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Asiatic Lion Conservation Project

  Jul 01, 2020

Asiatic Lion Conservation Project

What is aim of ALCP?

ALCP aims to protect and conserve the world’s last ranging free population of Asiatic Lion and its associated ecosystem.

It will strengthen the ongoing measures for conservation and recovery of Asiatic Lion with the help of state-of-the –art techniques/ instruments, regular scientific research studies, disease management, Modern surveillance/ patrolling techniques. ALCP will be funded from the Centrally Sponsored Scheme- Development of Wildlife Habitat (CSS-DWH)

What is historical and current range of Asiatic lions?

Asiatic lions that once ranged from Persia (Iran) to Palamau in Eastern India were almost driven to extinction by indiscriminate hunting and habitat loss. A single population of less than 50 lions persisted in the Gir forests of Gujarat by late 1890's. With timely and stringent protection offered by the State Government and the Center Government, Asiatic lions have increased to the current population of over 500 numbers. The last census in the year 2015 showed the population of 523 Asiatic Lions in Gir Protected Area Network that includes Gir National Park, Gir Sanctuary, Pania Sanctuary, Mitiyala Sanctuary adjoining reserved forests, Protected Forests, and Unclassed Forests.

What are activities included in project?

The project activities are envisaged in a manner to cause habitat improvement, scientific interventions, disease control and veterinary care supplemented with adequate eco development works for the fringe population in order to ensure a stable and viable Lion population in the Country.

What is conservation status of Asiatic lion and what are threats to its survival?

Asiatic lion is in endangered category of IUCN.

The Asiatic lion currently exists as a single subpopulation, and is thus vulnerable to extinction from unpredictable events, such as an epidemic or large forest fire.

There are indications of poaching incidents in recent years (there are reports that organized gangs have switched attention from tigers to these lions). There have also been a number of drowning incidents after lions fell into wells.

Canine distemper virus infection recently affected large population of Gir lions.

What actions are going on for its conservation?

  1. Establishment of at least one other wild population is advisable for population safety, for maximizing genetic diversity, and in terms of ecology (re-establishing the lion as a component of the fauna in its former range). 
  2. Palpur-Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary in northern Madhya Pradesh has now been selected as the best candidate area for reintroduction of lions.
  3. Asiatic Lion Conservation Project