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Asiatic lion is the state animal of which of the following states?

Last updated date: 13th Jun 2024
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Hint: Asiatic lions are slightly smaller than African lions. Adult males weigh 160 to 190 kg, while females weigh 110 to 120 kg.

Complete answer:
The foremost striking morphological character seen in Asiatic lions is longitudinal fold of skin running along its belly. The fur ranges in colour from ruddytawny, heavily speckled with black, to sandy or buff-grey, sometimes with a silvery sheen in certain lights. Males have only moderate mane growth at the highest of the top, in order that their ears are always visible.

Habitat and distribution:
Asiatic lions were once distributed upto the state of West Bengal in east and Rewa in Madhya Pradesh, in central India. at the present Gir national park and Wildlife Sanctuary is the only abode of the Asiatic lion. The last surviving population of Asiatic lions are in the dry deciduous forests and shrublands in the southwestern part of Saurashtra region, Gujarat.

Conservation Issues:
The lions face the usual threats of poaching and habitat fragmentation. Three major roads and a railway track have the Gir Protected Area (PA). Also, there are three big temples inside the PA that attract a sizable amount of pilgrims, particularly during certain times of the year. There has been a rise in lion population, and over 200 lions stay outside the PA. Though the conflict isn't high now, with changing lifestyles and values these may increase within the future. The Asiatic lion faces threat of genetic inbreeding.

Hence, the correct answer is option (D)

Note: WWF-India’s Initiatives: WWF supported barricading 180 wells with local partners and Gujarat Forest Department. This initiative led to doubling the subsidy by the Gujarat government and lots of farmers barricaded the wells with government support.