Panel says Madhya Pradesh is fit to translocate Gir lions

The 12-member expert committee formed to oversee the translocation of Asiatic lions from Sasan Gir in Gujarat to Kuno-Palpur in Madhya Pradesh (MP) has found the sanctuary prepared to house the big cats.

The panel, formed by India’s apex court in 2013, concluded its maiden visit to Kuno-Palpur on Monday (19 December 2016).”After spending nearly five hours at the sanctuary, the panel members found the atmosphere in Kuno-Palpur conducive to the shifting of lions. Gujarat, too, could not punch many holes in the prepared ness of MP to host the lions,” said a member of the committee.

However, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh once again differed on the issue of International Union for Conservation of Nature guidelines. While MP demanded that the guidelines be taken up simultaneously with the translocation of lions to Kuno-Palpur, Gujarat forest officials in the committee insisted that the multiple studies mandated by IUCN be conducted prior to translocation. Census 2015 has pegged Gujarat’s lion population at 523 lions.

During the meeting on Monday, Gujarat asked MP for the notification that declares a 700 sq km area of Kuno-Palpur as a national park. MP reiterated the process was underway and would be completed soon. Gujarat officials said according to the apex court’s order this was a key requirement. (The Times of India)

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