In news : According to Tourism Minister, there has been an increase in number of hotel rooms in and around Gir sanctuary
About Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary
- Location: Near toTalala Gir, it is located 43 km north-east of Somnath, 65 km south-east of Junagadh and 60 km (37 mi) south-west of Amreli.
- Forest type: It is part of the Khatar-For dry deciduous forests ecoregion
- Rivers flowing around Gir: The seven major perennial rivers of the Gir region are Hiran, Shetrunji, Datardi, Shingoda, Machhundri, Godavari and Raval.
- The Government notified the large geographical extent of Sasan Gir as a wildlife sanctuary on 18th September, 1965 in order to conserve the Asiatic Lion.
- It covers total area of 1412 square kilometers of which 258 Km forms the core area of the National Park
- Population of Lions: From a population of approximately 20 lions in 1913, they have risen to a comfortable 523 according to 2015 census
- Flora: 400 plant species were recorded in the survey of Gir forest. Teak occurs mixed with dry deciduous species. Teak bearing areas are mainly in the eastern portion of the forest, which constitutes nearly half of the total area. Also found here are ber, jamun(Syzygium cumini), babul(acacia), flame of the forest, zizyphus, tendu and dhak
Fauna: Apart from Lions, it is also home to Sambar, Chowsinga, Jackal, Fox, 200 species of birds , 40 species of reptiles and amphibians
Asiatic Lion Conservation Project
- With a view to strengthen the conservation initiatives, theUnion Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change(MoEFCC) approved the project for three financial years FY 2018-19, FY 2019-20 and FY 2020-21.
- The Asiatic Lion, endemic to Gir landscape of Gujarat, is one of the 21 critically endangered species identified by the Ministry for taking up recovery programmes.
- Asiatic Lion, being listed in Schedule-I of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, to be accorded the highest degree of protection.
- This project has “Species Conservation over a large landscape” approach.
- Besides this approach, the Greater Gir Region(GGR) is being divided into various zones and management approach of “Zone Plans and Theme Plans” for the conservation of the Asiatic Lion.
- “Zone Plans” include the Core Zone, the Sanctuary Zone, the buffer Zone i.e. proposed for notification as the Eco-fragile/eco-sensitive Zone and the Greater Gir Region outside the Gir PA system for people’s participation and eco-development.
- Theme Plans include Habitat improvement, protection, wildlife health service, addressing to man-wild animal conflict issues, eco-development and voluntary relocation of PA resident people, research and monitoring, awareness generation, and ecotourism.
- This project would, therefore, be beneficial in further strengthening the conservation and protection of Asiatic Lion in the country.