Gujarat : Forest Department Prepares Gir for Summer Heatwave with 245 water ponds

The Gir Forest, while boasting lush vegetation during monsoon months, experiences significant water scarcity during the summer


Rajkot : With the Gujarat summer well underway and temperatures soaring past 40 degrees Celsius, the Gir Forest National Park is facing a familiar challenge: water scarcity. But this year, the forest department is prepared, setting up a network of 245 artificial water ponds to ensure the king of the jungle, the Asiatic lion, and other wildlife have access to life-saving hydration during the scorching heatwave.

“As the mercury rises and the heat intensifies, securing a reliable water source for our wildlife becomes paramount,” explains Rajdeepsinh Zala, Deputy Conservator of Forest for the Gir Forest National Park. “These strategically placed artificial ponds, along with the existing natural waterholes, will be a lifeline for the Asiatic lions and other animals during this critical period.”

The Gir Forest, while boasting lush vegetation during monsoon months, experiences significant water scarcity during the summer. Natural waterholes often dwindle or dry up completely, leaving animals vulnerable to dehydration.

To combat this challenge, the forest department has gone above and beyond relying solely on natural resources.  They’ve constructed 172 artificial ponds throughout the park, strategically placed along animal migration routes and near known watering points. These man-made water bodies are crucial supplements to the existing 82 natural ponds.

But creating the ponds is just the first step.  Forest officials are committed to ensuring a consistent water supply.  “We’re utilizing solar-powered water tanks to refill these artificial ponds regularly,” says Zala. “This eco-friendly approach not only guarantees water availability but also minimizes our environmental impact.”

The proactive measures taken by the forest department are a welcome relief for conservationists and wildlife enthusiasts alike.  A well-hydrated animal population is a healthier animal population, and these efforts go a long way in ensuring the well-being of the majestic Asiatic lion and the diverse ecosystem of the Gir Forest.

Forest officials will be closely monitoring the water levels in all the ponds, both natural and artificial, throughout the summer.  Regular inspections will ensure timely refilling and prevent any ponds from drying out.  With a well-planned strategy and dedicated personnel, the Gir Forest is well-equipped to face the scorching summer months and keep its wildlife cool and hydrated.