Gir! The Last Bastion of Asiatic Lions

Amit Prasad

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Gir National Park, which is also known as Sasan Gir, is part of the Khathiar-Gir dry deciduous forests ecoregion and is located 43 km north-east of Somnath, 65 km south-east of Junagadh and 60 km south-west of Amreli. Gir’s forests were once the royal hunting grounds; however, it was established as a national park in 1965 with a total area of 1,410.30 sq km, of which 258.71 sq km is fully protected as a national park and 1,151.59 sq km as a wildlife sanctuary.

‘Gir’ means mountain and shares its topography with Girnar Hill. The Gir National Park — the last abode of the Asiatic lions, has a semi-dry climate. It has rugged hills and is covered with scrub jungles of teak and ziziphus. Also, it has large open patches of grassland intertwined with several perennial rivers cutting across it. The tree species commonly found in Gir are teak, dhak, khair, ber, babul, jamun, etc. These trees are beneficial for maintaining natural habitats and play a vital role in maintaining the ecological balance of the forest and providing the perfect habitat for lions and their prey. Besides lions, many other species of animals, birds and reptiles share…read more on NOPR