Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Lions make coastal belt their home

Lions make coastal belt their home
Times of India

From the lush green forests of Gir, lions are now finding a new home along the sea coast.

The lions seem to have permanently settled down around coastal villages of Rajula and Jafrabad talukas of Amreli district. While the lions have adapted to the local environment and finding sufficient prey, wildlife activists are concerned about the wild cat moving into industrialized areas along the coast.

Bhatt had sought details about the presence of lions in Kovaya, Ramapara, Bherai, Lunsapur, Lothpur and Mityala and how many animals they killed.

The area around six villages has a presence of cement companies like Ultratech, L&T and Narmada besides many proposed power plants of Torrent, Videocon, Syntex and Patel Engineering. Pipavav port and shipyard is also located here. The area witnesses heavy traffic, mainly trucks plying throughout the day.

Wildlife activists say there are over 25 lions on coastal villages of Rajula and Jafrabad talukas in Amreli district.

The information accessed under Right to Information (RTI) Act filed by activist Himanshu Bhatt in Savarkundla revealed that lions have killed at least 85 domestic animals since January in these coastal areas.

According to wildlife lovers, the lions were found straying into coastal areas since 10 years but now this area has become their permanent habitat. These lions have come out from their natural corridor in Khambha area.

"Lions making an industrialized belt their permanent home is a matter of concern now as this may impact the natural corridor of the wild cat," honorary wildlife warden, Amreli district, Vipul Laheri said. Senior forest officials said this area is part of greater Gir and lions have been mostly found in private lands, gauchar land and government wastelands in the area.

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