Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Kuno may get 12 lions in first phase

Kuno may get 12 lions in first phase
The Times of India

Six months after the Supreme Court ordered the translocation of Asiatic lions from Gir in Gujarat to Palpur Kuno inMadhya Pradesh, an expert committee has recommended that the process should begin by shifting a dozen big cats to the neighbouring state.

Last week, the two-member expert panel comprising Wildlife Institute of India scientist Y V Jhala and scientist Ravi Chellam has submitted a 50-odd page report to the SC-appointed 12-member committee to monitor the translocation saying that 12 lions from Sasan should be translocated in the first phase.

"We have also suggested that in all 30-40 animals from the wild be translocated to Kuno over a period of time," said Jhala. However, the final decision on the number will be decided by the committee.

Palpur Kuno has a sanctuary area of 314 sq km. The committee had in the first meeting on July 29 asked Jhala and Chellam to decide on the translocation protocol.

Jhala and Chellam have forwarded the report to all the 12 members and asked for their suggestions. The report suggests that the Palpur Kuno sanctuary, which has 69 cheetals per sq km and about 80 other animals, was ready to house the 12 big cats immediately.

The duo has outlined the objective of the project which says that extensive presence of lions would help the local economy and boost eco tourism but is silent on the conservation.

Sources said while MP is not likely to raise any objection to the report, senior forest officials inGujarat are preparing a detailed note to continue their protest on translocating lions.

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