Forest Department Rescues Leopard from Narmada Canal, Gujarat

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A four to five year old leopard was rescued from a Narmada canal in Junagadh district. Villagers from Chelaka village had alerted the department and the leopard was found taking rest in a 2.5 feet radius pipe. After a three hour operation, the forest department succeeded in getting the animal to enter a cage kept at the one end of the pipe. The leopard appears to have travelled from Sasan Forests which are a part of the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary.… Read More

Proposal for Ring Road in Gir To Divert Traffic From Lion Habitats

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The Gujarat State government has sent a proposal to the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests for constructing a ring road around Gir National Park. The proposed 269-km road will connect villages on the periphery of Gir. Currently, around six state highways and other minor roads cut through Gir. There have been incidents where vehicular traffic caused accidental lion deaths as well as incidents of the inner roads being used for poaching. The ring road proposal includes 14 flyovers and … Read More

Gujarat Pushes Centre for Assistance Towards Lion Conservation

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The Gujarat government has asked for central assistance in implementing two projects towards Lion Conservation in Gir — Asiatic lions’ only abode. The state government has submitted a proposal for “The long term conservation of lions on Brhuhad Gir” with an estimated cost of Rs 262.36 crores. This proposal includes strengthening protection, habitat development, wild life health care, minimizing man animal conflicts, eco development work, use of modern technology, public awareness and eco tourism. A second proposal is to build … Read More

Hundreds of Flamingos Electrocuted in Bhavnagar, Gujarat

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Hundreds of flamingos are dying of electrocution daily as they fly into high-voltage electricity cables on the outskirts of Bhavnagar city. The situation is made worse by stray dogs which attack these birds, causing the flock to take off in panic and hit the high-tension lines.

After Times of India reported the incident, officials visited the 300-hectare marsh on the outskirts of Bhavnagar on Sunday. Officials of Gujarat Energy Transmission Corporation Limited (GETCO) claim that there could be reasons … Read More

Gujarat Seeks 3,000 Hectare Land for Bustard Conservation

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The Gujarat forest department wants about 3,000 hectares of revenue land near the Bustard Sanctuary in Naliya taluk of Kutch district to be converted into forest land to save the crtitically endangered Great Indian Bustard.

“We have written to the revenue department to convert the revenue land adjoining the Bustard Sanctuary (in Naliya taluk of Kutch) to forest land which could be used for conservation of the Great Indian Bustard. We are yet to get any reply from revenue department … Read More

Molecular Ecology Article Calls Cheetah Reintroduction Project Genetically Flawed

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An article in the esteemed journal Molecular Ecology has stated that African Cheetahs are genetically very different from their Asiatic Counterpart and hence has started a debate on the government’s ambitious Rs. 300 crore Cheetah reintroduction project. The article states that “Asiatic Cheetahs are unambiguously separated from African subspecies” with divergence estimates placing the split at “32,000 to 67,000 years ago”. The Asiatic subspecies is severely threatened with only 70-110 individuals existing in Iran. However, the African subspecies is present … Read More

Chimera of Cheetah Reintroduction

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Cheetah is the only mammal wh­ich has become extinct in India since 1947. However, a section of natural historians believes that India did not have an indigenous cheetah population and it was introduced by the Moguls who brought them from Iran for hunting purposes. And though there are depictions of a cheetah-like animal in prehistoric cave paintings here, some think that it might just be a leopard.

This debate will persist. But our government has decided to reintroduce the cheetah. … Read More

OPG Power’s plans for huge thermal plant on the Gujarat coast under scrutiny by MoEF

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A massive thermal power plant planned on the Kutch coast in Gujarat continues to face pressures from the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF). OPG Power Gujarat Private Limited is behind the project, which threatens the sensitive coastal environment of Bhadreshwar. There are accusations that OPG Power did not carry out its obligations to hold public hearings, as well as violations of state government directives to not begin any activity until environmental clearance was obtained. There are also accusations that … Read More

Gir Sanctuary Roads to be Closed During Nights

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The Gujarat forest and environment department has banned entry of vehicles on the roads passing through Gir National Park and Sanctuary, the last abode of Asiatic Lions, at night.

The move by the forest department will give a much needed relief to the wildlife in the Gir as about 10 important roads pass through the sanctuary. This step will decrease the risk of accident to animals and also save it from disturbance and noise pollution.… Read More

Killing Softly, But Surely

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Spread before me is a grassland — a seemingly unending sea of golden grasses gently swaying in the wind, looking not unlike waves rising and falling to the rhythm of the wind. Out of this azure landscape, something, a bird, shoots straight up in the air some two metres high, but before I can catch and ‘paint’ the picture in my mind’s eye, it’s gone…then, a few furlongs ahead, another one emerges, leaps, a hen-sized bird–shimmering black body, silvery white … Read More

Frontline of a New War: Environmentalists Under Threat

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‘Amit Jethwa shot dead’ read the SMS received at about 9 pm on July 21st. I did not know him personally, but I knew Amit,  activist, and warrior for any ecological cause — be it the case of an elephant being treated cruelly in a circus or illegal mining in Kodinar bordering Gir or protesting against a shipyard that would impact the nesting of olive ridley turtles. It was a sleepless night, and I spent most of it trying to … Read More

RTI activist Amit Jethwa shot dead in Gujarat

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Ahmedabad:  A prominent (Right to Information) RTI activist and ‘green crusader’ Amit Jethwa was shot dead near the Gujarat High Court on Tuesday evening.

Jethwa was campaigning against alleged illegal mining in the Gir Sanctuary areas in Saurashtra region, which is allegedly backed by some politicians. He was shot at by unidentified assailants. Joint Commissioner of police, Satish Sharma “Amit Jethwa was killed in firing by two assailants who came on a motorcycle. The murder happened in the evening between … Read More

Gujarat’s pride in way of Asiatic lion translocation

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It’s almost official. Madhya Pradesh is not getting Asiatic Lions from Gujarat because the latter has linked the proposed translocation to its “Gujarat Asmita (Gujarat’s pride)”. “I wrote to Chief Minister Narendra Modi twice but the state has refused to part with its lions,” Union Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh said on Saturday.

A meeting of the standing committee of the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) will be held in Delhi on September 16, 2009. Ramesh, who will chair … Read More