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Number of lions in Gujarat goes up by 52 to 411

A new census in Gir forests has revealed that the population of the Asiatic lion in its only abode has risen by 52 to reach the figure of 411.



Gandhinagar: A new census in Gir forests has
revealed that the population of the Asiatic lion in its only
abode has risen by 52 to reach the figure of 411.

Announcing the last month`s lion census results, Gujarat
Chief Minister Narendra Modi said here today that the number
of Asiatic lions in Gujarat has gone upto 411 against 359
counted during the last census held in 2005.

The census was conducted by forest officials between
April 24 and 27 in the Gir forest which is spread over in
three districts of Junagadh, Amreli and Bhavnagar.

"According to the census, presently there are 411 lions
in Gir forests," Modi told reporters.

"Out of the 411 lions, there are 162 females and 97
males. There are 77 cubs which are less than one year old and
75 cubs aged between 1 and 3 years," he said.

Nearly 1600 forest officials were involved in the head
count of the endangered animal that takes place every five
years.

During the last five years, over 100 lions died, some due
to natural reasons including diseases and some in infighting.

Numerous new births of lion cubs were recorded, Forest
Department officials said.

"This census has given interesting details of the age
wise ratio of lions. There are 77 cubs of less then one year
age, 75 animals are in the age group of 1-3 years," Modi said
elaborating the features of the census.

The Chief Minister added 40 per cent population of lions
is young.

About the growth of lion population in Gir protected
area, he said, "Till 2005, growth rate of lions was around 5-7
per cent but between the period 2005 to 2010, it has increased
to 13 per cent."

"Preliminary estimate was carried out from April 24-25
and final estimate was done on April 26-27 while the special
feature of the estimation was done using latest technology
like GIS, GPS and wireless technologies," Modi said.

The exercise to record the numbers and movements of lions
had begun nine months ago and based on observations, 641
probable sites were identified where chances of finding lions
were maximum and data of killings of lions in last 10 years
were also analysed and subsequently areas were identified, he
said.

Gir forest and adjoining areas were divided in seven
regions, 28 zones and 100 sub zones for the census and in
every sub zone, one enumerator and two assistants were
deployed to record the animals.

In the exercise, 135 forest officials, 450 enumerators,
900 assistants, 134 volunteers, 49 photographers, 13 doctors
and 12 researchers took part, he said.

Modi said the proportion of female, sub adult and cubs
was found encouraging while male to female ratio was 1:1.6
which is a good indicator.

PTI

From Zee News

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