Panel seeks changes in lion-shift plan
The Times of India City
Ahmedabad: The 12-member lion translocation committee has directed the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) to revise the plan to move some Asiatic lions from Gujarat to Kuno Palpur in MP. The committee met in Delhi on Friday.
The committee, which was formed following the apex court judgement of April 2013, has told the WII to consider concerns and objections raised by Gujarat. The apex court had directed that some lions should be moved from Gir to Kuno Palpur based on the guidelines of the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
The last meeting of parties concerned had been held more than a year ago. On Friday, the meeting buzzed with claims and counterclaims. Gujarat's contentions were challenged by MP officials. Sources said that when Gujarat raised an objection about the prey base density in Kuno, MP officials countered by saying that a study had been carried out by WII experts who were part of the meeting.
After long discussions, the committee decided to meet again in June and will send the draft proposal prepared by Ravi Chellam and Y V Jhala - big cat experts and members of the committee - to the WII for revision.
Sources said that the member of the National Tiger Conservation Authority said that the presence of lions in Kuno would not impede tiger movement from Ranthambore. And MP officials said that lions would be given precedence over tigers.