Saturday, August 03, 2013

Gir lions to roar in MP soon

Gir lions to roar in MP soon
The Times of India

Roar of translocatedGir lions will be heard in Sheopur district, if everything goes well. Paving the way, Ministry of forest and environment (Moef) has constituted a 12-member committee to decide final course of action to shift lions from Gir in Gujarat to Palpur-Kuno wildlife sanctuary in Sheopur district of the state.

The committee, chaired by Moef's additional director general (ADG) Wildlife will hold its first meeting in New Delhi on July 29, sources said.

The other committee members include chief wildlife wardens (CWW) of MP and Gujarat - Narendra Kumar and C N Pandey, respectively, member secretary National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), Wildlife Institute of India ( WII), and other wildlife experts Dr AJP Johnsingh, YB Jhala, Dr Ravi Chellam, PR Sinha and NK Ranjeet Singh.

The committee is mandated to advice on the number of lions to be trabnslocated, provide technical guidance to both the states, select individual animals, monitor implementation plan of reintroduction and submit progress report to the Moef, said MP CWW told TOI. This committee can also co-opt more experts for the proceedings, he added.

Members will identify lions and number of prides to be shifted to MP, besides discussing a strategy to monitor research and track their movements continuously.

The committee has been constituted in compliance with the April 15 order of Supreme Court which directed Gujarat to translocate lions to Palpur-Kuno wildlife sanctuary in Sheopur district of the state. In May, Gujarat had filed a review petition against this order citing that court was misguided by MP government. While the petition is yet to be admitted in the court, MP forest department shot off a communication to the centre for compliance of the apex court's order.

The Gujarat government also claims that top carnivores have never been successfully translocated. "We propose that we may first have a program of having a second home in the same climatic region in Gujarat as a pilot project and closely monitor the progress and learn from the exercise as to how the prides behave etc," Gujarat government has claimed in their review petition besides accusing the forest officials of being negligent in protecting their tigers.

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