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Gujarat SA

Gujarat- Asiatic Lion

Asiatic Lion

Common Name: Indian Lion, Persian Lion

Local Name: simhah (Sanskrit), Sher (Hindi), Sinhan (Gujarati), Sawach (Kathiawari)

Scientific Name: Panthera leo leo Linnaeus

Description: The Asiatic Lion is one of the five pantherine cats found in India and a member of the Panthera leo leo subspecies whose range is currently restricted to Gujarat’s Gir National Park. The coat color of the Asiatic lion varies from fiery tawny to sandy or buffish gray, and it is smaller than that of the African lion. With males reaching between 160 and 190 kg and females weighing between 110 and 120 kg, the male lions are slightly larger than the females.

Distribution:  About 100,000 years ago, the African and Asiatic lions split apart as separate subspecies, and the Asiatic lions then migrated throughout Asia and the Middle East. At the time, the Asiatic lions’ only known haunts were the refuge and its surrounds. Asiatic lions have only been found in Gujarat’s Gir National Park and its adjacent areas since the 20th century.

Threats: Asiatic Lions face a number of threats, including poaching, and habitat loss, construction of major roads and railway tracks through protected areas, and human-lion conflict in the villages around Gir National Park, where local villagers kill lions in retaliation for attacks on livestock.

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