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Asiatic lion’s population in Gujarat sees a growth of 28%, number increases to 674

The population of Asiatic lions has shown a steady increase with a population of 674 individuals with an increased rate of 28.87% which is one of the highest so far.

Jun 12, 2020 11:38 IST
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Gujarat Forest Department on June 10 announced that the state has seen one of the highest growth rates of 28.87% in the population of Asiatic Lions. Their number has increased from 523 to 674 in five years from the last population estimation done in 2015.

Gujarat Chief Wildlife Warden in a press note mentioned that the population estimation of Asiatic Lions is conducted at an interval of every five years. The press note also informed that multiple strategies have been implemented for the conservation of Asiatic lions.

The State Forest Department stated that it has remained committed to the long- term conservation of Asiatic Lions. In the last few years, the country saw celebrities and various NGOs being vocal about saving this endangered species.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared the good news through his Twitter account. He congratulated the people of Gujarat and all those who have worked hard for this achievement.

Increase in the population of Asiatic Lions:

The Gujarat Chief Wildlife Warden informed that the last population estimation exercise was conducted in May 2015, which showed lion numbers at 523. It was a 27% increase from the estimation done in 2010.

The population of Asiatic lions has shown a steady increase with a population of 674 individuals with an increased rate of 28.87% which is one of the highest so far from the previous growth of 27% in the year 2015 (523 lions).

The authorities informed that multiple strategies have been implemented for the conservation of Asiatic lions in Gujarat state that has contributed to the current conservation success. These strategies and contributions include the use of modern technology, people’s participation, wildlife health care, an increase in prey base, habitat management, and human-lion conflict mitigation.

Data shows an increase in the distribution of the Asiatic Lions from the area of 22000 sq. km in 2015 to 30,000 sq.km in 2020 which increases the distribution area by 36%. There has been a consistent increase in the distribution area and the population of Asiatic Lions mainly because of the effective conservation and management techniques by the Gujarat Forest Department.

Asiatic Lions in India:

Asiatic lion is the sub-species named Panthera leo peo of lions. Its current range in India is restricted to the Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary in the state of Gujarat. On the IUCN Red List, it has been listed as endangered because of its small population size and area occupancy.

Historically, the species inhabited much of Western Asia and the Middle East up to Northern India. Until the 19th century, it occurred in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Mesopotamia, Eastern Turkey, and from east of the Indus River to Bengal and Narmada River in Central India.

Since the turn of the 20th Century, it has been restricted to the Gir Forest National Park and the surrounding areas. The population of Asiatic lions has steadily increased since 2010 in India. The 14th Asiatic lion consensus was conducted in 2015 over an area of about 20,000 sq.km, the population of the lions was estimated to be 523. While in August 2017, surveyors counted 650 wild Asiatic Lions.

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