Gir National Park the Asiatic Lion's Last Strong Hold Is In India

by pateluday

Situated in Gir National Park in Junagarh District, the Asiatic Lion now only survives in India. The Asiatic Lion though in good number now, was once critically endangered.....

Only twenty-two Lions were left alive in Gir National Park before their hunting was put to a stop by the Nawab of Junagadh. The survival of the Asiatic Lion is the saga of one of the most successful conservation initiatives in the World.

Overhunted by the elites the animal survived only at Gir. It was once spread as far as Europe. But habitat loss and merciless persecution wiped out all the population the World over. The last stronghold is Gir National Park in the State of Gujarat in India. Well protected the race differs from its African cousin and other is a behavioral change as well.

Photo Asiatic Lion

Asiatic Lion
Asiatic Lion
BMS

Gir National Park

Sasan Gir Junagarh Gujurat

Also known as Sasan Gir the forest is notified as Protected Area. The forests comprise Gir National Park and Gir Wildlife Sanctuary.  The total area is 1410.30 sq. Km of which 258.71 sq. km is the National Park and the rest is a wildlife sanctuary.

This was the erstwhile Nawab of Junagarh's private hunting area where when the population decreased drastically he put a stop to the hunting of the lions to save them from extinction. The move worked and today there are more than 600 lions living in the National Park and surrounding area. According to a famous documentary maker the lions have spread to over 22000 sq. km and they are also spotted near human habitations.

Gir National Park and the Sanctuary are well protected but not enough to support the growing population of predators. Alternative schemes to settle them outside Gujarat have back fired due to resistance. 

Gir National Park

Staff at Gir National Park
Staff at Gir National Park
BMS India

Asiatic Lion

Indian Lion

The Asiatic Lion was widespread throughout North and Central India but the wild animal is now restricted to a small region of Gujarat and no specimen has been recorded in the recent past elsewhere. 

The morphological difference lies in the mane which is smaller and less fluffy than its African cousin. There is no size difference.  The Asiatic lions also live in pride but usually hunt by part ambush and part chase due to the surrounding habitat comprising of the bush, scrub, and tall trees. They live on wild mammals and even consume livestock causing man-animal conflict.  

Photo Lion Pride

Lion Pride
Lion Pride
BMS

Tourism at Gir National Park

Asiatic Lion Safari is organized in a limited area at Gir. The safari booking can be done online as well. Tourists are not allowed to alight from the open jeeps in which the safari is organized. A guide charge and safari charge have to be paid while booking online while the jeep hire charge is separate. Morning safari time and evening safari time are fixed. The park is closed from 15th June to 15th of October.

For overseas visitors, tour operators' packages for Gir National Park are available that are all-inclusive. it is advised to book safari permits and travels in India in advance.

Updated: 02/05/2023, pateluday
 
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pateluday on 02/07/2023

No animal predates on Asiatic Lion

DerdriuMarriner on 02/06/2023

The last sentence in your first subheading, Gir National Park Sasan Gir Junagarh Gujurat, indicates that "Gir National Park and the Sanctuary are well protected but not enough to support the growing population of predators."

What would be the predators of Asiatic lion sentients?

What would make those predatory populations grow, and what would control or reverse or stop them?

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