Gir National Park
Besides Africa, Gir is the only natural habitat of world popular Asiatic Lions. Situated about 65 Kilometers southeast of Junagarh district in the Indian state of Gujarat; The Government notified the large geographical extent of Sasan Gir as a wildlife sanctuary on 18th September 1965 in order to conserve the Asiatic Lion. It covers a total area of 1412 square kilometers of which 258 Km forms the core area of the National Park. Mainly the Gir National Park was dedicated to conserving the Asiatic Lion which is identified as the world most endangered species.
Gir has evolved as a stable ecosystem due to the prosperity of biodiversity with its 606 different plant species, 2000 species of insects and 36 species of mammals and over 300 species of birds. Dry deciduous forest of Gir covers a large territory which plays a crucial role in keeping the climate modest in this region.
Major Wildlife Attractions at the Gir:
Animals: As per the statics of 2015, the entire region is inhabited by 523 Lions and more than 300 Leopards. Apart from these two animals, the Gir houses two different species of Deer. The Sambar is counted largest Indian Deer. The Gir forest is also known for the Chowsingha – the world’s only four-horned antelope. The Jackal, Striped Hyena, and India Fox are some of the smaller carnivores found in Gir Forest.
Birds: The exotic flora of Gir National Park gives shelter to more than 200 species of birds. The sanctuary has been declared a significant bird area by the Indian Bird Conservation Network. Gir has also had critically endangered white-backed and long-billed vultures.
Reptiles: Sasan Gir has more than 40 species of reptiles and amphibians. Kamleshwar – a large reservoir in the sanctuary is the best spot where Marsh Crocodile can be seen in large numbers. Park has even many species of snake including King Kobra, Russell’s viper, Saw-scaled viper and the Krait.
General information about the Gir National Park:
- Gir National Park Area: 1413 Square Kilometers
- Famous as/for: Home of the Asiatic Lions
- Lion Census conducted in 2010: Total of 411 Lions of which 97 are males, 162 are females and 152 cubs
- Altitudes: Altitude varying from 150 – 530 meters above mean sea level
- Longitudes: 700 50’ 710 15’ East
- Latitudes: 200 40’ 210 50` North
- Temperature: Summer 450 C and cold winter night’s drops below 100 C
- Rainfall: 100 mm in western part of Gir and 650 mm in Eastern Gir
- Best season to visit: November to January
- Closed Period: 15th June till September
When to visit Gir National Park
The protected area of Gir National Park is closed from 16th June to 15th October every year. December to March is climatically best season to visit the park. Though, April and May are very hot but considered as the best months for wildlife viewing at the Gir National Park.