Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Demographic structure and abundance of Asiatic lions Panthera leo persica in Girnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Gujarat, India

  • Kausik Banerjee (a1), Yadvendradev V. Jhala (a1) and Bharat Pathak (a2)
Abstract
Abstract

Asiatic lions Panthera leo persica, once confined to the 1,883 km2 Gir Protected Area in Gujarat, India, have in the past 2 decades colonized the adjacent Girnar forest, coastal scrub and agro-pastoral areas covering c. 10,000 km2. In May 2008 the Government of Gujarat declared 180 km2 of the sacred Girnar forests a Wildlife Sanctuary. We obtained data on location, age, gender and group composition of lions in Girnar Wildlife Sanctuary from opportunistic sightings during March–May 2008 and from systematic surveys in April 2008 (six surveys of 3–4 days each), totalling 81 lions on 40 occasions. Of the 81 sightings 43% were in the recruitment age group. Adult sex ratio was 0.87 males : 1 female. In the systematic survey we made 26 sightings of nine individuals, identified from their vibrissae patterns and permanent body markings, and used these for population estimation using a capture–recapture analysis. The population estimate using the best fit null model Mo was 10 ± SE 1.2 giving an adult lion density of 5.6 ± SE 0.7 per 100 km2. Population viability analysis emphasized the importance of immigrants for the persistence of this small population. One immigrant in 2 years reduced the probability of extinction by 16%. Conservation of the habitat matrix to the south-east of the Sanctuary, used as a corridor for movement between Girnar and Gir, by declaring it an eco-sensitive zone would facilitate the long-term survival of the Girnar lion population.

Copyright
Corresponding author
*Wildlife Institute of India, Dehra Dun, Uttarakhand, India. E-mail jhalay@wii.gov.in
References
Hide All
Akçakaya H.R. & Sjögren-Gulve P. (2000) Population viability analysis in conservation planning: an overview. Ecological Bulletin, 48, 921.
Ashraf N.V.K., Chellam R., Molur S., Sharma D. & Walker S. (1995) Population and Habitat Viability Assessment P.H.V.A. Workshops for Asiatic Lion, Panthera leo persica, Report, July 1995. Conservation Breeding Specialist Group, Apple Valley, USA.
Chao A & Huggins R.M. (2005) Modern closed-population capture–recapture models. In Handbook of Capture–Recapture Analysis (eds. Amstrup S.C., McDonald T.L & Manley B.F.J.), pp. 5887. Princeton University Press, Oxford, UK.
Creel S. & Creel N.M. (1997) lion density and population structure in the Selous Game Reserve: evaluation of hunting quotas and offtake. African Journal of Ecology, 35, 8393.
Dalerum F., Somers M.J., Kunkel K.E. & Cameron E.Z. (2008) The potential for large carnivores to act as biodiversity surrogates in southern Africa. Biodiversity and Conservation, 17, 29392949.
Dharaiya N. (2001) A Study on the Ecology of the Satellitic Lion Metapopulation outside Gir PA and its Conservation. PhD thesis, Saurashtra University, Rajkot, India.
Divyabhanusinh C. (2005) The Story of Asia's Lions. Marg Publication, Mumbai, India.
Government of Gujarat (2008) Forest and Environment Department, Sachivalaya, Gandhinagar, Notification Number GVN-2008(28) VPS-102007-2069-W (5071).
Hanski I.A. & Gilpin M.E. (1997) Metapopulation Biology: Ecology, Genetics and Evolution. Academic Press, San Diego, USA.
Jhala Y.V., Mukherjee S., Shah N., Chauhan K.S., Dave C. & Jhala Y.S. (2004) Monitoring lions. In Monitoring of Gir (ed. Jhala Y.V.), pp. 5571. Technical Report. Wildlife Institute of India, Dehra Dun, India.
Jhala Y.V., Mukherjee S., Shah N., Chauhan K.S., Dave C.V., Meena V. & Banerjee K. (2009) Home range and habitat preference of female lions (Panthera leo persica) in Gir forests, India. Biodiversity & Conservation, 18, 33833394.
Jhala Y.V., Qureshi Q., Bhuva V. & Sharma L.N. (1999) Population estimation of Asiatic lions. Journal of Bombay Natural History Society, 96, 315.
Johnsingh A.J.T., Goyal S.P. & Qureshi Q. (2007) Preparations for the reintroduction of Asiatic lion Panthera leo persica into Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary, Madhya Pradesh, India. Oryx, 41, 9396.
Joslin P. (1973) The Asiatic lion: a study of ecology and behaviour. PhD thesis, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.
Karanth K.U. & Chellam R. (2009) Carnivore conservation at the crossroads. Oryx, 43, 12.
Kinnear N.B. (1920) The past and the present distribution of the lion in South-eastern Asia. Journal of Bombay Natural History Society, 27, 3339.
Kohlmann S.G., Schmidt G.A. & Garcelon D.K. (2005) A population viability analysis for the island fox on Santa Catalina Island, California. Ecological Modelling, 183, 7794.
Lacy R.C. (1993) VORTEX: a computer simulation model for population viability analysis. Wildlife Research, 20, 4565.
Ogutu J.O., Piepho H.P., Dublin H.T., Reid R.S. & Bhola N. (2006) Application of mark–recapture methods to lions: satisfying assumptions by using covariates to explain heterogeneity. Journal of Zoology, 269, 161174.
Otis D.L., Burnham K.P., White G.C. & Anderson D.R. (1978) Statistical inference from capture data of closed populations. Wildlife Monographs, 62.
Packer C., Hebst L., Pusey A.E., Bygott J.D., Hanby J.P., Cairns S. & Borgerhoff-Mulder M. (1988) Reproductive success of lions. In Reproductive Success (ed. Clutton-Brock T.H.), pp. 363383. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, USA.
Pennycuik C.J. & Rudnai J. (1970) A method of identifying individual lions Panthera leo with an analysis of the reliability of identification. Journal of Zoology, 160, 497508.
Pocock R.I. (1930) Lions of Asia. Journal of Bombay Natural History Society, 34, 638665.
Pollock K.H., Nichols J.D., Brownie C. & Hines J.E. (1990) Statistical inference for capture–recapture experiments. Wildlife Monographs, 107, 197.
Rexstad E.A. & Burnham K.P. (1991) User's Guide for Interactive Program CAPTURE. Colorado Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, USA.
Saberwal V., Gibbs J.P., Chellam R. & Johnsingh A.J.T. (1994) Lion–human conflict in the Gir Forest, India. Conservation Biology, 8, 501507.
Schaller G. (1972) The Serengeti Lion: A Study of Predator–Prey Relations. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, USA.
Singh H.S. (2007) The Gir Lion Panthera leo persica—A Natural History, Conservation Status and Future Prospect. Pugmark Qumulus Consortium, Ahmedabad, India.
Stanley T.R. & Burnham K.P. (1999) A closure test for time-specific capture–recapture data. Ecological Statistics, 6, 197209.
White G.C., Franklin A.B. & Shenk T.M. (2002) Estimating parameters of PVA models from data on marked animals. In Population Viability (eds. Beissinger S.R & McCullough D.M.), pp. 169190. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, USA.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Oryx
  • ISSN: 0030-6053
  • EISSN: 1365-3008
  • URL: /core/journals/oryx
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 2
Total number of PDF views: 27 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 167 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 22nd October 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.