Minister of State for Environment Ashwini Choubey told on Monday Lok Sabha That the government has constituted a committee to investigate the transfer of Asiatic lions.
Answer to a question from Maharashtra BJP Member of Parliament Sanjay Ramchandra Patil, Choubey in his written reply said, “A committee has been constituted by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to assess the suitability of habitat of lions in potential sites in Gujarat and to make recommendations regarding facilitation of natural facilities. was constituted. Dispersal of lions in newly identified sites in the state of Gujarat and modalities for establishing lion populations.
The government had been considering relocating Asiatic lions to other states in previous years, a proposal that never materialised. The Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh was identified by the Center as one of the protected areas that could house Asiatic lions and was therefore prepared to receive them. With preparations already in place, and no transfer of lions, the park will now receive India’s first cheetahs from Africa next month.
Patil asked the environment ministry whether there were any plans to relocate the Asiatic lions, whether the government was taking steps to support the relocation, and whether conservation efforts had been delayed.
Choubey said, “The committee has recommended participatory management approach for expansion of lion population, greater participation of communities and awareness and sensitization programmes, especially in newly occupied areas.”
The ministry is providing financial assistance to the state of Gujarat for lion conservation activities, which include habitat improvement, water management, pasture development and hunting enhancement.
“These activities will also facilitate the natural dispersal of lions beyond the Gir landscape,” Choubey said.