the company
Claiming that windmills being set up by a private company near the Gir sanctuary will be detrimental for the lions, a public interest litigation was filed in the high court. After primary hearing on Friday, a bench of Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice VM Pancholi issued notices to the State government, principal chief conservator of forest and the company that is planning to set up the project.

“We have filed petition challenging construction of large sized wind mills in the crucial lion habitat near reserve forest in Talaja Range. The com-pany has planned to construct 27 windmills in this area which would be detrimental to the existence of lions and other wildlife in the corridors of the last surviving Asiatic Lions in the world,” said Anand Yagnik, counsel for the petitioner, Lion Nature Youth Foundation. The plea stated that construction of the wind farm and movement of heavy vehicles would cause irreparable damage to the wild population of Asiatic Lions and other scheduled species of birds and animals.

“The land given to the company is a government wasteland and is surrounded by gauchar land in some areas,” it said. Petitioner submitted that 25 Asiatic Lions on an average and 121 leopards died due to unnatural causes, in which electrocution played a major part. “Transformers being set up in the area are an impending danger,” the plea claimed.

Queen lioness ‘Rajmata’ is back in wild

Queen lioness ‘Rajmata’ is back in wildRajmata, the lioness queen of her territory near Amreli, was released back into the wild on Sunday after a threeday treatment of the injuries she had sustained during mating with three lions. Chief Conservator of Forest (Junagadh range) A P Singh said she was being treated at Jasadhar Animal Health Center. The locals’ favourite lioness is recognised by the radio collar tied around her neck by the forest authorities. Her claim to fame is that she has lived in the surroundings of the Krankach village near Amreli for the most of her 15-year-long life and was among the first movers into the area.

She’s also the reason why the Krankach surroundings have the highest density of lions in the entire Saurashtra peninsula, the only place where Asiatic lions are found. According to forest officials, she has mated five different lions in the last 12 years (a lioness matures at age of three) and given birth to healthy cubs none of which had died over the years. An average lioness gives birth every three years (36 months) but Rajmata has delivered cubs every 28 or 29 months.

District Conservator of Forest Mohan Ram said: “She’s the largest lioness I have ever seen. She’s grandmother to several mature lions and lionesses in the area. However, exact number of cubs delivered by her is not on record.” Dr Jalpan Rupapara, radiologist, who has studied lions for over nine years, said: “Rajmata’s the most magnificent lion or lioness I have ever seen. She has mated five lions in her lifetime. In the last one month she mated with three different lions during which she received injuries and had to be admitted for treatment. I have myself seen her deliver 13 cubs, the highest ever by any one lioness, though the overall figure could be much higher. She looks much younger than other average 15-year-old lioness.”

Rajmata reigns as the ‘queen’ of Liliya-Krankach belt, about 42 km from Amreli town. About 28 lions reside in the area in the vicinity of the Shetrunji river. Out of 124 lions in Amreli, as per 2015 census, 80 were recorded in Savarkundala, Liliya and its adjoining areas. The area falls under the Bruhad Gir area which has been declared as eco sensitive zone by the forest department.

‘Her strength, grace is sight to behold’

Liliya-based wildlife activist Rajan Joshi said: “Rajmata traverses 100 km between Gondal and Botad. She is believed to be the mother and grandmother of almost all the 40 lions found in the area. Not only Rajmata’s strength, but even her size is impressive.”

Lion cubs taken care by forest officials sent to rescue centre

  • TOI
  • Ahmedabad

Parliamentary panel pitches for ‘Project Lion’

| | Updated: May 3, 2017, 07.14 AM IST
Representative image Representative image
RAJKOT/AHMEDABAD: The central government must take up the conservation of endangered Asiatic lions on the lines of Project Tiger.

This is an important recommendation that the 31-member Parliamentary committee that visited Gir forest on January 17 has made in its report. The committee headed by Congress MP Renuka Chowdhury has strongly pitched for a 'statutory support' to strengthen lion conservation efforts.

"The committee is of the view that the Asiatic lion is still endangered on account of its low population. A mechanism is already in place for providing statutory support for protecting tigers and elephants. In view of the decreasing number of the lions, the committee recommends that the Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change must take necessary steps for providing statutory support for strengthening lion conservation and, on the lines of Project Tiger and Project Elephant, come up with a 'Project Lion' to protect lions and their habitat," the committee's report stated.

The committee had held discussion with NGOs, civil society organizations, state forest department and the Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change on the issues relating to Gir forest.

The panel has also expressed apprehension about shifting of some extra lions from Gujarat to Madhya Pradesh and lauded the state forest department's conservation efforts.

"The committee was informed by the state forest department that the Gir ecosystem can take legitimate pride in saving critically endangered Asiatic lion from the threshold of extinction at the beginning of the twentieth century by affording it a relatively safe habitat. With timely and prompt conservation efforts made by the Gujarat forest department, the Asiatic lion population increased and dispersed to other areas also and formed different distant populations in the landscape. The most important aspect of the Gir Protected Area is that it has become a very stable ecosystem with tremendous regenerating, self-supporting and self-sustaining capability due to its rich and diverse flora and fauna and intensive protection and management by the forest department. Along with lion, this region also supports many other rare and threatened flora and fauna," the report stated.