Friday, August 29, 2014

Petition warns possibility of conflict between lions and tigers

Petition warns possibility of conflict between lions and tigers
The Times of India

Madhya Pradesh forest officials have again got on camera a Rajasthan tiger T-38 in Kuno-Palpur sanctuary where Gir lions from Gujarat are proposed to be shifted. Its dominance in the area has now become a cause of concern for the two states.

State forest officials are more worried over its presence in the area considering a pending petition from a Gujarat-based NGO, Wildlife Conservation Trust-Rajkot, which has joined as a party to the petition filed by Rajasthan government claiming that there is a possibility of conflict between the two big cats because a natural movement corridor exists between Kuno and Ranthambore.

This petition is being considered as a last hurdle in the shifting of lions to MP as Gujarat government has exhausted all legal options to prevent the translocation after dismissal of its curative petition by Supreme Court last week.

According to our Ahmedabad bureau this NGO had filed a petition earlier in the apex court against translocation of lions to Kuno-Palpur. NGO claims that the court was never informed about the contiguity which Ranthambore Tiger Reserve enjoys with Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh.

They also quoted National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) report, 'State of tigers, co-predators and prey in India-2008', which supports the stand of Gujarat that Kuno-Palpur is a tiger-occupied area close to other tiger habitats, including Ranthambore.

MP government has now recommended to the Centre that that T-38 be fitted with a radio collar to check any possible conflict with lions. Officials from Ranthambore have also visited Kuno to track T-38 and ascertain its safety there.
So far three tigers that went missing from Ranthambore have been located in Madhya Pradesh including one in Seoda range in Datia district - a mix of reserve and protected forest area -- and two in Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary. Both MP and Rajasthan have installed separate camera traps in Kuno, said sources.

The tiger in Datia is said to be a 3-year-old cub of Ranthambore's T-26 tigress. Information collected from the forest officials and the GPS tracking by WWF India- Western India Tiger landscape team indicates this cub travelled more than 220 km to reach Seoda range. The range has both reserve and protected forests with the Sindh river flowing in the middle and the Vindhya hill ranges on the western side. There are many villages on both sides.

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