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Project Lion and Project Dolphin for Biodiversity Conservation – All India Radio (AIR) IAS UPSC

  • IASbaba
  • August 24, 2020
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All India Radio
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Project Lion and Project Dolphin for Biodiversity Conservation

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TOPIC: General Studies 3

  • Wildlife Conservation

A.Project Lion

According to June 5, 2020 census, the number of Asiatic lions have now risen by 29% over five years to an estimated 674 in the Gir forest region and other areas of coastal Saurashtra, Gujarat. During 2015, their population was 523 lions. Geographically, distribution area has also increased by 36%.

  • Project Lion will entail habitat development, engage modern technologies in lion management and address the issues of disease in lion and its associated species through advanced world class research and veterinary care.
  • The project will also be addressing the Human-Wildlife conflict which will involve local communities living in the vicinity and will also provide livelihood opportunities. 
  • Using the latest technology, the focus will be on health management and holistically providing world standard care, addressing all that is required to conserve a species

Asiatic Lion

  • It is a Panthera leo leo population in India.
  • Its current range is restricted to the Gir National Park and environs in the Indian state of Gujarat.
  • It is one of five pantherine cats inhabiting India. Others are:
    • Bengal tiger
    • Indian leopard 
    • Snow leopard 
    • Clouded leopard
  • It is also known as the “Indian lion” and the “Persian lion”. 
  • Status: 
    • Listed in Schedule I of Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972
    • Appendix I of CITES
    • Endangered on IUCN Red List.
  • It is slightly smaller than African lions.
  • The most striking morphological character is a longitudinal fold of skin running along belly of Asiatic Lions.

B. Project Dolphin

  • Gangetic river dolphins were declared national aquatic species in 2010.
  • The Ganges river dolphin is a species of freshwater dolphins primarily found in the Ganga and Brahmaputra rivers and their tributaries in India, Bangladesh and Nepal.
  • In India, these dolphins are sighted in long deep river reaches in Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
  • As per official figures, there are about 3,700 Gangetic river dolphins in the Indian river systems.
  • Gangetic Dolphin has also been categorized as endangered on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Red List.
  • Gangetic dolphins are essentially blind and hunt by emitting ultrasonic sounds. Among other reasons, its existence is threatened due to being entangled in fisherman’s nets, rise in salinity level in the water, and frequent movements of boats in the river.

As river dolphins act as indicators of healthy river ecosystems, their conservation would also ensure controlling river pollution and improving availability of fish and enhancing economies of local communities through sustainable fishery

Project Dolphin will aim at the protection and conservation of the Dolphins in the rivers and oceans of the country. 

  • The project will involve the conservation of aquatic habitat and Dolphins through the use of modern technology, especially in anti-poaching activities and enumeration.
  • Project Dolphin will engage the fishermen and other rivers and ocean dependent populations to improve the livelihood of the local communities.  
  • The conservation of Dolphin will also envisage activities which will also help in the mitigation of pollution in rivers and the oceans. 
  • This is also a centre of attraction for tourism. Will empower the stakeholders like the river-dependent population in reducing river pollution and allowing sustainable fishery and river-based other livelihood options through scientifically oriented conservation methods.

Connecting the Dots:

  1. Short note: Project Dolphin
  2. Short note: Project Lion

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