The CM also said, “The state government had provisioned a fund of Rs 40 crore in 2007 to protect the Asiatic lions when Narandra Modi was chief minister. The state government has taken the initiative forward in the proper direction by allocating adequate fund for ‘Project Lion’.”
About the number of lions a former principal chief conservator of forest said, “Usually the census is taken up every five years. The next census of lions is due in 2020 and it is only after the count that such figures are announced. For its own monitoring, the Gujarat government has been keeping a count of lions every full moon, but this is only for purpose of record and it is never made public.”
Forest officials said that the population growth of lions between 2010 and 2015 was of around 27% which was an annual growth rate of 5%. “The growth of over 5% per annum between 2010 and 2015 continues even after 2017. However, one will have to wait for the final count which will be declared in 2020 only,” said a senior officer.