Missing cub traced, may find new family soon


The cub that had gone missing ever since the body of his mother was shifted from the forest has been traced and is under constant watch by the department. The cub will soon find a new family.

At present the cub is showing signs of post traumatic syndrome and running away from foresters. It was doing so even on seeing Rana Madi, who was led to the dead mother by this 18 – month old cub. Officials following the developments said they want to cage the cub and carry out a health check before allowing it to move around on its own or be released in another group.

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On Saturday, foresters had the carcass of an 11- year old lioness, who had been gored to death by a buffalo herd. The carcass was found by a beat guard who had been led to the dead mother by an 18- month old cub.

Forest officials were surprised by this unprecendented incident, which was confirmed by the postmortem report. the postmortem pointed to the lioness having multiple fractures in her ribs and that she had died of an intestinal hemorrhage.

However, as the cub and mother were alone, the forest department will ensure a safe release of the cub in another group. “ we have in the past carried out such safe releases and orphan cubs have been accepted. The release is mostly done in groups that have cubs of the same age, so that the orphan is easily accepted”, says deputy conservator of forests Anshuman Sharma.

He said that the dead lioness had two cubs, one of which had died seven months ago.

“The department has identified a couple of groups in Khambha and Jambudi area and once the cub is caged it will get a safe monitored release in one of these groups,” said Sharma.

The officials said the department was observing the behavior of the groups identified before the cub can be released.

Courtesy – Times of India 

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WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE


India’s forests, wetlands, deserts, mountains, rivers and rainforests host a diversity of bird and wildlife that is one of the richest in the world. We give you practical tips and suggestions about where to sight…

Asiatic Lion: The only place in the world where you are likely to spot the wild, uncaged, endangered Asiatic lion, is ironically, at the former hunting ground for the king of the jungle – the Gir National Park in Gujarat, which has a population of about 400 Asiatic lions. Since, as a rule, lions are known not to attack once they have had a good meal, if you are lucky, you might chance upon a pride of lions in post-prandial hushful response.

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Bengal-Tiger-4Bengal Tiger: The ultimate lone ranger, the Bengal Tiger survives by itself, often hunts in the dead of the night, is mighty sneaky and pretty spry and the sound of its roar can be heard three kilometres away. Though critically endangered, you are most likely to spot the Bengal Tiger at national parks like Bandhavgarh, Corbett, Kanha and also at the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve.

 

 

 

leopardLeopard: The leopard is superjock – an excellent swimmer, a superb climber and armed with plenty of stealth, muscles and power, it makes for a formidable predator in the wild. The best places to spot the leopard are the Nagarhole National Park in Karnataka and the tiny hamlet of Bera in Rajasthan. You can also try your luck at the Bandipur National Park in Karnataka or at Rajaji National Park in Uttarakhand.

 

 

 

desert foxDesert Fox: The best place to spot the desert fox, also known as the white-footed fox, is in the massive parchedness of the Thar Desert in Rajasthan or in the salt marshes of the Wild Ass Sanctuary in the Little Ran of Kutch in Gujarat. While in the sanctuary, you might as well appreciate the Indian Wild Ass, that exists only here and in the high plateus of Tibet.

 

 

 

hyenaHyena: May be it’s the singular sound they make or maybe it’s the fact they are scavengers, but hyenas have, for centuries now, endured general contempt and obloquy. They don’t quite deserve it though, for they are usually smart, surprisingly monogamous and generally step out of their dens only when it’s dark. Head to the Blackbuck National Park in Velavadar, Gujarat for a sure-shot sighting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

indian_wolf_jpg_69460Indian wolf: The wild dog-like Indian wolf can look misleadingly demesticable. But know that even though it is smallest of the wolf subspecies, the Indian wolf is ferocious and known to prey on human when natural prey is not available. They usually move in packs of six or eight and hunt by ambush. To check them out, head to the Blackbuck National Park in Velavadar, Gujarat or to the Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary in Nannaj, Maharasthra.

 

 

 

golden langurGolden Langur: There are only two places in the world where you can see the lush beauty of golden langur: India and Bhutan. An herbivore, the golden langur lives on fruits, nuts, seeds and leaves. Today, the golden langur is endangered and very few individuals survive in the wild. Head to Manas National Park in Assam and try to look upward on high trees to see if you can catch a glimpse of this gorgeous primate.

 

 

 

 

ridlet turtleOlive Ridley Sea Turtles: These turtles make their way to the sea after hatching at the Rushikulua, Devi and Gahirmatha in Odisha from the largest breeding ground for these turtles in India. The synchronised nesting (anywhere between 100000-500000 annually) and march of these turtles towards the seas makes for a spectacular site that is not one to be missed.

Lion Deaths Rattle Government


The Gujarat government has ordered a high-level inquiry into the Tuesday night’s incident where two lions were run over by a speeding vehicle near Jafrabad in Amreli District ( Rajkot, Gujarat ) additional chief secretary, forest and environment department, H.K. Dash said on Wednesday that the inquiry will be conducted by the chief wildlife warden.

The lions, both about 18 months old, were run over when a pride was crossing the coastal highwat near Hemal Village on Bhavnagar – Somnath Highway. This was the first incident of lions being killed in road accident forest
department, on Wednesday registered a case against the driver of an unidentified vehicle in this case.
While wildlife activists in Amreli ( Rajkot, Gujarat ) have blamed the string of lion deaths recently in this coastal belt on the laxity of forest department, the government has said that it has taken a series of measures after the January 22 incident where two lionesses, one of them pregnant with three cubs, were run over by a train near Pipavav Port.

“This was waiting to happen as there is no night patrolling and enough staff in Rajula and Jafarabad forest range to track the lions’ movement. There are over 40 lions settled in Rajula – Jafarabad coastel belt but no regular monitoring of lions is done. Since lions have settled around industrial area, railway track and busy roads, there is an urgent need to constantly track them to avoid such accidental deaths,” said Vipul Laheri, honorary wildlife warden, Amreli ( Rajkot, Gujarat )

Meanwhile, Dash said that on February 14, the forest department and railways had a meeting to discuss ways to avoid such incidences. “As many as 82 trains drivers have been trained on precautions to take in the area. They have been given maps of sensitive areas where lions frequently cross the tracks.”

“We have also called a meeting with National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to chalk out ways to prevent any such occurrences on reads,” he said. A senior forest official told TOI that they have also trained 20 trackers in the Rajula belt to monitor.

Courtesy:- Times of India

Sasan Gir ( Junagadh, Gujarat ) named best protected area


Gir Sanctuary ( Junagadh, Gujarat )  has been recognized and awarded the best protected area by a Mumbai based wildlife magazine.

The awards were instituted in 2000, to recognize and draw national attention to the contribution of individuals working for the protection of wildlife and natural habitats in India.

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This year, among various categories, Gir Sanctuary ( Junagadh, Gujarat ) was awarded for the best protected sanctuary. Chief conservator of forests R.L. Meena received the award on behalf of Gujarat. C.N. Pandey, the principal chief conservator of forests said: “The award was recognition of the conservation efforts of the state and especially the people of Saurashtra who have protected lions as their family. It was because of this convection that the population of lions increased to 411 according to the 2010 census.”

Officials said that talk of relocating Asiatic Lions from Gir ( Junagadh, Gujarat ) meet vehement protests from local maldharis. Despite the wild cats preying on nearly 6,000 domesticated animals in the forests, satellite areas and villages, locals consider the lions to be a part of their family.

Gir Forest ( Junagadh, Gujarat ) was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1965 with the main area declared a national park. Gradually, more lion habitats in adjoining regions were also declared sanctuaries and ultimately Girnar Wildlife Sanctuary ( Junagadh, Gujarat ) was created in 2007.

Several ecological studies were also conducted to identify problems and prepare a conservation project. This was followed by implementation of the Gir Lion Sanctuary project in 1973 to resettle maldharis.

Courtesy:- Times of India

Vulture count on a rise thanks to Asiatic Lions


Vulture population may be on a decline across Gujarat but the number of these fast diminishing scavengers has surprisingly risen in Bhanvnagar (Gujarat, India) and Amreli districts (Gujarat, India). Interestingly, it is the lions that are helping these endangered birds make this region their permanent habitat.

The number of vultures in the 70-km coastal stretch from Mahua-Rajula-Nageshree (Gujarat, India) has steadily increased from an all time low of 87 in 2010 to 134 in 2013. In fact, the extremely rare Eurasian Griffon specie of vultures that were only winter visitors of Mahuva, are now seen throughout the year.

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Besides serious conservation efforts and people’s awareness, wildlife experts also attribute the increase to the presence of large number of lions in the revenue land in this region. Vultures feast on the animals that have been preyed upon by lions.

“Since these lions are out of forests area, they mostly kill domestic cattle and feed on them in open fields. Moreover, these animals are untreated and not administered Diclofenac, which is the sole reason for vulture’s decline. This helps vultures to have a healthy food chain, a critical aspect for their survival,” said Ruchi Dave, honorary wildlife warden, Bhavnagar district (Gujarat, India).

Recently, wildlife enthusiasts spotted 25 endangered vultures including two Eurasian Griffons, feedin on the carcass left behind by an Asiatic Lion near Rajula in Amreli District (Gujarat, India).

“Few days ago mi spotted eight vultures feasting on an animal killed by Lions. Such a sight is quite common now”. Said Jasubhai Mobh, a Maldhari living in Mobh Nesh near Khambha.

Lions are in good numbers in Mahuva, Rajula, Khambha, Jafrabad and Savarkundla (Gujarat, India) area and most of them are out of protected forest area. “There are over 75 lions in his 70 km area and most of them are in revenue area. We have often seen vultures eating the lion’s kill in these areas,” said Vipul Laheri, honorary wildlife warden, Amreli (Gujarat, India).

Notably, Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) has selected the Mahuva area as one of the six provisional Vultures’ safe Zone on the country.

Lions’ presence in this ‘vulture’ zone has helped these birds stay put. “Eurasian Griffon vultures have been observed throughout the year, which indicated that this area is non-disturbed habitat for vultures,” Dave said.

Courtesy:- Times of India. 

 

Roar of the cub club in Gir


Youth takes over Gujarat’s pride

The ‘cub club’ has taken over Gir Sanctuary(Junagadh, Gujarat, India) and surrounding areas in Gujarat, the last remaining home of Asiatic Lions in the world. More than a third of the 400- lions are now less than 3 years old. Of these, 50 percent have not even crossed the one year mark. This is a demographic that experts and foresters say will only help in conserving this unique animal that has come back from the edge of extinction.

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The first census of lions by Gujarat, India in 1964 has shown that the numbers of the wild cat had dropped to precarious depths at just 177. According to the last census in May 2010, there are 411 lions in the state. Every year, some 70 cubs are born, but only 56 per cent live to see the third year of their lives. As present, 37 per cent of the population is below three years.

This number, however, is way better when compared with African lions. The website of the Kalahari Predator Conservation Trust (Botswana), quoting International Union for conservation of Nature (IUCN), states that food shortage, negligence and the takeover by other male lions results in only 20 per cent of cubs living to experience more than two years of their lives. About 27 per cent of all cubs die from the hierarchical invasion by another male lion.

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Says HS Singh, additional  principal conservator of forests, “In Gir, the territorial battles seem to be happening at an older age, which has reduced the cannibalism and improved the survival rate of the cubs.” Not only within the sanctuary, are young cubs found elsewhere as well. Although they seem to be doing much better in Gir East and Gir west areas within the sanctuary. The wild cats had started moving out of the sanctuary about a decade ago. “Today, they are found in substantial numbers in regions like Amreli and Bhavnagar outside the sanctuary, but the numbers of cubs is comparatively less here,” says Sandeep Kumar, deputy conservator of forest.

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A study by V. Meena of the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun,(India) called ‘Reproductive Strategy and Behaviors of Male Asiatic Lions’ revealed that the survival rate of the cub was the lowest in the first year of birth. It adds that cub survival depends on factors like infanticide (which results in death of 60% cubs), abandonment (13%) and other natural causes (26%).

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Yadvendradev Jhala, research associate at WII says, “Thirty – seven per cent cubs in the wild is a very high number. The forest department should not make efforts to save all these new born as it would mean interfering in the natural process in which the bad genes die and the best survive.”

Courtesy:- Times Of India (Monday, 11th, February, 2013)

Lions pressured by fodder shortage


 

Gujarat foresters are dealing with a new threat to the Gir wildlife Sanctuary. Scarcity of fodder on the periphery of the sanctuary is forcing politicians to pressure the forest department to permit Maldharis to bring their cattle inside the sanctuary for grazing.

Forest officials said that MLAs from the ruling party were trying to ensure that the Maldhari community around the sanctuary was allowed into Gir, Girnar, and Mitiyala sanctuaries. Sources said the pressure was constant.

This being an election year, officers are in a fix as members of the two main political parties want local inhabitants to illegally enter the area.

Bhagvan Bharwad, the MLA from Talala, said: “We will wait till Sunday and if there is no rain, we will make representations to the state government and even write to chief minister to permit grazing in the forest.” Bharwad said grass was not available and one could not let animal’s ir for want of food. “If the forest department or the state government refuses to give us permission, we will enter the forest without permission” he said. “Let them take action”.

A forest official said that in the recent past, a couple of attempts were made to enter the forest but guards prevented people from venturing deep into the sanctuary.

The sanctuary is closed for public for four months during monsoon, from June 15. Forest officials said that during this period the danger of lion attack was high. If Maldharis were permitted to enter the forest with cattle, risk to their lives would be immense.

Forest officials said that Maldharis were illegally allowing their cattle to graze in areas near the boundary of the sanctuary. “This is the park season for breeding for not just big cats, but even for the herbivores,” a forest official said. “The newborn of the herbivores learn to walk. At such a time, if cattle are permitted to graze in the sanctuary, they could be a nuisance to the newborn.

 

Asiatic Lioness with her Cubs


Asiatic Lioness with her Cubs

Mother’s Care

Asiatic Lion’s at Gir National Park, India

Mother’s Care – Lioness at Sasan Gir


Lioness feeding it’s cub at Gir National Park, Sasan Gir, Junagadh, Gujarat, India. Sasan Gir can be conviently visited from Rajkot, Gujarat which has three daily connecting flights from Mumbai.

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