Synopsis on Gir National Park Lions Present Scenario

Synopsis on Gir National Park Lions 

Sasan Gir Sanctuary protected area is the single largest chunks of forests in Suarashtra region of Gujarat state in India which is sprawl over total area of 1450 square kilometres. History of lion conservation in the last three decades since the inception of Gir Sanctuary is one of the most successful conservation stories in the world which must be read and noted. It is only because Gir is the last home of Asiatic Lion, Panthera Leo Persica, for over hundred years. 

It is important to note that Gir forest has shrunk almost half of the area from its 3070 square kilometre in the year 1880s. In the early part of this sanctuary, Girnar, Mitiyala, Barda, Alech hills, Dhank and Chorwar were connected with Gir via different corridors. 

Evolving History of Asiatic Lions 

Actually lions evolved in Europe and migrated down to Asia Minor due to climatic changes. Both African and Asiatic Lion were separated about 55,000 years ago and then they rise in to two different sub-species. Later back in thousands years ago, Asiatic lions were found in North Africa along Mediterranean. Up to 19th century, it survived in a part of Asia Minor Iran-Iraq and India but late on it become extinct from its every distribution range in the starting of 20th century, excluding the Gir forest. 


synopsis on gir lions
gir lions synopsis


Here is the Lion Population Census Estimates before the Gir was declared as Gir Lion Sanctuary in the year 1965.
Estimating Year Lions Population Description f or Census
1884 Very Few Perhaps few dozen
1905 60-70 Increased
1920 50-100 (Sir P. R. Gadell & J. M. Ratnagar)
1936 287 (First lion census - Nawab of Junagadh)
1950 219-227 Second Lion Census
1955 290 Third Lion Census

Five Protected area inhabited by Gir Lion

  • Gir National Park
  • Gir Sanctuary
  • Paniya Sanctuary
  • Mitiyala Sanctuary
  • Girnar Sanctuary

Expanding distribution range of the Asiatic Lion (Panthera leo persica)

Lion Conservation Area-

  • Area of five protected area: 1649 sq. km.
  • Conservation Reserve (proposed): 109 sq. km.
  • Total: 1,758 sq. km.
  • Ecological sensitive zone (proposed): 3,467 sq. km.
  • Total: 5,225 sq. K
Lion Population Growth Table
Year Population Year Population
1968 177 1995 304
1974 180 2000 327
1979 205 2005 359
1984 239 2010 411
1990 284 NA NA

Travel MonthMorning TimingsEvening TimingsEvening Timings16th October To 28th/29th February6.45 AM to 9.45 AM | 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM3.00 PM to 6.00 PM3.00 PM to 6.00 PM1st March To 15th June6.00 AM to 9.00 AM | 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM4 .00 PM to 7 .00 PM4 .00 PM to 7 .00 PM

Expanding kingdom of Gir Sanctuary 

Year 1974:  180 lions

Entire population was restricted in the Gir forest and about a half dozen lions frequented from Gir to Girnar and Mitiyala forest.

Year 1995:   304 lions

  • Core population in Gir forest & Mitiyala: 265 lions
  • Satellite I-Girnar: 13 lions
  • Satellite II-Coastal-Junagadh
  • Satellite III-Coastal- Amreli : 26 lions

Year 2010:  411 lions

  • Core population - Gir forest: 306 lions
  • Satellite I-Girnar: 23 lions
  • Satellite II-Coastal-Junagadh: 9 lions
  • Satellite III-Coastal –Amreli: 12 lions
  • Satellite IV, V &VI-Mitiyala-Liliya: 51 lions