The Asiatic Lion Census is scheduled to take place

  • Category
    Environment
  • Published
    8th Jan, 2020

Context

It is scheduled to take place in May 2020. Around 8,000-10,000 cameras will be used to carry out the 2020 lion census in Gujarat, the last abode of the Asiatic lion.

About

  • For the first time, the expertise of Wildlife Institute of India (WWI) will be perused in the Census.
  • The WWI had sent a proposal to the Gujarat government for finalizing the modalities of the Census.
  • In 2015 Lion Census, it had counted 523 lions in the state. The number has expected to rise with internal assessments of the forest department which indicates that the population may have crossed the 1000 mark.

About Asiatic lions

  • They belong to the category of Pantherine cats.
  • The Asiatic Lions in Gujarat is restricted to Gir National Park in the state.
  • It is listed as ‘Endangered’ under the IUCN Red List.
  • It is listed in Schedule-I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
  • In the initial stage, the lions were spread from the east of the Indus River to West Bengal and also to Narmada river in Central India.
  • Until the 19th century, it occurred in Saudi Arabia,, eastern TurkeyIranMesopotamia.
  • Since the turn of the 20th century, it is restricted to the Gir Forest National Park and surrounding areas.
  • The lion is one of five pantherine catsinhabiting India, along with the Bengal tiger (P. tigris tigris), Indian leopard (P. pardus fusca), snow leopard (P. uncia) and clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa).
  • It was also known as the "Indian lion" and the "Persian lion".

Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary

  • It is also known as Sasan Gir, a forest and wildlife sanctuarynear Talala Gir in Gujarat, India. 
  • It is part of the Kathiawar-Gir dry deciduous forestsecoregion.
  • The seven major perennialrivers of the Gir region are Hiran, Shetrunji, Datardi, Shingoda, Machhundri, Godavari and Raval.
  • The four reservoirs of the area are at four dams, one each on Hiran, Machhundri, Raval and Shingoda rivers, including the biggest reservoir in the area, the Kamleshwar Dam, dubbed 'the lifeline of Gir'. 

Asiatic Lion Conservation Project

  • It has been launched by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change with an aim to protect and conserve the world’s last ranging free population of Asiatic Lion and its associated ecosystem.
  • The project activities is envisaged in a manner to cause habitat improvement, scientific interventions, disease control and veterinary care supplemented with adequate eco development works for the fringe population in order to ensure a stable and viable Lion population in the Country.
  • It is a 3 year-long conservation project launched in 2018
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