Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of World Lion Day shared that when he was a Chef Minister at Gujarat, he worked towards securing safe habitats for the Gir Lions.
It is the day of big cats. August 10 is observed as World Lion Day to raise awareness about the king of the animal kingdom and to support its protection and conservation.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of World Lion Day shared that when he was a Chef Minister at Gujarat, he worked towards securing safe habitats for the Gir Lions. Gujarat has one of the highest populations of lions. He further said that a number of initiatives were taken towards its protection like by engaging local communities and global best practices to ensure their habitats are safe and wildlife tourism in the state gets the push.
India is home to Asiatic Lions that find their natural habitat in the protected territory of Sasan-Gir. Since the beginning of the 20th century, the range of Asiatic Lions is restricted to Gujarat’s Gir National Park even when historically they inhabited much of the Middle East along with North Asia. On the IUCN Red List, it is marked as Endangered species because of its small population.
History of World Lion Day
The big cat protection and conservation project started in 2013 and the first World Lion Day was celebrated that year. Since then, it has is observed as World Lion Day every year to protect the majestic species.
Significance of World Lion Day
Lions symbolise courage, power, and ferocity and are threatened by extensive habitat loss. According to the World Wild Life Fund data, Lions are found throughout. Asia, Africa and Europe but are currently facing habitat loss resulting in dwindling numbers over the years. The Asiatic Lions are facing a threat of genetic inbreeding arising but the population has increased since 2010. In June 2020, an estimation census found that 674 Asiatic lions are present in the Gir forest region, more than a 28 per cent increase in the number from the 2015 figure.
Gujarat Chief Wildlife Warden, Shyamal Tokadar had informed that the population of Asiatic Lions has shown a steady increase. Gujarat according to the latest census has 674 individual lions. The rate of increase in the population is 28 per cent from the previous growth of 27 per cent during 2015 when there were 523 lions in the state. He further added that multiple strategies that have been implemented in the landscape have contributed to current conservation success.