Project Lion Could Displace Maldharis (Download PDF)

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Project Lion Could Displace Maldharis

  • According to a report, Maldharis, a traditional pastoral people found in and around the Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, might end up being uprooted from their homes, if the Project Lion proposal takes shape.
  • Project Lion was launched by the government on August 15,2020.
  • The proposal, created by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and the Gujarat forest department, talks of creating ‘an inviolate space of 1,000 square kilometres’ (sq km) .
  • Inviolate spaces are areas free from anthropomorphic pressures.
  • Resource extraction of forest produce like fuel wood, fodder and minor forest produce as well as human habitation are not allowed in such places.

Proposal Details

  • The proposal reads: “It is important that Project Lion restores sufficient exclusive lion habitat of about 1,000 sq km through incentivised voluntary relocation of forest villages and Maldhari (local pastoral communities) settlements from within the Gir Conservation Areas so that the only surviving Asiatic lion population gets the space it requires for performing its ecological role.”
  • The proposal draws from the practices adopted by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) , the national body in charge for steering the government՚s flagship tiger conservation programme, Project Tiger.
  • Asiatic lion is the sub-species named Panthera leo peo of lions.
  • Indian Lions are mostly found in North western and central parts of India and are easily spotted in the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • According to the latest count, the lion population has registered an increase of 25 per cent in the last five years and now stands at 674.
  • Common name: Asiatic Lion
  • Scientific name: Panthera Leo persica
  • Type: Mammals
  • Group name: Pride
  • Average life span in the wild: 16 to 18 years
  • Weight: 300 to 500 pounds
  • IUCN Red List Status: Endangered

- Published/Last Modified on: April 13, 2021

Environment/Ecology, Govt. Schemes/Projects, Down-to-Earth

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