Restoring Saurashtra’s grasslands is key for the big cats to thrive in their natural habitat

Though lions are carnivores, there is an umbilical link between grass and the big cats. Grass is the starting point of all major food chains.
A good lion habitat must have a good prey-base. For a healthy prey-base, grasslands are the key. Lion conservation efforts are focused on habitat improvement and, by extension, on improvement of grasslands.

It is imperative, therefore, to initiate landscape-level interventions to ensure that the lion population keeps thriving. Since these big cats coexist with local agro-pastoralists, minimising competition for natural resources between wildlife and local communities is crucial. Productive grasslands can help achieve this. They can make a very good habitat for lions while also meeting requirements of the locals.

The recent UN-led conference to combat desertification committed to achieving land degradation neutrality by 2030. At this conference, India committed to restoring at least 26 million hectares of degraded land by 2030. Gujarat can begin with restoration of the grasslands in Saurashtra.

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