Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Naturalist opposes Centre's move to relocate Gir lions

Naturalist opposes Centre's move to relocate Gir lions
Divya Bhaskar

A noted naturalist has strongly opposed the Centre's long-pending move to relocate Asiatic lions from Gujarat's Gir Forest to Madhya Pradesh.

The Narendra Modi Government should not make any compromise on this issue and must oppose the move, Lav Kumar Khacher said here.

"Under no circumstances, the Madhya Pradesh Government's request (endorsed by the Centre) for relocating one or two prides of lions from Gir to Sheopur district should be accepted," the 80-year-old said.

He was speaking after releasing a book on crocodiles in the city's Vishwamitri river, written by Raju Vyas, a herpetologist.

Asiatic lions found only in Gir can not survive in the different environment and geographic conditions in Madhya Pradesh, he said.

It is the Centre's almost decade-old proposal to relocate some Gir lions to a 300 sq km forest at Kunopalpur in Sheopur district. The plan is devised to save lions from a potential future disaster that could wipe them off as all of them are concentrated in the Gir forest.

According to the latest census conducted in April this year, there are 411 Asiatic lions in Gir. In contrast, the tiger population in MP was dwindling fast because of poaching and shrinking habitat, Khacher said.


Anonymous said...

Ive been both to Gir an the protected forest of Kuno and while different, habitat is suitable in both locations..that point aside lions once roamed in far more varied of habitats then we see them today...At least give them a chance..Or better yet why not start moving those lions that fall in wells all the time..they care enough to block their range expansion but not to cover up wells

Anonymous said...

The total population confined to one area seems rediculous! It is time they moved the lions!Even if it is only one pride in order to gain a better idea of what habitat they can adapt to! The Gir forest was not a suitable habitat for them in the first place but sheer numbers have forced them away from prefered territory on the perifery! It is time for people to wake up and really start to think about moving them out of there because to give the sad excuse that they are scared of conflic with tigers just seems like an uneducated assumption... The lions need another place where they can breed and very the genetic code. It seems silly that they are putting all of their eggs in one basket so to speak because we could blink and this magnificent animal will be gone and like the cheetah Indias lions will also have to come from South Africa... They need to wake up and start to think about biodiversity...

Previous Posts