Target: Prakash Javadekar, Environment Minister of India
Goal: Applaud the success of a conservation program that saved Asiatic lions from complete extinction.
The lion population in India has risen by nearly 30 percent in the past five years thanks to rigorous conservation measures implemented by the federal government. The latest census estimates the population at 523 lions, up from 411 in 2010. This, compared with data from 2005 which estimated the population at 359, shows that the lions are making a strong comeback after being pushed to the brink of extinction.
Asiatic lions used to inhabit vast areas stretching from Turkey and the Middle East to India and Bangladesh. Drought, habitat loss, and excessive hunting caused the population to drop to mere dozens at one point in the early 20th century, with many countries seeing the complete extinction of the creatures from their lands. Today, India’s Gir Sanctuary is the last remaining place on earth where endangered Asiatic lions still survive.
Aggressive conservation measures have no doubt contributed to this promising surge in Asiatic lion populations. The cats are fully protected in India, making lion hunting illegal. Over 1,4oo square kilometers of forest have been designated as protected grounds where the animals can live without human interference. Breeding programs set up at the Gir Sanctuary and the Sakkarbaug Zoo not only increase numbers, but allow scientists to improve population management projects through behavioral studies.
India saw another huge victory this year when it found that endangered tiger populations have risen by one-third in four years. It is clear that the country’s vigorous conservation efforts have paid off handsomely. Sign the petition below to applaud India’s successful lion rehabilitation and urge continued efforts to increase the population’s range.
Dear Mr. Prakash Javadekar,
According to a recent census, the population of Asiatic lions in India has increased by 27 percent in the past five years and has almost doubled since a decade ago. This is likely due to the Indian government’s strict protection of the species, which includes a ban on hunting and the reservation of a large area of forest as a sanctuary.
Not only has India saved the Asiatic lion from extinction, but has also successfully increased the population of tigers by one-third. These wildly successful programs have set a precedent for other countries to follow in the conservation of their own endangered species. We, the undersigned, applaud the success of India’s lion preservation programs.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Kbhargava