Menu
Topography And Geomorphology | Water Resources | Area | Wildlife Attractions | Flora Attractions | Animals of Gir National Park


TOPOGRAPHY AND GEOMORPHOLOGY
The hills are of volcanic origin. The main Geological formation is Deccan Trap and main rock types are "Dolomite" and basalt. Besides sand stone, lime stone and metamorphic schist are also present. Volcanic rocks have given rise to the black cotton soil and sand stones and the lime stones have given rise to reddish brown sandy loam soil. Soil texture varies from gravelly along the river banks, clay in deep valleys to stony and murrum of hills.


WATER RESOURCES
Gir forms the catchments of seven perennial rivers viz Hiran, Saraswati, Datardi, Shingoda, Macchundri, Ghodavadi and Raval. Northern aspects of the northern ridges form the catchment of Shetrunji River flowing outside the sanctuary area. All these major rivers of Gir have perennial water supply except during severe drought. During peak summer, surface water for the wild animals is available only at the 300 or so water points. In order to tap the water resources 4 dams have been constructed along the Hiran, Macchunduri, Raval and Shingoda rivers. The total catchment's area of these 4 reservoirs is 820 sq Kms while water from the rest of the area remains untapped.

AREA
The Gir ecosystem falls in Biogeography Zone-4 [Semi arid] and biogeography province 4-B. Gujarat Rajwada is the last paradise of the Asiatic Lion - Panthera Leo Persica. The government of Gujarat has declared an area of 1421.1 sq kms as protected area which comprises of 258.7 sq kms as National park and 1153.4 sq kms as National park and 1153.4 Sq Kms as Sanctuary. Besides this 470.5 Sq Kms forest area constitutes a buffer zone as reserve, protected and un-classed forest. Thus a total area of 1882.6 Sq Kms forms Gir forest.

Out of a total area of 1882.6 Sq Kms, 1502.7 Sq Kms falls in the Junagadh District and 379.9 Sq Kms in Amreli district. The most important aspect of Gir is that it has become a most stable ecosystem with tremendous regenerating, self supporting and sustaining power due to its rich and diverse flora and fauna.

The Unique ecosystem of Gir harbours about 38 species of mammals, around 300 species of birds, 37 species of reptiles and more than 2000 species of insects.

The population of other animals in Gir National park as per the 2000 census is as follows

LION - 359, LEOPARD - 311, HYENAS - 137, HERBIVORES - 52000

Gir is the only place in the world outside Africa, where the Lion can be seen in its natural habitat. The last remaining Bastion of the Asiatic Lion, Gir is also home to one of the largest Leopard populations in any park in India, making it an excellent place to see big cats of a different kind.

The Lion sanctuary project was initiated in 1972 to create a balance between the endangered Lions and the indigenous Maldhari tribe. With over 800 guards patrolling the entire park, Gir has become one of the best-protected sanctuaries in India. No wonder that from 20 Lions at the turn of the century there are now over 300 lions at Gir. This makes your chances of sighting a Lion very high.

Apart from spotting a colourful array of birds, Gir is also a great place to interact with local tribes. The main tribe is a nomadic pastoral community called Maldhari, who live in scattered settlements called 'nesses'. Gir is also home to a Negroid community known as Siddis, who are African in origin but speak Gujarati. The park is open from mid October and a Lion Safari by jeep showcases the diverse habitat of Gir.

WILDLIFE ATTRACTIONS
The Asiatic Lion :
Gir Sanctuary is the last and only home of the critically endangered Asiatic Lion. These lions are a smaller more compact version of their African version, and are best viewed at dawn or dusk when they are on the move. The major difference between the two is that the African Lion appears larger than the Indian Lion because of its large and luxuriant mane.

The Lion was once widely distributed in Asia, from Asia Minor and Arabia to Persia and India. In the Indian Subcontinent, its range extended over northern India as far-east up to Bihar, with the Narmada marking its southern limits. Before the close of the last century, the Asiatic Lion had become extinct from its range except Gir. The probable years of its extermination region wise were Bihar in 1840, Delhi 1834, Bhavalpur 1842, Eastern Vindhyas and Bundelkhand 1865, Central India and Rajasthan 1870 and western Aravalis in 1880. The last animal surviving in the wild outside Saurashtra was reported in 1884.

By the end of the Nineteenth century the then Nawab of Junagadh indicated the number of Lion to be a dozen in Gir. The lions struggled to survive the severe famine of 1901 to 1905 and they killed many cattle and human beings in their quest for survival. The Nawab provided adequate protection to the Lions and their population increased between the years 1904 to 1911. After the death of the Nawab about 10 to 12 lions were being shot annually but from the year 1911 shooting was rigidly controlled by the British Government. In 1913 the chief wildlife officer reported a population of about 20 lions in Gir.

The population estimates given prior to 1936 were only estimations based on personal knowledge and sightings but the first organised census was conducted in 1936 which showed a population of around 287 lions. In the year 1995 the population of Lions crossed the 300 mark and stood at 304 and in the year 2005 it was 359.

The Asiatic Lion - Vital Statistics

  • Lifespan: 16-18 years

  • Scientific name: Panthera Leo Persica

  • Weight: Male 150-250Kg; Female 120-180Kg

  • Length (head and body): Male 1.7-2.5m; Female 1.4-1.75m

  • Length (tail): 70-105cm

  • Shoulder height: Male 1-1.23m; Female 80-107cm

  • Sexual Maturity: Male 5 years; Female 4 years

  • Mating season: All year round

  • Gestation period: 100-119 days

  • Number of young: 1 to 6

  • Birth interval: 18-26 months

  • Typical diet: Deer, antelope, wild boar, buffalo


Reptiles
The Kamleshwar dam in the middle of the sanctuary is home to a record population of marsh crocodiles. Other major attractions among the reptile population of Gir National Park are the numerous non-venomous Snakes such as the Indian Rock Python along with the four venomous varieties, which are Indian Cobra, Common Krait, Saw Scaled Viper and Russell's viper. Python is usually found along the stream banks. The star tortoise and the monitor lizard can also be spotted.

Other Mammals
Among the lesser-known wildlife of Gir National Park include the most common animal that can be sighted in the sanctuary is the Chital or Spotted Deer. Others main wild attractions are Nilgai ( Blue Bull ), Chinkara (Indian Gazelle), Sambhar, Black Bucks, the four horned Antelope (the only four-horned ungulate in the world),, Wild Boar, Indian Flying Foe, Grey Musk Shrew, Indian Hare, Pale Hedgehog, Small Indian Mongoose, Small Indian Civet, Indian Pangolin, Indian Porcupine, Ratel, Indian Fox, Wolf, Hyena and Jackal.
The Main carnivores of Gir are the Asiatic Lion, Leopard, Jungle cat, Hyenas, Jackal, Mongoose, Civet cat and ratel. The main herbivores of Gir are Sambhar, Chital, Spotted deer, Nilgai, Chinkara and wild boar with a small population of black buck.
The three smaller wildcats - the Jungle Cat, Desert Cat and the Rusty Spotted Cat, also inhabit Gir forest, which shows that the forest is not just meant for the protection of Lions, but the whole of the cat family.

Rich And Varied Bird Life
The forest is also rich in bird life and an estimated of 300 species are found inhabiting Gir National Park over the years. Many wildlife experts say that if Gir has not been a Lion sanctuary, it could have easily passed off as a protected area for the incredible diversity of birds that it harbours. The avifauna in here occupies the forest floors, small plants and shrubs and even the canopy of the trees. The Paradise Flycatcher, Black Headed Cuckoo Shrike, Pied Woodpecker, Bonelli's Eagle, Crested Serpant Eagle, Painted Sand grouse, Bush Quail Grey Drongo, Grey & Painted Francolin, Crested Hawk Eagle, King Vulture, Shikra Hawk, Sirkeer Cuckoo, White-necked Stork, Brown fish owl, Great Horned owl, Pygmy woodpecker, black headed oriole, crested swift, Indian Pitta and Grey Partridge are among the varieties that are commonly found over here.
The main scavenger bird is the vulture of which about 6 species have been recorded. The grey Hornbill is now extinct from this area.

FLORA ATTRACTIONS
Vegetation in Gir can be looked at in four ways. Nearly 70% of the tropical dry deciduous forest is covered by old teak plantations. The main tree species that occupy this habitat are Khair, Sadad, Timru, Babul, Amla, Moledi, Dhavdo, Kadayo and Bahedo. The non-Teak forests, which comprise the remaining forest consists of tree species like the Khair, Dhavdo, Sadad, Timru, Amla, Moledi, Kadayo, Salai, Simal, Khakhro, Ber and Asundro.
A distinct belt of vegetation is found along the main rivers and streams. Species like the Jambu, Karanj, Umro, Vad, Kalam, Charal, Sirus and Amli are found here. These trees are mostly broad leaved and evergreen, giving the area a cool shade and the moisture content. Finally, Prosopis and Casuarina have been planted in the coastal border as part of the forestation plan.
Samtapau and Raizada - 1955, have recorded over 400 plant species where as the botany department of M. S. University of Baroda have recorded over 507 plant species in Gir forest

Life Form Diversity

  • Tree : 132

  • Shrub : 48

  • Herb : 232

  • Climber : 64

  • Grass : 26

  • Total : 507


ANIMALS OF GIR NATONAL PARK

  • Order
  • Family
  • English Name
  • Scientific Name
  • Local Name
  • Insectivorous
  • Soricidae
  • Grey Musk Shrew
  • Sencus murinus
  • Chachunder
  •  
  • Insectivorous
  • Erinaceidae
  • Pale Hedgehog
  • Paraechinus micropus
  • Shero
  •  
  • Chiroptera
  • Pteropodidae
  • Flying Fox
  • Pteropus giganteus
  • Shiyal
  •  
  • Chiroptera
  • Pteropodidae
  • Short Nosed fruit bat
  • Cynopteerus sphinx
  • Chamachidiyu
  •  
  • Chiroptera
  • Vespertilionidae
  • Indian pipistrelle
  • Pipstrellus coromandra
  • -
  •  
  • Chiroptera
  • Emballonuridae
  • Bearded Sheattailed Bat
  • Tophozous melanopogon
  • -
  •  
  • Primates
  • Cercopithecidae
  • Hanuman Langur
  • Presbytis entellus
  • Hanuman Langur
  •  
  • Primates
  • Manidae
  • Indian Pangolin
  • Manis crassicaudata
  • Kidikhau
  •  
  • Lagomorpha
  • Leoporide
  • Indian Hare
  • Lepus nigricollis
  • Sasloo
  •  
  • Rhodentia
  • Sciuridaeatus
  • Five stripped Palm squirrel (Wroughton)
  • Funambulus pennanti
  • Panch tapkavali Khiskoli
  •  
  • Rhodentia
  • Cricetidae
  • Indian Gerbille
  • Tetra Indica
  • Ooonder
  •  
  • Rhodentia
  • Meridae
  • Field Mouse
  • Mus boonduga
  • Kshetriya Oonder
  •  
  • Rhodentia
  • Meridae
  • Common house rat
  • Rattus rattus rattus
  • oonder
  •  
  • Rhodentia
  • Meridae
  • Kutch Rock Rat
  • Rattus rattus girensis
  • Kutch Oonder
  •  
  • Rhodentia
  • Meridae
  • Rock Rat
  • Rattus rattus rufescens
  • Oonder
  •  
  • Rhodentia
  • Meridae
  • Bandicoat Rat
  • Bandicota indica
  •  
  •  
  • Rhodentia
  • Meridae
  • Indian Mole Rat
  • Bandica bengalensis
  •  
  •  
  • Rhodentia
  • Hystelidae
  • Indian Porcupine
  • Hystrix indica
  • Shahudi
  •  
  • Carnivora
  • Canidae
  • Jackal
  • Canis aureus
  • Shiyal
  •  
  • Carnivora
  • Canidae
  • Indian Fox
  • Vulpes engalensis
  • Lonkdi
  •  
  • Carnivora
  • Mustelidae
  • Ratal or Honey Badger
  • Mellivora capensis
  • Ghokhodiya
  •  
  • Carnivora
  • Viverridae
  • Small Indian Civet
  • Vivericula indica
  • Vij
  •  
  • Carnivora
  • Herpestidae
  • Common Mongoose
  • Herpestes edwadsi
  • Naliya
  •  
  • Carnivora
  • Herpestidae
  • Small Indian Mongoose
  • Herpestes auropunctatus
  • Nano Naliya
  •  
  • Carnivora
  • Herpestidae
  • Ruddy Mongoose
  • Herpestes smithi
  • Naliya
  •  
  • Carnivora
  • Hyaenidae
  • Stripped Hyena
  • Hyaena hyaena
  • Jharakh
  •  
  • Carnivora
  • Felidae
  • Asiatic Lion
  • Panthera Leo parsica
  • Sinh
  •  
  • Carnivora
  • Felidae
  • Leopard / Panther
  • Panthera pardus
  • Dipdo
  •  
  • Carnivora
  • Felidae
  • Jungle cat
  • Felis Chaus
  • Jungli Biladi
  •  
  • Carnivora
  • Felidae
  • Desert cat
  • Felis Libyca
  • Raan Biladi
  •  
  • Carnivora
  • Felidae
  • Rusty Spotted cat
  • Felis rubignosa
  • Taapkavari Biladi
  •  
  • Artiodactyla
  • Suidae
  • Indian Wild Boar
  • Sus Scrofa
  • Jungli Bhund
  •  
  • Artiodactyla
  • Cervidae
  • Sambar
  • Cervus unicolor
  • Sambar
  •  
  • Artiodactyla
  • Cervidae
  • Chital/Spotted Deer
  • Axis axis
  • Chital
  •  
  • Artiodactyla
  • Bovidae
  • Chinkara / Indian Gazelle
  • Gazelle gazelle
  • Chinkara
  •  
  • Artiodactyla
  • Bovidae
  • Blackbuck
  • Antilope cervicapra
  • Kaliyar
  •  
  • Artiodactyla
  • Bovidae
  • Chowsingha
  • Tetracerus quadricornis
  • Chowsingha
  •  
  • Artiodactyla
  • Bovidae
  • Nilgai / Blue bull
  • Baselaphus tragocamelus
  • Nilgai

 

Book Now
  • ENQUIRY FORM