English language news articles from year 2007 plus find out everything about Asiatic Lion and Gir Forest. Latest News, Useful Articles, Links, Photos, Video Clips and Gujarati News of Gir Wildlife Sanctuary (Geer / Gir Forest - Home of Critically Endangered Species Asiatic Lion; Gir Lion; Panthera Leo Persica ; Indian Lion (Local Name 'SAVAJ' / 'SINH' / 'VANRAJ') located in South-Western Gujarat, State of INDIA), Big Cats, Wildlife, Conservation and Environment.
These big cats don’t eye villagers, just their cattle
| Photo Credit:
The lions that live outside the Gir forest are subsidised by people
The Asian lion may be ‘mrigaraja’, the ‘king of deer’, but
it was the prey of royalty, who displayed their valour as lion-slayers.
By the late 19th century, hunters had wiped out all signs of the tawny
cat from the country, across northwestern India, east to Bihar, and as
far south as the Narmada.
The hills of Kathiawar, a malarial
outpost, saved its sorry roar. Even here it would have fallen had Lord
Curzon not granted a reprieve in 1900. He turned down an invitation from
the Nawab of Junagadh to take down a lion or few, out of concern that
the species was on its last legs. Only then did the native ruler become
aware of the species’ distressing circumstances.
agriculturalists poisoned their share of lions for taking their
livestock. But one community wasn’t too perturbed about the cats’ taste
for their livestock — the Maldharis. One of their deities, Kankeshwari,
sported an ox in one hand and a lion in the other. Another was Bhavani,
who rode a lion. Starting an unabated climb
1920, Sir Patrick Cadell, the Diwan of Junagadh, counted 50 lions, and
J.M. Ratnagar of the Bombay Forest Service said there were 100 left. The
Indian government protected the 1,400 sq.km. Gir forest, but the
numbers wobbled up and down before beginning an upward climb that has
The white-clad Maldhari men herded their animals in
the area and grew accustomed to being surrounded by prides of lions.
Armed with stout staffs, they were said to knock any lion on the head if
it came too close. Their vegetarian diet meant the lions could eat
their kills in peace. In return, the cats didn’t mess with the people,
having eyes only for their cattle.
“This is not to be misinterpreted as a lack of ‘wildness’ in these lions,” says Ravi Chellam, who studied lions in the 1990s.
no mistake, these lions are more than capable of hunting sambhar, wild
pigs, chital and a whole host of both wild and domestic prey species. My
interpretation of this rather peaceable relationship between the lions
and human beings is that over the years the lions have got used to human
presence and it also helps that most people do not disturb the lions.”
the Maldharis laidback attitude towards the carnivores, biologists in
the 1970s saw the tribals as the main threat to lions. Their cattle
out-competed wild herbivores and degraded the forest, they said. About
580 households were relocated to make Gir National Park the sole
preserve of lions.
While the cats flourished, the people who were
made to leave became poorer, selling lands they didn’t know how to till
to work as wage labourers. In the adjoining wildlife sanctuary, a few
hundred Maldharis continue to live with their animals.
In the mid
1980s, Gir brimmed with lions and young adults started colonising
forests within a 20-kilometre radius. According to the 2015 census, 523
Asian lions live in four districts of Gujarat. As many as 40% of them
roam outside forests, in crop and sugarcane fields and mango orchards,
where lion numbers exploded by 130% in five years. To get a sense of
just how rural these wild beasts have become, have a look at the
numerous video clips on YouTube. They wander through a village, race
across fields, try to cross a highway.
Despite the abundance of
wild game in Gir, the lion population rose by less than 5%. The cats now
occupy about 13,000 sq.km., sheltering in Prosopis thickets along the
southern coast and in little forested patches. Several of these patches
are too tiny to entirely support even one lion.
In 2011, the
Forest Department estimated the cats killed about 90 livestock a month.
Meena Venkataraman, a researcher who studies lions, estimates cattle
made up the entire diet of 45 lions since one lion has to kill a buffalo
or two cows a month. Earlier this year, H.S. Singh, a retired forester,
estimated lions took 3,400 heads of livestock. Of course, no lion eats
only cattle. Turning a blind eye
as 75% of these cats living outside Gir are subsidised by people. If
they said they had had enough of the lions and refused to tolerate any
further predation of their stock, what would become of the 200 lions
living outside Gir? What makes these people turn a blind eye to the
Many of the farming communities in these new lion
territories don’t have a cultural affinity for or history with lions as
the Maldharis do. They could have demanded the forest department make
their villages safer by removing all these predators. Instead, they
learnt the value of having these predators around. Their bête noire
isn’t the lion as much as the nilgai or wild boar that eat their crops.
If lions didn’t keep their numbers in control, farming losses would be
But to the cats, domestic meat tasted as good as wild
game. Domestic animals are corralled in secure enclosures for the night,
so the predators cannot get to them. The lions strike when the
livestock return home in the evenings after grazing all day.
Occasionally, something flips a switch. In April-May 2016, lions killed three people in villages neighbouring Gir.
The forest department captured 17 and identified three it thinks are guilty of the crime. Since then calmness has prevailed.
The author is not a conservationista but many creatures share her home for reasons she is yet to discover. @JanakiLenin
Delhi Last Updated at September 30, 2017 00:20 IST
In an attempt to address illegal wildlife trade across 19 countries of Asia and Africa, India is
hosting the Global Wildlife Programme (GWP) jointly with World Bank and
United Nations Development Programme. Union Minister of Environment,
Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan will inaugurate the Global
Wildlife Programme on October 2. Briefing mediapersons on the Global
Wildlife Programme here today, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that India is
playing a leadership role in management of wildlife through involvement
of local communities. Pointing out that no programme can succeed solely
because of Government policies, the Minister said that peoples
participation at societal level can ensure its success. Five crore
people living around national parks and sanctuaries are working as
partners in environment conservation", Dr. Harsh Vardhan said. The
Minister pointed out that a 15-year National Wildlife Action Plan
(2017-31), with a special focus on peoples participation will also be
launched on October 2. He emphasised that the Conference will act as a
platform for knowledge exchange and coordination on the action taken on
the ground to combat illegal poaching of wildlife and improve governance
on wildlife conservation. Dr. Harsh Vardhan underlined the fact that
the number of rhinos, tigers and elephants is in fact, increasing.
The Minister said that till now programmes and plans related to
wildlife were focused on and around national parks and sanctuaries.
However, the strategy and programmes will now be based on the landscape
of the region. He added that the impact of such issues as global
warming, climate change and disaster management on the people living
around wildlife areas and on the wildlife will also be discussed.
Coinciding with the Wildlife Week, the theme of the Conference is -
Peoples participation in wildlife conservation". The meeting will bring
about strengthened cooperation between India and
the 18 GWP countries in better management of wildlife habitats and
minimizing human-wildlife conflict situations. It will also enable India to strengthen its enforcement mechanism to control illicit trade.
The GWP will hold discussions on management of wildlife habitat,
securing sustainable community livelihood, enhancing enforcement,
monitoring, cooperation to reduce wildlife crimes such as poaching and
related threats. The Conference will provide an opportunity for India to
showcase its conservation efforts through joint forest management, vana
sanrakshan samitis, eco-development committees in and around Protected
The proposed outcomes of New Delhi Conference include:
Reiterating Mahatma Gandhi principles to the world, as the Conference
coincides with Gandhi Jayanti and UN International Day of Non- Violence
on October 2, 2017; Take leadership in Wildlife Conservation by
showcasing Indias conservation models for Asiatic lion, single horn
rhino, tiger and Asiatic elephants; Consolidating peoples participation
for wildlife conservation"; Need to strongly address unaccounted black
money generated through illegal wildlife trade at global market;
Sensitise stakeholders like Governments, corporate, banks, public
sectors, media, youth etc for investments in wildlife conservation and
develop sustainable models for wildlife conservation thorough peoples
participation in 19 GWP countries.
The meeting will host
wildlife experts, leading practitioners across 19 GWP countries,
government representatives from Indias forestry and conservation
sectors, leading corporate associated with environmental and
biodiversity conservation, civil society organisations and school
children. The participating nations include Afghanistan, Botswana,
Cameroon, Ethiopia, Gabon, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Mali,
Mozambique, Philippines, Republic of Congo, South Africa, Tanzania,
Thailand, Vietnam, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In addition, representatives of
World Bank, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations
Environment Programme (UNEP) and International Union for Conservation of
Nature (IUCN) will also be present. Earlier, four similar Programmes
had been convened at Gland (Switzerland), Hanoi (Vietnam), Nairobi
(Kenya) and Liberville (Gabon). Led by the World Bank, the Global
Wildlife Programme was initiated in 2015.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
Another southern state, Andhra Pradesh, is also mulling over setting
up a milch animal breeding centre and has sought Gir cows and Jafrabadi
buffaloes from Gujarat.
The Gir cow breed is indigenous to the Gir forest and surrounding regions in Saurashtra and is known for its high milk yield.
The government of Kerala has sought 200 Gir cows from the Gujarat
government as part of its efforts to make the southern state
self-sufficient in milk production. A delegation led by K Raju, the
Kerala minister for forests, animal husbandry and zoos, recently met
Babu Bokhiria, the Gujarat minister of animal husbandry and cow
breeding, seeking Gir cows for a breeding centre.
Considering, the menace of gau rakshaks (cow protectors), the Kerala
government has also sought assurances of safe passage through Gujarat
Bokhiria confirmed that a Kerala delegation had met him with the
proposal. "A minister from Kerala had come to meet me, seeking around
200 cows. But they are yet to put forward a final proposal. We cannot
sell the cows, but we could give them for free. They, may, however
procure the cows from private persons," Bokhiria said.
The Kerala minister, K Raju, said also confirmed that they had sought cows for a breeding centre.
"We have sent a proposal to the Gujarat government regarding Gir cows.
We sent the minutes of the Kerala government cabinet meeting to the
minister there (in Gujarat)," said Raju.
About the menace of gau rakshaks, he said, "We will definitely take up
the issue with the Maharashtra government for safe passage. We are not
going to transfer too large a number of cows so there will not be much
Similarly, Gir cows and Jafrabadi buffaloes from Gujarat will also
soon moo in Chandrababu Naidu's Andhra Pradesh, under its 'Gokul Gram'
project. The AP government will set up a breeding and research centre
for cows and buffaloes for which AP officials recently met Gujarat
ministers, said Vallabh Kathiria, chairman of Gujarat Gauseva and
Gauchar Vikas Board.
oft-trodden paths of popular tourist destinations can often be too
crowded and too cliche to become the kind of amazing and memorable
vacation you wish to share with your family.
The festive season is a time for
togetherness and to make memories that last forever - which is unlikely
to be accomplished by waiting in long queues, straining to see some
sights over the shoulders of strangers, or having to lift up your child
so he or she can understand why thousands are straining to look at the
same faraway object or sight.
How are you meant to make this time
about your family when you have to share this time with so many other
people? Haven't you sometimes wished while on vacation that you were the
only people there?
What you need is a change in
destination. There are many wonderful places to see, especially in a
country as vast and varied as India. Offbeat tourist destinations offer
beautiful tourist experiences, while adding to it the feeling of
adventure and thrill that comes when you take the road less travelled. Exploring some beautiful places
together and sharing the experience adds to the feeling of being part of
a family. Children are also more enthused when they learn about and see
things that they have never experienced or heard of before.
Here is a list of some natural parks
and reserves in India by Jayanth Sharma, Co-founder & CEO at Toehold
that are packed with fun for the whole family and will fulfill your
desire for a great Diwali vacation.
-Ranthambore: This vacation, instead
of splurging on royal heritage hotels or opulent villas in Rajasthan,
head to Ranthambore National Park and Tiger Reserve. Well known for
sightings of tigers, you can also spot sloth bears, leopards, and
jackals in their natural habitats.
Spotting exotic species and engaging
in wildlife photography in this vast natural reserve offers an unmatched
travel experience. If spending a day chasing wildlife makes the
children restless, you can spend the next day at the Wild Dragon
Adventure Park. Overlooking the beautiful lakes and hills of this
pristine reserve, it is a perfect spot for kids (and adults!) to enjoy
activities such as bungee jumping, zorbing balls, riptide rides, and a
haunted house, amongst many other exciting rides for the adrenaline
- Bandhavgarh and Kanha: You don't
have to travel all the way to Africa to experience the pleasure of an
elephant safari. The Bandhavgarh National Park in Madhya Pradesh offers a
scintillating mist-laden journey through the heart of the tiger's
habitat, all centred around a haunting 2,000 year old fort, said to have
been gifted by Lord Ram to his brother Lakshman.
The neighbouring Kanha natural
reserve, the inspiration for Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book,
showcases no less than a 1,000 species of flowering plants, and is
spotted by lush grassland meadows which are frequented by the pride of
the jungle, the 'barasingha' or swamp deer. Children will find it
exciting to be gamboling across paths traveled by Mowgli, and
potentially spot a Royal Bengal Tiger.
- Kaziranga: A UNESCO world heritage
site, Kaziranga National Park in Assam hosts two-thirds of the world's
one-horned rhinoceros. While Assam is well-known for its sprawling lush
tea gardens, this reserve showcases its rich natural heritage and
The park is home to wild water
buffalos, swampdeers, tigers, elephants, hog badgers, capped langurs,
hoolock gibbons, wild boars, jackals, wild buffalos, pythons, and
monitor lizards. Gift your child a rewarding experience by opting for an
elephant safari to explore the sanctuary, and capture on film the rare
sights of Indian rhinos and Asiatic elephants.
- Gir: Gir is famous for being the
only natural habitat still in existence for the Asiatic lion. On a
safari at the Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, you can
also spot other elusive wild species such as blackbuck, chinkara, wild
boar, and hyenas.
The forest houses a network of
pristine rivers and rivulets that supply freshwater to this dry teak
forest, and to the resident species which include the Indian cobra, the
Ruddy mongoose, the striped hyena, and the honey badger. The beautiful
flora, grasslands and rocky hills combined with a thriving wildlife
population makes Gir a unique travel getaway with family and friends.
- Jim Corbett: The Jim Corbett
National Park is located in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand and
offers one of India's greatest wildlife and eco-tourist retreats. From
large elephant herds grazing on the sunny grasslands to tigers resting
in the shade, Asia's first natural reserve has something for all
Get set for a magical safari with
kids and also enjoy fishing, angling, river rafting, rock climbing,
river crossing and traversing. Don't be so busy looking for the tiger
that you miss out on the wide variety of bird species -Jim Corbett
National Park is home to over 500species of birds such as brown dipper,
wall creepers, white-capped water redstarts, gray-headed fish-eagle,
plumbous and many species of wagtails.
Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje
introduces 3 cubs littered by Asiatic lioness Tejika at Nahargarh
Biological Park to her followers on Twitter.
Jaipur: The lion safari planned for Nahargarh Biological Park in Jaipur may take at least one more year to materialize.
The government has dropped the plan to bring lions from Gujarat and has instead decided to use Asiatic lioness – Tejika and her three newborn cubs at Nahargarh zoological park for lion safari.
The state safaris are known for tigers and panthers however with the
advent of the lion safari, people will also get to see the king of the
jungle roaming in the forest. This will be the first of its kind safari
in the state. Animal lovers though will need to wait for another year
for this to happen.
There’s a 22 feet long wall planned surrounding the lion safari.
There are will cover 36 hectares including 10 caves and 3 water bodies.
The Nahargarh Biological Park encompasses an area of 720 hectares of
which 80 hectares is covered by the zoological park. The 22 feet long
wall will comprise of 5 feet of the concrete wall while the rest of it
will be fenced boundaries. Tejika lioness in Nahargarh has recently
given birth to three cubs and the family will be moved to the lion park.
The Nahargarh sanctuary is located about 12 km from Jaipur on the
Jaipur-Delhi highway and is famous for its vast flora and fauna along
with its conservation activities.
At Nahargarh Biological Park, one can expect to see over 285 species
of birds, of which, the most popular is the white-naped tit, which can
only be found here. The Nahargarh Zoological Park is also worth a visit
and houses animals such as Asiatic lions, Bengal tigers, panthers,
hyenas, wolves, deer, crocodiles, sloth bear, Himalayan black bear, wild
boar, etc. Nahargarh Biological Park: one cub of lioness Tejika dies, another battles for life
Yes! The Wildlife Conservation Network announced a $1 million commitment from the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF) to the Lion Recovery Fund (LRF). Recently, Leonardo DiCaprio announced that the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation will award $20 million in grants to more than 100
environmental organizations that focus on a variety of causes. The
announcement to commit $1 million to the Lion Recovery Fund is part of the grant portfolio.
LRF was created by the Wildlife Conservation Network (WCN) to help recover lions across Africa. LRF will work to create lion protection units to help combat the poaching of lions, as well as a community engagement project to train local communities to use camera traps to document the presence and abundance of lions and other wildlife.
“Lions are a keystone species and play a critical role in African
ecosystems. Recovering them means the protection and restoration of
Africa’s extraordinary biodiversity that drives a $34 billion tourism
economy,” said Justin Winters, Executive Director of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.
Lions once roamed most of Africa and parts of Asia and Europe. However, today they are found only in parts of sub-Saharan Africa, except for one very small population of Asian lions that survives in India’s Gir Forest. According to WCN,
lion populations have seen a precipitous decline from 200,000 to just
over 20,000, over the last century. What’s more, thousands of other
lions and wild cats are held captive, either in the entertainment
industry where they are often abused and neglected, such as in circuses, zoos, and parks. Or they’re captured from the wild and held in people’s backyards as exotic pets. In fact, there are more tigers in people’s backyards than there are in the wild.
The king of the jungle, lions are the only cats that live in family units,
and they have been revered throughout history for their courage and
strength. We are thrilled to know lions have Leonardo DiCaprio on their
oft-trodden paths of popular tourist destinations can often be too
crowded and too cliche to become the kind of amazing and memorable
vacation you wish to share with your family.
festive season is a time for togetherness and to make memories that
last forever - which is unlikely to be accomplished by waiting in long
queues, straining to see some sights over the shoulders of strangers, or
having to lift up your child so he or she can understand why thousands
are straining to look at the same faraway object or sight.
are you meant to make this time about your family when you have to
share this time with so many other people? Haven't you sometimes wished
while on vacation that you were the only people there?
you need is a change in destination. There are many wonderful places to
see, especially in a country as vast and varied as India. Offbeat
tourist destinations offer beautiful tourist experiences, while adding
to it the feeling of adventure and thrill that comes when you take the
road less travelled.
some beautiful places together and sharing the experience adds to the
feeling of being part of a family. Children are also more enthused when
they learn about and see things that they have never experienced or
heard of before.
is a list of some natural parks and reserves in India by Jayanth
Sharma, Co-founder & CEO at Toehold that are packed with fun for the
whole family and will fulfill your desire for a great Diwali vacation.
This vacation, instead of splurging on royal heritage hotels or opulent
villas in Rajasthan, head to Ranthambore National Park and Tiger
Reserve. Well known for sightings of tigers, you can also spot sloth
bears, leopards, and jackals in their natural habitats.
exotic species and engaging in wildlife photography in this vast
natural reserve offers an unmatched travel experience. If spending a day
chasing wildlife makes the children restless, you can spend the next
day at the Wild Dragon Adventure Park. Overlooking the beautiful lakes
and hills of this pristine reserve, it is a perfect spot for kids (and
adults!) to enjoy activities such as bungee jumping, zorbing balls,
riptide rides, and a haunted house, amongst many other exciting rides
for the adrenaline junkies.
Bandhavgarh and Kanha: You don't have to travel all the way to Africa
to experience the pleasure of an elephant safari. The Bandhavgarh
National Park in Madhya Pradesh offers a scintillating mist-laden
journey through the heart of the tiger's habitat, all centred around a
haunting 2,000 year old fort, said to have been gifted by Lord Ram to
his brother Lakshman.
neighbouring Kanha natural reserve, the inspiration for Rudyard
Kipling's The Jungle Book, showcases no less than a 1,000 species of
flowering plants, and is spotted by lush grassland meadows which are
frequented by the pride of the jungle, the 'barasingha' or swamp deer.
Children will find it exciting to be gamboling across paths traveled by
Mowgli, and potentially spot a Royal Bengal Tiger.
Kaziranga: A UNESCO world heritage site, Kaziranga National Park in
Assam hosts two-thirds of the world's one-horned rhinoceros. While Assam
is well-known for its sprawling lush tea gardens, this reserve
showcases its rich natural heritage and gorgeous forestland.
park is home to wild water buffalos, swampdeers, tigers, elephants, hog
badgers, capped langurs, hoolock gibbons, wild boars, jackals, wild
buffalos, pythons, and monitor lizards. Gift your child a rewarding
experience by opting for an elephant safari to explore the sanctuary,
and capture on film the rare sights of Indian rhinos and Asiatic
Gir: Gir is famous for being the only natural habitat still in
existence for the Asiatic lion. On a safari at the Gir Forest National
Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, you can also spot other elusive wild
species such as blackbuck, chinkara, wild boar, and hyenas.
forest houses a network of pristine rivers and rivulets that supply
freshwater to this dry teak forest, and to the resident species which
include the Indian cobra, the Ruddy mongoose, the striped hyena, and the
honey badger. The beautiful flora, grasslands and rocky hills combined
with a thriving wildlife population makes Gir a unique travel getaway
with family and friends.
vigilantes pose a threat to Kerala’s plans to achieve self-sufficiency
in milk production, the state’s Animal Husbandry Minister said. The
southern state had put on hold its ambitious project to bring 200 Gir
cows, a high-yielding species, from Gujarat following apprehensions
about transporting it by road because of the reported presence of ‘gau
rakshaks’. State Minister for Forests, Animal Husbandry and Zoos K Raju
said Kerala had planned to procure the Gir breed as part of its efforts
to boost milk production.
Not just from Gujarat, but procurement of cows from other states has
also been hit hard by the possible threat of mob violence in the name of
protecting cows, he said.
“We have not abandoned our plan to procure Gir cows from Gujarat. It
is under active consideration. But, we have put it on hold due to the
risk of transporting the cows,” Raju told PTI.
Known for their yield, Gir cows belong to the Gir forest region and
surrounding districts of Saurashtra region of Gujarat. The ability to
withstand hot climates make the high-quality breed a favourite of
Kerala was planning to procure as many as 200 cows by paying over Rs one lakh for each bovine.
Raju said he had recently visited Gujarat and met the minister concerned to discuss the plan.
“The authorities in the state had responded positively. The
availability of cows was also not an issue. Our plan was to go to the
villages there and procure cows directly from farmers,” the minister
The Gujarat authorities had ensured safe transportation of the cows within the state borders, he said.
“But, we have to travel through other states, including Maharashtra,
before reaching Kerala. It will be very risky to transport the cows
through this distance in the wake of reports about the presence of cow
vigilantes,” he said.
He said despite the threats, the state wished to go ahead with the
project and necessary steps would be taken in this regard soon.
Stating that cow vigilantism had hit Kerala’s prospects in milk
production, the minister said it should be stopped at the earliest.
“Lakhs of people are earning a living rearing cattle in the country.
The threat from gau rakshaks has badly affected their livelihood. It has
also hit the state’s plan to achieve self-sufficiency in milk
production,” he said.
The procurement of high breed cows from other parts of the country is
essential to achieve the target and depending solely on local breeds
would not help do so, the minister added. http://indianexpress.com/article/india/cow-vigilantes-pose-threat-to-keralas-white-revolution-plans-4859023/
An Asiatic lion is seen at ZSL London Zoo’s 2017 annual weigh-in
event in London, Britain, on Aug. 24, 2017. With more than 20,000
animals in their care, ZSL London Zoo’s keepers spent hours during the
annual weigh-in event recording the heights and weights of all the
animals to monitor their health and well-being. (Xinhua/ZSL London Zoo)
-EDITORIAL USE ONLY- http://deathrattlesports.com/xinhua-weekly-photos/54889
It expressed surprise and concern over the decision
and asked the government whether it wanted to destroy wildlife,
forests, rivers and sanctuaries, instead of protecting them.
Court’s sharp criticism of the central government’s decision to reduce
the radius of eco-sensitive zones around national parks and wildlife
sanctuaries from 10 km to 100 metres is right and well-deserved. The
court has termed the decision an “arbitrary exercise of powers”, which
will lead to the destruction of parks and sanctuaries. It expressed
surprise and concern over the decision and asked the government whether
it wanted to destroy wildlife, forests, rivers and sanctuaries, instead
of protecting them. Under the Wildlife Conservation Strategy adopted by
the Wildlife Board of India in 2002, the area within a 10-km radius from
the boundaries of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries were notified
as eco-sensitive zones under the Environment Protection Act. The
Supreme Court had also endorsed this. But the Ministry of Environment,
Forests and Climate Change has quietly reduced this buffer zone from 10
km to just 100 metres through a series of notifications since 2015.
zones adjoining national parks and sanctuaries are treated as their
integral parts and extensions. Commercial activities like setting up
industries, construction of houses and mining are banned in these zones
because such activities in close proximity to the protected areas would
pose a serious threat to them. There has even been a view that the
buffer zone should be extended further. There is no proper control over,
and supervision of, the 10-km zone now and that has led to
encroachments and poaching on a large scale. A 100-metre buffer is no
buffer at all and amounts to its virtual elimination. Offenders need to
walk just a few steps to enter the forests or sanctuaries for their
illegal activities. The disappearance of the buffer zone will lead to an
increase in man-animal conflict which is even now a serious problem.
Tourism, which is among the government’s top priorities, will also be
court made its comments in a case that challenged the environmental
clearance given to an industrial unit located close to the Dadra and
Nagar Haveli wildlife sanctuary. A reduction in the eco-sensitive zone
has also made 59,400 apartments in Noida legal. The National Green
Tribunal had disallowed their construction as they came within 10 km of
the Okhla bird sanctuary. Some protected areas in Karnataka and around
the Gir forest in Gujarat are under similar threat. It is clear that the
government did not care for the environment, forests, wildlife and
public interest when it took the decision. It is widely seen to have
acted under pressure from interested lobbies. There was no public
consultation over the matter. The government should reverse its decision
at the earliest. http://www.deccanherald.com/content/634426/does-govt-want-destroy-wildlife.html
The BMC has become more cautious after the penguin fiasco.(Pratik Chorge/HT PHOTO)
will have to wait a little longer to see animals such as Bengal tiger,
Asiatic lion, sloth bear, jackal and wolf at Byculla zoo, as the
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has delayed awarding contracts
worth Rs 120 crore to build these animal enclosures. It wants to first
verify credentials of the bidders and check the documents they have
submitted before the contracts can be awarded.
The BMC had to
scrap an earlier contract given to Highway Construction, after it was
revealed that the contractor submitted forged experience letters,
claiming to have worked with an American firm specialising in handling
Director of Veermata Jijabai Udyan, Dr Sanjay
Tripathi said, “There are four bidders for the second phase. They have
submitted all documents but we want to ensure these documents are
verified, only then will the contracts be awarded. That’s why the date
of opening the bids packets of contractors was shifted forward from
September 21 to September 27. Work on constructing 17 animal enclosures
is set to begin by November, and is part of phase two of the zoo revamp
project. It will then take at least two years to complete.
is the second time the BMC floated tenders for the second phase, after
scrapping Highway Construction’s contract last year. The earlier tender
process received bidders, but municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta directed
zoo officials to scrap the process, insisting that applicants have
specific skill set and experience in zoo related work. A civic official
said all applicants in the earlier tender process had experience in
construction, but not in handling this specific work.
seems to take extra caution with contractors following it’s experience
with Highway Construction, the contractor who constructed penguin
enclosures. Highway construction was supposed to carry out the entire
zoo revamp project, but its contract was scrapped after completion of
the first phase. The BMC was unhappy with the firm as it delayed
construction work of penguin enclosures, and submitted fake documents. http://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai-news/no-new-animals-at-byculla-zoo-as-mumbai-civic-body-delays-contracts-for-enclosures/story-eP8UPfpvhYV0eBejabRB0N.html
Asiatic lions attracted several eyeballs as they leisurely crossed the
coastal highway between Bhavnagar and Una in Amreli district on Monday.
Forest department sources said during monsoon, lions often keep changing places to avoid mosquitoes and other insects.(Photo: TOI)
RAJKOT: A pride of at least seven Asiatic lions attracted several eyeballs as they leisurely crossed the coastal highway between Bhavnagar and Una in Amreli
district on Monday. Sources said that the pride was first seen by some
locals resting on a hillock near Balani Vav village close to the coastal
town of Rajula.However, as it started raining, the lions gradually began shifting
from the hillock towards the highway. The pride then crossed the highway
and stayed put in an open ground for a long time. Forest department
sources said during monsoon, lions often keep changing places to avoid
mosquitoes and other insects.
However, this is not the first time that Asiatic lions have been
spotted straying on the state highways, national highways or even the
internal roads. Such spotting was rare few years ago.
With the lion population steadily rising, large numbers have ventured
out of the Gir Sanctuary and reached up to the coastal areas of
adjoining Amreli, Gir-Somnath and Bhavnagar
districts. Satellite populations of these critically endangered species
are seen sauntering around in the revenue areas, sometimes even
venturing into the villages and preying on the domestic cattle.
By Express News Service |
Published: 18th September 2017 05:33 AM |
Last Updated: 18th September 2017 07:27 AM |
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has expressed displeasure with Odisha
Government over its delay in demarcation and notification of the
elephant corridors in the State.
Hearing an ongoing case last week, the Eastern Zone Bench of the
tribunal said, it was disappointed with the lethargic pace of work of
the State agencies.
On January 13, the NGT had directed State
Government, Secretary to Forest and Environment Department and Chief
Wildlife Warden to expedite the process.The Government had submitted
that work of habitat viability assessment and ground truthing of 14
identified corridors was handed over to Asian Nature Conservation
Foundation (ANCF) and a report was expected soon.
the hearing, the Government counsel said the ANCF report is expected in
the first week of October.According to petitioner’s advocate Sankar
Prasad Pani, the NGT directed the State Government agencies to ensure
that the report is filed by ANCF within the specified period and
furnished before the tribunal.
Besides, a specific time frame for
completion of the entire exercise before publication of the notification
must also be provided to the tribunal by the State agencies, he
said.Quoting the Supreme Court’s observation in a case concerning the
plight of Asiatic lions in Gir Forest, the NGT said, this earth is not
for the survival of human race alone as other species have equal right
Pani submitted that despite NGT’s order not to carry out
non-permissible activities in such eco-sensitive zones, illegal
operations of various commercial units are still be run within the jumbo
Vishal now looks forlorn at Sanjay Gandhi Zoological Park in Patna. Mohan Prasad
The recent death of a lioness at
Sanjay Gandhi Zoological Park in Patna has not only sent shock waves
among animal lovers but also raised certain questions as to how seven
cubs, a tigress, a tiger and a lioness have died here in the last six
Saraswati was just nine years old when she was found dead
on July 25 this year. One of the prime attractions of Patna Zoo, the
lioness was brought here in 2011 from Hyderabad under an animal exchange
A team of veterinarians, consisting of eight doctors,
conducted autopsy and concluded that cardiac arrest caused the death of
the lioness. “Normally, the life span of a lion or lioness is 12 to 13
years in the wild. But if kept in zoo, they survive till the age of 15
to 18 years. This is because when kept in captivity, they get proper
food and care. While it’s not so when they roam around in the wild. In
very rare case, a lion’s life is around 20 years,” Patna Zoo Director
Nand Kishore told DH.
The Zoo director had personally monitored
the lioness a few hours before she passed away. He ruled out any
nutritional deficiency as the cause for death. Now, Vishal, Saraswati’s
partner, needs a partner.
Two years after Saraswati was brought
here, she mated with Vishal, younger to her. But under the special
breeding programme, Saraswati gave birth to two cubs in August 2013.
the mother (lioness) refused to feed the cubs. As a consequence, the
health of a cub, which was born weak, deteriorated and passed away next
day. The other cub was then brought up with a lot of effort.
Saraswati refused to feed the second cub too, the zoo employees had to
hand-feed him. The cub, named Sheru, survived on goat’s milk for the
first three months and thereafter started to consume meat. Sheru is now
one of the main crowd-pullers here.
Since Asiatic lions are found
only in Gir Forest in Gujarat, the Central Zoo Authority (CZA)
mandarins were quite enamoured over the report on how the Patna Zoo
officials had helped Vishal and Saraswati mate and made every effort for
survival of one of its cub. According to the established norms of the
CZA, breeding of hybrid lions is prohibited in zoos. “But we can go
ahead with the breeding of Asiatic lioness,” the official added.
CZA officials mulled over a proposal on how to develop a lion
conservation zone on the zoo premises spread over 152 acres. Developing
lion conservation area was aimed at providing an off-display area to the
lions, where they can enjoy their natural surroundings. “However, the
proposal could not make much headway,” the zoo official rued.
in the last six years, Saraswati was the 10th death reported in the big
cat family of Patna Zoo. In 2011, Tejaswani, a white tigress, and the
prime attraction at the zoo, died after days of illness. The post-mortem
report said she had a blockage in intestine. Earlier, in 2011, male
tiger Ram too had died after a prolonged illness. The 17-year-old tiger
in Patna Zoo was suffering from posterior cirrhosis.
2012, a Royal Bengal tigress at Patna Zoo had given birth to three cubs.
Everyone was quite delighted as it was after a gap of 19 years that a
big cat had delivered at the zoo here. But the enormous joy was
short-lived. In the next 20 days, tigress Swarna lost all the three
It was believed that Swarna stopped feeding the cubs after
she developed an intestinal infection. Eventually, the cubs too
contracted the infection from their mother, and since then were put
under the observation of zoo doctors.
Though the cubs were
separated from the mother and bottle-fed, things turned for the worse
when the cubs refused goat milk too. The then Patna zoo director sought
the help of Dr Abhijit Bhaval, a reputed doctor from Wildlife Trust of
India (WTI), but to no avail.
“The origin of the infection was
not known but toxins must have entered the cubs’ body while they were in
tiger enclosure. An infection cause toxins spread rapidly in the body
of new-borns. The intensity of infection was so high in the cubs that
none of the medicines worked,” said another doctor, who did not wish to
In March 2017, two more cubs died. On July 20,
2017, yet another cub died. “Reports suggest that the tiger cub died on
July 20 due to hyper-parathyriodism. This is a condition where there is
over production of parathyroid hormone which eventually weakens bones,”
said the zoo director.
Saraswati was the latest casualty,
although for a different reason: cardiac arrest. “Now only one lioness
and three lions are left at the Sanjay Gandhi Zoological Park. Besides,
we have three tigers and three tigresses,” said Nand Kishore hoping that
the number of big cat family members won’t dwindle any more.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has said that the Central
government’s decision on reduction of eco-sensitive zone from
10-kilometres to 100 metres looks like a ‘prima facie arbitrary’
decision, with the court deciding to examine the validity of the
Eco-sensitive zones help in conserving wildlife, reduce man-animal
conflict and improve socio-economic conditions of people around national
parks and wildlife sanctuaries.
In a statement having severe ramifications on residential and commercial
projects across the country, the top court is questioning the
government’s move and while examining the validity, will specifically
look into whether the Environment Ministry could have exercised such a
power when pitted against environmental interest.
"Prima facie, it appears to us a completely arbitrary exercise of
powers by the Ministry of Environment and Forest," said the top court in
its stinging order.
On Friday, a bench led by Justice Madan B Lokur expressed surprise at
the fact that the Central government, as a policy decision, has been
approving proposals to reduce eco-sensitive zone from 10 km to 100
"It is extremely surprising that 10-km Eco-sensitive zone has been
reduced by the Ministry of Environment and Forest to 100 meters.”
"Since an order of this nature is capable of destroying national parks
and wildlife sanctuaries in the country, we would like to examine the
validity of this reduction," ordered the Court.
The bench, which was hearing a case, relating to environmental clearance
to an industrial unit, within a 10-km radius of Dadar and Nagar Haveli
Wildlife Sanctuary, questioned the intent of the Central government in
protecting the wildlife in the country.
"Do you want to destroy everything? Wildlife, river, everything (sic)?
You will have to explain how and why you did this and how do you propose
to protect the environment now? Has the concept of 'protected areas'
become irrelevant now?" the bench asked Additional Solicitor General ANS
The Court tagged this case with a clutch of cases relating to
environmental protection and is likely to take this up after four weeks.
The Central government had its own standard guidelines of having 10-km
as eco-fragile zones around a protected area under the Wildlife
Conservation Strategy 2002, which was later endorsed by the Supreme
Court. The Court had directed that a 10-km limit was to be treated as
the eco-sensitive zone until there is a notification by the Centre.
However, in the last two years, by a series of notifications, the
Environment Ministry approved a reduction of eco-sensitive zone for a
number of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries.
A reduction in eco-sensitive zone by the Ministry had rendered 59,400
apartments in Noida legal, which came within the 10-km radius of Okhla
A similar exercise is underway around Gir Forest in Gujarat and certain protected areas in Karnataka.
Environmentalists and wildlife activists alike have opposed this
reduction, stating that the policy change will enable private parties to
operate resorts adjacent to sanctuaries with ease, while allowing
several other residential projects too. http://www.news18.com/news/india/sc-pulls-up-centre-over-decision-to-reduce-eco-sensitive-zones-by-100-times-1519609.html
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is expecting to start the
much-awaited second phase revamp work of Veer Jijamata Udyan, popularly
known as Byculla Zoo, amounting to Rs.120 crore by November first week. A
senior civic officer of BMC claimed that the proposed project includes
construction of 17 animal enclosures for the new animals – which include
Asiatic lion, Bengal tiger, sloth bear, jackal, wolf – which will be
brought in from other places.
He added, “In the earlier tender
process, pre-bidders were received but due to technicalities the tender
was scrapped. Where, re-tendering was done again and we received four
interested bidders to take up the work this time. Out of four the lowest
bidder would be selected out of them.”
BMC plans to complete the work by the
end of 2017. However, due to delay in tender process the deadline might
get extended. “Until the enclosures are not made the animals cannot be
brought to the zoo. Currently, the zoo gets approximately 5,000
visitors on week days and on weekends the number goes upto 10,000.” The
proposed plan is designed for 18 Indian species, five exotic species,
nine species of mammals, 26 species of birds and six species of
Baby hippo named Raksha
Shilpa, a female hippopotamus at Byculla
zoo delivered a calf weighing 25 to 30kg in August last year. The team
of veterinarians have named the baby hippo Raksha, “Immediately, after
the birth it was not possible to ascertain the sex of baby hippo, until
the mother is comfortable with the people coming near her. As she has
become familiar with the team of doctors we have named the new female
baby hippo as Raksha as she was born on the occasion of Rakshabandhan
day. If it would have been male then he would have been named as
Bandhan,” Sanjay Tripathi Director of Byculla zoo said.The one-year old
baby hippo now weights around 150 kilograms while her mother Shilpa
weighs in at two tonne. At the zoo, hippopotamus are fed with green
grass and a special diet called ‘concentrate ration’ which consists of
mixture of wheat bran and soak gram. Tripathi added that as the baby
hippo is just a year old now special attention is taken regarding the
hygiene. As they love to sit inside the water pool, it is cleaned every
alternative day. http://www.freepressjournal.in/mumbai/bmc-expects-to-start-byculla-zoo-2nd-phase-revamp-work-by-november/1135675
AHMEDABAD: Through a notification, the state government has allowed 50 devotees to stay overnight at the Kankai Mataji temple
within the Gir sanctuary , the only abode in the world of the Asiatic
Lion. The decision has raised the hackles of wildlife activists and even
the members of the State Board for Wildlife, who say that the move will be detrimental to conservation of lions.
In 1998-99, a similar attempt was made to permit tourists to stay
overnight at the temple. However, the permission was cancelled following
the intervention of the standing committee on science and technology ,
environment and forests of the Rajya Sabha. Principal chief conservator
of forests G K Sinha said: "The government had on Tuesday issued a
notification making corrections in the earlier government resolution.
The earlier GR had stated that the trustees of the temple and devotees
should be permitted to stay within the sanctuary." Sinha said that the
government on Tuesday defined `devotees'. "Accor ding to Tuesday's GR,
devotees would be those whose family deity is Kankai Mata or those who
want to perform a pooja -they can stay over," Sinha said. "Ho wever, the
number of such devotees should not exceed 50."
A senior officer of the forest department said that till now, apart
from the trustees, no one -not even their family members -had been
allowed to stay . In the absence of clarity about who constitutes
`devotees', the deputy conservator of forests denied permissions. The
officer said now that the government has allowed 50 devotees to stay ,
officials would be forced to issue permissions. He said that in the new
circumstances, anyone can get a letter from trustees under the pretext
of performing a pooja and stay overnight at the temple. He said that
poachers or unwanted elements could also possibly infiltrate into the
sanctuary . He sa id that since there was no regular pooja in the night,
there was no need for people to stay over.
Contradicting forest officials, fo rest minister Gan pat Vasava said:
"Over 300 devote es used to stay overnight. The government, in order to
conserve the lions, has reduced the number." Bhushan Pandya, a member of
the State Board for Wildlife, said: "The real pilgrim is ignored and
tourism takes the front seat. In 1998, in similar circumstances, the
government had to withdraw." The decision of the government to allow the
night stay will be bad for conservation as any person can stay as a
tourist in the forest area, Pandya said.
If the deaths continue, it could impact the exchange programme that
enables the forest department to bring other wildlife animals including
panther, lion and bear from other zoos to the country in exchange of
If the deaths continue, it could impact
the exchange programme that enables the forest department to bring
other wildlife animals including panther, lion and bear from other zoos
to the country in exchange of wolves.
Four wolves had died earlier and two more died last month at the Nahargarh Park.(HT PHOTO)
death of six wolves in Nahargarh Biological Park, Jaipur, under
mysterious circumstance over the past few months has become a cause for
concern. The authorities are still clueless about the cause of death.
While four wolves have died since April, two more died last month.
the deaths continue, it could impact the exchange programme that
enables the forest department to bring other wildlife animals including
panther, lion and bear from other zoos to the country in exchange of
While the post-mortem has not revealed anything unusual,
the zoo authorities want to rule out the possibility of contagious
infection among the animals.
“We have sent blood samples to IVRI
(Indian Veterinary Research Institute) lab in Bareilly for testing and
the report is expected within 15 days,” said DCF (wildlife zoo) Jaipur
Sudershan Sharma. He, however, said that there was no danger of
derailment of the exchange programme. “At present, we still have three
female and four male wolves for exchange, apart from the ones on display
at the Park,” he added.
Park is awaiting new members from Chandigarh zoo under the exchange
programme that include a pair of Barasingha (swamp deer), a spot-billed
duck and a pheasant. While the Central Zoo authority has given
permission for exchange of birds and animals from Chandigarh zoo, other
animals and birds are also to be exchanged from different zoos across
Ever since the Park was inaugurated last year, most
animals from the old Jaipur zoo have been relocated to Nahargarh. A few
animals left at the old zoo including wolves and deer are also proposed
to be relocated.
Nahargarh Biological Park, a part of the
Nahargarh sanctuary is located about 12 km from Jaipur on the
Jaipur-Delhi highway. Spanning across 720 hectares, it is famous for its
rich flora and fauna and doubles up as a place for education and
research. It is home to more than 285 species of birds and houses
animals like Asiatic lions, Bengal tigers, panthers, hyenas, wolves,
deer, crocodiles, sloth bear and wild boar. http://www.hindustantimes.com/jaipur/wolves-death-in-nahargarh-park-may-impact-exchange-programme/story-jf7ZNXg7VF3G0EJcFCnczO.html
three as yet unsexed Asian lion cubs, were born on August 13 to first
time parents, mother Gira and father Shanto. Picture Darragh Kane
Three Lion cubs born in Fota Wildlife Park
Wildlife Park today announced that one of their Asian lionesses has
given birth to her first litter of cubs in what is also a first for Fota
three as yet unsexed Asian lion cubs, were born on August 13 to first
time parents, mother Gira and father Shanto after a gestation of about
Asian lions are considered endangered by the
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as there are only
500 individuals remaining in the wild.
The pride of Asian lions
at Fota Wildlife Park features the five-year-old male Shanto who came
from Zoo de Santillana in Spain and two sisters Gira and Gita, both
three, who came from Helsinki Zoo in Finland to the recently opened
Lioness Gira with her three cubs. Picture Darragh Kane
Fota Wildlife Park are experiencing something of a “cub-boom” at the
moment as they also recently announced the birth of a Sumatran tiger cub
and a litter of four cheetah cubs. Sean McKeown, director of
Fota Wildlife Park said “We are absolutely thrilled that Gira
successfully delivered her first litter of cubs here at Fota as the
pride of lions are relatively new and have only been in situ for just
over a year in their specialised habitat."
"It’s our first
participation in the international breeding programme for Asian lions
and are delighted to see this success in the arrival of the cubs.”
continued: “There are only approximately 200 Asian lions in Wildlife
Parks and Zoos and to be able to contribute to a successful captive
breeding programme worldwide is an essential safeguard against a severe
decline to the wild population, which may be vulnerable to disease or
other factors such as natural disaster – and the birth of the cubs is a
great way of creating awareness for these conservation issues”.
ranger, Kelly Lambe commented on the births by saying “The cubs are
still really new and Gira the mum seems to be very comfortable with
them, they are full-time job for her as they require feeding every three
to four hours but she is doing great as a first-time mother."
eyes are only open a few days but they are starting to move about and
explore and have already taken their first steps but as babies they do
spend a lot of time sleeping. As she is feeding three hungry mouths
we’ve increased her feed by one-and-a-half kilos a day.”
Asian lions are considered endangered as there are only 500 individuals remaining in the wild. Picture Darragh Kane
The Asian lion population has recovered from the brink of extinction to
several hundred individuals. Today they only live in the Gir Forest,
India, which remains the stronghold for this species apart from a few
prides living outside this protected area. The lions live
closely alongside humans in their last remaining natural habitat,
including the Maldhari community, who also live within the Gir Forest.
to their African cousins, Asian lions have shaggier coats, with a
longer tassel on the end of the tail and longer tufts of hair on the
elbows. The most noticeable physical characteristic found in all Asian
lions, but rarely in African lions, is a longitudinal fold of skin
running along their belly.