Government to Re-examine Asiatic Lion Translocation Plan
Why in News?
The Indian government is re-examining the long-standing plan to translocate Asiatic lions (Panthera leo persica) from Gir National Park to Kuno National Park.
What are the Developments Related to Translocation of Asiatic Lions?
- In 2013, the Supreme Court ordered the government to translocate Asiatic lions from Gujarat to the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh. However, the lion translocation remains on paper.
- However, the Centre's 25-year roadmap for Project Lion has no provision for any translocation outside Gujarat.
- Instead, the focus is on assisted natural dispersal across Saurashtra by 2047.
- The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has recently pointed out that the lion population increased by 29% over the past 5 years.
- In view of the recent introduction of cheetahs in Kuno and NTCA is looking for measures to secure the lion’s future beyond Gir.
What are the Key Points Related to Asiatic Lions?
- The Asiatic Lion (also known as the Persian Lion or Indian Lion) is a member of the Panthera Leo Leo subspecies that is restricted to India.
- Its previous habitats consisted of West Asia and the Middle East before it became extinct in these regions.
- Asiatic lions are slightly smaller than African lions.
- Asiatic lions were once distributed to the state of West Bengal in east and Rewa in Madhya Pradesh, in central India.
- At present Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is the only abode of the Asiatic lion.
- Protection Status:
Gir National Park
- Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Junagadh district of Gujarat.
- It was declared as a sanctuary in 1965 and a national park in 1975.
- The Gir Forests is the largest compact tract of dry deciduous forests in the semi-arid western part of India.
- Gir is often linked with "Maldharis" who have survived through the ages by having symbiotic relationship with the lion.
Kuno National Park
- Kuno National Park is a protected area located in the Sheopur district of Madhya Pradesh state in India.
- It has a healthy population of chital, sambar, nilgai, wild pig, chinkara and cattle.
UPSC Civil Services Examination Previous Year Question (PYQ)
Q. Consider the following statements: (2019)
- Asiatic lion is naturally found in India only.
- Double-humped camel is naturally found in India only.
- One-horned rhinoceros is naturally found in India only.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3