Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Was the lion electrocuted?
Times of India
The carcass of a lion found from a gauchar land in Valar village of Talaja taluka in Bhavnagar district on Friday has bullock-cart wheel marks on it, which raises the suspicion that the lion may have been killed somewhere else and dumped in the revenue area.
Forest officials also suspect that the lion may have been electrocuted by electrical fence put up by farmers to keep animals away.
Moreover, the lion's claws and other body parts were missing, indicating that the big cat may have been killed. Sources say that the lion may have been killed at least four days ago.
However, senior forest officials maintained that they are awaiting the forensic report to ascertain the actual cause of death.
Meanwhile, paw marks of a lioness have been spotted and forest officials are combing the area for the lioness. "Rangers have seen the paw marks of the lioness and we are hopeful to locate her soon," K S Randhava, deputy conservator of forest, Bhavnagar division, told TOI. "We are close to crack this case," Randhava said.
However, there is strong belief among the foresters and wildlife lovers that the lioness too might have been killed.
According to the latest lion census conducted last year, there are 33 Asiatic lions in the Bhavnagar division, mostly in the Mahuva forest range. However, there is no full-time range forest officer since the past two months.
About one-and-a-half month ago, a similar incident was reported from Khambha, where two lions were poisoned. Initially, it seemed to be a natural death but later it turned out to be poaching and the forest department arrested one person in this regard.
Monday, April 25, 2011
Seven detained for lion killing
Five-year-old lion's body found in Gir forest
In a suspected case of poaching, the caracass of a five-year-old lion was found from Talaja area of the district, Gujarat forest department officials said on Saturday. Officials suspect the lion was killed as the claws were missing, they said adding the animal might have been killed four to five day s ago.
Top officials of Gir forest area rushed to the spot where the body was found. Forensic experts from Directorate of Forensic Science Gandhinagar were also called.
The body of the lion has been sent for postmortem, they said.
"Once the reports of postmortem and forensic experts are received, we will be able to say what had actually happened to the lion," forest officials said.
Poaching is rare in Gir sanctuary but the forest department had last week arrested a man for killing two lioness from Dhari range of the forest in Amreli district after poisoning their food.
Gir is the last abode of Asiatic lions where as per the census of 2010, there were more than 410 lions.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Lion carcass found in Talaja
Times of India
An Asiatic lion was found dead near Valar village in Talaja taluka of Bhavnagar district on Friday evening. The carcass of the big cat was found from a gauchar land and the forest department has been informed about the incident.
Locals suspect the lion may have 'died' three to four days ago. The reason behind the death is yet to be known and possible killing is not ruled out. Soon after the carcass was found, senior forest officials rushed to the spot and have begun investigations.
"As of now, we can't say anything about the cause of the death. We have conducted a postmortem and forensic experts are being called to ascertain the cause of the death. Officials concerned are investigating the case. The spot from where the carcass was found is part of the revenue area," said K S Randhava, deputy conservator of forests, Bhavnagar division.
Five-year-old lion''s body found in Gir forest
A body of five-year-old lion was found from Talaja area of the district, Gujarat forest department officials said today.Officials suspect that the lion was killed as the claws were missing, they said adding that the animal might have been killed four to five days ago.Top officials of Gir forest area rushed to the spot where the body was found. Forensic experts from Directorate of Forensic Science Gandhinagar were also called. The body of lion has been sent for postmortem, they said."Once the reports of postmortem and forensic experts are received, we will be able to say what had actually happened to the lion," forest officials said.Poaching is rare in the Gir sanctuary, however, forest department has last week arrested a man for killing two lioness from Dhari range of the forest in Amreli district after poisoning their food.Gir is the last abode of Asiatic lions where as per the census of 2010, there were more than 410 lions.
Friday, April 22, 2011
A Lion cub (male, 1 to 1.5 yr old) was found dead in Babariya Range. Forest department said it was natural death (!) as all CLAWS were intact and no injury marks were found on the dead body. Forest department said Death due to some natural cause....! On the spot postmortem was done and n the spot decision was given.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Lioness, cubs are guests at a farmer's field near Gir sanctuary
Times of India By Dilip Patel
For the past two months, the big cats have made KantibhaiUkani's farm at Vadali village their abode
For the past two months, a lioness and her two cubs have become a major draw for residents of Vadali village near the Gir sanctuary. The mother and her young ones have been living in close quarters with a farmer at his sugarcane farm.
The lioness moves freely in thefield, confident that the family of KantibhaiLavajibhaiUkaniwon'tdisturb her or her cubs. This is the second time a lioness has delivered cubs at Kantibhai's 90-bigha farm, where hegrowsKesar mangoesandsugarcane.
Kantibhai, who is sarpanch of the village, said the lioness has become apart of their family and there is no threat to theanimals.
When the lioness goes to hunt forfood, she leaves her cubsin the farm.Usually, a lioness finds it more secure leave the cubs forest; awayfrom her pride.
Kantibhaisaid,"Thelionessisour guest. My entire village takes care ofthe guest. Our crops have been dam aged and we have not beingable to water the crops due to its presence, but we willnot disturb theanimal.Weare careful that nobody comes in the way of thelioness."
Kantibhai's father Bhavanbhai whois80yearsoldsaid, "Istaydayandnight near the lioness and her cubs at myfarm.Thisisthesecondtimethata lionesshasdeliveredcubsatourfarm. Lions and human beings are friends in Gir. Wedon'tharm thelions."
As per the 2010 census, there are4lllions in Gir, of which 50 per centhave ventured out of the sanctuary.Around 30 per cent of lionesses have delivered cubs recently.
The forestdepartment whichcame to know of this incident has decided to reward Kantibhai. Chief Wildlife Conservator of Gir R L Mina said, "Farmers and maldharis are doing their bit to protect the lions. This has resulted in the rise in lion population. We are planning a small reward for Kantibhaiand his family, to en courage others to protect the king of the jungle."
Lion has more food at Gir, number of herbivores increasing
Population of herbivorous animals and peacocks has increased in the Gir forest area, as per a recent census. Gujarat Forest Department carries out such census every year. The herbivores here include black bucks, pigs, monkeys and nilgai. The peacock population has increased to 19,635 from 18,421, while that of monkeys and black bucks has increased from 8,501 to 8,837 and from 250 to 291 respectively, said Junagadh district forest official, Sandeep Kumar. The increase in the population of herbivores suggested that Gir had a right ecological balance, forest department authorities said. The number of the `star' inhabitants of Gir, the Asiatic lions, stands at 411 currently.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Lions roar more
THE HINDU COMPILED BY ROHINI RAMAKRISNAN
New research just published highlights an increase in the numbers of Asiatic lions surviving in the Gir Forest of India. From a base of 180 lions left in 1974, the population has risen to 411 by 2010. This could help ensure the survival of other threatened big cats, such as snow leopards. The key to the Gir lions' revival appears to have been a dramatic increase in the numbers of wild ungulates. Between 1970 and 2010, numbers of chital, sambar, blue bull and wild boar among others rose 10-fold in total within the Gir forest in the southwest part of the Saurashtra region in the state of Gujarat.
Yeah Right:There's more of us now.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Lioness, cubs captured in Junagadh
Forest officials captured a lioness and four cubs in Junagadh district of Gujarat, a senior official of Gir forest division said today."The lioness and her four cubs are caged to provide them protection", said District Forest Officer (East) of Gir forest division Manishwar Raja.He told PTI on phone that the big cat along with four cubs was spotted by villagers in Kankya village of Una taluka of Junagadh district.A bigger cage, with buffalo as a bait, was procured to trap the lioness and the cubs who are being shifted to wild Life Animal Care Centre in Jasadar, Raja said.They will be kept under observation at the Centre for a week and then will be released in Gir national sanctuary, which is Asia's only abode of Asiatic lions, he said. The forest official added that the big cat did not 'attack' villagers.
Increase in ungulate population in Gir
Briefly translated from Gujarati
Recently population count was done in Gir under guidance and supervision of expert DFO ShriSandeepkumar the results are encouraging with increase of 1 to 5% in difference species. This count done in two stages everyyear. First count done in February and final count is done in May, said Sandeep Kumar Increase in increase indicates healthy jungle. In spite of increase in ungulates, lions & leopards are straying into villages in search of food and water.
King Kills three cows
Briefly translated from Gujarati
It seems Hadmatiya village on Gir forest periphery is favourite destination for king of the jungle.
Yesterday a pride of four lions first killed a cow near NatubhaiDharamshibhaiKalsariya's house. Then one more stray cow was killed near GordhanKhimjiBhanderi'shouse. Finally third stray cow was killed at old sidivas area.
Two lioness' death due to poison
Briefly translated from Gujarati
About 20 days before, a carcass of a dead lioness was found in check-dam of Kantala village of KhambhaTaluka in Gir East. Before the inquiry could start, one more carcass of lioness was found at the same place.
Forest department began strict inquiry. Viscera were sent to the forensic lab. Dog squads were also deployed. At the same place carcass of pig was also found. Viscera of pig and water of checkdam were also sent for analysis at Forensic laboratory. Forest department started inquiring local people and informers were also appointed.
All the cues and lab tests proved that death was because of poison. Forestors also found that KalubhaiVaghabhaiRathod (Age-55), whose farm was adjoining the check – dam was guilty. He was caught and presented before the court.
It is worth nothing that two lions were killed by spraying poisonous fertilizer on a bull at Patla village in Gir East. Thirty – four claws of these lions were also missing. Killers had also tries to burn on of these lions. But vigilant forest department had solved the case. Similarly five lions were also electrocuted at Prempara village near Dhari and culprits were caught.
Saturday, April 09, 2011
'Teen' lioness mom may have mated for security
Times of India By Himanshu Kaushik
She chose her mate from a pack of vagabonds and got thrown out of her pride. But, she may yet become the queen lioness. The two-and-half-year-old lioness' mating with a lion outside the group in Gir sanctuary at a young age may have been driven by her instinctive selection of the strongest and most dominating male around. Experts say her early pregnancy is rooted in her need for security. Her mate has already made a few attempts to establish his supremacy over her pride and the territory.
Forest officials who have been closely monitoring this young lioness said she was a part of a 10-member pride with two male lions. The males are growing old. Apart from this, four sub-adult cubs of the same age have left the pride in search of their own new home.
Deputy conservator of forest Sandeep Kumar said, "Five young adult lions trying to establish their supremacy in the area are intruding in this territory. Her mate along with his brother had come close to her pride and stayed nearby for about a week."
Sensing that the males in her group were getting weaker and that the young lion and his brother had a fair chance of taking over the pride by vanquishing the reigning 'kings', the lioness chose her mate. She preferred the most powerful of the five contenders and gave birth to three cubs. Of these, one cub was killed in an incident of cannibalism by a male from her existing group.
Kumar said this male and his brother have come to the area from a nearby range in Dudhala. He added that the lioness was staying just 2 to 2.5 km away from the parent pride. Since leaving home, she has come close to the group only once or twice, but that too without her cubs. Officials said that once her male lion establishes supremacy, she will rejoin the pride.
Gir lions flourish, thanks to adjoining areas
The Lion King's successful conservation story is making international headlines. An academic paper titled 'A conservation success story in the otherwise dire megafauna extinction crisis: The Asiatic lion (Panthera leo persica) of Gir forest' that chronicles Gujarat's efforts in conserving the big cat has been printed in a Singapore-based magazine. The paper authored by Gujarat's senior IFS officer, HS Singh and Luke Gibson of the Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore brings out the stellar increase of the lions in the wild from its near extinction a century ago to a thriving 411 as per the census last year.
The paper points out that the availability of native ungulates and the lions' migrations to satellite areas around the sanctuary has tremendously helped to increase its population. "Protection of core and satellite habitats and the relocation of pastoral communities and their livestock triggered forest recovery and coincident increases in native prey populations. Wild ungulate populations increased by 10-fold between 1970 and 2010, supporting an increase in the lion population from 180 animals in 1974 to 411 animals in 2010," the paper states.
Dr Singh, a veteran forester and who has authored several books on the wildlife in Gujarat is an avid observer of trends. "Coincident with the increase of the ungulate population, lions shifted their predation preferences from a diet composed of 75% livestock to one composed of just 25% livestock. This example demonstrates the value of native prey populations to sustain imperiled carnivore species," Dr Singh has observed in his paper.
Another aspect pointed out as a reason for effective conservation is moving out the native pastoral communities (Maldharis) and their livestock outside the protected lion habitat.
However, the paper also remarks that, "Despite impressive recoveries of wild ungulates, recent increases in livestock populations in the Gir Conservation Area may limit the potential recovery of wild prey species and consequently the Asiatic lion."
"Another key aspect in the conservation of the Asiatic lion was their dispersal and the subsequent protection of surrounding satellite populations. Approximately one fourth of Asiatic Lions are located in protected satellite populations outside the Gir Conservation Area, and subsist primarily on wild prey species. The protection of these satellite habitats and the maintenance of corridors linking them to the core population in the Gir Conservation Area has allowed for the continued growth of this endangered species," the paper concludes.
Thursday, April 07, 2011
Ye cub hua, kaise hua?
Times of India By Himanshu Kaushik
Lions Display Human Behaviour, Hound Young 'Unwed Mom'
The story has a familiar ring to it. A teenaged daughter falls in love, gets pregnant and she is banished by the family for her sin. She walks out, baby in arms, defending herself and the child in this wild, wicked world.
LONELY BATTLE: The lioness (above) was driven out by her pride
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