Lion @ 47: Vision for Amrutkal

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    2029

    In News

    • Recently, the Project Lion document titled “Lion @ 47: Vision for Amrutkal” has been launched by the Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

    More in news

    • Gujarat’s Barda Wildlife Sanctuary: It has been identified as a potential second home for Asiatic lions
      • It is located near Porbandar which is 100 kilometres from the Gir National Park. 

    About

    • Project Lion: 
      • It envisages landscape ecology-based conservation of the Asiatic Lion in Gujarat by integrating conservation and eco-development. 
      • The Project is being implemented in the Gir landscape in Gujarat which is the last home of the Asiatic lion.
    • Objectives:
      • To secure & restore lions’ habitats for managing its growing population.
      • Scale up livelihood generation and participation of local communities.
      • Become a global hub of knowledge on big cat disease diagnostics and treatment.
      • Create inclusive biodiversity conservation through project lion initiative.
    • Distribution:
      • They are now distributed in nine districts of Junagadh, Gir Somnath, Amreli, Bhavnagar, Botad, Porbandar, Jamnagar, Rajkot and Surendranagar, covering around 30,000 square kilometres, which is termed the Asiatic Lion Landscape

    Challenges

    • Vulnerable to extinction: Efforts were being made since the 1990s to find a relocation site for the Asiatic lions within Gujarat and outside the state, considering that the species is vulnerable to extinction threats from epidemics because of low genetic diversity.
    • Geographic separation is the primary objective of translocation to establish a second free-ranging population of lions to mitigate conservation risks.

    About Lions

    • Scientific name: Lions, one of the largest animal species on earth are scientifically named ‘Panthera Leo’.
    • Historical Significance: They have an illustrious place in India’s history and culture, with their earliest known references found in the pillars of the Mauryan empire. The Indian national emblem is adorned by the majestic lion on all four sides.
    • IUCN Status: Asiatic Lion: Endangered
      • The Asiatic lion (Panthera Leo) is presently found only in and around the Gir Forest in the Saurashtra peninsula of Gujarat in western India.
    • Role in the animal kingdom: Lions hold an indispensable place in the ecosystem, they are an apex predator of their habitat, and are responsible for checking the population of grazers, thus helping in maintaining the ecological balance.
    • Threats: Trophy hunting and Loss of natural habitat
    • Conservation Efforts Taken:
      • Asiatic Lion Conservation Project: It was launched by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC).
      • The lion census is conducted once every five years.

    Source: PIB