Saturday, May 05, 2007

Asiatic Lion News 28th & 29th April 2007

29 Apr, 2007

Hi-tech system to save the lions

Times City - Tushar Tere


VADODARA: Wishing to lend a helping hand, albeit for a price, in saving the endangered Asiatic lions, a US-based firm, having one of its branches here, has offered a satellite-based monitoring system to keep a track of the wild cats.

While the firm believes that the global positioning system (GPS)-based software can help monitor the movement of lions in the Gir forest. However, state forest officials are not sure whether such a hi-tech system would prove helpful in protecting the lions.

According to the last official census done in 2005, there were 359 lions in Gir forests. Already scores of lion have been poached by poachers.

"We can keep a track of the lions by putting a collar, having numerically coded chips, around their necks. Each lion will have a unique chip distinguishing him from others", says Pancham Adi working as an intern with Macrotech Technologies, which is into software development and vehicle tracking business.

"I think the software can do wonders for this endangered species. It's cost-effective and easy to use", adds Adi, who developed the software that will cost Rs 25 lakhs.

The collar can not only monitor movement of lions but also record their body temperature and behaviour in different seasons. The software firm also believes that the technology can help in promoting tourism in the Gir forests.

"Forest officials will always be aware of the areas the lions are roaming in. They can divert tourists to the place where they can easily sight lions", says Dipesh Kadam, a mapping expert with Macrotech. The state forest officials, however, differ on the issue.

"The lions need to be tranquillised for placing the collar around their necks. However, wildlife conservationists are against using tranquillisers. Also, the information transmitted by satellite system reaches us late and it might not prove to be that effective", says principal chief conservator of forests Pradeep Khanna, adding that they have been using radio collars, but only for research purpose.

However, Macrotech officials, who have approached World Wildlife Fund (WWF), are upbeat about their innovation. "We are going to make a presentation of the software before the state government officials on Tuesday", said Vipul Patel, director (operations), Macrotech.


 April 29, 2007

Gir: Poaching kingpin confesses to killing 8 lions

Ahmedabad Newsline- Sibte Husain Bukhari


Junagadh, April 29: The kingpin of poachers arrested for the three poaching incidents in Gir forest and Bhavnagar district admitted to his involvement in killing of eight lions, police said on Sunday. Sarkaslal Singh, who is in the custody of CID (Crime), said that he along with other poachers targeted Gir lions "as there are no tigers left in Sariska."

"He was also aware about the entire poaching network, which includes poaching of lions, shifting and selling of lions' remains,'' sources said.


Following the information, a CID team rushed to Mumbai to detain other accused involved in selling the remains in domestic and international market. According to sources, Sarkaslal confessed that his team had killed more than eight lions. But officials said that the poachers admitted to killing of only eight lions.

The kingpin is also said to have narrated how the lions were killed and the role played by each of those involved in the crime.


His four-day police custody ends on Monday, when he will be produced before first class judicial magistrate court in Una town to extend his remand. Besides, four poachers will take the lie-detector test in Gandhinagar, sources said.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Narendra Modi may seek details about the follow-up either on Monday or on Tuesday during his scheduled visit to Junagadh where the 48th Gujarat Foundation Day is being celebrated.



April 28, 2007

House panel dissatisfied over increase of retirement age

Hindustan Times- Chetan Chauhan

Parliamentary committee took a serious view on the killing of Asiatic lions in Gir Wildlife Sanctuary and sought a reply from the Environment and Forest ministry on steps been taken to protect the highly threatened species. Government had admitted of killing of eight lions in Gir and 18 persons have been arrested in this connection. The committee has also not favoured the government’s move to relocate people from Tiger Reserves stating that isolated habitats for tigers can be an easy target for poachers.

No comments:

Previous Posts