Gujarat State Lion Conservation Society, Junagadh
Gujarat State Lion Conservation Society, Junagadh

Gujarat State Lion Conservation Society, Junagadh

Preamble

The Asiatic Lion (Panthera leo persica) is a critically endangered sub-species surviving only in Southern Saurashtra of the State of Gujarat. Conservation of the Asiatic Lion is one of the priorities of the Government of Gujarat and the Government of India. The efforts of the government have borne fruits as can be seen from the gradual increase in population and geographical spread of the Asiatic Lion in Saurashtra. Considering the conservation needs, the state of Gujarat has enhanced the protected area by notifying Pania Wildlife Sanctuary, Mitiyala Wildlife Sanctuary in Amreli District and Girnar Wildlife Sanctuary in Junagadh District in addition to Gir Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park.

These Protected Areas are managed as per the approved management plan having following objectives :

  • Long term conservation of Asiatic Lion (Panthera leo persica)
  • Protect and conserve the Gir forest in a manner that is consistent with the ultimate and perpetual conservation of the Asiatic lion and all other life forms and systems that together constitute this unique ecosystem.
  • Improve health of the forests so that they perform the ecological functions efficiently.
  • Enlist people's participation in conservation of Lion and Gir eco-system. Strategy for enlisting participation includes nature education, awareness, eco-tourism and eco-development.
  • Promote ecological studies and ecological research in pursuance of the above objectives.

It is desired that the resources for the Lion Conservation Programme be augmented with participation of various sections of society. It is understood that the volunteers especially those from Gujarat and that of from the rest of India and foreign countries are keen to participate in this important endeavor of the State. It is desired that an opportunity be created for such participation. This shall help augment funds to pace up the lion conservation programme and also help instill in society sense of ownership of the effort. Keeping these aspects in view, the Government of Gujarat under Forests and Environment Department has formed a society named "Gujarat State Lion Conservation Society (GSLCS)" vide Resolution No.WLP-102006-S.F.12-G.1 Dated the February 13, 2007.

About GSLCS

The society is registered under Society Registration Act, 1860 vide No.Gujarat/2806/Junagadh Dt.17/04/2007 and registered under Bombay Trust Registration Act, 1950 vide No.F/2752/Junagadh Dt.17/04/2007. The society is also registered under Income Tax Act under Section 12-A (A) vide No.I.C.RAJ-III/TEC/12A(A)/11/07-08 Dt.25/05/2007 of Income Tax Commissioner-III, Rajkot. The amount of donation given to the society is also exempted under Income Tax Rule, 1961, Section 80 (G) (5) for the period from 18/06/2007 to 31/03/2009 vide No.I.C.RAJ.III/TEC/80 G(5)/83/07.08 Dt.29/06/2007 of Income Tax Commissioner-III, Rajkot. Further exemption is granted vide No.CIT-R III/80 G/131/Certi./2008-09 Dt.01/09/2009.

Goal of the Society

  • Conserve Asiatic Lion and its habitat for its long term survival there by retrieving it from list of endangered species.
  • Facilitate reclamation of lost territories and thereby promote stable meta populations of Asiatic Lion with minimal man animal conflict.
  • Address issue of man animal conflict in the regions occupied by Asiatic Lion.
  • Provide health care and veterinary service to support the cause of conservation of Lion and its associate fauna.
  • Promote healthy eco-tourism in the region that shall contribute to increased awareness for need and issues of conservation locally as also globally.
  • Actively pursue eco-development in the region of influence of Asiatic Lion to:
    • Mitigate hardship of local population
    • Extend and make it aware of benefits of conservation and
    • Facilitate ecologically suited sustainable development of local population.

Objectives of the Society

  • Identify and delineate habitats of Asiatic Lion to ensure that population grows to 500 numbers in wild in medium term.
  • Identify corridors used by Lion and its associates for movement in the region, secure them and identify gaps and bottlenecks.
  • Support the ease of having multiple gene pools representing widest possible genetic diversity in different geographic locations in Saurashtra.
  • Mobilize and provide resources for perusing:
    • Management Plan for management of the Gir Protected Area network and other habitats of Asiatic Lion in the region.
    • Long term conservation plan of Asiatic Lion that includes meta populations and gene pools.
    • Facilitate conservation / acquisition of vital links in corridor of movement of Asiatic Lion to secure safe corridors free off gaps / bottlenecks.
  • Facilitate micro-planning for effective and efficient eco-development. Augment and provide resources for implementation of micro-plans.
  • Enlist active participation of local communities in promotion of tourism through eco-development or eco-tourism committees for their benefit.

Fund Generation and Utilization

The Society has following sources for generation of funds :

  • The amount of entry fees received for Gir Sanctuary and Gir National Park (including Devalia Interpretation Park) shall be retained by the Society.
  • By membership fee.
  • Funds obtained through donations, endowments, bequests, gifts, contributions, adoptions, etc. from / by national and international sources.
  • Grants and/or grant-in-aid, recurring and non-recurring grants from Central Government, State Government, Local Self Government bodies, etc.
  • Other sources as may be developed by the Society after due permission from appropriate authorities.

The Society is authorized to utilize funds accrued to it from above sources for various activities as per the objectives of the society. Expenditure for various activities shall be made as per Annual Plan of Operations (APO) duly approved by the Chief Wildlife Warden.

Achievements

  • Due to the continuous efforts of the Forest Department under the funds of State Government, Government of India and the funds generated by the society, the habitats of lions and other population of wild animals had been managed and developed.
  • As per the IUCN guide lines, the Asiatic Lions (Panthera leo persica) status has been changed from Critically Endangered Species to Endangered Species. As per 14th Asiatic Lion Population Estimation, held in May, 2015, the population of Asiatic Lions has crossed the mark of 500 numbers and reached to 523.
  • Presently, the Asiatic Lions spread over in the 8 Districts of Saurashtra Region in about 22,000 sq. km. in the Asiatic Lion Landscape all and the society is providing funds to all the Wildlife, Territorial and Social Forestry Divisions, who are managing the lion population and habitats.
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