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.
"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
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
"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
Parliamentary committee took a serious view on the killing of Asiatic lions in Gir Wildlife Sanctuary and sought a reply from the Environment and