Barda Wildlife Sanctuary
Why in news? The Gujarat government has planned to translocate 40 adult and sub-adult lions to the Barda Wildlife Sanctuary in the state, according to a new report by Wildlife Institute of India (WII) under the Union Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change.
- Barda sanctuary, about 100 kilometres away from Gir National Park, has been identified as a potential site to accommodate the Asiatic Lions.
- Gir and Barda are too geographically close to make the latter a solution for creating an alternative lion habitat in the country
Why lions need translocation?
- A second home would protect the lion population from extinction in case of diseases like the Canine Distemper Virus that leads to their deaths.
- Catastrophes such as an epidemic, an unexpected decline in prey, natural calamities or retaliatory killings could result in their extinction when they are restricted to single populations.
About Barda Wildlife Sanctuary
- Barda Wildlife Sanctuary is located in
- Previously, it was a private reserve for Porbandar and Jamnagar.
- Park has tropical climate with several forest sub-types, such as southern tropical forest, southern dry mixed deciduous forest and northern tropical thorn forest, while other predominant flora include Euphorbia scrub, dry deciduous scrub, and dry bamboo brakes
- The sanctuary area supports ‘maldhari’ families in ‘nesses’
- Bileshvary River and Joghri River are the two rivers across the national park
- Blue bull, chinkara, blackbuck, and wolf are the important fauna
- Barda was known to have had a population of Asiatic lions, they deserted the area towards the end of the nineteenth century
About Asiatic lions
- The Asiatic lion, also known as the Persian lion, survives in the wild only in India.
- Its range has been restricted to Gir National Park and the surrounding areas in the Indian state of Gujarat
- Its IUCN status is Endangered
- The lion is one of five pantherine cats native to India, along with the Bengal tiger, Indian leopard, snow leopard and clouded leopard.
- Until the 19th century, it occurred in Saudi Arabia, eastern Turkey, Iran, Mesopotamia, Pakistan, and from east of the Indus River to Bengal and the Narmada River in Central India.
- Lions inhabit remnant forest habitats in the two hill systems of Gir and Girnar that comprise Gujarat’s largest tracts of tropical and subtropical dry broadleaf forests, thorny forest and savanna, and provide valuable habitat for a diverse flora and fauna.