New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday (June 10) evening shared pictures of Asiatic lions in the Gir forest as their population has increased. The Gir forest is located in PM Modi's home state of Gujarat and is also known globally for housing Asiatic lions.
The Prime Minister took to social media to make this announcement as "Two very good news: Population of the majestic Asiatic Lion, living in Gujarat’s Gir Forest, is up by almost 29%. Geographically, distribution area is up by 36%. Kudos to the people of Gujarat and all those whose efforts have led to this excellent feat."
Two very good news:
Population of the majestic Asiatic Lion, living in Gujarat’s Gir Forest, is up by almost 29%.
Geographically, distribution area is up by 36%.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 10, 2020
PM Modi also thanked the people of Gujarat and others whose efforts have contributed to increasing the population of the Asiatic lions who once faced extinction.
The Gujarat government recently released a statement to inform about the number of Asiatic lions. It said:
- The population of Asiatic Lions has thus shown a steady increase with a population of 674 individuals with an increased rate of 28.87% (one of the highest growth rate so far) from the previous growth of 27% during 2015 (523 lions).
- The distribution of the lions has increased from an area of 22000 sq. km in 2015 to 30000 sq km in 2020 thus increasing the distribution area by 36%.
- There has been a consistent increase in the population and distribution area of Asiatic Lions mainly owing to the effective conservation and management by the Gujarat Forest Department.
- Multiple strategies and interventions have been implemented in the Asiatic Lion landscape that has majorly contributed to the current conservation success of the Asiatic lions viz. people’s participation, use of modern technology, wildlife health
care including as import of CDV vaccine, habitat management, increase in prey base, human-lion conflict mitigation, etc.
- The Gujarat Forest Department remains cognizant and committed for the long term conservation Asiatic Lions.
Notably, Gujarat's Forest department carried out a population estimation exercise on the night of June 5 and 6 this year when there was full moon. The exercise was undertaken as the five yearly census could not be carried out in May due to the coronavirus outbreak and lockdown, the statement said.