The wildlife community has recently delivered some amazing news! Word has spread that the population of Asiatic lions in India has gone up over the years. Living currently at the Gir National Park, Gujarat, the lion population of India has increased from 359 in 2005 to 523 in 2015. Internationally, there are currently only two places where you can find lions in their natural habitat: India and Africa.
The northern lion subspecies, including the Caspian, Barbary, and Asiatic lions, once populated the Earth everywhere, from India to West Africa. Over the years, the more regionally specific groups evolved to have distinct genetic markers. While Asiatic Cheetahs can only be seen in Iran presently, India is the only host to the Asiatic lion. When the news broke that the population might need a place to expand, the neighboring states of India showed interest. However, for now, Gujarat will remain the sole state having any lion population. The Barda Wildlife Sanctuary has been named to become the second protected region on Earth to have lions for people to see.
Efforts for Protection
Due to the rapid decline in their numbers, efforts have been made to conserve and, if possible, increase the feline population in the country. Specifically the tigers, lions, and cheetahs. There was a ruling by the Indian Supreme Court in 2013 where it ordered the shift of a portion of the lions to another location. The reason behind this is the danger of the spread of diseases along with the other overall security risks for the whole lion population. Through the years, governments have also used schools to raise awareness about these issues. Additionally, for a long time, in the state of Gujarat, India, there have been conservation plans in place to protect these lions. Over time, this has resulted in such a population growth of lions that they now need additional sanctuaries to live and prosper further.