Monday, August 06, 2012

Eco-sensitive zones to now shield Asiatic lions in Gujarat

Eco-sensitive zones to now shield Asiatic lions in Gujarat
The Pioneer

The home of the world's last population of Asiatic lions in the wild, Girnar Forests in Gujrat will now be surrounded by eco-sensitive zone. The Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) has also declared the setting up of similar zones around the wildlife sanctuaries of Purna in Dangs, Narayan Sarovar in Kutch and Vansda National Park in Valsad. Mining, industrialisation and tourism activities here will also have to be regulated.

As per the MoEF notification issued recently, Girnar eco-sensitive zone will occupy an area of 9,318 hectares covering a span of five-km radius around the sanctuary that covers 27 villages. The area will have development that would henceforth be regulated through a zonal master plan expected to come up within two years.

The eco-sensitive zone around the Purna wildlife sanctuary will have an area of 25,036 ha covering a two-km radius, that also includes 61 villages. Purna has above 3,000 species of plants and animals..

The notification further states that the zone around Narayan Sarovar wildlife sanctuary will occupy 22,588 ha, of which about 60% is non-forest land. It will stretch up to 2.5 kilometers throughout the sanctuary's periphery, covering 28 villages.

The sources pointing to the  specialty of  Narayan Sarovar  said it falls under "a separate biotic province of the country" and thereby has a distinct gene pool, that include grasslands in arid regions, mangrove forests along the coastal stretches and wetlands.

Vansda National Park that once took pride in flaunting tigers today takes pride in bird species that are typical to the Western Ghats are . The area also abounds in various kinds of medicinal shrubs and herbs with orchids, litchens and ferns.It also hosts nine mammalian species and some rodent species, as well as reptiles and amphibians. The eco-sensitive zone in the National Park will spread over five kms of its total periphery and covering about 13 villages.

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