Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Lion translocation panel may join Rajasthan as member

Lion translocation panel may join Rajasthan as member
The Economic Times

BHOPAL: With the death of nine Asiatic lions following heavy rains in Gujarat, a wildlife body has requested Union minister Prakash Javadekar not to challenge in Supreme Court the shifting of lions from Gir National Park to Palpur-Kuno wildlife sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh.

"As you are aware that a number of lions were killed due to recent flood in Gujarat and there is an apprehension that they may face serious consequences in post-flood scenario, like outbreak of serious epidemic.

"I have been informed that your ministry is going to file an affidavit in the Supreme Court to oppose the shifting of lions (from Gir to Palpur-Kuno) which will not only be the violation of the Supreme Court order but also a blow to the efforts to provide a second safe habitat to endangered species," Ajay Dubey, secretary, 'Prayatna', the organisation working for wildlife and environment protection, stated in his e-mail sent to the Environment and Forests Minister.

"Since you are representing Madhya Pradesh in Rajya Sabha, it will be a gross injustice to the people of MP that you oppose the shifting of lions to Madhya Pradesh," it said.

Nine Asiatic lions have died following heavy rains in Gujarat of late, apparently due to drowning in the stream of Shetrunji river which flows alongside the Gir wildlife sanctuary.

(With the death of nine Asiatic…)

Dubey requested Javadekar to implement the order of the apex court to shift lions on war-footing for their protection.

The Supreme Court on April 15, 2013, had clearly mentioned that lions from Gir should be shifted to Palpur-Kuno sanctuary but this has not happened, Dubey told.

"The verdict to shift the lions was solely guided by the concern of wildlife experts that population of Asiatic lions in Gir wildlife sanctuary faces the threat of epidemics, natural disasters and others. This was reportedly the precise gist of a study initiated by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun, way back in 1986," Dubey added.

Dubey said he had filed a contempt of court petition in the apex court against the department concerned last year for the violation of its 2013 order.

"Now, I am going to petition the apex court to draw its attention towards the threat to the population of the 'king of jungle' in Gujarat," he said.

Dubey said the WWI had decided to shift lions to MP way back in 1993.

"However, the plan did not take off due to red tapeism and legal wrangling between the BJP-ruled states of Gujarat and MP," he added.

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