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Lions and Tigers in India

Romania Jinenfordragon Offline
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( This post was last modified: 04-13-2017, 01:00 PM by Ngala Edit Reason: change the name )

The Times of India
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/...039505.cms

Will Gir lions shifted to Kuno-Palpur sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh come into conflict with tigers that may have strayed from Ranthambore reserve in Rajasthan? For the first time, an NGO, Wildlife Conservation Trust-Rajkot, has joined as a party to the petition filed by the Rajasthan government claiming that there is a possibility of conflict between the two big cats because a natural movement corridor exists between Kuno and Ranthambore. The NGO had filed a petition earlier in the apex court against translocation of lions to Kuno-Palpur.

Citing reports that the male tiger, T-38, from Ramthambore had been found moving between the tiger reserve in Rajasthan and Kuno-Palpur, the petitioner, in an amendment to its petition moved on Monday, has claimed that "the court was never informed about the contiguity which the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve enjoys with Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh."

In its amended petition, the NGO says that Kuno lacks in prey base. Further, given its proximity to Ranthambore, introduction of lions in Kuno could have a severe impact on the population of tigers as lions can travel in search of food to Ramthambore.

The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), a statutory authority under the Centre, seems to support the NGOs' argument. In its report titled, 'State of Tigers, Co-predators and prey in India-2008', the NTCA supports the stand of Gujarat that Kuno-Palpur is a tiger-occupied area close to other tiger habitats including Ranthambhore. Further, as the proposed site for translocation of lions from Gir is close to the tiger areas, tigers keep frequenting the Kuno-Palpur sanctuary.

The NTCA report recommends that the potential habitat connectivity between Ranthambhore, Kuno-Palpur and reserve forests of MP's Sheopur district be improved "to form a viable arid zone westernmost Tiger Conservation Unit in India." The recommendations of the NTCA are legally binding under Section 38-V of the Wildlife (Protection) Act-1972, the NGO has submitted in its amended petition.

Movement of predators

In its order dated April 15, 2013, a division bench of the Supreme Court had dealt with the issue of co-existence of the tiger and lion. The bench had taken note of the fact that Dr. Asad Rehmani, director, Bombay Natural History Society and a member of the standing committee of the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) had pointed out that presence of the tiger in Kuno was in no case detrimental to the re-introduction of lions.

Another member of the standing committee, Dr Divyabhanusinh Chavda, had also emphasized the need to create a second home for lions. However, the court had not taken into account the possibility of reverse movement of lions from Kuno to Ranthambore. Earlier, the Rajkot trust had filed a petition in the Supreme Court against the translocation of Gir lions to Kuno-Palpur sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh. But it had failed to mention the movement corridor between the two sanctuaries.
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United States Pckts Offline
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If they ever actually do it. This has been on going for a while. Even did a little piece on T-38. He is a male who was kicked out of his territory due and is not quite old enough to take on the older males at this point. He has traveled far in search of a new undefended territory and this has brought him into the area that they are thinking of relocating some lions. I still think both will co exist, they prefer very different landscapes and hunting tactics. I think the only time a conflict will happen is either when males come into contact while patrolling (easily avoidable by both cats if they want) or at a kill site. But even so, I have seen two rival male tigers share a rhino carcass, seen hyennas share kills with lions, lions with crocs, etc....
So there is no true answer until we finally try it. IMO
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Guatemala GuateGojira Offline
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Tiger-lion interaction in India is every day a more polemic theme. Ecologically, these two super-predators have lived in India since c.10,000 years ago, the interesting thing is that there is not a single account of a fight between wild lions and wild tigers in India, no one, nor even the old books like the Mahabarata mention this, which show that these great cats respect each other in they own habitats. This is supported by modern ecology that shows that tigers and lions live in completely different habitats and there is no overlap between them. When tigers arrived to India about 12,000 years ago, lions already lived there (together with humans, that is why Indian religion had more lion influence than tiger) and despite this fact, tigers thrived through all the place and make it they stronghold while lions decline (probably caused by the climatic change, that convert savanna into forest, which affected the lion). So, from a practical point of view, lion presence is not a problem for tigers and the same can be say to the other way. However, the theory of Mr Valmik Thapar and his team of history experts’ go against the fact that lions are native from India, which will explain why there has been so few lions in India since historic times (Mughals to British, for example) but this is another theme.

Sadly, modern times are neither practical nor ideal. Kuno have a very low prey base, and as far I know, no domestic cattle, nor even feral. So, lions need a large prey base, even larger than the tiger as they live in groups, in this case is completely plausible that lions, in search of good prey, do invade Ranthambore and then, tiger-lion conflict will arise. Valmik Thapar in his book "Exotic Aliens" of 2013 states that if conflict arise, tigers will have the advantage, not only for its size but also because they are masters of the closed habitats and will simple "destroy" the lions. However, this could apply to a male-vs-male scenario, especially by the fact that Indian lions are normally loners, with very rare cases of 2 to 4 males, and certainly a reintroduced group will not have too many males. Now, for females, there will be a problem as Indian lioness are normally in groups of 2-3 specimens, and will present a real treat to a lone tigress.

Tigers and lions, following the classic ideology, had coexisted in India without no conflict, but this was because both of the habitats that they respectively use had plenty of prey, but in a scenario like that of Kuno, is possible that a real problem could arise. At the end it doesn't matter if "tigers will win" or if "lions will win", NO, the problem is how many cats will die for this conflict. Both cats are greatly endangered and every single specimen is highly valuable, I think that  FIRST they most create a good prey base in Kuno (reintroduction of herbivores is possible and have been proved right in other areas), just then, they most move lions from Gir.

Only time will say if this "experiment" will succeed, but for the moment, I don't think that lions will be transported in the near future, Gir will not let them go so easily.
 
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United States Pckts Offline
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It will definitely be something to keep a eye on if it ever does happen.
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Sri Lanka Apollo Away
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I dont think the reintroduction of gir lions to kuno will happen.
It was the Gujarat government which was stopping this project from happening from the begining.
Gujarat doesnt want to share its lions with other states and they are presenting several petitions to Supreme court just to drag this project.
The Indian law system is so weak that even after the Supreme Court giving the judgement last year asking to relocate the lions, the project didnt start till date and its been prolonged by the submissions of new petitions by the Gujarat government.
There are some NGOs who joined hands with Gujarat government for money and started protesting against the relocation.
The reason for dragging this project is because the Chief Minister of Gujarat Mr.Narendra Modi is competing for Prime Minister elections. There is a high possibility of him winning the elections and be crowned the PM of India. Once Mr.Narendra Modi becomes the Indian Prime Minister he will totally shut down this project.
I really feel sorry for the Gir Lions.
 
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United States Pckts Offline
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Very strange indeed. I do wonder what possible benefit they have by not introducing these lions elsewhere, or by letting them expand on their own.
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Guatemala GuateGojira Offline
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( This post was last modified: 04-15-2014, 08:06 AM by GuateGojira )

The principal benefit is money and the monopoly of the lions in India. They are not thinking in the lions, they are thinking in they economic rewards. If the Indian lion exist in other part, what would make Gujarat special?

I believed that lions will never going to live outside of Gujarat, but after the post of Apollo, now I am 100% sure that lions will never going out of Gujarat.

However, if we believe in the theory of Valmik Thapar, there is no need of relocation, lions never adapted to the forest of India and at the end, they died (hunted or starving), so it will be better to keep them in Gujarat or even better, to found a suitable place in the middle east or Pakistan where lions could live better. Sadly, Pakistan and India are political enemies, and the middle east is a mess caused by Muslims and the fanatic behavior. So, the lions are doomed to live in Gujarat until they genetic finally collapse.
 
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Sri Lanka Apollo Away
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Gujarat wants to be the exclusive location for wild asiatic lions.
But ultimately the lions are the sufferers due to this closed minded thinking of the gujarat government.
The Gir NP reached its full capacity around 10 years back, so the current environment for the lions in gir is not healthy (over population).
Most of the lions (almost all of them) which are dispersing from Gir are ended up dead.

      1) Lions entering nearby villages and lions feeding on domestic cattles are poisoned and killed.
      2) Lions entering agricultural areas died after falling into irrigation wells.
      3) Lions travellling far distances are getting hit by trains and vehicles.

These lions have no other choice and they are restricted and confined to a small space called Gir.
The current situation is not only affecting the lions, its affecting the gir leopards too.
Due to the higher densities of lions in the protected area of Gir, the leopards were not able to compete or survive inside Gir NP.
Hence they are migrating from the forests and entering the villages, this makes them to have direct conflicts with humans, domestic cattles and domestic dogs. These leopards are either killed or moved to some zoos.

These politicians, advocates and experts are sitting and talking about the pros and cons of moving a single lion pride to Kuno.
But in the mean time there are several lions and leopards losing there life due to lack of space.
 
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Guatemala GuateGojira Offline
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( This post was last modified: 04-15-2014, 09:17 AM by GuateGojira )

So, at the end, the decision most be between 1-dead of lions-leopards, 2-dead of lions-tigers or 3-dead of lions by poachers. This is what happen when humans try to play been God. This situation is worst than I originally think. [img]images/smilies/sad.gif[/img]

 

 

Remember my last post, suggesting a reintroduction of lions to Middle east and Pakistan? Well, what do you think about an introduction of lions in the north or Africa? This article was brought by Apollo, thanks to him about this data. Check it out and take your conclutions:
 
India could soon help bring back an extinct, spectacular species of lions
Kounteya Sinha,TNN | Apr 2, 2014, 08.54 PM IST
 
LONDON: 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.
 
Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/...140748.cms

This could be a plausible way to save the lion populations and help the overpopulated area of Gir. [img]images/smilies/sleepy.gif[/img]
 
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Australia Richardrli Offline
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With the regards to Valmik Thapar's "Exotic Aliens", I not convinced at all. Everyone should read the following two reviews.
http://www.currentscience.ac.in/Volumes/105/04/0527.pdf
http://vanishingnature.blogspot.com.au/2...f-all.html

So the evidence is overwhelming that lions are in fact indigneous to India.
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Guatemala GuateGojira Offline
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( This post was last modified: 04-15-2014, 11:38 AM by GuateGojira )

I am very interested in this other point of view and we most accept the fact that this other part of the history (the classic one) have good points in they favor. In fact, it is more easy to explain the theory of the lion native of India than that of the Exotic alien (the hole pro-tiger thesis in India is based in the classic one, by the way), however, when we go trough both theories, we fund that the classic point of view is based in several assumptions that have not direct evidence. This is what make me doubt about its veracity, and to be sincere, Thapar is very convincing is his points.

Now, about this particular link: http://vanishingnature.blogspot.com.au/2...f-all.html   - Sorry, but this guy is more lost that a goat in the north pole. Obviously I am going to show step by step why this "Doctor by profession" guy is incorrect in several of his postulates. Not just that, I am going to answer to him in his forum with all the data that I am going to post here. So, you can follow his blog to see his reaction.

Now, about the PDF document, I think this is most interesting, so I will also take my time with it. Sadly, that one can't be answered. [img]images/smilies/dodgy.gif[/img]

The only "mistake" in the book of Thapar et al., that I have found (at the moment), is that they states that some lions came from Botswana, but in the modern Indian lion population there is no evidence of African haplotypes. However, this is can be easily explained with the simple fact that all modern Indian lions in Gir are (or could be) descendents of the Persian lions transported by the Mughals, while the lions from Botswana were fully killed by the royalty and leave no descendent in the country.

About the fossil "evidence", I have a pro-lion source that accepts the fact that those fossils of "lions" are not accurately studied and can be from lions or tigers or even leopards of large size. The name Divyabhanusinh sounds to you?

Well, I am going to read both sources, but give me time, I am busy with the activities in my Church (this is the Holly Week, after all).

Greetings to all. [img]images/smilies/smile.gif[/img]
 

 

 
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United States Pckts Offline
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(04-15-2014, 10:50 AM)'Richardrli' Wrote: With the regards to Valmik Thapar's "Exotic Aliens", I not convinced at all. Everyone should read the following two reviews.
http://www.currentscience.ac.in/Volumes/105/04/0527.pdf
http://vanishingnature.blogspot.com.au/2...f-all.html

So the evidence is overwhelming that lions are in fact indigneous to India.

 



This is far from "overwhelming"
These two links offer up no real evidence to say Valmik is wrong. No references, no links, the fossil excuse is anything but reliable. Especially because it is based off of two fossils fragments that can easily be confused with other animals, if I am  not mistaken. The link that is not a good reference to use and offers up nothing in terms of evidence or fact. So far, Thapars book is far more convincing with its evidence and theories.
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Australia Richardrli Offline
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(04-15-2014, 09:30 PM)'Pckts' Wrote:
(04-15-2014, 10:50 AM)'Richardrli' Wrote: With the regards to Valmik Thapar's "Exotic Aliens", I not convinced at all. Everyone should read the following two reviews.
http://www.currentscience.ac.in/Volumes/105/04/0527.pdf
http://vanishingnature.blogspot.com.au/2...f-all.html

So the evidence is overwhelming that lions are in fact indigneous to India.


 



This is far from "overwhelming"
These two links offer up no real evidence to say Valmik is wrong. No references, no links, the fossil excuse is anything but reliable. Especially because it is based off of two fossils fragments that can easily be confused with other animals, if I am  not mistaken. The link that is not a good reference to use and offers up nothing in terms of evidence or fact. So far, Thapars book is far more convincing with its evidence and theories.

 

Not really, it's more a case of lions having been historically known in India and the evidence clearly supporting that. Then Valmik Thapar comes along and attempts to (for whatever reason) say that they're not but because his arguments are so weak, fails quite badly at that.


 
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Guatemala GuateGojira Offline
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Well, we have our first debate. Do it clean and with evidence. Don't use bad words and allways read the entire post of the other poster.

Finally, remember that this is not "lion vs tiger", the point will be: Are lions native of India?

Yes, I know that this is not the name of the topic, but if you agree, we can make a completelly new post for this.

You decide. Greetings and good look. [img]images/smilies/smile.gif[/img]
 
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Australia Richardrli Offline
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Well you know me as open minded person, but Valmik Thapar has unfortunately in this case promoting a fringe theory that is at odds with all the known historical data. I don't this theory is sustainable and the scientific community as a whole hasn't warmed up to it.
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