Thursday, February 27, 2014

Accidental deaths of lions on the rise

Accidental deaths of lions on the rise
Times of India

Reported From Outskirts Of Sanctuaries

The death of a lion in Amreli on railway tracks has once again raised serious concerns on conservation issues.Incidents of unnatural deaths of lions,including electrocution,have been on the rise,especially on outskirts of the sanctuaries.

Lions have been venturing out of the sanctuary since the early 1990s,but the department has not given adequate protection and failed to create more protected areas.

Officials said Barda Dungar is a perfect example of how forest officials have neglected the area and have been delaying shifting lions there.

The dispersal of lions has been reported in several journals and research papers which claim that the big cats were moving out in search of food.Apart from Gir sanctuary,lions have declared Pania,Mitiyala and Girnar sanctuaries for lions.

Gir sanctuary at the most can hold not more than 280 lions and with the population increasing,it is necessary for the department to have more protected area for conservation.

Asenior official also pointed out that after the March 2007 poaching incident,a Greater Gir Action plan was prepared by the department and was even cleared by the state wildlife board headed by chief minister Narendra Modi.However,there after not much has been achieved on the ground.


January 2014 |

Two lionesses are mowed down by a goods train between Dehra and Pasada villages in Rajula taluka of Amreli district.One of the lionesses was pregnant.The lionesses were hit by the Pipavav Port-bound train on a private track.The site where the accident took place is around 35-40 km from the Gir forest,but lions are regularly seen here.

September 2012 |

A lion cub is killed after being run over by a train at a village near the Gir National Park in Amreli district.The body of the cub,around 5-6 months old,was found lying near the Rajula-Pipavav railway track.

December 2009 |

A lion is found dead under a bridge near Bhelchhar village in the Sasan range of the Gir forest.Officials say that headlights of a car,heading towards Sasan,had startled the animal on the bridge.eeling threatened,the lion jumped atop a narrow,metre-high parapet on the left side of the bridge,but failed to keep its balance and plunged down.

Times View

T he last lion census in 2010 had put the lion count in Saurashtra at 411.While the next census is due only in mid-2015,conservative estimates by foresters put the count at 500.In the 1960s,lions were confined to an area of 1,400 sq km.Today,their presence spans 20,000 sq km.The lions are breeding well,conquering new kingdoms as their numbers grow.No doubt,the big cats face various threats in Gujarat and new sanctuaries,like the one being planned for years at Barda Dungar,need to be created.But threat levels are much greater in the alternative home being planned in Chambal which is infested by gun-toting poachers and dacoits.

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