Rise in Asiatic Lions’ population reported
Part of: GS-Prelims and GS-III – Environment; Biodiversity
- According to June 5, 2020 census, the number of Asiatic lions have now risen by 29% over five years to an estimated 674 in the Gir forest region and other areas of coastal Saurashtra, Gujarat.
- During 2015, their population was 523 lions.
- Geographically, distribution area has also increased by 36%.
Important value additions
- It is a Panthera leo leo population in India.
- Its current range is restricted to the Gir National Park and environs in the Indian state of Gujarat.
- It is one of five pantherine cats inhabiting India. Others are:
- Bengal tiger
- Indian leopard
- Snow leopard
- Clouded leopard
- It is also known as the “Indian lion” and the “Persian lion”.
- Listed in Schedule I of Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972
- Appendix I of CITES
- Endangered on IUCN Red List.
- It is slightly smaller than African lions.
- The most striking morphological character is a longitudinal fold of skin running along belly of Asiatic Lions.
Image source: Click here
Image source: The Hindu