Gir National Park in Gujarat boasts of being the only national park in the World for being home to the Asiatic Lions. But thanks to the conservation efforts of the State Government and moresover the Local Population (predominantly Vegetarians) that the conservation efforts resulted in increase of population of lions from double digits to 600 plus now and their habitat expanding from 1412 sq km of Gir National Park to 10500 sq km in Southern Gujarat / Saurashtra Region, a fact not known to all and supressed by many - Some activists even claiming that some Lions need to be translocated out of Gir so there is no concentration risk incase of an epidemic, whereby the prides have over last couple of decades migrated naturally to 10500 sq km across the southern state.
Basis some PIL (Public Interest Litigation), the Asiatic Lion Translocation Issue in India, is hung between two states of India – Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, latest being Hon’ble Supreme Court mandating translocation of Lions to MP (purpose largely being tourism rather than conservation), and Gujarat filing a Review Petition on the same pointing a one sided decision and referring to the poaching culture of MP (50% of world’s tigers over the last decade were poached in MP)
OUR WORK ON THIS FRONT
We have been working on this issue since a while and especially in a situation of no successful Lion translocation in the past and tiger and bird experts trying their hands, we thought it apt to seek the intervention of IUCN - International Union for Conservation of Nature. A copy of letter covering the following points is attached herewith :
- 29 Serious Violations of IUCN Guidelines covering areas like Core Reason, Habitat, Climatic requirements, Animal Welfare, Social Feasibility, Regulatory Compliance, Risk Assessment, Exit Strategy etc. This could be the highest possible violation by any country on account of translocation !!!
- 12 Adverse Conditions in proposed translocation site at Kuno Palpur, MP. Which could lead to a failed translocation.
- Serious Animal Right Issue on the SC approved proposal of translocating a pride of Lions to Kuno and every 3 to 5 years moving the Male Lion from the Wild to captivity in Zoo and by replacing a new Wild Male Lion from Gir. This has been highlighted to even People for Animals (PFA) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) for their attention and action.
In the recent past, we had published a Report on Adversities of Translocation to Kuno Palpur in MP, where we had sighted 10 International Translocation case studies which showed a very poor success rate - with majority of animals returning back to their original location, suffering post translocation stress and medical issues, creating conflict and being killed most of the times !
Leading media like The Times of India, DNA, The Hindustan Times, The Mid-Day, Mumbai Mirror, Outlook, India Today, Global Post - USA etc.have covered our work.
To Summarize, there are :
- 12 ADVERSE HABITAT ISSUES (In Proposed Location, the Poaching Hub of Asia),
- 29 IUCN GUIDELINE VIOLATIONS (Letter attached, covered by all leading Indian Media)
- SERIOUS ANIMAL RIGHT ISSUE (Putting the Wild Male Lion at the proposed loction into Captivity every 3 -5 years)
- PRESENCE OF TIGERS IN THE PROPOSED NATIONAL PARK
- POACHING THREAT at Proposed Location in the Global Poaching Hub (Can Google Madhya Pradesh + Poaching)
- INDIA HAVING NO LION TRANSLOCATION SUCCESS AND EXPERIENCE
- INCOMPETENT Bird and Tiger experts trying their hands on Lion Translocation, due to no experience of India in Lion Translocation,taking half baked and risky decisions which would ultimately result in the loss of Lions !!!
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