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Conservation History of Gir National Park

The Conservation History of Gir National Park deals with the conservation of Asiatic lions, whose population had dropped tremendously in the early 20th century. Gir National Park is a beautiful park dotted with deciduous forests, interspersed with semi-evergreen and evergreen flora, acacia, scrub jungle, grasslands and rocky hills, along with an abundance of fauna. Sprawling over an area of 1412 sq km, the park is one of the most charming National Parks in India.

The conservation history of Gir National Park takes us back to the early 1900s. At that time, the count of lions had dropped down to just 15 through slaughter for trophy hunting. When the British viceroys brought this matter to the attention of the Nawab of Junagadh, he ensured the protection of the park. Lord Curzon, especially, requested the Nawab to conserve the lions. Thus, the forest area of Gir and its lions were declared as protected by the Nawab. A ban was also imposed on the shooting of lions.

The conservation history of Gir National Park also includes other factors that make conservation of the park essential. Gir is the largest compact tract of dry deciduous forest in the semi arid western part of India. It has the maximum number of carnivores, and also has the largest population of marsh crocodiles in the country. The park provides shelter to all these forests and animals.