A dedicated “Asiatic Lion Conservation Project” has been launched by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change(MoEFCC).
MoEFCC has approved the project for three financial years from 2018 to 2021.
The Asiatic Lion. endemic to Gir landscape of Gujarat is one of the 21 critically endangered species identified by the Ministry for taking up recovery programmes.
The project envisages scientific management with the involvement of communities in coordination with multi-sectoral agencies for disease control and veterinary care for overall conservation of Asiatic lion.
This project has “Species Conservation over a large landscape” approach.
Large Landscape Conservation
Large landscape conservation is an approach to conservation and management that focuses on actions that are taken across large areas, such as entire watersheds. Large landscape conservation generally involves many forest divisions, government agencies, and conservation organizations.
As Asiatic Lions are found only in the Gir Landscape, this project will focus on conservation efforts of Asiatic Lions over whole Gir Range.
Modern Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is proposed in the conservation, protection and development efforts of the Greater Gir Region. Additional ICT will include the following:
GPS Based Tracking like Surveillance Tracking Animal Tracking and Vehicle Tracking
Automated Sensor Grid like Magnetic Sensors, Movement Sensors, and Infra-red heat sensors
Night vision capability enhancement
GIS-based real-time monitoring, analysis and report generation.
Asiatic lion (Panthera leo persica)
Asiatic lions are slightly smaller than African lions.
Males have only moderate mane growth at the top of the head so that their ears are always visible.
The most striking morphological character, which is always seen in Asiatic lions, and rarely in African lions, is a longitudinal fold of skin running along its belly.
Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972: Schedule 1
CITES Appendix I
IUCN Red List: Endangered
Asiatic lions were once distributed to the state of West Bengal in east and Rewa in Madhya Pradesh, in central India.
At present Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is the only abode of the Asiatic lion.