Project Lion | UPSC

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Project Lion | UPSC

Project Lion | UPSC

      HEADLINES:

Project Lion

      WHY IN NEWS:

Proposal identifies 6 relocation sites apart from Kuno-Palpur

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3 : Conservation of Biodiversity : Flora and Fauna

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS Map out each and every national park and sanctuary in this article . They are very important ! Note down the aim and conservation methods.

      ISSUE: 

The proposal seeks to create free ranging lion populations within Gujarat and in India to counter lack of genetic diversity within Asiatic lions

PROJECT LION

  • Six new sites apart from the Kuno-Palpur Wildlife Sanctuary have been identified under Project Lion.
  • Project Lion was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi August 15, 2020.

The programme has been launched for the conservation of the Asiatic Lion.

  • Asiatic lions ; whose last remaining wild population is in Gujarat’s Asiatic Lion Landscape.(ALL)

AIM

The project will involve habitat development by engaging modern technologies in management as well as in addressing the issue of diseases in lion .

  • Landscape management with associated species will be done through veterinary care and advanced world-class research.
  • The project will also be addressing the Human-Wildlife conflict which will involve local communities living in the vicinity .

IMPLEMENTATION

  • The Wildlife Institute of India, along with the Gujarat Forest Department, had created a Project Lion proposal.

It has been sent to the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change on September 15 for approval.

  • Asiatic Lions have been confined to Gir National Park and its surrounding environments in Gujarat’s Saurashtra.
  • The Gujarat Forest Department in June 2020 had suggested their population to be increased by 29%- 523 in 2015 to 674 in 2020.

SIX NEW SITES IDENTIFIED FOR POSSIBLE LION RELOCATION

  • Madhav National Park, Madhya Pradesh
  • Sitamata Wildlife Sanctuary, Rajasthan
  • Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan
  • Gandhi Sagar Wildlife Sanctuary, Madhya Pradesh
  • Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary, Rajasthan
  • Jessore-Balaram Ambaji WLS and adjoining landscape, Gujarat(Mark them all today in MAP)

Lion relocation has been talked about since 1995, when the Kuno Wildife Sanctuary was identified as an alternate site.

MISSION

  • The motive behind finding a relocation site for the species is because the population in Gir has low genetic diversity, making it vulnerable to threats of extension from epidemics.
  • For the first time, the entire genome of the Asiatic lion has been sequenced by scientists from CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad.

The full genome sequencing of Gir lions has shown them to be lacking genetic diversity in comparison to other lion populations .

  • The proposal sought to create free-ranging lion populations within Gujarat and in other states to counter this problem.

Project Lion

14TH LION POPULATION ESTIMATION REPORT 2015

  • ALL includes Gir National Park and Sanctuary and covers eight districts of Gujarat.
  • This includes Junagadh, Amreli, Bhavnagar, Porbandar, Rajkot, Gir-Somnath, Botad and Jamnagar.

Lions are currently surviving in this landscape as a metapopulation .

  • Wherein Gir acts as a ‘source’ and other satellite pockets act as ‘sinks’ and individual lions from different breeding populations can potentially disperse among these populations.

FUNDING

  • Notably, in NDA’s first term, the Asiatic Lion Conservation Project was launched with a budgetary contribution of Rs. 97.85 crores from the Central government.
  • The Ministry had earlier approved the project for three financial years- FY 2018-2019, FY 2019-2020, FY 2020-2021.
  • Prime Minister Modi will not only entail the enhanced duration and finances but will also address all the issues required to conserve a species.

REGIONAL DISTIBUTION

  • The department also informed that the distribution area of lions in Saurashtra has been increased by 36%.

Currently, the only free-ranging population of about 674 Asiatic lions exists in the ALL that is spread over approximately 30,000 square kilometres.

  • In 2015, it was 22,000 sqkm which has now gone to 30,000 sqkm.
  • Experts have also been calling for the reintroduction of the species outside Gujarat for the long-term conservation of the Asiatic Lions.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • The Gujarat Forest Department has still not carried out the Supreme Court order of 2013 directing the state to relocate lions to the Kuno-Palpur Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • The Centre and Madhya Pradesh government had already spent approximately $3.4 million from 1995 till 2007 for relocating 24 human settlements from Kuno-Palpur and for other habitat management interventions.
  • “The Centre and Gujarat government should relocate lions to Kuno-Palpur Wildlife Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh and then proceed with the proposals of Project Lion.
     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB | Project Lion | UPSC

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