Oryx blog features ‘The dimension of cultural tolerance in Asiatic lion conservation’

June 11, 2020

By Dr Meena Venkataraman:

“The Gir Sanctuary and National Park in Gujarat, western India, is home to the only free ranging population of Asiatic lions Panthera leo leo. The landscape is semi-arid, consisting of dry deciduous forests and grasslands. The Park has a rich diversity of wild ungulates and a high density of leopards Panthera pardus in addition to the famous lions.

The lions have been victims of direct persecution as well as habitat loss and degradation. Their numbers have been resurrected through dedicated management efforts following a bottleneck at the end of the 20th century. The population has since grown steadily. However, the c. 2,000 km2 area of the Gir Sanctuary and National Park is not large enough to sustain the growing population of over 600 lions. About 200 lions have dispersed out of the protected area into a landscape occupied by people.”

Read the full blog post here.

This article is based on a study carried out by Dr Meena Venkataraman, with WildCRU collaborators. The full article published in Oryx – The International Journal of Conservation can be found here.

  • Prime age young Asiatic male lion. Photo: Meena Venkataraman
  • Female Asiatic lions. Photo: Meena Venkataraman