Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Asiatic lion number touches 523: Census

Asiatic lion number touches 523: Census
Business standard
Increase of 27% since 2010; Gujarat taunts Madhya Pradesh for decrease in the number of tigers

Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel taunted the Madhya Pradesh government for decrease in the number of tigers in the neighbouring state.

"Habitation area of lions in Gujarat has increased, which is a good sign. Since the number of lions have increased, it is our responsibility to protect them and we will ensure their conservation," Patel said, announcing the census on the population of Asiatic lions in Gujarat.

"The neighbouring state of Madhya Pradesh also carried out a tiger census according to which the number of tigers declined. I am sure that our Prime Minister will look into it," Patel said.

The number of Asiatic lions in Gir sanctuary and its surrounding areas has gone up to 523, an increase of 27 per cent since 2010, according to the latest census report.

The 2010 census had revealed the figure of Asiatic lions to be 411, she said, adding that their population has increased by 27 per cent.

As per this year's census, there are 109 male lions, 201 female lions and 213 sub-adults as well as cubs whereas in the 2010 census, the figure of male lions stood at 97, female lions were 162 and cubs were 152. The state governments of MP and Gujarat which are both led by the BJP, have been fighting a legal battle on translocation of Asiatic lions from Gujarat's Gir lion sanctuary to the Kuno Palpur sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh.

On April 15, 2013, the Supreme Court had ordered translocation of Asiatic lions from Gujarat to Madhya Pradesh, saying that the species is under threat of extinction and needed a second home.

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