Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Two 'kings of forest' rule biggest pride in Gir.

Two `kings of forest` rule biggest pride in GirLast Updated: Tuesday, December 27, 2011,
Vadodara: Experts have noticed a unique behavioral pattern at Gujarat's Gir National Park, where two lions rule the biggest pride in the forest comprising 32 felines.
"For the first time in the sanctuary, two male adult lions are ruling a pride of 32 felines. The duo controls 150 sq km of territory and displays dispersal behavior. They do not allow the other adults to feed, mingle with each other or even let them come in vicinity of the pride," Dr Sandeep Kumar, Deputy Conservator of Forest (DCF) said.
The Gir forest is the sole home to the Asiatic Lions (Panthera Leo Persica).
"This (Gir) forest range is ruled by two male lions known as 'Kamleshwar males'. They established their territory in this area in 2005 and till date are maintaining, protecting and breeding in it",Kumar said.

Observing that dispersal is a unique behavior of animals which allows the species to occupy large and different geographical ranges as it helps them in long term survival, Kumar said the behavioral pattern also ensures less intra-specific competition and even avoid inbreeding depression.
According to the 2010 census, the lion population in the forest has increased to 411.
Officials attribute the rise in population to factors like better protection and other facilities, including availability of abundant prey and water for the big cats.

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