10,000 cameras to be used in Gujarat Lion Census, 2020

The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) is to conduct Asiatic Lion Census in May 2020. The Institute will use 10,000 cameras to conduct the census.

Highlights

In 2015, the WII counted 523 lions in Gujarat. It is expected that the numbers have risen phenomenally and the population must have crossed 1,000. The census is to adopt the technology of National Tiger Conservation Authority. The entire census area is to be divided in to 3-km grid. Officers will collect hair, nails, teeth, etc. The collection process is to be carried out using scientific methods laid out by NTCA. Around 1,000 to 2,000 officers are to be employed. In the second phase, 10,000 cameras are to be used to capture the lions.

Asiatic Lions

The Asiatic Lions in Gujarat are restricted to Gir National Park in the state. The lions are listed as “Endangered” in the IUCN Red List. Initially the lions were spread from the east of Indus river to West Bengal and also to Narmada river in Central India. However, today they are restricted to Gujarat alone. Asiatic lions belong to the category of Pantherine cats.

Pantherine Cats

The lion is one among the 5 Pantherine Cats inhabiting in India. The other 4 pantherine cats in India are Bengal Tiger, Snow Leopard, Indian Leopard and Clouded Leopard. Under IUCN red list, Bengal Tiger has been listed as Endangered, and the three leopards snow leopard, clouded leopard and Indian leopard have been listed as Vulnerable

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