Scientific Name: Panthera leo persica
The Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary in Western Gujarat is the only habitat for the Asiatic lion (Panthera leo persica). The population recovered from the brink of extinction to 411 individuals in 2010. It is listed as Endangered by IUCN due to its small population size.
Severe hunting by Indian royalties and colonial personnel led to a steady and marked decline of lion numbers in the country. By 1880 only about a dozen lions were left in the Junagadh district. By the turn of the century, they were confined to the Gir Forest and protected by the Nawab of Junagadh in his private hunting grounds. In 2015, the lion population was estimated at 523 individuals.