Project Lion | UPSC
WHY IN NEWS:
Proposal identifies 6 relocation sites apart from Kuno-Palpur
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3 : Conservation of Biodiversity : Flora and Fauna
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.
- 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.
- Asiatic lions ; whose last remaining wild population is in Gujarat’s Asiatic Lion Landscape.(ALL)
- 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 .
- The Wildlife Institute of India, along with the Gujarat Forest Department, had created a Project Lion proposal.
- 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)
- 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 proposal sought to create free-ranging lion populations within Gujarat and in other states to counter this problem.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The department also informed that the distribution area of lions in Saurashtra has been increased by 36%.
- 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.
- 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.