Number of Asiatic Lion rises in Gir National Park
05/05/2010

Officials have declared the final results of the count of total numbers of Asiatic Lions in the Gir National Park/forest which was taken up in two phases between April 24 and April 27 2010. According to the survey, at present there are 411 lions in this forest, indicating a healthy growth rate of 13%.

Online PR News – 05-May-2010 – – Officials have declared the final results of the count of total numbers of Asiatic Lions in the Gir National Park/forest http://www.indiawildliferesorts.com/national-parks/gir-national-park.html which was taken up in two phases between April 24 and April 27 2010. According to the survey, at present there are 411 lions in this forest, indicating a healthy growth rate of 13%. In the year 2005, the growth rate was just 7%. This increase in growth rate can be mainly attributed to decades of conservation work by the forest department of Gujrat.

The Saurashtra region of Gujarat is the only abode of Asiatic lions today. They once roamed across the entire southwest Asia and were great tourist attraction. However due to an increase in hunting and natural deaths in the late 1960s, only about 180 of these had survived in Gir National Park. “The lion census in three districts of Junagadh, Amreli, Bhavnagar and some parts of Porbandar has been counted to 162 mature females, 97 mature males and 152 cubs. The number of female and young lions is quiet encouraging and the male to female ratio is a very good indicator for future prospects of these animals”, said Gujarat Chief Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi.

A lot of planning was done prior to the beginning of the counting process. According to the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF), Mr. R.V. Asari, the lion habitat in the four districts of Saurashtra had been mapped and divided into seven regions which were further divided into 28 zones and 100 sub-zones to make the counting process easy and foolproof. “It is understood that every animal would need to drink water at least once in 24 hours”, said Asari explaining how the system of counting could be error free. “Even if a group lion moves away from the water hole, their movement can easily be tracked by the next beat enumerator”, he further elaborated.

Restricted to only an area of 1,410 Km sq, these majestic animals were counted using advanced methods to reduce the margin of counting errors. The special features of this lion census was use of a GPS (Global Positioning System) and digital cameras to actually photograph them. “These are best for real time tracking and enumerating of the big cats”, said the state principal secretary of forest and environment, Mr. S.K Nanda.

Praising the Gujarat model of wildlife management, the union environment and forest minister of India, Mr. Jairam Ramesh said “the National Tiger Conservation Authority’s work to reintroduce tigers in Gujarat has been successful”. Further, an unnamed official has been quoted as saying, “We have developed expertise in not only conservation of the wild cats through community protection for wildlife but also introduced wildlife crime management system”.

For more information about Gir National Park visit http://www.indiawildliferesorts.com/national-parks/gir-national-park.html

About Gir National Park:

The Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is a forest and wildlife sanctuary in Gujarat, India.The Gir National Park, was established on 18th September, 1965, as a Forest Reserve, primarily to conserve the Asiatic lion. For more information visit http://www.indiawildliferesorts.com/