Gujarat-Madhya Pradesh empowered committee should hold mutual discussion for shifting of Asiatic Lion

Bhopal : The Union Minister for Forest and Climate Change Shri Prakash Javadekar has praised the concern of the Minister for Forest Shri Umang Singhar of the state for the coservation of Asiatic Lions in the country. It may be mentioned that a letter was written by Shri Singhar to the Prime Minister on September 30, 2019 pertaining to the shifting of Lion from the Gir National Park of Gujarat to Kuno Sanctuary of the state. In India Asiatic lions survive in a small number only in Gir Forest.

The Union Minister Shri Javadekar in a letter sent to the Forest Minister Shri Singhar has mentioned that the Supreme Court had directed on April 15, 2013 to shift Asiatic lions from Gir National Park to any other place i.e. Kuno of Madhya Pradesh in order to increase the population of lions. The Supreme Court had directed to shift the lions on the basis of guideline of International Union for Conservation of Nature and to constitute a experts committee in this regard by the Union Ministry for Forest.

Shri Javadekar has informed that in compliance to the order of the Supreme Court, an experts committee was constituted by the Union Ministry for Forest. This committee is examining the process of translocation of Asiatic Lions to Kuno of Madhya Pradesh. Apart from this, a State Specific Empowered Committee has also been formed by Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh government in their respective states in connection to the shifting of Asiatic Lions under the chairmanship of Chief Wildlife Warden. Shri Javadekar further stated that the translocation of the Lions will take place after the in-depth mutual discussion by these committees of both the states in connection to the safety, care, guidelines in process of shifting and assessment of habitat of lions.

At present, Asiatic lions are survived only in Gir National Park of Gujarat. The World Wild Life Federation and wildlife experts believe that they must also have a population in any other favourable environment to protect the species from extinction. The Kuno sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh has a favourable environment of all kind for the Lions. In Madhya Pradesh, the forest department has completed all possible preparations to increase the population of the Lions. In case of spread of any epidemic or the population of the Lions is more in proportion to the area, Kuno will be the most suitable place in the country after Gir for the increase in Gir Lions’ population.

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