• Wild World India
    Asiatic Lion @ Dhritiman Mukherjee
  • Wild World India
    Leopards are the second largest predators at Gir @ Aditya Singh
  • Wild World India
    Asiatic Lion @ Dhritiman Mukherjee
  • Wild World India
    A pair of Mottled Wood @ Gerolf Jander
  • Wild World India
    Painted Sandgrouse @ Aditya Singh

Gir National Park

Gir National Park, Gujarat, India

Once the Asiatic Lion co-existed with the Bengal Tiger across all of north and central India. Today its entire population has been confined to a 545 sq mile tract in Gir National Park, the largest dry deciduous forest in Gujarat. With lions now extinct in Iran and Iraq, this is the last remaining population of the Asiatic species.

After a disastrous famine and near extinction of the lions in 1913, the Nawab of Junagadh, under whose dominion the Sasan Gir region fell, took strict measures to protect the lions. Hunting was totally banned by the mid-50s and the lion sanctuary project was initiated in 1972 to create a balance between the endangered lions and the indigenous Maldhari tribe, who still live in settlements scattered inside the reserve. From 20 lions at the turn of the century, the leonine population has soared to over 300.

Leopards are the second largest predator here and the park is one of the best places to see them. Other carnivores include Jungle & Rusty Spotted Cat, Golden Jackal, Striped Hyena, besides Common and Ruddy mongoose. The herbivores include Sambar, Chital, Nilgai, Chowsingha, Chinkara and Wild Boar. The Kamleshwar dam in the middle of the sanctuary is home to a record number of marsh crocodiles.

Some of the more interesting birds found here are the Indian Jungle Nightjar, Mottled Wood Owl, Rock Bush Quail, Sirkeer Malkoha, the highly vagrant White-bellied Minivet, Painted Sandgrouse, Black Ibis, Rufous-fronted Prinia, Tickell’s Blue and the gorgeous Asian Paradise Flycatcher, which is a summer visitor. Raptors commonly seen here are the Crested Hawk Eagle, Crested Serpent Eagle, Shikra, Oriental Honey Buzzard and the critically endangered White-rumped & Long billed Vulture.

Fact Sheet
  • State: Gujarat
  • Area: 1412 sq km
  • Altitude: 152 – 528 m above mean sea level
  • Vegetation: Tropical dry deciduous, thorn scrublands, semi-evergreen riverine flora
  • Water resources: Seven rivers, marshes, lakes and Kamleshwar dam in the middle of the sanctuary
  • Winter: Mid-October to February
  • Summer: March to mid-June
  • Monsoon: June to September
  • Average Rainfall: 1016 mm
  • Temperature: Min 6 °C, Max 40 °C

LOCATION OF Gir National Park

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