1. Moving Gir Lions to Madhya Pradesh
  2. Bor Tiger Reserve
  3. Langurs are multiple species
  4. Indo Pacific Hump-Backed Dolphins
  5. Wild Chinese Sturgeons
  6. Hyacinth: hazard to fishes
  7. Robber crab-Habitat destruction
  8. Mangroves species change in Sundarbans

Moving Gir Lions to Madhya Pradesh

Species IUCN Status: Endangered.
Why in news?

  • Last year, the Uttar Pradesh government received the approval of the Central Zoo Authority to set up a lion safari in 50 acres of forestland, just 5 km from Etawah town.
  • Follow-up to that event, recently Modi vs Akhilesh verbal spat about lions vs hyenas during election campaign.

(Interview Q) From zoology/environment point of view, is it viable to move lions away from their natural habitat?

yes because no because
  • Gujarat’s lions come from a very narrow genetic base of about 25 animals.
  • smaller area= more chances of in-breeding = genetic disorders=species becomes extinct.
  • Gir has been traditional habitat of lions since centuries.
  • Rampant poaching and gun culture of MP. More than 450 tigers killed in last decade.
  • With rise of lion population in Gir, man-animal conflict are increasing, there is need to shift some of the population elsewhere.
  • MP’s main agenda is tourism promotion rather than wildlife conservation.
  • If all of them concentrated in one place, risk of extinction increases, in the case of natural disaster or epidemic in Gir.
  • In MPTiger and Lion co-existence risky.
  • National Wildlife board had formed a panel to decide about translocation of lions.
  • But their panel members were mostly Tiger experts, not lion.
  • No study about how lions react to trans-location.

Sequence of events:

  1. National Board of Wild Life took decision to translocate Gir lions.
  2. War of words between Gujarat and MP.
  3. Supreme Court PIL, court says yes shift Gir lions to MP. (2013) this is one example of “wildlife judicial activism”.

The action plan of Lion translocation:

  1. From Gir Sanctuary Gujarat to Kuno Sanctuary Madhya Pradesh.
  2. 25-year-long translocation programme.
  3. In next two years, 5-10 lions will be sent to MP. (60-70% of them will be females)
  4. Then every 3-5 years, a few more males would be sent.
  5. Sophisticated radio collars for all lions, constant surveillance by forest officials.

Interview: From zoology/environment point of view, is this viable to move lions away from their natural habitat in Gir?

Bor Tiger reserve

  • Government has notified Bor, Maharashtra- as the 47th tiger reserve of India.
  • River: Bor, districts: Nagpur and Wardha districts; Mountains: Satpura-Maikal
  • Bor sanctuary provides corridor between Tadoba-Andhari and Pench Tiger Reserves of the State.

Langurs are multiple species

  • IUCN: Least Concern.
  • Found across Asia- can survive in Himalayan highlands, Western Ghats rainforest and even Rajasthan’s desert.
  • But, it is not a single species, Semnopithecus entellus (Hanuman Langur) consist of at least four distinct species.
Only for information
Langur species Habitat
Semnopithecus entellus
(Hanuman Langur)
across north India
S. priam drier parts of peninsular India
S. hypoleucos mostly in the Western Ghats
S.Schistaceus Himalayas but genetic profiling still undergoing.
  • Their feeding had migration behavior varies accoding to species.
  • Therefore, we need to assess status of each population, to make customized conversation plans for each of them.

Indo Pacific Hump-Backed Dolphins

  • IUCN: Near threatened.
  • Spotted near Chennai coastline, and shallow waters, when sea is relatively calm.
  • Occasionally, They also enter estuaries, lagoons and mangrove swamps in search of food..
  • Population Declining because
    • Gillnets and other harmful fishing gear
    • Faecal coliforms in estuaries: hard for organisms to survive.

Wild Chinese Sturgeons

IUCN Wild Chinese Sturgeon

  • IUCN Status: Critically endangered, Hardly 100 left.
  • a rare species of fish in China- in Yangtze and Pearl Rivers.
  • Lived since the age of dinosaurs.
  • Nicknamed “aquatic pandas”.
  • They swim all the way from rivers to the sea, to lay eggs.
  • But this became difficult after construction of numerous dams, and increased boat traffic for inland navigation.
  • Last year, no natural reproduction hence at the risk of extinction.

Hyacinth: hazard to fishes

WHAT These green plants float on the water.
NATIVE TO South America and Central America
  • wetland species use Hyacinth leaves are food source
  • fishes hide in the roots to avoid predators
  • Excessive growth of this plant prevents sunlight from reaching water.
  • Planktons cannot grow in wetland, Damage to entire food chain.

Robber crab-Habitat destruction

Crab Vulture & Turtles IUCN redlist status

  • Where? only in the forest of Andaman and Nicobar
  • it is the largest land crab [adult can be as long as 1 meter and weigh 4.5 kilos]
  • Also called coconut crabs, because they climb trees, cut coconuts and descend to eat it.
Threats Protection status
  • habitat destruction post Tsunami
  • Nicobar folks don’t eat them due to social taboo but the youth of Andaman eats them.
  • IUCN- it’s under list of DATA DEFICIENT.
  • Wildlife protection Act= under Schedule I. Meaning it is illegal to hunt them. But juntaa of Andaman Nicobar unaware.

Mangroves species change in Sundarbans

Two varieties in Sundarbans
Avicennia variety Ceriops decandra
also known as “Kalo Baine” known as “Garan”
It has high tolerance to salt It is less tolerant to salt.
This species is declining This species has increased in Sunderban
  • This hints, water’s PH levels are changing and mangrove forest is adapting accordingly.
  • This may also change the biodiversity and gene-variation in Sundarban.