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Lion Census of Asiatic Lions from 23-27 April 2010

The forest officials of Gujarat are all set to conduct a comprehensive and methodological lion census at the Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary in Rajkot, Gujarat.

 

The Asiatic Lions, listed Critically Endangered by the UN are only left in the Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary in Rajkot. Since the 1908, population of lions has keep increasing at the steady rate. What was 13 in 1908 is now around 359 as per census of 2004 of Govt. of India.

The census of 2010 will differ a lot from earlier census because of new methodology and analysis used. Not only that, a more sophisticated team of experts will count the only Asiatic Lions. A team comprising of 1600 people, including that of forest officials, state officers, zonal officers, and volunteers, will conduct the census at the national park of GIR from April 23 to 27 of 2010.

Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary Divisional Forest Officer Sandeep Kumar said, the preparations for the census are on for the last nine months and the lions are being closely monitored in their natural habitat. He further stated that we might see increase in the count of Lions from the previous one. It has always increased since we started and span of 6-7 years will increase the population to further. The results will be declared on 1st May, 2010 at the Sardar Patel Stadium of Ahmedabad on the day when Gujarat will be celebrating 60 Years of foundation.



The census will include the use of scientific tools of mapping like the Geographical Information System (GIS) and Global Positioning System (GPS) to come to more accurate figures. Kumar said "We are using the GIS this time extensively for our preparation purposes. We are also using the Global Positioning System (GPS) to know their exact location".

The officials also plan to take photographs of all the lions, lionesses and cubs found, so that they can have photographical evidence and records of the species.
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