Govt to re-examine plan to shift Gir lions to Kuno

Context: The Union Enviornment Ministry and National Tiger Conservation Authority(NTCA) have recently decided to re-examine the entire aspect of translocation of Asiatic lions from Gir to Kuno from an expert’s perspective”.

About Asiatic Lion

  • The Asiatic lion, also known as the Indian lion or Persian lion, is a population of Panthera leo leo that currently survives in the wild only in India.
  • Habitat: They live in a compact tract of dry deciduous forest and open grassy scrublands.
  • Distribution (subheading)
    • Historically, it inhabited much of the Middle East to northern India.
    • Since the turn of the 20th century, its range has been restricted to Gir National Park and the surrounding areas in the Indian state of Gujarat. 


  • They are slightly smaller than African lions.
  • The most striking morphological character is a longitudinal fold of skin running along the belly.
  • The colour of their fur varies from buffish-grey with occasional silvery tones, to ruddy-tawny, covered with black spots.

Conservation Status

  • IUCN Red List: Endangered 
  • CITES: Appendix I
  • Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972: Schedule I
  • State Animal of Gujarat

About Gir National Park

  • Location: Gir is a dry deciduous forest ecosystem in the Saurashtra region of Gujarat. It is the abode of the last surviving population of the free ranging Asiatic Lion 
  • Flora: It consists of teak with an admixture of deciduous trees, including sal, dhak, and thorn forests.
  • Fauna: Asiatic lions, leopards, wild pigs, spotted deer, nilgai, four-horned antelope, and chinkaras.

UPSC Prelims PYQ(2019):

Q. Consider the following statements:

1. Asiatic lion is naturally found in India only.

2. Double-humped camel is naturally found in India only.

3. One-horned rhinoceros is naturally found in India only.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans. (a)

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