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Support grows for shifting Gir lions to MP

A top wildlife institute has favoured shifting of about 40 lions from Gujarat to Madhya Pradesh’s Palpur Kuno sanctuary, which has been delayed by over three years despite a Supreme Court verdict.

Support grows for shifting Gir lions to MP
A file photo of a pack of lions resting under the shade in Gir National Park in Gujarat

New Delhi

In a project report to the Centre, Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India (WII) has said that lion reintroduction within the sanctuary would not wait for the completion of an ongoing study since the institute’s earlier ecological assessment had already validated the potential of that area to support about 40 lions. 

“The current study in concurrence with the lion reintroduction exercises would serve as a benchmark for post-release long-term monitoring of lions, prey and other predators and would be mostly helpful in identifying social and ecological status of the landscape outside the sanctuary boundary which lions are likely to explore once the population reaches its carrying capacity of 40 lions inside the sanctuary after 15 years,” it said. The report was received in response to an RTI query filed by wildlife activist Ajay Dubey.

The Madhya Pradesh government has been seeking ‘immediate’ transfer of Asiatic lions from Gujarat to its Palpur Kuno sanctuary. 

In a recent communication to Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, the state government has rejected all concerns raised by the Gujarat administration for not giving lions to it. 

The reintroduction plan of lions in Madhya Pradesh had faced stiff opposition from Gujarat.

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