Thursday, October 31, 2013

IIM-Ahmedabad professor to join Gujarat's battle for lions

IIM-Ahmedabad professor to join Gujarat's battle for lions
The Economics Times

It will be wildlife experts versus a management guru from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, when it comes to countering the claims of Madhya Pradesh over the translocation of lions to Kuno Palpur. The state forests department has asked the management guru to study the planned dispersal of lions in Kuno Palpur and the impact of a possible outbreak of disease in the Saurashtra region.

Sources said that Ramanathan Subramaniam, a marketing expert who joined the IIM-A in September, has been roped in for the two studies. Subramaniam has earned a PhD in marketing from the Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh, and has served in the University of Kansas.

When contacted by email, Subramaniam said that he had been handed over the responsibility for the two studies but declined to part with details.

Sources in the state government said that Subramaniam - who is an analysis and research expert - has been asked to study the projected movements of lions in the Kuno Palpur area in the context of the study done by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII). The WII study showed that a lioness whose cubs were small had a smaller range (16.9 km). "But during the next year the range increased almost threefold as her cubs, now over 1.5 years, could move with her," the study said.

The WII study will be imposed on Kuno Palpur and the expert will prepare the possible movement patterns. An official said that one study had revealed that a nomad collared lion had moved 54km in a single day. Such wanderings could lead to dangerous situations if the big cats enter a village on their very first day at their new home. A senior officer said "Villages are situated 2km from the Kuno Palpur sanctuary."

Royal traffic pattern

Ramanathan Subramaniam has been provided with a graphic that maps the movement of lions in and outside the Gir Sanctuary. The movement pattern was prepared based on the spotting of the animals and by their kills. The IIM-A professor has been asked to study the impact of any outbreak of deadly diseases in the sanctuary.

Feeling at home

The big cats in Gir and nearby areas prefer to spend their entire day in moist and shady habitats. This was revealed in the study 'Home range and habitat preference of female lions (Panthera leo persica) in Gir forests, India'. The study stated that overall, lionesses were found to use the Teak-Acacia-Zizyphus-Anogeissus habitat the most and the agricultural areas the least. During night, there were some instances of lions venturing into agricultural fields. The Teak-Acacia-Zizyphus-Anogeissus habitat type comprises over 40% of Gir forest.

No comments:

Previous Posts