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Lion population soars in Gujarat

04-08-2017 10:30 AM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream

Lion population soars in Gujarat | My Indian Dream

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Robust conservative measures meet with success

In the year 2000, lions were categorized as 'critically endangered’ after only 304 lions were recorded in Gujarat's Gir in 1995 census. Urgent conservative measures were taken and now, the forest areas outside the Gir National Park are brimming with lions, mostly in the age group of one to two years.

The forest department informed that according to a recent internal lion count in July this year, the forests are thriving with lions with nearly 650-odd lions in the reserved forests and even outside the national park in Amreli, Bhavnagar and Gir-Somnath districts.

According to a top forest official, the count of 650 lions is record high in the state since 1936 as per the available records. The number of cubs between one and two years of age has increased to 180.

The official said that the lion population counting exercise is now undertaken every full moon day with the help of 100-odd CCTVs and direct sighting method for effective monitoring of Big Cats. Then the data is matched with the records of kills and daily reporting by beat guards.

Forest minister Ganpat Vasava said that the steady rise in lion population is a good sign and indicative of robust conservative measures undertaken by the state.

Lion expert, Yadvendradev Jhala said that he believes that the number is actually much higher than 650 projected by the state forest department. He has asked to initiate a systematic count in the entire region for effective planning for lion management.

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