National Tiger Conservation Authority wants to develop Kuno Palpur for tigers?
The Times Of India
AHMEDABAD: The lion translocation issue has taken a fresh turn. The 12-member expert panel formed by the Supreme Court has sought the written opinion of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) on the matter of translocation of lions from Gir sanctuary in Gujarat to Kuno Palpur in Madhya Pradesh.
This is the first time that the committee has sought the opinion of the NTCA on whether it would be prudent to develop Kuno Palpur as a place where both the lion and tiger could live together or whether the tiger should be given a free run of the place to multiply. The move follows the recent tiger census that showed that the population of the endangered animal had grown from 1,706 in 2011 to 2,226 in 2015.
"Encouraged by the growth in the tiger population, NTCA officials had requested that tiger sanctuaries should be developed and importance should be given to Kuno Palpur sanctuary which is also a corridor for tiger movement," an official said. Earlier, one tiger (the T-38) that had travelled from Ranthambore was spotted in Kuno.
It was the committee's maiden meeting after Narendra Modi took over as Prime Minister. Four ex-officio members of the committee were replaced after Modi became PM and the panel also got a new chairman in Vinod Rajan, an IFS officer of Jammu & Kashmir cadre who is also as additional director general, wildlife, under ministry of environment and forests.The committee has sent back its recommendations and objections to lion experts Ravi Chellam and Y V Jhala, who had submitted a report recommending translocation of 12 lions to Kuno Palpur. The committee has asked these experts to reconsider the proposal in view of the fresh objections raised.
Currently, a petition filed by Rajkot-based Wildlife Conservation Trust is pending before the apex court. The petition has claimed that certain facts were not presented before Supreme Court which had ordered the translocation of lions in its April 2013 judgment.
Wildlife expert P Gadhvi has also moved an application to join the case as a party. He has said that Kuno is an important migration corridor for tigers from Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan to Madhav National Park in MP.