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Biodiversity & Environment

World Lion Day, 2021

  • 11 Aug 2021
  • 3 min read

Why in News

Every year, World Lion day is observed on 10th August to raise awareness about the conservation of lions.

Key Points

  • About:
    • The initiative to protect the big cats started in 2013 and the first World Lion Day was celebrated that year.
    • There has been a decline in 80% of the population of lions in the past 100 years.
      • This is the major reason for the observance of the day to protect these wild cats in their natural habitat.
    • This also works on the safety measures of the lion communities.
  • Lion:
    • Scientific Name: Panthera leo
      • The lion is divided into two subspecies: the African lion (Panthera leo leo) and the Asiatic lion (Panthera leo persica).
    • Role in the Animal Kingdom:
      • Lions hold an indispensable place in the ecosystem, they are an apex predator of their habitat, responsible for checking the population of grazers, thus helping in maintaining the ecological balance.
      • Lions also contribute to keeping the population of their prey healthy and resilient as they target the weakest members of the herd. Thus, indirectly helping in disease control in the prey population.
    • Threats: Poaching, genetic inbreeding arising from a single population inhabiting one place, diseases such as plague, canine distemper or a natural disaster.
    • Protection Status:
    • Status in India:
      • India is home to the majestic Asiatic Lion, who inhabit the protected territory of Sasan-Gir National Park (Gujarat).
      • According to the data from 2020, there are 674 lions in India, which were 523 in 2015.
  • Conservation Efforts:
    • Project Lion: Six new sites apart from the Kuno-Palpur Wildlife Sanctuary (Madhya Pradesh) have been identified under Project Lion that was announced in August 2020, on the lines of Project Tiger and Project Elephant.
      • The programme has been launched for the conservation of the Asiatic Lion, whose last remaining wild population is in Gujarat’s Asiatic Lion Landscape (ALL).
    • Earlier, the “Asiatic Lion Conservation Project” was launched by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC). It was approved for three financial years from 2018 to 2021.
      • It envisaged scientific management with the involvement of communities in coordination with multi-sectoral agencies for disease control and veterinary care for overall conservation of Asiatic lions.
    • The Lion census is conducted once every five years.
  • The other biggest cats found mostly in India, including the Royal Bengal Tiger, Indian leopard, Clouded Leopard, and Snow leopard.

Source: HT

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