News: According to the Gujarat forest department, the Asiatic Lion population in Gir national park has increased by 29% in the past five years — from 523 in 2015 to 674 in 2020.
- Characteristics: Asiatic lions are slightly smaller than African lions.The most striking morphological character is a longitudinal fold of skin running along the belly of Asiatic Lions.
- Habitat: At present Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is the only abode of the Asiatic lion.
- IUCN Status: Endangered
- Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule-I
- Threats: a) Poaching and Habitat Fragmentation b) vulnerability to diseases c) death from linear infrastructure such as road, rail and electric fences and d) man-animal conflict.
- Initiatives: Asiatic lion conservation project was launched by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to protect and conserve the Asiatic Lion.It is a 3 year-long conservation project.It focuses on disease management, habitat improvement, creating a wildlife crime cell among others.
- Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary: The Gir National park was established in 1965.It is situated in the Saurashtra region of Gujarat.It is part of the Kathiawar-Gir dry deciduous forests Ecoregion.