Sunday, August 04, 2013

Translocation of Asiatic lions: Gujarat’s objections brushed aside

Translocation of Asiatic lions: Gujarat’s objections brushed aside
The Times of India

Gujarat's objections were brushed aside by the 12 member-committee formed by the ministry of forest and environment for the translocation of lions from Gujarat to Madhya Pradesh. The panel, which met in Delhi on Monday, formed a two member team comprising pro-shifting experts Ravi Chellam and Y V Jhala to decide on the translocation protocol and submit their report to the committee within six weeks.

Chellam is said to be the brain behind the transfer move while Jhala represents the Wildlife Institute of India- Dehradun, which is spearheading the cause of creating a second home for the lions.

The Gujarat representatives, who were not given a chance to present their case, will be allowed to do so during the next meeting.

At the start of the meeting, Gujarat forest official CN Pandey tried to raise objections by putting forth the recent guidelines issued by the International Union for Conservation of Nature against such translocations. But Pandey was the lone voice in the meeting against the shifting of lions, as ordered by the Supreme Court. The other experts however accepted that the translocation of lions to from Gir in Gujarat to Kuno Palpur in MP will be done strictly on the basis of the new IUCN guidelines. The SC had stated in its April 15, 2013 order that the number of lions to be introduced in MP would depend upon the density of prey base and other related factors.

The MP official Suhash Kumar was well prepared for this and furnished facts and figures in the proposed 314 sq km Kuno sanctuary which has 69 cheetal per sq. km. and about 80 other animals.

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