Thursday, April 18, 2013

SC appoints special team for translocation of Asiatic Lions from Gujarat to MP

SC appoints special team for translocation of Asiatic Lions from Gujarat to MP

In response to a plea filed by an environmental group, Supreme Court allowed to shifting of some Asiatic lions from Gujarat's Gir Sanctuary to Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh.

Showing the concern over the rare species, which is on the verge of extinction, the apex court said that the lions need a second home. In their plea, the environmental group had asked the court for the reallocation of the Asiatic lions from Gir Sanctuary as they were suffering from various diseases over here.

A bench of justices KS Radhakrishnan and CK Prasad has given six months' period to the wildlife authority for the shifting of the lions from Gir sanctuary to Kuno Palpur reserve.

The bench also constructed a responsible team to make a decision on the number of lions to be shifted and also asked them to look after the translocation in Madhya Pradesh closely.

The bench, however, said the introduction of African cheetah in India from Namibia can't be allowed. They also mentioned that preservation of critically endangered native species like Wild Buffalo and Great Indian Bustard should give supremacy. It has calculated that there is last habitat of Asiatic Lion and Indian Wild Ass in Gujarat. Under its Rs 300 crore Cheetah Reintroduction programme, the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MOEF) had proposed the introduction of African Cheetah in the country.

Two Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) governed states have been fighting for the translocation of Asiatic lions.

The Shivraj Singh Chauhan-government had asked the Gujarat government to send few lions from Gir to Kuno Palpur Sanctuary. However, the Gujarat Government had refused to move Asiatic lions to MP, saying it is in verge of extinction and Kuno reserve is for tiger and its weather and environment aren't favorable for their survival. Gujarat had opposed an appeal from MP, saying lion wouldn't be safe there as the Central State failed to preserve its own tiger population in Panna Reserve.

Asiatic Lion is listed as endanger by International Union and Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

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