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Lions for Lion
A PROGRAMME BY
LIONS CLUBS INTERNATIONAL DIST: 323-J
WILDLIFE CONSERVATION TRUST - RAJKOT
An Appeal from Lion Mona Sheth, Governor, Dist: 323-J
I heartily appeal all Lion members to generously help us in our endeavour to save the last surviving species in the world “The Asiatic Lions”.
Call of the Helpless KingHelp Save the Lions of Gir, India
Wildlife Conservation Trust
Wildlife Conservation Trust (WCT) is a registered Non-Profit Making Organisation. WCT Coordinates, Participates, Motivates and Assists in Asiatic Lion and Gir Conservation Programmes.
Lions Clubs International District 323-J and WCT have joined hands in noble cause of saving last surviving Asiatic Lions.
~ Importance of Gir and Asiatic Lion ~
The Gir Protected Area, spread over 1412 km2, is located in Gujarat (India). It is the only place in the world where the Asiatic Lion survives. It is one of the rarest wild cats in the world.
It is classified as "Critically Endangered" by World Conservation Union.
Do we want our children to see thesebeautiful cats only in a Museum or Zoo?
In the beginning of 19th century when there were about 20 lions in wild, efforts of the Nawab (King) of Gir saved it from extinction. Today due to conservation efforts of the Gujarat Forest Department and tolerant local people, the lion population has gone up to 359.
~ Threats Today ~
Asiatic Lion faces many threats like congestion, roads & religious places inside the GPA, human pressure, man-animal conflict, genetic limitations and poaching. But man-madeOpenWells surrounding the Gir forest is the most severe threat that the lion and other wild animals face today.
What can you see in this picture?
Greenery & Landscape… Tree… Electric pole….
And yes there are electric wires too….
But can you see UNPROTECTED or OPEN WELL in the picture?
What are Open Wells?
Open wells are deep pits; 60 to 100 feet deep, without parapets or boundary walls.
They are dug by farmers as a source of water for irrigation and livestock.
Why are the Farmers not protectingtheir Open Wells?
Most of the farmers in Gir are poor with very small land holding. Hence most of them cannot afford to barricade their wells.
Age of 70 earning $8 per week Roof to keep rain away
Fully fitted kitchen! Poor man’s white house!
Why do the Animals fall into Open Wells ?
Lions and other wild animals regularly stray outside due to over-crowding inside the sanctuary and in search of food.
There are more than 9000 open-wells in 6km periphery surrounding the Gir Forest
Most of these wells are hidden in the surrounding vegetation and by the time animal realizes it’s presence it is too late.
All types of Wild animals like Lions, Leopards, Crocodiles, Pythons, Deer etc. accidentally fall into Open Wells and die due to drowning.
Many of these wells have become slippery in time because of soil erosion on the edge. Such dry and abandoned wells are more dangerous.
There are about 400 leopards in Gir. They stray outside the sanctuary more than lions. Hence, leopard incidences are likely to be higher than that of the lion.
Risky Rescue Operations
The Gir Protected Area is a big area with poor internal roads. Thus, it is not always possible to reach the incidence spot and successfullyrescue the animal.
Rescued animals are seriously injured and sometimes permanently disabled. They are not fit to be released back into the wild.
For e.g. one such rescued lion lost its vision and spent rest of its life at Sakkarbaug Zoo in blindness.
Unbelievable But True !
From 2001 until May 2008, 53 Open Well incidences were recorded in which 28 lions died!
What is more dangerous?Open Well or Poaching!
In last few years Lion deaths due to
Electrocution = 7 Poaching = 8
Open Wells = 28
Damage to Humans
Apart from wild animals even domestic cattle and some-times small children of poor labours fall into Open Wells.
What needs to be done?
Sadly Open Well is the most serious problem with the most simple solution.
Time has come to act fast and barricade all the Open Wells as soon as possible.
Threats like poaching and genetic limitations are relatively tough to check. But ‘most fatal’ open wells. is something that can be controlled.
What have we done so far?
We are the first NGO to sign MoU with the Forest Department to barricade Open Wells. In association with other NGOs and Corporates, we have completed barricading 781 Wells till Mar 31, 2008.
Currently we are working with TATA Chemicals Ltd, ‘Lions of Gir Foundation – USA’ by UScitizen Mr. Steve Mandel and Vanishing Herds Foundation for barricading more wells.
Innovative RCC Slab Design
The usual method of barricading a well is using lime stone which is very costly and time consuming.
After hard work and numerous field trials, we designed a unique pre-cast RCC Slab Design. This design is economical, strong, fast to install, better
earthquake resistant and environ friendly. It is approved by State Forest Department.
Forest Dept has divided the 6km peripheral area around Gir forest into five zones depending on lion movement and risk of accidents. A village is chosen as per the priority list. A villagers’ meet is arranged to get their support and then real field work begins.
AN APPEAL FOR DONATION
We request your help by participating in our endeavour to save last surviving lions.
With a small donation YOU can prevent the needless death and injury of these beautiful and highly endangered animals.
COST FOR BARRICADING ONE WELL
Can we afford to lose 5–6 LIONS every year just for
Rs 6000 i.e. $150 US or £75 UK per Well?
Corporates have two options to choose from
DONATE TO US or WORK DIRECTLY
If you choose to work directly, we will provide you with Total Solution of the project, FREE OF CHARGE. Our only objective is to get the work done.
For ten or more wells, name of the donor can be permanently embossed on the RCC slabs.
Please call us for Personal Meeting or Field Visit.
Donations to WCT are exempted U/S 80G(5) of IT Act.
We Heartily Thank the Participants / Donors
For information, personal meeting and field visit please contact
Kishore Kotecha, Exec. Dir. (98240 62062)
Rama Sachidanand, Hon. Exec. (99988 08581)
Wildlife Conservation Trust
128 Star Plaza, Phulchhab Chowk, Rajkot – Gujarat – India Ph: +91 281 2444074 +91 98240 62062
Em: [email protected], Web: www.asiaticlion.org News Blog: http://asiatic-lion.blogspot.com
Our Trust is. Non-Profit Organisation (Reg. No. E /8147 /Rajkot).
Donation to our Trust is exempted U/S 80G(5) of IT Act 1961.
Chqs to be drawn in the name of Wildlife Conservation Trust.
Donors are welcome to get project reference from
Mr. Pradeep Khanna, PCCF-WL and Chief Wildlife Warden, Gandhinagar – Gujarat, [email protected]
Mr. Divyabhanusinh Chavda, President of WWF India and Member of Cat Specialist Group, IUCN
Author of ‘The Story of Asia’s Lion (2005) and The Cheetah in India (1995), [email protected]
Mr. Bharat Pathak, Conservator of Forest (WL), Junagadh – 362002 – Gujarat, [email protected]
Mr. Ravi Singh, Secretary General & CEO, WWF – India, [email protected]
T h a n k Y o u
Open Well Presentation Version 3.1 Date:1-6-2008