Monday, May 19, 2008

Junagadh District News - Gir National Park Saurashtra Gujarat India

Junagadh(Saurashtra) - Gir National Park New for Asiatic Lions :-

The Sasan Gir - Junagadh (Saurastra) Sanctuary, the only abode of Asiatic lions, will be extended by 180 sq kms, an authority of the Gujarat Government's Forest and Environmental Department said on Sunday.

"At present, the sanctuary is spread across 1464 sq kms area and will be extended further by another 180 kms," Sandeep Kumar Nanda, Additional Chief Secretary, Forest and Environmental Department told the media.

Due to excessive hunting, poaching and forest depletion, there was a tremendous decline of lion population in the country, he said.

"Considering the constant decline of lion population in the country, the Gujarat Government set up a 258 sq km Gir National Park inside the sanctuary itself. The Sasan Gir-Junagadh(Saurastra) sanctuary is an entry point to this park," Nanda added.

The sanctuary is also a major tourist attraction for the tourists and foreign dignitaries visiting the country, he said.

The forest has extremely rugged and hilly terrain and is the largest dry deciduous forest in the western india.

It also houses about 300 species of birds including King Vulture, Crested Serpant Eagle, Great Horned Owl, Bush Quail, Woodpecker and Horn Bill.

With a view to spread the message of lion safety, the forest department, along with the environmentalists, have been organizing the Lion Safety March in the Gir forest on several occasions, Nanda said.

"During such march, people roped in to save Gir Lion and also pledge to save the big cats in and around Gir during such march," he said.

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