New habitat may not prove suitable for Gir lions: Nathwani

Last Updated: Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - 18:22

Vadodara: Independent MP Parimal Nathwani today expressed reservations about the apex court`s direction to shift Asiatic lions from Gir forest in Gujarat to Kuno sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh.
"There is every possibility that the new habitat may prove unsuitable to the translocated lions because of a variety of reasons. They will be made to live in a new geographical area, where everything from climate, vegetation, land and water would be different and their food pattern would change," Nathwani told PTI.

The Supreme Court yesterday directed the Centre to shift the Asiatic Lions from the Gir forest in Gujarat to Kuno sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh saying the big cats need a second home to prevent their extinction due to some epidemic or large forest fire.

The bench approved Kuno sanctuary as a second home for the lions saying it was the "historical habitat" of big cats and "all possible steps have been taken by Madhya Pradesh, MoEF and Union of India" to make the wildlife sanctuary fit for re-introduction of Asiatic Lions.

Nathwani said, he has requested the Centre and Gujarat Government to invite experts from the world and obtain their recommendations to make lions free from any possible hazards, while continuing to keep them in Gir, which houses more than 411 Asiatic lions, as per the census conducted in 2010.

"Several centuries old habitat of this rare specie in Gir has been the most appropriate location because of its geographical, climatic, environmental and bio-diverse peculiarities," he said.


First Published: Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - 18:22

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