In 1907, the ruler of Junagadh, India, ordered that the Asiatic lion be a protected species in Gir National Park in western India. In the early 1900s, the lions were being hunted for sport, and when the prince protected them it was believed that there were only 13 lions in the park. Over 100 years later, in 2010, the Indian government reported that 411 Asiatic lions were sighted in the park. Today, the lions are still in danger of extinction due to the lack of genetic diversity, lack of natural prey, and habitat decline.
How does the Asiatic lion differ from its distant relative, the African lion?
Who does the Indian government think is responsible for poisoning some of these lions? Why are they being poisoned?
Why doesn't the local government want to move the lions to a larger park?
Imagine you are in charge of keeping these lions healthy and safe. What would you do?
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry Asiatic lion Noun
(Panthera leo persica) species that split from African lions approximately 100,000 years ago, now native only to Gir Forest National Park, India.
endangered species Noun
organism threatened with extinction.
Encyclopedic Entry: endangered species lion Noun
large cat native to sub-Saharan Africa and Gir Forest National Park, India.
national park Noun
geographic area protected by the national government of a country.
protected area where wildlife can live and breed without threat from hunting.
the industry (including food, hotels, and entertainment) of traveling for pleasure.