|Roaring success: Lion numbers leap in Gujarat
TNN, May 3, 2010
Increased numbers, improved sex ratio and more areas conquered — the
lion king is healthy and prospering in Gujarat. Chief Minister Narendra
Modi declared the lion census figures of 2010 on Sunday which showed
that there were 411 of the big cats in Gir sanctuary and surrounding
areas. This was a jump of 52 over the previous census in 2005.
fact, the lion is reclaiming territory much further away from the Gir
sanctuary than originally thought. As many as 33 big cats were counted
250 km from Gir National Park in semi-forest areas of Mahuva and
Palitana in Bhavnagar.
No less than 74 lions are now roaming
outside the sanctuary near human habitation. These are fast turning
into the new habitats of the big cat. Coastal areas of Rajula and
Jafrabad in Amreli have also recorded sizeable population.
experts are excited about a number of findings. For instance, there are
97 males and 162 females. The rest are cubs. Youth power seems to be on
the rise as there were 77 lions aged less than one year. Another 75 of
them are categorised as sub-adult cubs — in the age group of 1-3 years.
Modi said the maximum number of lions - 297 - were found in Gir National Park and adjoining areas.
sex ratio too has improved. While there were 1.2 females for every male
in 2005, the 2010 census put the number at 1.67 females for every male.
a dig at the skewed sex ratio in several parts of the country,
including Gujarat, Modi said humans should take a lesson or two from
the lions.Among their new dens, the lions have shown a special liking
for Girnar sanctuary. Established in 2007, the new abode has 24 lions.
In the 2005 census Girnar was not a sanctuary.