Asiatic Lion (Panthera leo persica) also known as the Indian Lion is second largest species of big cat found in India. The Indian lion listed as endangered and currently lives as a single population in and around Gir Forest National Park of Gujarat.
Gir Forest National Park is part of ecoregion of Kathiawar Gir dry deciduous forest with a total area of 1,412 km2. The park is located 60 km from Junagadh and the region is the sole home of the Asiatic lion in the world.
As per the count conducted in May 2015, total population of Gujarat lions are estimate to 523 individuals in and around Gir Forest National Park. As a result of the efforts of the Gujarat government, forest department, wildlife activists and NGOs, In August 2017 the Asiatic Lion Census reveals 650 individuals in the wild.
Junagadh District is located on the Kathiawar peninsula and has a mountain range called Girnar. Famous Gir Forest National Park is located in Junagadh District and home to 268 Asiatic lions as well as the long billed vultures.
Amreli forest at the east side of Gir National Park is a reserved area and home to Asiatic 174 Lions. Recently a pride of Indian lions was spotted around the residential area of Amreli district.
Gir Somnath District is located on the southern corner Kathiawar peninsula near the Arabian Sea. The area is home to many wildlife creatures including 44 Asiatic Lions, Spotted deer,Sambar deer and Nilgai.
Bhavnagar district forest is the new location for lions outside the protected area in Gir forest. Bhavnagar Amreli Forest is home to 37 Asiatic Lions.
Devalia Safari Park also known as Gir Interpretation Zone is a second home of Gujarat lions out of Gir Forest National Park and established to reduce overload of tourists in Gir Forest.
Asiatic Lion Reintroduction Project was aims to establish a second home for the Panthera out of Gir Forest of Gujarat. The plan is to reintroduce a pride of Gujarat lions to a separate wildlife division and the choices are listed below.
Palpur Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary, Madhya Pradesh
Sita Mata Wildlife Sanctuary, Rajasthan
Chandra Prabha Wildlife Sanctuary, Uttar Pradesh
Barda Wildlife Sanctuary and Darrah National Park have been also selected for reintroduction of Asiatic Lion, where all three big cats of India can live together, Bengal Tiger, Gujarat Lion and Indian Leopard.