What is the current status of conservation of Asiatic Lion?
The endangered Asiatic lion ones extended over large areas of southwest Asia is now confined to Gir sanctuary in Gujarat has fought back from the verge of extinction. Its population has increased to more than 600. They are a major tourist attraction in Gujarat.
The factors which helped in the conservation efforts are
- Support of local people towards the conservation efforts. The locals were tolerant despite lions attacking their cattle.
- Effective conservation management and skilled staff at ground level.
In the late 1960s only about 180 Asiatic lions were thought to survived the increase in number is the testimony of the conservation efforts bearing results.
Asiatic lions are cousins of the African lion. They are believed to have split away 100,000 years ago. They are slightly smaller and have a distinctive fold of skin along their bellies.
Conservationists are suggesting relocating some of the cats to another sanctuary in order to reduce human-animal conflict and to avoid the risk of the Asiatic lion being wiped out by disease or a natural disaster.
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