Monday, September 28, 2009
Madhya Pradesh State to fight legal battle for Gir Lions
Briefly translated from Gujarati
Madhya Pradesh State Government is now preparing to fight legal battle for bringing some Wildlife Sanctuary. One NGO, Biodiversity Conservation Trust is already fighting for the same through an appeal in Supreme Court.
Asiatic Lion Habitat in Perils...
The Chief Minister, Gujarat State.
The Minister of Environment.
Sub: To avoid the prime territory of Asiatic Lions (Panthera Leo Persica) from Deforestation in Rupayatan area of Girnar Forest, Junagadh, Gujarat, India
We would like to draw your attention regarding the deforestation and rehabilitaion programme that is going to take place in the Rupayatan area of Bhavnath Taleti. This place is selected as the optional residency for the people who lost their home in the demolition that took place in Bhavnath few months ago.
This area of Rupayatan is under Revenue area, and took 40 years to attain its best state. This patch of Revenue area is regularly used by Asiatic Lions, Panthers and many other Wildlife which are mentioned as Schedule-1 in the Red Data Book of IUCN.
Girnar is the one of the home to the World famed asiatic lions apart from GIR. It is bestowed with handsome population of 40+ Lions. This area is a Revenue area just on paper, but this area is also a permanent residence for Asiatic Lions since the area over here is dry, scrubland which is suitable to Asiatic Lions. In August month of year 2009, the Lions killed 3 Herbivores in just One Week Time. Its recorded by Forest Department. But we know that if the people start to reside here, then the conflict between Humans and Lions(also Leopards) will increase drastically and certainly the Lions alongwith panthers will be blamed for the human attacks, although it is their part of territory and human is the one encroaching the forest area.
This area of Revenue is being cut since 5 days and on the date 30/09/2009 the whole area of 7 Acres is going to be cut down. The estimate of the trees going to be cut down is approximately more than 1200. The area is also blessed with some of the very rare and endangered species of Flora which are only found in this area. On one hand, the government provide huge amount of money and efforts to protect the Asiatic Lions and on the other hand such an important area of the Lions is being deforested. So we want to stop this deforestation immediately and we have another option for rehabilitation of the people who are going to settle over this place(Rupayatan).
But we just need immediately to stop this cutting of Important Trees in 48 hours otherwise more & more jungle will be cut. We met collector of Junagadh and he said that we are doing this for the purpose of development of Bhavnath Taleti's Fair. Fairs & Parikrama are held only once a year and this area is used only for 5-6 days but this is the area used daily by innumerous animals including Lions, Panthers & its potential prey such as Sambar & Wild Boars. So this is not the wise decision to cut 7 Acres of Land just for the purpose of Development. There is a news that 210 families are going to reside over there. If we count 3 members per family then the population will be nearly 700 and imagine the amount of pollution(noise, air, land) that will be created after this people come over here. All the 3 sides of this revenue area is surrounded by the Wildlife Sanctuary.
Please forward this mail to the following email ID's to show your concern to save one of the "Ideal Habitats" of the Asiatic Lion.
Jairam Ramesh: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Narendra Modi: email@example.com
Wildlife Enthusiasts from Junagadh, Gujarat, India
Leopard kills 9-year-old girl
A nine-year-old girl was killed by a leopard on the outskirts of Ramgadh village near Savarkundla town in Amreli district on Friday.
According to forest officers, the animal attacked Vilas Koli, the daughter of farm labourer Popatbhai, when she was inside a make-shift tent at a field about 12 km from Savarkundla. Popatbhai was in the field when the leopard dragged his daughter away. Armed with a stick, he gave a chase and the animal dropped Vilas and disappeared. Vilas was rushed to the government hospital in Savarkundla and died. Savarkundla Range Forest Officer C B Dhandhiya said the family has been paid Rs 1 lakh compensation and the leopard has been caged. It has also been shifted to the animal care centre at Jashadhar in Gir.
Leopard kills 9 year old girl
Briefly translated from Gujarati
Ramgadh village is about 9kms from Savarkundla in Gir East. In little strage incident a 9 year old girl was killed by a leopard.
A poor koli family of Dhudabhai was had partnered with local farmer to cultivate his agriculture land on outskirts of Ramgadh. He lived there in hut with his family. At about 9PM her mother was cooking meals for the family and girl was waiting for the dinner at the door. Suddenly a leopard caught herr by the neck and started running. On hearing her cry, her father ran behind the leopard who left her and ran away. Unfortunately blood loss of the girl took her life. Forest Department has arranged the case to catch the leopard.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Man-animal conflict is a 'sensitive' reality of Gir
DNA By Jumana Shah
Like in most inhabited part of the world, man-animal conflict is a distinct reality even in the Gir forests in Junagadh -- the planet's last abode of Asiatic lions. A plan for rehabilitating 210 families on the Revenue land adjoining the wildlife sanctuary from the reserve forest area around Bhavnath Taleti temple, has brought the focus back on the difficult task of wildlife conservation in a populated area.
A day after DNA reported the proposed felling of 1,550 trees in the Rupayatan area of the Gir forest, which is currently the habitat of a pride of lions, forest officials, former foresters, activists and farmers joined the chorus that expanding the lions' habitat into Greater Gir is a long-winding complicated process.
"This is a sensitive situation. Both projects (removing human encroachments from the sanctuary and maintaining lions' habitat) are vital. The fact is that the land is ultimately outside the sanctuary and it is a known fact that lions have spilled out of the sanctuary area long back," said ex-wildlife warden GA Patel, who had almost a decade back, initially conceptualised the Greater Gir project.
According to estimates, at least one third of the 359 lions have made their home out of the sanctuary area. The Greater Gir Project is the Gujarat government's alibi to stop the relocation of a few prides to Madhya Pradesh. The project will include nearly 200 sq km area - the entire corridor up to Palitana in Bhavnagar and Mahuva in South Savarkundla and Jesar as protected and eco-fragile zone. This expansion is in addition to the 180 sq km area of Girnar hills to the 1,460 sq km of the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary and Puniya and Mitiyala forest areas to the sanctuary in the past.
Another lawyer and activist in the region Manish Vaidya says the entire economy of Gir is primarily based on land and it will be very difficult for government to acquire land from the residents. "Ownership of land is everything here. Government does not have that much money so as to compensate the farmers at market value. And, if they aren't compensated, they will not budge," he said.
Principal secretary SK Nanda also conceded the tight rope the government was walking on the issue but assured that only the minimal required trees will be cut and not a single extra.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
1,500 trees face the chop in Gir forest
DNA By Jumana Shah
The state government which has been fighting tooth and nail for the exclusive custody of the Asiatic lions in the Gir forest, has ordered cutting of over 1,500 trees to make room for residential plots. The land which has to be cleared of the trees is a territory of a pride of 6-7 lions.
The land, which spans over seven-acres, is surrounded by the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary on three sides, in the Rupayatan forest area of Bhavnath taleti in Junagadh. About 450 reserve and 1,100 non-reserve trees are likely to be chopped down next week to make space for the construction of new houses.
These houses are to be built there for families who will be displaced during the clearing of the area around the Bhavnath temple. The land was lying unused for nearly 40 years and was acquired very recently from the Rupayatan Trust.
The proposal has aroused the ire of environment activists, botanists and residents of the region who believe the project would lead to 'deforestation' and do immense harm to the lions' habitat. Moreover, cutting down trees, some of which are over 40 years old, would lead to irreparable loss for the flora and fauna of the area.
Retired agriculture scientist Professor Rasik Bhatt of Junagadh University says people were alarmed when the project was announced last month. "Because of the dense forest, lions rest there during summer," he said. "There is another, smaller plot that we asked the Collector to consider for construction of the houses. That would have ensured that the lions will not be disturbed and deforestation would not take place."
Junagadh collector Ashwini Kumar conceded that some trees will be cut but refused to specify how many. He also conceded that the area is 'frequented' by lions. He, however, insisted that the plot is ideal for rehabilitating the displaced families and that wildlife conservation cannot be done at the cost of human life.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Lion kills its mate in Talala forest area
Times of India
Following a fight between a lion couple, a six-year-old lioness was killed at Dhava beat in Talala Gir forest area.
The mutilated carcass of the lioness was recovered by forest officials of Gir west and postmortem was conducted. Officials put the cause of death as infighting.
"This incident is rare but not uncommon as among wild animals, especially lions, males take over the female completely and she might try to flee showing 'pseudo estrous' (false pregnancy). Till the lion gets smells indicating she is in heat, he will not let her go and keep trying to mate with her," said a forest department official.
Explaining the wild cat's behavioral pattern, he added, "The lion becomes more and more aggressive till the lioness is completely out of her cycle and the smell goes."
Another such case took place in 2002 in Gir. Since then, this is the first such incident reported. As the carcass found was two days old, it appears the fight must have taken place three days ago. The lion might have been fatally injured and succumbed later, said the official.
"Fights of this nature do take place. But generally they're mock fights and lions don't injure their mating partners. It's only don't injure their mating partners. It's only when the female tries to escape, that the lion injures her to make her bow to his wishes,' said another official.
He added that after a fight between two lions over territory, the victor takes the loser's place in the pride. In such a situation, if a females is in her monthly cycle he gets immediately attracted to her. If she resists too much, such attacks take place.
Friday, September 18, 2009
Girnar ropeway gets entangled in political web
Politics has taken front seat in the controversial Girnar Ropeway Project which plans constructing a ropeway to the Girnar shrine through the Gir sanctuary. After much legal debate in Gujarat, the project is now finally awaiting clearance from the National Board for Wildlife in India. Activists in the state have raised a serious alarm over disturbing the vulture nests falling on the way of the proposed ropeway.
The state's ruling party BJP is lobbying for the clearance of the project, citing huge tourism opportunities for the locals of Junagadh. However, at the Board's latest meeting on Wednesday, the issue "boomeranged" for the party, whose workers in Junagadh have been pushing for the approval of the project since decades.
Union minister of state, forest and environment, Jairam Ramesh said he would visit the site himself for inspection before giving approval. The political implications of this might prove tricky for BJP's MLA Mahendra Mashru, who is championing the cause of the Junagadh residents.
"He will have to host a Congress minister's visit to his constituency to get the permission," an activist close to the developments said, adding that after winning the Junagadh corporation elections, the Congress workers are active in the constituency and are expected to take credit of the clearance of the project. "This will not serve the BJP's political purpose at all, but they are in a spot over this," he said.
Forest officials have admitted that over 12,000 trees are likely to be chopped for the project. After claiming that there are 'no' vulture nests in these trees to be affected by the ropeway project, the company constructing the ropeway has admitted in a written communication to NBWL of vulture nests in the region. In the last meeting of NBWL in July, it was decided to get an expert report on the site.
The report conceded that several vulture nests will be permanently damaged
because of the ropeway.An alternated route has been suggested in the report.
Feasibility of the alternate route is also expected to be examined during the minister's visit.
Lion kills Lion for refusal of matting
Briefly translated from Gujarati
A body of lioness, about 5 years old, was found on Dhava-Talala Road in Gir(W). forest staff immediately rushed to the spot. Lioness was bitten by male lion on the neck. It was also learnt from local people that two male & a lioness were in the area since about 4-5 days. Forest staff did postmortem on the spot and have declared death due to internal fight.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Gir lions can breathe easy for now
Times of India
The standing committee of the National Board for Wildlife which met in New Delhi on Wednesday has asked experts to review and give their opinions on the scientific and social aspects of translocation of Asiatic Lions from Gir to Kuno Palpur in Madhya Pradesh (MP).
Union minister of environment and forest and chairman of the standing committee Jairam Ramesh accepted Gujarat government's point of view and asked the panel if there were any other options available.
Principal chief conservator of forest, Gujarat, Pradeep Khanna and principal secretary SK Nanda raised the point that earlier attempts to translocate lions to Chandraprabha in Uttar Pradesh had failed. Also, it was pointed out that conservation efforts of Gujarat were much better than any other state which had led to the increase in lion population.
The duo also said that lions need peaceful co-existence with the people in their surroundings. "People of Gujarat take pride in living in harmony with lions which would not be the case in MP," they added.
Official sources said that it was also proposed that MP can get lions from the various zoos in the country and they can then release the second generation of the big cats in the wild. Officials said during the meeting, the experts also raised doubts over conservation aspect of zoo-bred lions.
Nanda said the minister has asked experts to give their opinions and papers on doubts raised over translocation by the Gujarat government. The Union ministry would then, based on these, file their reply in the Supreme Court to a petition by Biodiversity Conservation Trust of India, a Delhi-based NGO seeking transfer of lions from Gujarat to MP.
He said that it was a victory for the state as Gujarat's viewpoint was accepted in principle by the minister. Meanwhile, the mail and fax campaigns against shifting of lions continued through Wednesday. Officials said that over 1,500 mails and 500 faxes were sent to Ramesh and the Wildlife Trust of India.
Gujarat retains its 'pride', foils MP move to acquire big cats
Gujarat has once again foiled a move by Madhya Pradesh to get a few Asiatic lions shifted from Sasan Gir to Kuno Palpur Wildlife Sanctuary in the neighbouring state. Besides, it has also succeeded in eliciting an assurance from the Centre that no Gir lions should be transferred to Madhya Pradesh until wildlife experts give their opinion on this contentious issue.
The issue of proposed translocation of Gir lions, which came up for discussion at the National Board for Wildlife meeting in New Delhi on Wednesday, triggered heated exchanges between the representatives of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. The Gujarat side was represented by Principal Secretary (Forest) S K Nanda and Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) Pradeep Khanna, while Madhya Pradesh was represented by Additional Chief Secretary ( Forest ) and PCCF (Wildlife).
"When the Madhya Pradesh officials pressed for the shifting of Gir lions to Kuno Palpur, we vehemently opposed it and told Union Environment and Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh, who chaired the meeting, that Gujarat was not prepared to transfer the big cats to MP," Khanna told Newsline over the phone from New Delhi this evening.
Khanna and Nanda told the meeting that Asiatic lions could not be translocated to Kuno Palpur sanctuary, as there is a lack of social support to lions from the local community. Besides, the climatic conditions there are not congenial for the lions. They added that the presence of tigers there would cause frequent clashes between the two apex predators over territories.
They also impressed upon the Board members that Gujarat has initiated concerted measures to conserve and protect Asiatic lions in the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary, and the State Forest Department has even expanded the home territory of the big cats and improved their habitat. Besides, the local community in and around the Gir sanctuary has lent social support to the lions.
Countering this, the MP representatives contended that their government has already taken up a Centre-aided Rs 24 crore "Asiatic Lion Introduction Project" to accommodate some Gir lions in the 344 sq km Kuno Palpur sanctuary, adding that 24 villages on the periphery have been relocated under the project.
The heated exchanges between the two sides forced Jairam Ramesh to intervene. Quoting Ramesh, Khanna said, "The Union Minister endorsed Gujarat's views on the issue, and stressed the need for a detailed technical examination of the matter. He assured us that the Centre will seek the opinions of experts, which along with the views expressed by both Gujarat and MP, will be incorporated in a report to be submitted to the Supreme Court".
The Union Minister also assured Gujarat that if necessary another round of meeting will be held to discuss the issue of shifting Gir lions to Kuno Palpur.
Incidentally, Madhya Pradesh's move to introduce zoo-bred lions in Kuno Palpur sanctuary came in for criticism from wildlife experts at the meeting.
The MP Forest Department had recently mooted plans to obtain some pairs of lions from zoos in Hyderabad and Delhi for breeding in the sanctuary.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
'Relocate Maldharis outside the park'
Times of India
The task force which reviewed the India Ecological Development Project (IEDP) in Gir has urged the Centre and state government to work out a policy to relocate Maldharis outside the park with adequate budgetary allocations. This, according to the task force report submitted to the Gujarat government recently, would help forest authorities maintain Gir's ecological integrity and prevent habitat degradation. The report suggested that a biogas plant be set up in each village with sufficient cattle population to reduce use of firewood. It noted how cattle belonging to the Maldharis continue to graze freely within the protected area (PA) which degrades habitat, and poses an epidemic threat to the lions and other endangered species.
Poaching was never a threat in the Gir national park till 2007 when eight lions were killed in the sanctuary for their bones, skin, claws and pelts. This was the first poaching case in the final abode of the Asiatic lion. Earlier, there had only been attempts of commercial poaching in the early 1990's, said the report. It pointed out that some of the local communities, whose population is very low, did indulge in poaching of wild animals for domestic consumption. Faster relay of information of offence, rapid movement within the PA and proper protection has led to almost complete eradication of poaching cases now, the report added.
The report stated that grazing of cattle in villages situated on the border of the protected Gir sanctuary still remains a major problem. About 50,000 cattle of about 100 villages on the border, exert grazing pressure on the PA, which has reduced by 10 per cent since the IEDP took over.
Collection of wood for fuel from forest is also a crucial issue. As per officials, there are about 20,000 households dependent on the Gir PA. Out of these 20,000 households, about 50 per cent get their energy requirement from forests in the PA fringe areas or from the adjoining non-PA forest areas. It is estimated that one family consumes about 10 kg of forest fuel wood per day. During the project implementation, more than 9,000 families have been given LPG connections. Although not all families use LPG alone, there has been a substantial reduction in the extraction of firewood, the report said.
The use of LPG is on the rise with its growing popularity and women getting accustomed to using it. People are also using agricultural wastes or crop residue for burning, said the report and added that the extraction of firewood may have reduced up to 70 per cent as compared to the situation before the implementation of the IEDP.
'No taking Gujarat's pride out of Gir'
Times of India
Even as the standing committee of the National Board for Wildlife prepares to discuss the issue of translocation of Asiatic lions from Gir forest to Kuno in Madhya Pradesh (MP), on Wednesday, non-governmental organisations and wildlife activists from Gujarat have launched a campaign to prevent it.
Since Monday, nature lovers sent over 1,000 emails justifying why Asiatic lions should not be translocated to MP. Letters have even been sent to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urging him to intervene and stop translocation of lions. The last census showed the lion population in Gir at 360.
Revtubha Rayjada of the Sky Forest Youth Club-Keshod said local communities have made sacrifices by demonstrating their commitment to lion conservation besides technical issues that go against its shifting to MP.
Rayjada said the lions have dispersed up to Mahuva, Talaja and Bhavnagar. He added local people in Kuno are known for poaching and that is how the local tiger population is on the verge of extinction in MP. Earlier, attempts to relocate the lion to Uttar Pradesh and Sheopuri MP had failed due to lack of local support.
Ahmedabad-based wildlife activist Manisha Rajput, who has also initiated a fax and email campaign, backed Rayjada's stance and said that "looking at MP's track record, the entire project of lion shifting should be scrapped as there is no local support for the tiger. How can one expect support for lion conservation?" She also pointed out how the tribes involved in lion poaching in Gir in 2007 were from MP.
Bhushan Pandya, a wildlife photographer, has also sent emails and joined in the drive. He said, "Translocation should not be based merely on scientific aspect. Social and historical facts are equally or even more important for this particular species." He added that lions are known to visit and even live close to human habitations. In Gujarat, people have played a very crucial part in lion conservation and protection of other flora and fauna around them.
Kodinar-based Prakruti Pariyavaran Trust has also handed over a memorandum to Junagadh collector against the move.
State govt to oppose proposal to shift lions from Gir at Delhi meet
The Gujarat government will oppose the long-pending proposal of shifting a few Asiatic lions from Sasan Gir to Kuno Palpur in Madhya Pradesh, when this contentious issue comes up for discussion at a crucial meeting of the Standing Committee of the National Board for Wildlife in Delhi on Wednesday.
Gujarat Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) Pradeep Khanna told Newsline in the evening: "Gujarat's stand on the issue of trans-locating Gir lions has been consistent. We will resist any move to shift the big cats from Gir to Kuno Palpur, when it is taken up for discussion at the Board meeting tomorrow."
Khanna and Principal Secretary (Forest) S K Nanda will attend the Board meeting to be chaired by Union Environment and Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh. He said the Kuno wildlife sanctuary project mooted by Madhya Pradesh lacked scientific backing and security. Besides, there are only 300 of the total 1,000 tigers surviving in MP. "If the neighbouring state cannot protect its tigers, how can it protect lions?" he asked.
The PCCF also contended that tigers and lions cannot survive together in Kuno Palpur.
In response to a petition filed in the Supreme Court by a Delhi-based NGO for the transfer of Gir lions to MP, the apex court had referred the matter to the National Board for Wildlife and asked it to submit a report in the matter. After hearing the representatives from both Gujarat and MP at the Wednesday meeting, the Board will submit its report on the issue to the SC, sources said.
At the meeting, Gujarat will also seek the Board's permission for implementation on the Girnar Ropeway project in Junagadh. Gujarat proposes to acquire about eight hectares of forest land, where there are about 12,000 trees, for construction of pillars for the ropeway project. "Though there are about 12,000 trees standing on the forest land, the axe will fall only on 200 to 300 trees," said a senior Forest official.
The Board will also hear Gujarat's plea for laying a high tension electric line, and also the ONGC and IOC oil pipelines across the Wild Ass Sanctuary in Kutch. "We hope the Board will give its nod to both the proposals," Khanna said.
Monday, September 14, 2009
African Cheetah likely to be translocated
With Iran refusing to give cheetah to India for translocation, Union Minister of State for Environment and Forest Jairam Ramesh said today that efforts would be made to get this animal either from Kenya, South Africa or Namibia.
The Minister said that experts sounded pessimistic over the plans to reintroduce cheetah in India at the consultative meeting on reintroduction of cheetah recently held at Bikaner in Rajasthan.
About reports suggesting that cheetah to be brought from a foreign country might be translocated in the wild of Madhya Pradesh, Ramesh said that such a suggestion was made at the meeting.
About the translocation of lions from Gujarat to Madhya Pradesh, he said that he had already talked to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi twice on the issue.He had not agreed to give the Asiatic Lion of Gir Reserve to Madhya Pradesh, Ramesh said adding that now it is the turn of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to talk to his Gujarat counterpart on this issue.
The Madhya Pradesh forest has readied Kuno-Palpur sanctuary in Sheopur district for the translocation of lions at a cost of Rs 25 crore spread over an area of 330 sq kms, sources said.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Punishment to Poachers upheld
Briefly translated from Gujarati
Six lions were killed in Babariya range of Fir forest in March – April 2007. Nineteen poachers, mainly bahiliyas from Madhya Pradesh, were convicted by Civil court of Junagadh. They were sentenced to three years imprisionment and Rs. 10,000 fine. Against this order, they appealed before Sessions Court, Junagadh Sessions Court rejected their appeal and confirmed lower court’s decision.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Pride of 14 lions spotted in Bhavnagar
Times of India By Himanshu Kaushik
Lions were earlier confined to the area in and around Sasan and Dhari, but of late large prides have been spotted in Bhavnagar district, especially in Mahuva, Palitana and Talaja. And such sightings are growing with alarming regularity.
Officials said a group of 14 lions was recently spotted in Ranigala village of the district. This is probably the biggest group sighted till now. Earlier, there were scattered reports of lions moving in Bhavnagar. However, spotting of prides with 10 lions are now becoming a routine feature.
Officials said the lions have not only moved away from Sasan but have regained their lost territory. Lions in the past were found up to Gondal in Rajkot, in Bhavnagar and Porbandar. Officials said that today one can see lions along the coastal belt from Porbandar to Bhavnagar.
Officials said the carrying capacity of Gir was around 275-280 lions and hence, over 100 lions were moving out of the sanctuary for want of food. Places where these are spotted had lion presence in the mid-1900, they pointed out.
Revtubha Raijada, former member of the state wildlife board, said, "Gir's carrying capacity is just 250 lions and over 370 lions are there right now. The census which is due will reveal their exact numbers. The lions are moving out because of want of food and also due to fight for territory." He said getting prey in the sanctuary was difficult than getting a catch outside. Once the animal gets used to easy hunt, it will not move back to the sanctuary and come closure to human habitat.
Former principal conservator of forest GA Patel said lion dispersal is in satellite sanctuary. Every pride requires around 30 sq km area and hence the weak pride moves out of the area and settles in such sanctuaries. In Girnar and Mitalaya, there were earlier only five lions but now one can find their population growing.
"It is a fact that lions in the past were found right from Gondal to Porbandar and up to Palitana and Bhavnagar. The lions are regaining their lost territory and it is the human which has interfered in the lion territory," he said.
Conservator of forest S Tyagi said, "It is true that groups of 10 to 13 lions are being spotted in Bhavnagar district. We are closely keeping an eye on the movement of these animals who are moving along their natural corridor. These lions are mostly found in Mahuva, Talaja and Palitana," he said. Bhavnagar district has a natural corridor for these lions.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Shifting of lions to MP to be discussed on Sept 16
Times of India
The issue of shifting of big cats from Sasan Gir to Kuno Palpur in Madhya Pradesh has once again come into focus with standing committee of National Board for Wildlife to take up the matter on September 16.
Officials in the forest department said shifting of lions will be discussed in the meeting and is listed fifth on the agenda. Officials said that the matter was being given importance and will most certainly be taken up as it has been listed among the top issues meant for discussion.
Officials said Union environment and forest minister Jairam Ramesh is the chairman of the board. Ramesh had recently offered Gujarat to have tigers and in turn give some lions to Madhya Pradesh.
Officials said Wildlife Institute of India (WII) had recommended Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary for setting up second home for Gir lions.
But Gujarat government rejected the proposal, saying it lacks scientific backing and security. The contention of the state government is that if MP cannot protect its tigers, how can they protect lions. The government has also contended that Kuno Palpur has tigers. Lions and tigers cannot survive together, it pointed out.
A petition was filed by Biodiversity Conservation Trust of India, a Delhi-based NGO, for transfer of the Gir lions. The trust has contended that wild animals confined to a single area can spell death knell for their long-term survival. Also it has contended that the 24 villages that were inside Kuno reserve have been relocated elsewhere to make room for the Gir lions and an estimated Rs 15 crore has been spent on the project. However, the Supreme Court after hearing the arguments has referred the case to National Board for India for its opinion.
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Pride of lions chased by train!
Times of India
In a bizarre incident, a pride of six lions ran for their lives while a train followed them, chugging on a track in Dhari. Luckily, no casualty was reported in the incident.
According to railway officials, the incident occurred on August 29 on Dhasa-Veraval railway track. "I got a shock when I spotted not one or two, but six lions, strolling on the track. The train, which had just left Dhari and was heading for Veraval was negotiating a curve when the big cats were sighted," said NK Gohil, engine driver of Dhasa-Veraval passenger train.
"The lions were frightened by the engine sound. They became even more agitated as I tried to drive them off the track by blowing the engine whistle. Instead of running off into the forest, they kept running on the track with the train on their trail for quite sometime," he narrated.
His presence of mind saved the lives of the big cats as he slowed down the train. The drama ended when the lions left the track and descended the slope near Pipaliya village.
However, the incident was a free safari ride for many passengers, especially children, in the first two coaches of the train. "We experienced a mix of emotions fear, thrill and above all delight, as children sitting by the windows had a good view of running lions," said Ravji Parmar, a passenger.
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Three leopard caged in rural Gir
Briefly translated from Gujarati
Around 30 Aug a leopard couple had killed six cattle and complaints were received by forest Department. Department had successfully caged male leopard from Kisna Punja's farm few days back. Finally Queen Leopard was also caged at Bodasa village of Verawal Taluka of Gir West.
Similarly a leopard family consisting of couple and two babies have made Gayatri temple area on outskirts of Una town as their home Male leopard of the group is caged and released back into the forest.
Lion attacks a shephard
Briefly translated from Gujarati
A shephard Bhura Kalu Ahir was grazing his cattle in simtal of Bhonkarva village near Sawarkundla. Suddenly a lion attacked him and injured him on his stomach and legs. Injured man was takes to hospital and is safe.
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- Madhya Pradesh State to fight legal battle for Gir...
- Asiatic Lion Habitat in Perils...
- Leopard kills 9-year-old girl
- Leopard kills 9 year old girl
- Man-animal conflict is a 'sensitive' reality of Gi...
- 1,500 trees face the chop in Gir forest
- Lion kills its mate in Talala forest area
- Girnar ropeway gets entangled in political web
- Lion kills Lion for refusal of matting
- Gir lions can breathe easy for now
- Gujarat retains its ‘pride’, foils MP move to acqu...
- 'Relocate Maldharis outside the park'
- 'No taking Gujarat's pride out of Gir'
- State govt to oppose proposal to shift lions from ...
- African Cheetah likely to be translocated
- Punishment to Poachers upheld
- Pride of 14 lions spotted in Bhavnagar
- Shifting of lions to MP to be discussed on Sept 16...
- Pride of lions chased by train!
- Three leopard caged in rural Gir
- Lion attacks a shephard
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