Poonam Avlokan and Asiatic lion
- June 11, 2020
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN Topics
Recent estimation of Asiatic lions in Gujarat showed increase in species population to 674.
- Lion census is conducted once every five years
- Due to lockdown the census due on this year is not possible.
- Unlike in previous years, this count was estimated not from a Census, but from a population “observation” exercise called Poonam Avlokan.
- Poonam Avlokan is a monthly in-house exercise carried out every full moon. Field staff and officers spend 24 hours assessing the number of lions and their locations in their respective jurisdictions. It was a mechanism developed by the Forest Department in 2014 as part of preparations for the 2015 Lion Census.
Asiatic lion and Gir National Park
Habitat and distribution
- Asiatic lions were once distributed upto 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.
- The last surviving population of the Asiatic lions is a compact tract of dry deciduous forest and open grassy scrublands in southwestern part of Saurashtra region of Gujarat.
- Listed in Schedule I of Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972, in Appendix I of CITES and as Endangered on IUCN Red List
- From a population of approximately 20 lions in 1913, they have risen to a comfortable 523 according to 2015 census
- It is notified as wildlife sanctuary in the year of 1965 in order to protect Asiatic Lion and made national park in 1975
- The entire forest area of the Gir National Park is dry and deciduous which provides best habitat for Asiatic Lions.
- As per the new statics of 2015, the entire Saurashtra Region is inhabited by 523 Lions and more than 300 Leopards.
- Apart from these two animals the park is a home to two different species of Deer. The Sambar is counted largest Indian Deer.
- The Gir forest is also known for the Chowsingha – the world’s only four horned antelope.
- Gir is also habitat of raptors like critically endangered white-backed and long-billed vultures.
- The Maldharis have lived in the Gir National Park, in the Banni Grasslands Reserve area, for the past thousand years. They have co-existed with the lions, which the Gir National Park was created to preserve, for these thousand years.
- The lions have been periodically hunting the Maldhari cattle for food, but the Maldharis understand the cycle of life. They consider the taken cows an offering to the lions, whose territory they share.
- In 2018, Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) was responsible for the death of more than 25 Lions in the Gir forest of Gujarat.
- Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) is a viral disease that infects the gastrointestinal, respiratory, and central nervous systems.