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India considers Sri Lankan proposal for translocating ‘Indian bisons’

16 October 2022 12:43 pm - 32     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The Indian government is considering a proposal from Sri Lanka to export a number of gaurs, or Indian bisons, to Sri Lanka to revive the population of gavaras that have been extinct in the island since the end of the 17th century, India’s The Hindu newspaper reported.

If the project is cleared, it would be the first such agreement between India and Sri Lanka, and part of a global trend of “wildlife or zoological diplomacy”, say experts.
Sources said the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), which received the request in August, has now forwarded it to the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), “seeking comments” on the proposal to transport at least six specimens, including a bull and three to five cows. According to the written proposal, the Sri Lankan Department of Zoological Gardens would then carry out “captive breeding a herd of about a dozen specimens over a five-year period before trial reintroduction to the wild could take place in accordance with [internationally mandated] guidelines for reintroductions”.
S.P. Yadav, Director, National Tiger Conservation Authority, said the proposal was being studied. “We’ll have to evaluate if the conditions for translocation are right, such that the animal can sustainably thrive over there,” he told The Hindu, estimating the evaluation could take a few months.
The suggestion for the proposal came from world-renowned Sri Lankan conservationist Rohan Pethiyagoda, who was awarded the Linnean medal 2022 (U.K. -based equivalent of the Nobel prize for zoology) for his work on restoring fresh water and forest biodiversity.

“As a scientific and cultural collaboration between our two countries, I felt this could be an immensely valuable initiative. But I know it is fraught with difficulties,” said Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India Milinda Moragoda who handed over the preliminary request on the basis of Mr. Pethiyagoda’s suggestion. “India is without a doubt Sri Lanka’s closest friend, supporter and trading partner. We have a shared history, shared cultural identity, and shared gene. We even got Buddhism, on whose traditions we derive our national values, from India,” he added.
Experts say that while “zoological diplomacy” had been practised worldwide, they draw a distinction between “gifts or loans” of animals in captivity to translocation and reintroduction of a species, particularly between neighbouring countries with similar eco-systems.
For example, American bison herds were supplemented with animals from Canada after the U.S. herds were almost all wiped out, The U.K. has recently introduced the European bison (Wisent) after an estimated 10,000 years in June 2022(its extinct relative the Steppe Bison was believed to have lived there many centuries ago).
Israel has for decades pursued reintroductions, including of Persian fallow deer. Arabian oryx and other species have been released into the Negev desert, and South Africa has recently used the export of cheetahs to other African countries as a diplomatic tool during the post-apartheid era. More recently, Cambodia has requested translocating tigers from India, which is under consideration.
“Much depends on whether the conditions that caused the extinction have been removed, but reintroduction is known and has frequently been taken up between countries where the range is contiguous,” explained Mahesh Rangaran, Professor of History and Environmental Studies at Ashoka University who has studied conservation history, including such attempts. “In that sense, the animal plays a role as a zoological ambassador between nation states,” he added.
Sri Lankan officials say the gaur, called the gavara in Sinhala, was once widespread and archaeological remains in ancient caves in the island included the remains of the animal. By the end of the 17th century, however, the species appears to have been extirpated in Sri Lanka, although they remain prominent in iconography and mythological stories.
The Indian gaur, a reclusive beast that lives in the wild, is the largest wild bovine that is a protected species and included in Schedule I of the Wild Life Protection Act, 1972 and listed as vulnerable in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. There are about 13,000 to 30,000 gaurs in the world with approximately 85% of the population present in India. It is also found in Burma and Thailand.
The first-ever population estimation exercise of the Indian gaur carried out in the Nilgiris Forest Division in February 2020 estimated around 2,000 Indian gaurs to be inhabiting the division. This came after instances of people being attacked or injured by the bison primarily in and around plantations came to light. In 2019, for which the most recent numbers are available, three people were killed and seven injured in attacks by gaurs.


  Comments - 32

  • Punchi Sunday, 16 October 2022 01:17 PM

    So we have money to pay for the transport etc of this animal but no money to provide a meal for our school children

    Thushan Sunday, 16 October 2022 02:11 PM

    A special species of the so called 'gaur' exists in the Sri Lankan parliament, you don't even need breeding for the type in parliament.. simply take them and relocate them to the the wild and they will thrive in it..

    Tissa Fernando Sunday, 16 October 2022 02:15 PM

    Is there any benefit to Sri Lanka by bringing these animals here.

    Dharshan Sunday, 16 October 2022 02:25 PM

    Don't we have enough Indian buffaloes already? Many brought by colonial Invaders.

    Seqi Sunday, 16 October 2022 03:29 PM

    The Sri Lankan government can't even look after its own people let alone animals from the neighbour's. While we are adrift better to wait until a viable government is in place.....but agree with the sentiment.

    firdhous Sunday, 16 October 2022 03:55 PM

    What a shame, every thing is being imported including the wild buffalo, if t may called with a different name. The illegal hunters and the forest rangers are the real culprits for extinction of it or reduction of its population. There are enough eye witness for the availability of Indian bison or better called Sri Lanka bisons in Sri Lanka particularly in Sabragamuwa province. Let’s put stringest measures on action to protect available wild life even an order to kill on sight.

    Sri Lankan Veterinarian working in Australia Sunday, 16 October 2022 04:07 PM

    Indians kill tens of thousands of bisons and cows every year, mixed them as beef and sell them abroad. Generally India is believed by the rest of the world as a “gentle country” where beef is something not acceptable in society. But it would be a shock to anyone to realise that INDIA IS ACTUALLY THE FOURTH BIGGEST BEEF EXPORTING COUNTRY IN THE WORLD, EVEN BEATING CHINA AND THE EUROPEAN UNION. If anyone doubts my assertion please google and see it for your selves. Indians are masters in deception and have fooled the world like no other nation in history.

    Jai Hind Sunday, 16 October 2022 04:46 PM

    Do you know, the sacred tooth relic and the tusker that carries it in the holy pageant is Indian.

    Veeramani Sunday, 16 October 2022 05:00 PM

    This is great news, we need more protection of our beautiful wildlife and restror it to the state it was before the Europeans took over

    Daring youth Sunday, 16 October 2022 05:06 PM

    Where is the funding to provide for bringing some in? Is the money better used to provide for elephants, and leopards instead? There are of course children too, who could be provided for, but since this seems another pointless pigheaded decision, not talk about Sri Lanka maltreatment of humans. If Elephants traditional land is being taken, leopard traditional habitat is being encroached on, then where is the endless lands for this big animal? Will there be competition for space with other wild animals if these brought to Sri Lankan?

    Sarath Sunday, 16 October 2022 05:12 PM

    “ Sri Lankan Veterinarian working in Australia “ ; what you have said is a revelation about India. No other country in the world has the capacity to “LIE” like the Indians. That is why Indians are able to fool both the Americans and the Russians at the same time. It is the British who created this “lying monster” by bringing together “violent backward Hindi speaking tribes” each being savagely ruled by a Muslim Mogul Kings for 800 years, and created a country called India. British empire is bad but as an exception Britain should never have given independence to these “ Hindi Speaking Violent Tribes”. Britain liberated these tribes , and see the results now. “ Killing People” to steal their organs to be sent to rich countries is a big business in India yet the UN is keeping quiet.Sri Lankans using false identities like “Buffalocitizen,, Punchi, and many more IDs” and defending India in the daily mirror comments are all employed by “ human organ “ transporting Indian gangs.

    Rohan Pethiyagoda Sunday, 16 October 2022 07:00 PM

    This story is correct, but it needs some additional context. I have sent a detailed clarification to the Editor and hope they will publish it. Rohan Pethiyagoda.

    Fact Sunday, 16 October 2022 07:00 PM

    Sri Lankan Veterinarian—- you told the truth. Now wait and see the lunatic reactions to your comment from Indian paid scums led by the old fart “Buffalocitizen-Punchi-Sokrates -Tissa - and many more. This is a Tamil Christian bastard who is not even accepted by his own Tamil community who are majority Hindus. He is a dark skinned guy who prays to “White God” and has mentally lost his marbles .

    Gong Baas Sunday, 16 October 2022 07:47 PM

    We should consider importing some Indian bisons in exchange for some hippos in our Parliament.

    I am patriot Sunday, 16 October 2022 08:12 PM

    They were made extinct by our people, so why try to bring it back here? What's changed to allow this big sized creature to prosper now compared to 100s of years ago? And it is looking like it has a lot of meat. Poacher will find great value to snare one if they brought here. And better money spent on the needy people than security 24 hours guarding these creatures.

    Mano Sunday, 16 October 2022 10:13 PM

    India is synonymous with diseases and infections. Bring into Sri Lanka the Indian bisons and our animal population would be substantially wiped out. The whole of India both the people and the animals are infected with so many deadly pathogens. But it is not killing many Indians or the animals is because of it’s permanent presence for generations in India. But Sri Lanka is much a cleaner country where people live like humans with toilets in every home or a hut. Just one infected Indian bison is all that is needed to bring a new epidemic in Sri Lanka. I have made an important comment for my Sri Lankans but the pimps employed by the Indians would respond to my comment with insane outbursts to earn their Indian rupees.

    Observer Sunday, 16 October 2022 10:36 PM

    India is a Hindu nationalistic country but it is employing Sri Lankan Christian Tamils to do “dirty work” for them. This is the thing with the converted Christians they will do anything for money, even lend their wives for pleasure for the right money.

    GHT Monday, 17 October 2022 12:11 AM

    We must seek ways to chase the Indian Bisons being already present in the Indian Mission in Sri Lanka, so why should we think of more commitments that may lead to DESTABILIZE OUR WHOLE SYSTEMS prevailing in Sri Lanka.

    Supun Monday, 17 October 2022 01:13 AM

    Sri Lankan Veterinarian working in Australia - Do you eat kangaroo and horse meat sold as beef in Australia. Are you working for Chinese interests.

    Harry Monday, 17 October 2022 02:19 AM

    OMG - Thushan SL parliamentarians shouldn't be relocated even in the wild, (OTHER THAN HELL) as they would sell it or lease for 99 years as nothing more left in the country

    Andrew Silva Monday, 17 October 2022 03:25 AM

    India please don’t send your bisons we have enough in our parliament.

    Manoja Weerakkody Monday, 17 October 2022 07:15 AM

    Better start looking after the intersts of the existing wildlife and their habitats before thinking of bringing in another species to suffer here. Our elephants need all the attention we can muster at the moment, to stop us from loosing them forever.

    Singh Monday, 17 October 2022 08:35 AM

    We can translocate the Indian Bisons with some of the Hippos who are Ministers in our Parliament.

    More the merrier Monday, 17 October 2022 09:22 AM

    Please go ahead and send them to us. We have beef processing factory in Ja-Ela owned by former rulers, and this will serve as raw material. In addition, we have our local butchers, who sell beef at Rs.2500/- a kilo. This will boost their income.

    Harry D'Silva Monday, 17 October 2022 09:52 AM

    Just checked online abt largest beef exporters in the world. Yes, India is within Top 5 in all lists!! Very interesting fact. India is even a larger exporter of beef than New Zealand and Australia!

    Neocore Monday, 17 October 2022 10:24 AM

    To all those saying India is 4th largest beef exporter. Do you guys forget India is 1st in milk production don't know even the basics but started commenting. So pathetic that's why your country is in ruins.

    Dee Monday, 17 October 2022 11:08 AM

    This is a good way of overcoming the chicken monopoly. Beef is the most cleanest non veg food. Even fish is not healthy.

    Man Monday, 17 October 2022 03:28 PM

    Don't import. as grass lands are not available since cattle graze in wild life parks that are for elephants and there is a scarcity, right now.

    Invasive Species Monday, 17 October 2022 06:16 PM

    Bring Indian Bison only to bring on trouble for SL future. The invasive plant species called Parthenium Hysterophorus took roots in Jaffna after it was brought here by the "Indian People Killing Force" (IPKF) in 1987 together with fodder for goats and sheep for IPKF consumption and also through IPKF military hardware. Despite its proximity to Eurasia, Africa was spared until 1887, when the Italian Army imported Indian cattle for food and draft power. From the port of Massawa in present-day Eritrea, the virus exploded so fast that it reached South Africa within a decade. It doomed East Africa’s wandering herders, subsisting on milk mixed with cow blood. Historians believe a third of them or more starved to death. The disease was still leaping water barriers as late as the 1980s, when IPKF in Sri Lanka imported sick goats. Until 1999 Sri Lanka was one of the world’s last pockets of rinderpest.

    Biological warfare Tuesday, 18 October 2022 11:28 AM

    It may be modern "Biological Warfare" couched in wildlife or zoological diplomacy to introduce Exotic diseases of mammals and birds by using unsuspected hosts.

    “ The Lansi Burgher Gent “ Tuesday, 18 October 2022 03:38 PM

    Well said Manoja Weerakkody. Our wild elephants are literally starving. Our government, it’s relevant officials and animal welfare groups aren’t putting enough effort, if any, into this pressing matter. These elephants are being deprived of their land, water and food is scarce and when they wander off, they are shot at and many killed brutally as a result of it. Over population of the human race will be the ultimate downfall of this country. We are at 22 Million and increasing for God’s sake! Put the brakes on, or else we’re going to deplete of what’s left here. There’s just no space left anymore. Bringing another species of animal from abroad, would lead to the end of our elephants. President Ranil - over to you, if you’re reading.

    Maharagma man Wednesday, 19 October 2022 06:00 PM

    I was being shocked when I first read about this fabrication to import the animals. I am most pleased to know the proposal is all a lie. Today, 19 October 2022 saw 'The Agriculture, Wildlife and Forest Conservation Ministry today denied the news report published on an Indian media website regarding the proposal to import several Gaurs or Indian Bison by Sri Lanka.' It would be irresponsible with our country's corrupt culture to bring in animals, when even imported milk cows soon die out.


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