The number of Asian lions has increased in Gujarat

The number of Asian lions has increased in Gujarat

The Asiatic lion is a Panthera leo leo population in India.[3] Its current range is restricted to the Gir National Park and environs in the Indian state of Gujarat. Historically, it inhabited much of Western Asia and the Middle East up to northern India. On the IUCN Red List, it is listed under its former scientific name Panthera leo persica as Endangered because of its small population size and area of occupancy.

The first scientific description of the Asiatic lion was published in 1826 by the Austrian zoologist Johann N. Meyer who named it Felis leo persicus.Until the 19th century, it occurred in Saudi Arabia eastern Turkey, Iran, Mesopotamia, and from east of the Indus River to Bengal and Narmada River in Central India. Since the turn of the 20th century, it is restricted to the Gir Forest National Park and surrounding areas.This lion population has steadily increased since 2010.In May 2015, the 14th Asiatic Lion Census was conducted over an area of about 20,000 km2 (7,700 sq mi); the lion population was estimated at 523 individuals, comprising 109 adult males, 201 adult females and 213 cubs. In August 2017, surveyors counted 650 wild lions.

The lion is one of five pantherine cats inhabiting India, along with the Bengal tiger (P. tigris tigris), Indian leopard (P. pardus fusca), snow leopard (P. uncia) and clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa). It was also known as the "Indian lion" and the "Persian lion".