Hint: The Gir forest is also known as the Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary. It is a forest and wildlife sanctuary located near Talala Gir in Gujarat, India. This is fully protected as a national park as well as a wildlife sanctuary. It lies in the Khathiar-Gir dry deciduous forest ecological region.
The Gir forest is situated in the Junagadh, Gir, Amreli and Somnath districts of the state of Gujarat in India. It is one of the most important protected areas in Asia and the biodiversity in terms of animal species. The Gir ecosystem is very diverse in its flora and fauna. The diversity of the Gir ecosystem is protected as a result of cumulative effort from the government department, wildlife activists and non-governmental organisational institutes. The forest contains about more than two thousand faunal species of different categories of organisms. The forest includes about thirty eight species of mammals, more than three hundred species of birds and thirty seven species of reptiles.
The different varieties of carnivorous animals found in the sanctuary includes the Asiatic lion, Indian leopard, jungle cat, striped hyena, golden jackal, Bengal fox and honey badger. The Asiatic lion is a lion population in India. It is restricted in the population in Gir National forest. The sanctuary and the surrounding areas provide the only habitat that supports the Asiatic lions.
Lions inhabit our lives in the forest habitats belonging to the two hill system of Gir and Girnar. The two hill systems consist of tropical and subtropical dry forests, thorny forest and savanna areas. It provides valuable diverse habitat supporting a variety of flora and fauna. The Gir Forest is divided into five areas which exist to provide protection to the species of Asiatic lions.
The lion population was reduced to as low as a hundred species and Asiatic lion was declared a protected species. In addition to providing a protected and uninterrupted environment for the growth of the lion species, several different programmes are also undertaken. The most important programme of this type is the Lion Breeding Programme which creates and maintains the breeding information on the lions. It also carries out different types of studies relating to the behaviour of the Asiatic Lion.
Hence, The correct answer is option (D).
Note: The Gir forest is an important area or sanctuary to protect the species of Asiatic lions. It is a protected area to promote the population of lions with minimal interference of human population. The forest also provides an ideal habitat to the Asiatic lion due to its dry scrub land and open deciduous forest. The forest also initiates and runs a special artificial insemination programme for protection and increasing the numbers of members of Asiatic lions.