Friday, February 29, 2008

81 lions dead in last 2 yrs


81 lions dead in last 2 yrs

NEW DELHI: A total of 81 lions have died across the country from January 2006 to 2008, with nine of them becoming victims of poaching, Rajya Sabha was informed on Thursday.

Fifty two lions died a natural death, 1 because of an accident and 6 due to electrocution while 13 fell in a well and 9 lions died because of poaching in Gir protected area and surrounding habitats of Gujarat.

Out of th 6 lions electrocuted, five of them died in Permpara village, outside the Gir Protected Areas in October 2007.

Investigation shows that a farmer had laid electrified wire fencing his agriculture land to prevent crop damage from wild herbivores, Minister of State for Environment and Forests S Regupathy said.

Answering a separate question on declining population of endangered animals including lions, tigers and elephants, Regupathy said fluctuation in the wildlife population is a natural phenomenon.

As per the information available there are no reports to indicate a continuous sharp decline in the population of endangered species, he said.

The minister said, "census of gharials are conducted on a regular basis and is not done for the first time."

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