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Bigcats News

Sri Lanka Apollo Offline
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( This post was last modified: 04-13-2014, 11:01 AM by Apollo )

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Sansar Chand, notorious wildlife poacher, dead 

Notorious wildlife poacher Sansar Chand died of cancer at a hospital here on Tuesday, a doctor said. Sansar Chand, who was undergoing trial on charges of killing several tigers in Rajasthan's Sariska Tiger Reserve, was admitted to the Sawai Man Singh Hospital here few days ago, a doctor told IANS.  Resident of New Delhi, he is believed to be India's biggest wildlife criminal who has been responsible for more tiger and leopard deaths than anyone else. Sansar Chand was undergoing trial in connection with poaching of tigers at Sariska in Alwar district, some 150km from Jaipur. It was alleged that he was one of the smugglers responsible for disappearance of all the tigers from Sariska Tiger Resrve in 2005.  "He was lodged in the Alwar Central Jail and was brought to SMS Hospital last week. Tumours were detected in his lungs, brain and spinal cord. The cancer was in the last stage. Before being shifted to SMS, he was undergoing treatment at AIIMS in Delhi. He died while undergoing treatment today (Tuesday)," said the doctor. The district and sessions court in Alwar had rejected his bail application filed by his lawyers on the ground that he was terminally ill and suffering from cancer.  "However, the court had directed the court of additional chief judicial magistrate to hear the case on the daily basis to dispose of the case as soon as possible, since the accused is terminally ill," said his lawyer Ashok Sharma.  Diaries seized from Sansar Chand's family by the Rajasthan Police in 2004 allegedly showed transactions of 40 tiger skins and 400 leopard skins, in a period of just 11 months from October 2003 to September 2004.  During interrogation by the CBI in 2006, Sansar Chand apparently admitted to selling 470 tiger skins and 2,130 leopard skins to just four clients from Nepal and Tibet.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india...253493.cms

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( This post was last modified: 04-13-2014, 06:01 PM by Apollo )

Great Himalayan National Park to vie again for world heritage site tag

Having lost the chance to get the world heritage site status in 2013, the Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) of Himachal Pradesh is again in the list for the coveted category this year when the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO will meet in Doha (Qatar) in June. The HP wildlife department has already submitted a revised report to UNESCO for considering GHNP as the World Heritage Site. According to sources, the GHNP along with Rani-ki-Vav located in Patan, Gujarat, has have been nominated and the GHNP has staked its claim under the natural scenic beauty category as it houses 203 species of rare birds, 50 species of mammals and over 400 rare plants.

Confirming the development, GHNP director B S Rana told TOI the required documentation had been completed and a detailed revised report had been submitted to UNCESO for consideration. Rana said all objections raised by UNESCO's World Heritage Committee in its meeting held in Phnom Penh in Cambodia last year had been taken care of by the state wildlife department.

"Last year, the World Heritage Committee had put the GHNP under referral list after which we submitted a revised report covering all issues raised in meeting. Now, the next meeting of World Heritage Committee has been scheduled to be held in Doha in June this year and we expect that the GHNP would get the world heritage status this time," Rana added.

The GHNP, located in Kullu district, was initially constituted in 1984 and formally declared a national park in 1999. Initially, it covered an area of 754.4 sq km. In 1994, two major changes were made in the land use around the park. A buffer zone of 5km from the park's western boundary, covering 265.6 sq km and including 2,300 households in 160 villages, was delineated as an ecozone.

Last year, the park had lost the race after the committee decided to put it in the referral list while allowing six hill forts of Rajasthan to be included in world heritage list. Sources said most of the population (about 15,000-16,000 people) in the ecozone are poor and dependent on natural resources for their livelihoods. The total area under park administration (national park, wildlife sanctuaries and ecozone) is 1,171 sq km, which is referred to as the Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/...333591.cms

The power of connections: India to establish Asia's largest protected forest

India has stepped up forest conservation efforts in recent years, with a major project underway to establish a large swath of uninterrupted habitat through the designation of additional protected areas and expanding those already under protection. If realized, these areas would converge to become Asia’s largest unbroken protected forest, encompassing approximately 15,000 square kilometers (5,790 square miles) over three states. 

The southwest state of Karnataka is leading efforts, declaring protections for nearly 2,600 square kilometers (1,000 square miles) of forest since 2012. In addition, Karnataka has worked with adjoining states Tamil Nadu and Kerala to connect 8,766 square kilometers (3,386 square miles) of previously protected areas. 



*This image is copyright of its original author

Karnataka rainforest in the Western Ghats. Photo by: Morgan Erickson-Davis.


Southern India is home to the Western Ghats, a region of hilly rainforest that skirts the western coast. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and considered one of the world’s eight top biodiversity “hotspots,” with an estimated 1,800 species that are found nowhere else. Much of the current expansion project targets areas of the Western Ghats, and would provide migration corridors vital for wide-ranging animals such as Bengal tigers (Panthera tigris tigris) and Indian elephants (Elephas maximus indicus). Migration corridors reduce the chances of human-wildlife conflict and make it easier for populations to mix, thereby bolstering genetic diversity and long-term chances of survival. 

Conservation in India can be a tricky issue. In addition to a plethora of unique species, the country is also inhabited by more than 1.2 billion people, making the protection of vital forest areas a delicate balancing act. While most people live in densely-populated cities, many also live in small towns and villages scattered throughout India’s wildernesses. When these areas are issued high-level protection by India’s Forest Department, the people who live within them are often displaced. Additionally, designation of protected areas is often done by the Indian government at a national level, a process that often mires projects in bureaucratic limbo. 



*This image is copyright of its original author

A forest stream in the Karnatakan Western Ghats, where three new species of fish were discovered in recent years. Photo by: Morgan Erickson-Davis.


However, Karnataka has found ways around both these problems. It is overseeing forest protection expansion at a state level, thus allowing the project to proceed more quickly. It is also allowing communities already residing in the affected areas to remain there while blocking heavy industry activity such as mine and dam development. 

“In comparison [to industry development], existing villages do not pose any serious threat to conservation,” former forest official BK Singh told the BBC. 

Once completed, the unbroken forest expanse would contain 15 major watersheds and stretch more than 500 kilometers (300 miles) from Karnataka’s northern border with Goa to its southern borders with Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Next steps include expanding forest protection near the Karnataka-Kerala border and connecting fragments of forest preserves in the Western Ghats highlands. 


http://news.mongabay.com/2014/0321-morga...orest.html

 
 
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Bihar developing India's biggest grassland for tigers


*This image is copyright of its original author
Bihar is developing India's biggest grassland of over 800 acres in its only tiger reserve in the state's northeast to provide a wildlife friendly environment for the big cats whose numbers have doubled in the last three years."We have decided to turn 800 hectares of forest in the tiger reserve into the biggest grassland in the country. The work has already begun to clean the bushes of unwanted species like mikenia, eupatorium and phoenix – which are the main cause of fires – to convert it into a grassland," Santosh Tiwari, director-cum-conservator of the Valmiki Tiger Reserve in West Champaran district that borders Nepal, told IANS, in an inteview.Tiwari said there is no place in the country with such a large grassland."We have estimated we will spend Rs 2 crore (Rs 20 million)," he said, adding that lack of funds had delayed the project. One other major problem is that residents of bordering villages of Uttar Pradesh used the core forest area of the reserve for grazing their cattle."We will have to fence and develop grassland to check the grazing of cattle," Tiwari said.He said that after the grassland was fully developed, it will become a safe zone for tigers as well as deer in the reserve. More grassland will support more prey animals, which will in turn support more tigers.According to him, the Madanpur forest range in the tiger reserve is home to many herbivores because the rich alluvial soil enriched by the river Gandak has favoured the growth of grasses. The grasses in the reserve include imperata cylindrica, saccharum spontaneum and saccharum munja.Samir Kumar Sinha of the Wildlife Trust of India, which is helping the forest department to develop the grassland, said the tiger reserve had more grassland in the past; this gradually turned into woodland due to lack of management. People also turned them into agricultural land.Thanks to the improvement in the condition of the grassland, the number of tigers in the reserve has more than doubled in the last three years. Mixed forest vegetation is crucial for the herbivores as they are important sources of food. The availability of quality food boosts their chances of breeding."We have counted 22 tigers in the reserve at present on the basis of camera trap census," Tiwari said. The number of tigers was only 10 till 2010."In last three years, the population of tigers has jumped like never before in the 899 sq km reserve. Besides, intensive patrolling by local youth played a major role in checking the entry of poachers and others in the reserve," Tiwari noted.

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-bih...rs-1971772

 

Leopards: Zoo facing problem of plenty

The Assam State Zoo is having a problem of plenty, with more and more leopards captured from different parts of the city being added to the zoo in the past few years. 

Today, another leopard which was captured at Birubari, Kalapahar, late last night, was sent to the zoo, taking the total number of captured leopards (from the city) to an incredible 18. To tide over the crisis, the zoo authorities are now planning to exchange some of the leopards with different zoo animals in other States. 

“The zoo has already exceeded its leopard-carrying capacity and this has become a headache for us. Maintaining 18 leopards under the existing arrangements is tough, and to overcome the problem, we are in touch with other zoo authorities for exchange of a few leopards with different wildlife,” Zoo DFO Chandan Bora told The Assam Tribune. 

Bora revealed that the first exchange programme was likely to involve wildlife from the Manipur State Zoo. Relocation is another probability that the zoo authorities are mulling but that would be a long-drawn affair, requiring proper appraisal of habitat, assessment of presence of other major predators such as tiger and other territorial leopards, presence of prey base, etc. 

According to conservationists, it is risky to relocate leopards in forests away from its original habitat without making a critical assessment of the factors mentioned above. Any miscalculation can result in the death of the relocated animal in infighting with other territorial males. Besides, leopards avoid tigers as the latter would invariably kill a leopard in the event of a chance meeting. 

​Meanwhile, the leopard captured today at Birubari in the city joined its mate in the zoo which was caught in the same area only a few days back. “It’s an adult female, and its partner was captured just a few days ago from the same forest. We have, however, found no presence of any cub or sub-adult leopard in the area,” Bora said.

http://www.assamtribune.com/scripts/deta...114/city07
 

 
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Two lions run over by vehicle on road in Amreli

In a tragic incident, two lions were run over by a vehicle on Bhavnagar-Somnath coastal highway on Tuesday night. 

According to sources, the incident occurred near Hemal village in Jafrabad taluka of Amreli district when two lions were crossing the highway and vehicle hit them. The wild cats died on the spot. 

The local police and forest department officials rushed to the spot and taken lions' dead body for post mortem at Jasadhar animal care centre in Dhari. 

The incidents of lions dying unnatural deaths are increasing in Amreli district. 

'There are over 40 lions in Rajula-Jafarabad coastal belt in Amreli district but they were left to fend for themselves as there is no patrolling here to control the nuisance which disturbs the lions. This has made lions' conservation in miserable conditions'' said Vipul Laheri, honorary wildlife warden, Amreli. 

In last three months, three lions, one of the lionesses pregnant with three cubs were runover by goods' trains on Savarkundla-Rajula track. 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/...123139.cms
 

 

 
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Lioness kills farm labourer in Gujarat

An 18-year-old farm labourer was killed by a lioness in Amreli district of Gujarat. 

The mutilated body of labourer Deepak Babariya was found after a three-hour night search on Sunday. The forest department team and locals had a tough time shooing away the lioness from the body. 

"Three labourers were plucking cotton in the fields till late night when the lioness suddenly attacked them. Another labourer Raghav Vegad was injured in the attack while the third, Vipul, escaped by climbing up a tree," said S V Rathod, in charge, range forest officer, Rajula, told TOI. 

Forest officials have started preparations to cage the lioness and send it to Sakkarbaug Zoo in Junagadh. 

Wildlife activists said the lioness was frequently harassed by locals and chances are high that she was extremely worked up due to constant hounding. "A few days ago, a group of youths was watching this lioness near Dhareshwar village and disturbing her. The angry lioness tried to attack them and all had to climb up the mobile tower to save their lives," said sources. 

This has raised serious concerns about the increasing human-animal conflict and safety of lions in the forest range. Three lions, one of them a lioness pregnant with three cubs, were run over by goods trains on Savarkundla-Rajula track. 

"There are about 40 lions in this coastal belt but there is no patrolling here to control the nuisance of people who disturb the lions," said Vipul Laheri, honorary wildlife warden, Amreli. 

A senior forest officer also said that the department is facing severe staff crunch. As against the sanctioned posts of eight, there are just four foresters in Rajula. 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/...049758.cms
 

 
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India could soon help bring back an extinct, spectacular species of lions

India could soon help bring back an extinct lion species. DNA tests by an international team of scientists has confirmed the lions in India have close genetic links with the now extinct Barbary lions. 

This means that "reseeding" Indian lions could bring back the extinct species and reintroduce lions into North Africa. 

Less than 400 Asiatic lions survive at present on the Kathiawar Peninsula of India and the species is listed as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. 

Barbary lions of North Africa — including mountainous regions — extending from Egypt to Morocco were also called the Atlas lions and had the most spectacular physical features of all lion species. The lion's extensive mane made it look majestic. It was a lot larger with differently-coloured eyes to other lions. 

Dr Ross Barnett of Copenhagen University, who had started the research during his days at Durham University in UK, sequenced the DNA from the skulls of two Barbary lions once held in Britain's Tower of London. It has helped reveal the origin of modern lions. 

The skulls of these lions dated as living in the 14th and 15th centuries were discovered preserved in the Tower of London's moat. 

Dr Barnett said he was surprised by the incredibly close relationship between the extinct Barbary lion from North Africa and the Asian lion from India. This he says could now get conservationists start talking about resurrecting the subspecies and reintroducing lions into North Africa" 

Despite the large geographical distances between them, the Indian lions seem to be closely related to Iranian lions and the Barbary lions of North Africa. 

The study says: "In the tiger, another charismatic felid species, studies of ancient mitochondrial DNA have suggested a close relationship between the extinct central Asian Caspian tiger and the extant Amur tiger. This has allowed conservationists to discuss the translocation of Amur tiger stock to occupy the former range of the Caspian tiger with support from the World Tiger Summit. Similarly, if no examples of purebred Barbary lions can be found within the zoo population, there might be scope for restoration of the North African lion population using the closely related Indian lion." 

A genetic analysis of living lions and museum specimens confirms modern lions' most recent common ancestor lived around 124,000 years ago. 

Dr Barnett said, "Understanding the demographic history of a population is critical to conservation. This is particularly true for the lion which as a consequence of millennia of human persecution, has large gaps in its natural distribution and several recently extinct populations. We sequenced mitochondrial DNA from museum-preserved individuals including the extinct Barbary lion and Iranian lion as well as lions from West and Central Africa. We have identified deep, well-supported splits within the mitochondrial phylogeny of African lions." 

The lion had one of the largest geographical distributions of any terrestrial mammal during the Late Pleistocene, ranging from southern Africa through northern Eurasia to Central America. Widespread hunting and anthropogenic changes to lion habitat are continuing to reduce lion populations across their entire range. 

The research says: "From the DNA analysis, we identified four new mitochondrial haplotypes: one from North Africa, one from a suspected Barbary lion present in medieval London, one from Iran, and one from Senegal. Four of the six Barbary lions exhibited sequence identical to that of the extant Indian lion." 

"International bodies currently recognize only two lion conservation units: African and Asian lions. The data clearly show that Asian lions are nested within the diversity present in Central, West and North Africa. Of particular concern are the central African and western African populations, which may be close to extinction, with estimates of 800 lions in West Africa and 900 lions in Central Africa. The close phylogenetic relationships among Barbary, Iranian, and Indian lion populations are noteworthy given their considerable geographical separation. The restoration of the extinct North African Barbary lion has attracted the attention of conservationists both inside and outside North Africa," it added.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/...140748.cms

 

 

 
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( This post was last modified: 04-15-2014, 05:14 AM by Apollo )

 Are Fences Really the Last Resort for African Lions?



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Read the full article in the link below
https://www.takepart.com/article/2014/04...ican-lions

 
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Indian Student Jumps Into Tiger Enclosure And Survives 







This shocking video captures the moment an engineering student in India jumps inside a zoo's tiger enclosure and antagonises two tigers before managing to escape unhurt.

Yashonandan Kaushik, 23, a third year electronics and communications student at a private college, in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, central India, surprised fellow visitors at Gwalior Zoo on Monday afternoon when he suddenly scaled a 20 foot wall and jumped inside the tiger enclosure. Spectators are heard shouting at him but he ignores them and continues to take off his shirt before challenging the tigers for a fight and trying to chase one into its cave. 

The tigers, named Lav and Kush, look scared in the video and seem to run in the opposite direction. Yashonandan, who was allegedly drunk, continued to dance and behave irrationally for almost 45 minutes. He is even seen sitting in a yoga position while the tigers stand feet away. Crowds continued to shout at him to get out but the student carried on. Luckily, the tigers left him alone until security staff arrived and locked the tigers inside to prevent any tragedy.
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( This post was last modified: 04-15-2014, 09:32 AM by GuateGojira )

(04-15-2014, 02:31 AM)'Apollo' Wrote: India could soon help bring back an extinct, spectacular species of lions

India could soon help bring back an extinct lion species. DNA tests by an international team of scientists has confirmed the lions in India have close genetic links with the now extinct Barbary lions. 

This means that "reseeding" Indian lions could bring back the extinct species and reintroduce lions into North Africa. 

Less than 400 Asiatic lions survive at present on the Kathiawar Peninsula of India and the species is listed as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. 

Barbary lions of North Africa — including mountainous regions — extending from Egypt to Morocco were also called the Atlas lions and had the most spectacular physical features of all lion species. The lion's extensive mane made it look majestic. It was a lot larger with differently-coloured eyes to other lions. 

Dr Ross Barnett of Copenhagen University, who had started the research during his days at Durham University in UK, sequenced the DNA from the skulls of two Barbary lions once held in Britain's Tower of London. It has helped reveal the origin of modern lions. 

The skulls of these lions dated as living in the 14th and 15th centuries were discovered preserved in the Tower of London's moat. 

Dr Barnett said he was surprised by the incredibly close relationship between the extinct Barbary lion from North Africa and the Asian lion from India. This he says could now get conservationists start talking about resurrecting the subspecies and reintroducing lions into North Africa" 

Despite the large geographical distances between them, the Indian lions seem to be closely related to Iranian lions and the Barbary lions of North Africa. 

The study says: "In the tiger, another charismatic felid species, studies of ancient mitochondrial DNA have suggested a close relationship between the extinct central Asian Caspian tiger and the extant Amur tiger. This has allowed conservationists to discuss the translocation of Amur tiger stock to occupy the former range of the Caspian tiger with support from the World Tiger Summit. Similarly, if no examples of purebred Barbary lions can be found within the zoo population, there might be scope for restoration of the North African lion population using the closely related Indian lion." 

A genetic analysis of living lions and museum specimens confirms modern lions' most recent common ancestor lived around 124,000 years ago. 

Dr Barnett said, "Understanding the demographic history of a population is critical to conservation. This is particularly true for the lion which as a consequence of millennia of human persecution, has large gaps in its natural distribution and several recently extinct populations. We sequenced mitochondrial DNA from museum-preserved individuals including the extinct Barbary lion and Iranian lion as well as lions from West and Central Africa. We have identified deep, well-supported splits within the mitochondrial phylogeny of African lions." 

The lion had one of the largest geographical distributions of any terrestrial mammal during the Late Pleistocene, ranging from southern Africa through northern Eurasia to Central America. Widespread hunting and anthropogenic changes to lion habitat are continuing to reduce lion populations across their entire range. 

The research says: "From the DNA analysis, we identified four new mitochondrial haplotypes: one from North Africa, one from a suspected Barbary lion present in medieval London, one from Iran, and one from Senegal. Four of the six Barbary lions exhibited sequence identical to that of the extant Indian lion." 

"International bodies currently recognize only two lion conservation units: African and Asian lions. The data clearly show that Asian lions are nested within the diversity present in Central, West and North Africa. Of particular concern are the central African and western African populations, which may be close to extinction, with estimates of 800 lions in West Africa and 900 lions in Central Africa. The close phylogenetic relationships among Barbary, Iranian, and Indian lion populations are noteworthy given their considerable geographical separation. The restoration of the extinct North African Barbary lion has attracted the attention of conservationists both inside and outside North Africa," it added.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/...140748.cms

 

 

 

 
I have say this MANY times, Valmik Thapar based his theory on this, all genetic studies done on lions confirm it and morphological studies too: Barbary lions and Indian lions are genetically INDISTINGUISHABLE!!!

The lions from West Africa, North Africa (Barbary), Persia and up to India, are a single lion subspecies named as Panthera leo leo (Dubach et al., 2013).

Like I say in the topic about the size of Barbary lions, the relation between Barbary and Indian lions is already written in stone. LOL, I remember the idiotic post of Asad denying this fact, he/she most be twisting its head after this information. [img]images/smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]


 

 
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Sri Lanka Apollo Offline
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(04-15-2014, 09:30 AM)'GuateGojira' Wrote:
(04-15-2014, 02:31 AM)'Apollo' Wrote: India could soon help bring back an extinct, spectacular species of lions

India could soon help bring back an extinct lion species. DNA tests by an international team of scientists has confirmed the lions in India have close genetic links with the now extinct Barbary lions. 

This means that "reseeding" Indian lions could bring back the extinct species and reintroduce lions into North Africa. 

Less than 400 Asiatic lions survive at present on the Kathiawar Peninsula of India and the species is listed as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. 

Barbary lions of North Africa — including mountainous regions — extending from Egypt to Morocco were also called the Atlas lions and had the most spectacular physical features of all lion species. The lion's extensive mane made it look majestic. It was a lot larger with differently-coloured eyes to other lions. 

Dr Ross Barnett of Copenhagen University, who had started the research during his days at Durham University in UK, sequenced the DNA from the skulls of two Barbary lions once held in Britain's Tower of London. It has helped reveal the origin of modern lions. 

The skulls of these lions dated as living in the 14th and 15th centuries were discovered preserved in the Tower of London's moat. 

Dr Barnett said he was surprised by the incredibly close relationship between the extinct Barbary lion from North Africa and the Asian lion from India. This he says could now get conservationists start talking about resurrecting the subspecies and reintroducing lions into North Africa" 

Despite the large geographical distances between them, the Indian lions seem to be closely related to Iranian lions and the Barbary lions of North Africa. 

The study says: "In the tiger, another charismatic felid species, studies of ancient mitochondrial DNA have suggested a close relationship between the extinct central Asian Caspian tiger and the extant Amur tiger. This has allowed conservationists to discuss the translocation of Amur tiger stock to occupy the former range of the Caspian tiger with support from the World Tiger Summit. Similarly, if no examples of purebred Barbary lions can be found within the zoo population, there might be scope for restoration of the North African lion population using the closely related Indian lion." 

A genetic analysis of living lions and museum specimens confirms modern lions' most recent common ancestor lived around 124,000 years ago. 

Dr Barnett said, "Understanding the demographic history of a population is critical to conservation. This is particularly true for the lion which as a consequence of millennia of human persecution, has large gaps in its natural distribution and several recently extinct populations. We sequenced mitochondrial DNA from museum-preserved individuals including the extinct Barbary lion and Iranian lion as well as lions from West and Central Africa. We have identified deep, well-supported splits within the mitochondrial phylogeny of African lions." 

The lion had one of the largest geographical distributions of any terrestrial mammal during the Late Pleistocene, ranging from southern Africa through northern Eurasia to Central America. Widespread hunting and anthropogenic changes to lion habitat are continuing to reduce lion populations across their entire range. 

The research says: "From the DNA analysis, we identified four new mitochondrial haplotypes: one from North Africa, one from a suspected Barbary lion present in medieval London, one from Iran, and one from Senegal. Four of the six Barbary lions exhibited sequence identical to that of the extant Indian lion." 

"International bodies currently recognize only two lion conservation units: African and Asian lions. The data clearly show that Asian lions are nested within the diversity present in Central, West and North Africa. Of particular concern are the central African and western African populations, which may be close to extinction, with estimates of 800 lions in West Africa and 900 lions in Central Africa. The close phylogenetic relationships among Barbary, Iranian, and Indian lion populations are noteworthy given their considerable geographical separation. The restoration of the extinct North African Barbary lion has attracted the attention of conservationists both inside and outside North Africa," it added.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/...140748.cms

 

 

 


 
I have say this MANY times, Valmik Thapar based his theory on this, all genetic studies done on lions confirm it and morphological studies too: Barbary lions and Indian lions are genetically INDISTINGUISHABLE!!!

The lions from West Africa, North Africa (Barbary), Persia and up to India, are a single lion subspecies named as Panthera leo leo (Dubach et al., 2013).

Like I say in the topic about the size of Barbary lions, the relation between Barbary and Indian lions is already written in stone. LOL, I remember the idiotic post of Asad denying this fact, he/she most be twisting its head after this information. [img]images/smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]


 

 

 



I think Asad is a guy who argues just for the sake of arguing, his ego blinds his vision.
Its always better to accept your mistakes which helps us to learn more and better ourselves.
 
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( This post was last modified: 04-16-2014, 06:49 AM by GuateGojira )

Fully agree. That is why Asad never learn anything.

Well, now, continue with the great "Big Cats News" topic. [img]images/smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
 

 
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 Getting to Know Afghanistan's Huge New National Park 


Wakhan National Park—the country's second such sanctuary—protects mountains, snow leopards, and indigenous people.



*This image is copyright of its original author

A caravan of traders pick through high mountains of the Wakhan District in winter 2011. The region has just been named Afghanistan's second national park.

Afghanistan announced the creation of its second national park this week, a new protected area that is 25 percent larger than Yellowstone National Park in the U.S.Wakhan National Park encompasses soaring mountains, alpine grasslands, and unique wildlife in the northeastern part of Afghanistan, where it will preserve the traditional ways of life practiced by communities inside its borders.Prince Mostapha Zaher, the director-general of Afghanistan's National Environmental Protection Agency, called it "one of the last truly wild places on the planet." Zaher said his grandfather, King Zaher Shah, had first dreamed of creating a national park in the area in the 1950s."We can prove that the cause of protecting the environment and wildlife can also be utilized as an instrument of peace and tolerance," said Zaher."The government of Afghanistan understands that it is absolutely essential for reconstruction to protect its natural resources," adds Peter Zahler, the deputy director of the Asia program for the New York-basedWildlife Conservation Society, which worked with the Afghan government to establish the park.The founding of the vast new park—which is 4,200 square miles (about a million hectares)—builds on the success Afghanistan has had with its first national park, Band-e Amir, which was designated in 2009."The communities in Band-e Amir love it," says Zahler. "[The park] has brought attention, tourists, and jobs. [So] the communities in Wakhan are really enthusiastic."


*This image is copyright of its original author


The Wakhan District—profiled in a February 2013 
National Geographicmagazine feature—is a narrow corridor of land jutting off the northeastern tip of Afghanistan. It is bordered by Pakistan to the south, China to the east, and Tajikistan to the north. The region contains the headwaters of the Amu Darya River and is the place where the Hindu Kush and Pamir Mountains meet.



*This image is copyright of its original author


 "It is a very isolated, cold, high mountain valley with peaks on both sides," says Zahler, who has been working on conservation in Afghanistan since 2006.The wildlife of Wakhan, he adds, is "astonishingly diverse." It is a place where wolves, lynx, and brown bears from the north mix with snow leopards, stone martens, and the elusive Pallas's cat. It is also home to ibex, red foxes, and Marco Polo sheep—the world's largest wild sheep, with horns that stretch nearly six feet (two meters) from tip to tip. (See "Pictures: 'Lost' Leopard and Poachers Seen in Afghanistan.")"The image of Afghanistan is of a dry, empty country," says Zahler, "but it has nine species of wild cats-as many as all of sub-Saharan Africa [which had 11 species before cheetahs and tigers were pushed out by hunters]."


*This image is copyright of its original author

The encampment of Kyzyl Qorum in Wakhan is a community of Kyrgyz herders who live in one of the world's most remote regions, near the Afghan borders with China, Tajikistan, and Pakistan.



 A Park That Protects People

Wakhan National Park includes the entire Wakhan District, home to about 15,000 people, most of them ethnic Wakhi or Krygyz.Thanks to an agreement with the Afghan government, the locals will be allowed to stay in the park. They will co-manage it with the federal government, and many will get jobs as rangers, managers, and other park personnel.Local people will also be able to keep making a living off the land. The landscape is too high in altitude for much farming, Zahler says, so most people in Wakhan survive by herding livestock—largely sheep and goats, along with some cattle, horses, and domesticated yaks.A precise management plan for the park still has to be worked out, but Zahler says the idea is to have different zones. Some zones will be wildlife reserves. Others will be set aside for multiple uses, including grazing.The region has not faced many threats from logging because it is primarily above the treeline, or from mining because it is so remote, says Zahler. But it has suffered from poaching and overgrazing.Zahler says enforcement at the new park should help, as should ongoing collaborative efforts with the local communities.


*This image is copyright of its original author

This field is near Sarhad village, which is inhabited by Wakhi people. Locals will continue to live and raise animals in the park. They'll also help manage and defend it.


 The Benefits of Tourism?

Each year about 100 to 300 international tourists visit the Wakhan corridor, Zahler says. "It's not a lot, but this is one of the most impoverished regions in Afghanistan, which is one of the more impoverished countries on the planet. It is an area that is desperate for help, and even a few tourists make a big difference." (See "Afghan Ski Challenge Promotes Tourism to War-Weary Hindu Kush.")Accessibility is part of the problem. Getting to Wakhan takes some effort: An overland trip from Kabul takes a week. Though a new airstrip was recently added, many tourists still enter the area through Tajikistan, which has fewer security concerns.In 2008, National Geographic Adventure magazine named Wakhan one of its "25 Best New Trips in the World." Zahler says he hopes the new national park will spark more visits as roads and trails are added and word gets out.The Wakhan corridor, he adds, is "extremely safe—as safe as any high-mountain area can be." The region has not seen recent violence, the Taliban "have no interest in it," and the people "are very welcoming."Still, he says, that success may hinge on the country's overall stability and security.In the meantime, Zahler says his organization has proposed a comprehensive list of new parks for Afghanistan. The government is receptive to the idea, he says, and hopes to designate more over time.When it comes to understanding the value of parks, says Zahler, "Afghanistan really gets it."

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/...an-kyrgyz/
   

 

 
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( This post was last modified: 04-16-2014, 08:42 AM by Apollo )

Hand-bred tigress gives birth to two cubs in Madhya Pradesh: 30 tigers in Panna now


Panna Tiger Reserve (PTR) in Madhya Pradesh has added another feather to its cap. 

In a major boost to efforts to revive tiger population at PTR where the feline population had disappeared completely a few years ago, T5 the hand-bred tigress has given birth to two cubs in its first litter. From zero in early 2009, the number of tigers at PTR has hit 30 with these new arrivals. 

Tigresses T4 and T5 were born at KNP in May 2006 and within days her mother had died. These two tigresses were semi-wild ones and had spent most of her time in KNP inside an enclosure after being orphaned. 

They were shifted to PTR in 2011 respectively. Both settled well. In November 2011, T4 had become the world's first hand-bred feline shifted to the wild, to spawn two cubs. 

"It had abandoned its cubs born from the second litter in April this year," PTR director R S Murthy told TOI. 

T4 and T5 were then reared in an enclosure and fed by KNP. The semi-wild tigress was carted out to Panna and released into the wild in March 2011. 

"There were apprehensions about its survival in the wild, but she picked up soon, going for kills in the deep forest, where it met a lone translocated tiger, and mated," said PTR officials. 

Earlier, two translocated tigresses had given birth to eight cubs at PTR, of which six had survived."But both were wild tigresses, unlike hand-reared and shifted like T4," said the officer. 

Another tigress T2, shifted from KNP in 2009, had given birth to three cubs in 2013. This was its third litter. In February it had eaten the cub, born nine months ago. 

In early 2009, PTR had lost all its tigers and the big cats were subsequently reintroduced to revive their population. 

When the relocation programme began in 2009, wildlife experts across the world doubted its success. Now the project is being seen as the most successful try-out ever. 

Of the founder population, four were females -T1, T2, T4, T5 and a male T3. 

Nine of their cubs are males and two females. Two males from the first litter of T1 have already established their territories in the park. 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/...298340.cms

 

 

Skins of leopard, otter seized and Poachers arrested


The skin and bones of a leopard and an otter's hide were seized from the forests of Baikunthapur in North Bengal on Friday. 

"We have arrested three persons, all residents of Rajasthan. Initial investigation has revealed that the skins were supposed to be sent to China via Nepal," said DFO D Rai. 

As many as 87 leopard deaths have been reported across the country this year alone — 38 of them due to poaching. Last year, 327 leopard deaths were reported, of which an alarming 110 were poaching cases. 

Foresters said they received a tip from villagers on suspicious movements in the forest of Baikunthapur. "We strengthened our watch and nabbed the poachers on Friday morning. People from certain tribal communities in Rajasthan are expert hunters. We are grilling them to get more information on the racket," said a forest department official. 

The leopard is considered a 'near threatened' animal. Reports reveal that about 3,000 leopards were poached in India between 1994 and 2013.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/...250285.cms

 

 
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Illegal sand mining poses threat to Katlabodi tigers

Katlabodi tigress and her three sub-adult cubs seem to be under severe threat from brick kilns on the edge of reserve forest areas in Kalmeshwar range, 35km from Nagpur.The Katlabodi tigress was rescued by forest officials from a well in Bandhara, 40km from Nagpur, on February 7, 2011 and was released back in the wild in eight days after treatment.

The tigress delivered three cubs in 2012 and these sub-adults cubs have become residents of Kalmeshwar range.However, brick kilns near Khairi, Ladhai and Satnavri adjoining reserve forests in Bazargaon round of Kalmeshwar range are engaged in large-scale illegal extraction of sand (needed to make bricks) for the past few months from a perennial water source.

The water source coming from Mahadagadh hills falls in reserve forest and joins the Vena river. "Owing to peak summer, these water source is used by tigers. There is tiger movement in the area and I even saw fresh pugmarks. Extraction of sand is posing serious threat to tigers," said Chandrakant Deshmukh, a former malgujar of the area working for conservation of tigers.

It is surprising how forest officials are unaware about the theft going on for months together, he added."I have joined very recently. I'm aware about tigers presence in the range. Action will be taken against illegal sand miners," said Manoj Mohite, RFO of Kalmeshwar.The area from where sand is being extracted is an ideal tiger habitat with dense forest at hardly one km from these kilns. It was also found that a couple of forest chowkidars were themselves extracting pieces of wood from the same area.Over 19 brick kilns are in operation adjoining forests. These include 5 in Kalmeshwar, 9 in Nagpur and 4 in Hingna tehsils. On April 5, 2013, the then RFO had written to deputy conservator of forests (DyCF), Nagpur, about these kilns.

No NOC has been taken from the forest department to operate these kilns. Respective tehsildars were also told about the problem but even after a year no action has been taken so far.Deshmukh says tigers and other wild animals are at risk as labourers working in these kilns are from other states. They enter the forest for fuel wood and there is every possibility they must be indulge in poaching of animals. Villagers say tractors involved in extracting sand also move in the forest during night hours to escape action.Based on the report submitted by Kalmeshwar RFO, the DyCF had written to district collector on April 20, 2013, urging to close down these kilns but collector took no action.

However, if revenue department has not taken action, forest department too is going easy on violators, it seems.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/...449230.cms
 


 
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Forest dept traps leopard in Ambaulim

A leopard, who had been giving locals sleepless nights, was trapped in a cage laid by forest department officials at Khursa vaddo, Ambaulim, around 3km from Quepem town, early Wednesday morning.

The trapping of the wild animal drew huge crowds including school children and passersby who flocked to the site to catch a glimpse of the leopard.

The trap was laid after complaints from locals about the quiet disappearance of their pigs, dogs and hens which they had been enduring for a long time.

After seeing the leopard trapped, the locals immediately informed forest officials about the capture.

Range forest officer Miguel Fernandes, along with his team and a rescue team from wildlife, Margao, led by Julio Quadros arrived at the spot and rescued the leopard. The big cat was shifted to the Bondla wildlife sanctuary.

The forest department officials had a tough time in controlling the huge crowd who had gathered for an opportunity to see the wild cat, whose head was injured. The leopard roared furiously at the sight of the crowd that kept gathering.

Speaking to TOI, Patrick Fernandes, a Khursa vaddo resident, said that locals knew that it was a leopard who had lifted all the missing animals during the last four months. The cage was set up behind his house about 20 days back after the complaint was lodged.

"Everyday I used to keep a hen inside the cage so that if the leopard comes, it will get trapped inside. But after 20 days of planning, leopard got trapped," said Fernandes.

Four leopards were found in Quepem town in as many years. Two leopards were in close proximity of Quepem town. Range forest officer Miguel said that one leopard was caught at Cavrem, Pirla, four months ago. The presence of the leopard in a residential area had left people in fear that it would attack them.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/...525000.cms

 

 
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