×
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

After Gir, Barda Wildlife Sanctuary proposed as second home for Asiatic lions

The Gujarat forest department on Thursday presented its proposal to make BWLS the second home to the lions before the national steering committee meeting held on Thursday as part of "Project Lion @ 2047".
Last Updated : 03 November 2023, 01:04 IST
Last Updated : 03 November 2023, 01:04 IST

Follow Us :

Comments

Ahmedabad: After Gir National Park and Sanctuary, the Barda Wildlife Sanctuary (BWLS) is set to become the second home to Asiatic lions. The Gujarat forest department on Thursday presented its proposal to make BWLS the second home to the lions before the national steering committee meeting held on Thursday as part of "Project Lion @ 2047". 


Officials said that it was the first meeting of the national steering committee on "Project Lion" set up in line with "Project Tiger" in West Bengal and "Project Elephant" in Assam. The Asiatic lions at present are restricted to Gir National Park and Sanctuary but have been occasionally venturing out in nearby forests and human settlements due to increased population. The population of lions increased from 523 in 2015 to 674 in 2020 and a large number of them have settled out of the protected areas. 

Chief conservator of forests, Junagadh wildlife circle, Anuradha Sahu confirmed to DH that Barda was discussed as potential second home to the lions since the big cats have been moving there naturally. 

"It was the first meeting of the national steering committee on "Project Lion @2047, Amritkal" which envisages what will be disbursal of lions and how the concerned departments will be prepared. These departments range from forest, to road, railway, among others," Sahu told DH.   According to a state government's release, the first meeting of the committee was chaired by Dr SP Yadav, Assistant Inspector General of Forests, Dhiraj Mittal, ministry of environment, forest and climate change, New Delhi and various local forest officers.When asked about the proposal about the Barda, Sahu added, "Barda has always been considered as the second home to lions and this year a lion migrated naturally to the sanctuary. As of today, we have three lions (who have migrated there naturally)." 

However, sources in the forest department said that Barda sanctuary can, at best, have not more than three to four dozen lions and hence the government should look for more options. "Even the report (Lion @2047: A vision for Amrutkal) mentions that only 40 lions can be translocated at Barda but given the overflowing of the big cats, the government needs to find more and bigger sanctuaries," a forest officer told DH requesting not to be quoted said. 

Barda is about 15 km from Porbandar town coast and about 100 km from Gir forest. The sanctuary is spread in about 192 sq km. Gujarat forest department's website describes it as "relatively small in extent" but has an abundance of floral diversity. There are breeding centres of spotted deers in the sanctuary which, officials said, will help in augmenting the prey base of lions.

"Project Lions" has a budgetary provision of Rs2,927 crore for the next ten years for creating infrastructure for lion breeding, wildlife disease diagnostic research and referral centre, among others. 

ADVERTISEMENT
Published 03 November 2023, 01:04 IST

Follow us on :

Follow Us

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT