Endangered Asiatic Lions May Be Overly Guarded In India's Gir Sanctuary
GIR SANCTUARY, India (AP) A peacock Matthew Stafford Authentic Jersey shrieks. A monkey scrambles higher into the fire colored canopy of a kesudo tree. And an Asiatic lion one of the last few hundred in the wild pads across the dusty earth of a west Indian sanctuary that is its only refuge from the modern world.
Within the guarded confines of this dry forest in Gujarat state, the lions have been rescued from near extinction. A century ago, fewer than 50 remained. Today more than 400 fill the park and sometimes wander into surrounding villages and farmland.
But the lions' precarious return is in jeopardy. Experts warn their growing numbers could be their undoing. Crowded together, they are more vulnerable to disease and natural disaster. There is little new territory for young males to claim, increasing chances for inbreeding, territorial conflict or males killing the young.
Conservationists agree these lions need a second home fast, and far from Gir. Government backed experts in the 1990s settled on a rugged and hilly sanctuary called Kuno, www.lionsnflofficialonline.com/lions-matthew-stafford-jersey-c-4.html where lions historically roamed with tigers in the neighboring state of Madhya Pradesh. Millions were spent preparing the park. But Gujarat rejected the plan. And no lions were sent.
Now, the uncertain fate of the Asiatic lions once dominant in forests from Morocco and Greece across the Middle East to eastern India rests in the hands of bureaucrats, and the case has reached the Supreme Court.
"We are the only ones who have lions. Nanda, said proudly from behind an enormous desk in an office complex decorated with lion posters reading: "Gujarat's pride; World's envy."
"Can we humans be arbiters of where these lions should live? Should we move the mountains and the rivers, too?" Nanda said. "If the lions want to move, let them move on their own."The subject of saving lions is an emotional one in India. The lion also holds iconic status in religions and cultures. The multi armed Hindu warrior goddess Durga is traditionally shown with a lion as her mount. Four lions make the national emblem symbolizing power, courage, pride and confidence. Even the common Sikh name "Singh," shared by the current prime minister, means "lion" in several languages.
The Asiatic lions, a subspecies, are nearly as large as their African cousins, though the males' manes are less fluffy and their tails have larger tufts.
By the 20th century, they had nearly been wiped out by trophy hunters. The last Asiatic lion outside Gujarat was gunned down in Iran in 1942.
Within India, hundreds of thousands of lions, tigers, leopards and wolves were killed over decades of frenzied hunting, encouraged by British colonials. Three years after independence, the country's Asiatic cheetahs were extinct.
But the lions in Gujarat got a reprieve. A princely ruler banned hunting of the few dozen lions left in 1901.
The state created Gir Sanctuary over more than 1,400 square kilometers (540 square miles), relocating all but a few hundred buffalo herdsmen who lived peaceably with the predators, mainly by giving them wide berth.
The sanctuary became a model in conservation, with constant patrols against poachers and cultivated grasslands for the lions' prey: spotted deer and blue hued antelope. A veterinary hospital was built. The lions thrived.
Tourists from India's newly minted middle class now flock to the park, riding open topped jeeps to see lions lazing under trees or teaching their butterfly chasing young to stalk small prey.
A few dozen trackers keep count of the animals and fill artificial water holes.
"Not everyone gets a job like this," said Raju Vajadiya, idly swinging a stick, the only defense he and his colleagues usually have or need. "It is a godly thing to give a lion water on a hot day."
Protecting the lions has been popular with locals, who consider the predators docile when not harassed. Farmers welcome them in their fields. Newly married couples visit them for good luck. Families break park rules to picnic by Gir's streams, unaware or unconcerned that they are water sources for the big cats.
"The lion is like a god to us," peanut farmer Sadik Hasein Chotiyara said. "If the lion attacks, it's because that person made a mistake."
At the same time, locals in general are more open to sharing the lions with other states than Gujarat's leaders are.
Gujarat officials insist lion attacks on humans don't happen. Nonsense, say scientists and residents.
Research indicates confrontations are increasing, as the growing cat population has pushed one in four lions into new mini sanctuaries they get to by riverbeds that snake through farms and villages.
Droughts that kill prey can make matters worse. After a drought in the 1980s, there were 120 lion confrontations in 1989 91 killing 21 people five taken as lion food, said biologist Ravi Chellam.
Most of the estimated 15 lion attacks each year happen outside the park, where people are less lion savvy, scientists say. Experts say Gujarati officials can best show their devotion to the lions by letting some go. The lions urgently need a second sanctuary, they say one outside Gujarat to ensure genetic diversification and protection from disease or natural disaster.
Evidence suggests the gene pool is dangerously shallow, meaning a disease that affects one Gir lion could quickly affect many. Tanzania's Serengeti National Park saw a third of its 3,000 lions wiped out in 1994 by canine distemper, likely brought by tourists' dogs. Decades earlier, Tanzania's Ngorogoro Crater lions were decimated when rains spawned swarms of Matthew Stafford Jersey Kids blood sucking flies that left the cats with festering sores.
But Gujarat denies any need to move lions from the state. It dismisses the idea that disease or calamity could pose a threat.
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College Football's Most Valuable Teams
College football fans have to wait until January 9 for the BCS Championship Game to decide this season's college football champion, but no game is needed to determine this year's money winner: the University of Texas Longhorns have once again topped our ranking of College Football's Most Valuable Teams, with a value of $129 million.
College Football's Most Ndamukong Suh Kids Jersey Valuable Teams
Texas' total value is driven largely by a football profit of $71 million last season, up from $65 million in 2009. Texas football generated $96 million in revenue, $36 million of which came from ticket sales. Another $30 million was comprised of contributions tied to amenity seating like club seats and luxury suites. The Longhorns also benefited from $10 million worth of sponsorship deals, with Coca Cola, Nike and PepsiCo's Gatorade giving a combined $2 million last year.
But Texas football's revenue streams are only part of the reason why it sits at number one on our list. Unlike our NFL Team Valuations, which estimates each team's enterprise value in an arms length transaction, our college football ranking evaluates the financial impact each team has on four distinct areas. The two areas most important to our study are a team's academic value, or the revenue directed towards university programs and spending (including football scholarships), and its athletic value, which is the football revenue used to support other athletic programs. The remaining two areas are weighted less heavily in our scoring system. They consist of the distribution of bowl game revenue amongst conference teams and the economic impact of visiting fans for each team's home games.
Complete Coverage: The Business of College Football
The University of Texas Athletic Department contributed over $6 million to university programs last year, and each home football game generated nearly $10 million in local spending. Both values were among the highest in college football and helped put Texas easily in first place, despite not making a bowl game last season.
The Longhorns' dominance in our ranking should continue in the future courtesy of the rich revenue stream generated by the Longhorn Network, which debuted in August. The University of Texas partnered to launch the cable channel with Disney owned ESPN and IMG College, a division of sports and media company IMG Worldwide, in a landmark 20 year deal worth a total of $300 million. Revenue generated from the Longhorn Network, which is the first devoted exclusively to a single university's athletics, is not captured in this year's evaluations, but will no doubt help extend the Longhorns' lead on Ndamukong Suh Jersey the competition in our future rankings.
For additional coverage www.lionsnflofficialonline.com/lions-ndamukong-suh-jersey-c-5.html of the business of college football, check out this segment from Forbes SportsMoney on the YES Network:
The Longhorn Network also helps illustrate the way in which television revenue is redefining the economics of college football. TV revenue constitutes a large and rapidly growing portion of each football program's annual income. The athletic conferences generally negotiate TV rights agreements with networks like CBS, ESPN and FOX. All three have inked major deals in recent years, some worth hundreds of millions of dollars a year. ESPN annually pays $60 million to the Big 12 and $10 million to the Big Ten for first tier TV rights. In 2008, CBS and the SEC agreed to a deal worth approximately $825 million over 15 years, nearly double the annual rate of their previous agreement. The eight SEC football programs on our list have seen their football revenues jump by an average of nearly 20% since the conference agreed to terms with CBS.
In March, FOX and the Big 12 revealed a new 13 year cable deal worth a reported $90 million annually, or $1.17 billion over the length of the agreement. Then in May, the Pac 12 agreed to terms with both ESPN and FOX to establish the richest media rights deal in college sports. The contract goes into effect next season and is worth $225 million per annum for twelve years. This new conference revenue will greatly help Pac 12 athletics compete financially with other major college programs.
The 20 teams on our list had an average value of $83 million, up from $79 million in 2009 and $68 million in 2007. TV rights agreements played a major role in this growth, helping drive the average team's football revenue from $56 million to $62 million over the past two seasons.
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Abbotsford teen Limited Reggie Bush Jersey waged brave battle with cancer
After a courageous battle against cancer, 14 year old St. John Brebeuf student Josh passed away Oct. 23.
"He was so ready," shared his mother Cheryle, who requested the family's last name not be published. "He fought so hard the last four years."
Abbotsford News readers were first introduced to Josh's story in March 2012 when the BC Lions took on the SJB Bears at Hoops for Hope, a fundraiser to help raise money for Josh and his family to travel to the Dana Farber Cancer Center in Boston, MA for surgery.
In May of this year friends of his family released 500 balloons as a symbol of prayerful hope and support with all the students at the Catholic high school.
Josh was first diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma days after his birthday in December of 2009. The tumour behind his cheekbone initially responded well to treatment and the results after surgery to remove it last year seemed promising, but it returned.
His father Angelo is grateful to everyone in the community who made it possible for them to continue treatments, especially the special surgery last year in the United States.
"Because of Cheryle and Josh and their persistence, and everyone's help, we got to spend three more years with Josh."
Angelo and Cheryle hope people are touched www.lionsnflofficialonline.com/lions-reggie-bush-jersey-c-9.html by Josh's unwavering faith.
"He had such faith he has changed me for life," explains his father. "He said something to his mother that if he could take back the last four years he wouldn't because cancer is bad but he wouldn't change it because he had met so many wonderful people and done some amazing things."
Josh was a quiet young man, who loved building Lego and spending time with family and friends. When he wanted to die at home, Canuck Place respected his wishes and sent two nurses to assist the family.
"I really could not thank them enough," says Cheryle. "They were there to take care of his medical needs so that we could have time as a family and I got to just be his mum. He was so aware right to the end and I held him in my arms while he passed. It was what I wanted and what he wanted and our family just feels really blessed we got what we needed for Josh."
Tributes to his life are filling the Joshua's Fight For Life Facebook page he created. Reggie Bush Jersey White Photos of him in his brown Star Wars inspired robe had many people compare his courage and determination to Jedi warriors.
Family friend Monica Unger says the family has been selfless in sharing Josh's journey with the community: "Jedi Josh touched literally thousands of lives around the world.
"His courage, strength, humility and perseverance were a witness of his faith and love for Christ. The threads he wove here on Earth will forever be seen from heaven as a beautiful tapestry."
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