Thursday, April 25, 2013

‘Gir saturated, transfer a lifeline’

‘Gir saturated, transfer a lifeline’
Times of India

The world's leading lion experts are quite convinced that the move to relocate the Gir lions is an apt one. "It is important to have a second population to save the last wild Asiatic lions," says ecologist Craig Packer, director of the Lion Research Center at the University of Minnesota's College of Biological Sciences. "There could be an unforeseeable ecological catastrophe, a disease, typhoon or something else that destroys the habitat." Similar concerns are echoed by Luke Hunter, president of Panthera, one of the world's leading wild cat conservation organisations. Hunter, who is a globally acknowledged lion-translocation expert, says that while Gujarat has done a fabulous job of protecting the big cats, the lions might have reached the maximum density that Gir can sustain.

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