Sunday, May 2, 2010
Population of Asiatic lions registers impressive growth.
Gujarat Global News Network, Ahmedabad
There are 411 Asiatic lions in its only habitat Gir sanctuary in Gujarat. Population estimate of one of the most endangered concluded this week. There is growth of 13 percent.
Announcing the results of the 2010 population estimates, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi said that the estimate exercise done after five years brought out many interesting facts about the species. In 2005 estimates, there were 359 lions. There is the highest ever 13 percent growth, he said.
Modi said that the population of young lions was about 40 percent quite similar to the population of youth in India. Giving the break up Chief Minister said that there were 77 cubs below one year and 75 in the age group of one to three years. This shows bright future of lions in their only habitat in the world.
One of the major problems, Modi said, was the death of cubs. Every year, on average, about ten cubs used to die falling in open wells. However, after protecting wells in the recent past, only one cub died falling in well last year.
Another major aspect of the life of lions that has come out this time is in the remarkable improvement in the gender ratio of lions. It is now one to 1.67, Modi said. The number strength of lionesses has also affected behaviourial relationship between lions and lionesses. Now, lionesses do not allow lions kill cubs which was a frequent practice earlier, Modi said.
Referring to the increase number of lionesses as compared to lions, Modi said that humans should learn lesson from lions. He said that the exercise to have estimate of the population of lions was most high tech with greater involvement of man power. This followed a long series of field work and training of people involved in the exercise.
Modi said that in the last 30 years the population of the lions had almost doubled from 205 to 411. This showed that there was good conservation work in Gujarat as the wild life population in other areas was falling. He described it as the gift of Gujarat to the world in its golden jubilee year.