Save the Asiatic lions!

By Sahil Railkar

Introduction to Asiatic Lions

Did you know that a lion's roar can be heard from 5 miles away? This is the Asiatic lion. The Asiatic lion is also known as panthero leo persicus. This endangered animal is as unique as its cousin, the African lion. Throughout this poster, you will find out more information about the Asiatic lion and how you can help the chances of its survival rise. (iStockphoto)

Description

The Asiatic lion is a unique and endangered subspecies of the lion that can only be found in India. The Asiatic lion's fur color ranges from buffish grey to sandy or speckled black to tawny. Its life span ranges from 16-18 years. Like all cats, this lion is equipped with sharp, retractable claws and canine teeth. A male Asiatic lion's weight ranges from 150-250 kilograms, while a female Asiatic lion's weight ranges from 120-182 kilograms. That's more than three times the weight of an average human! Though the Asiatic lions look a lot like their cousin, the African lion, they are very different if you observe them closely. For example, one difference between this lion is known for the distinctive fold of skin that runs along the side of its belly. (NG) (BZ) (IUCN) (Klevansky) (YT)


Food Chain

The Asiatic lion is at the very top of the food chain. Like all cats, the Asiatic lion is a carnivore and eats many different animals. For example, the Asiatic lions eat wild pigs, cattle, antelope, deer, rabbit, and chicken. But, the Asiatic lion's most commonly taken prey is the deer, chital. In a pride, the lionesses are the primary hunters and they may work together to catch prey. The lions will only help the lionesses if they are preying on big animals, such as elephants. When hunting, if the surrounding area has sparse vegetation, the lionesses will hunt at night, but, if the vegetation is thick in the surrounding area the lionesses will hunt during daytime. (BZ) (NG)

Habitat

The Asiatic lion is now isolated and can only be seen in Gir National Park's forest in Gujurat, India. If it were to be move to a natural habitat, though, it could live in an area with a warm climate. For example, it could live in any tropical dry forests, grasslands, deserts, and semi-deserts. (WW) (AC)


(YT)

Adaptation

The Asiatic lion is easily able to adapt to its surroundings. With its buffish grey to sandy fur color, the Asiatic lion can camouflage itself in tropical dry forests, grasslands, deserts, and semi-deserts. To defend itself, Asiatic lions have speed and sharp, retractable claws and canine teeth, if they need to attack. In a pride, males regularly defend the camp and the females hunt for prey as females lions are faster and more swift than the male lions. Now, let's learn about how people are trying to save the Asiatic lion. (BZ)


Endangerment

Asiatic lions were once found in Eastern Europe, Turkey, the Middle East and India. But now, the Asiatic lion can only be seen in India and so is a critically endangered species. This species of lion is critically endangered due to the decline in area, bad habitat quality, and poaching. The first time it was given protection was in the 1900s. To protect it, the government had put the last three Asiatic lions in the heavily protected Gir Forest, where their population grew. The population is now about 200-260 lions. Now, many people suggest that it would be best if some of the Asiatic lions should be moved to a new second location, so that if the population grew bigger, there would be enough prey for all the lions. One suggested location is Madhya Pradesh's Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary. So, help save the Asiatic lion! (AC) (IUCN) (NG) (BZ)

Credits and More!

Photo Credits: Photopin, iStockphoto and Flickr: Lavannya Goradia, Clivia, AlexeyStoyanov, and tirc83

Video Credits: YouTube and TubeChop

Works Cited Link: https://www.smore.com/t9ft-we-have-a-works-cited

Next poster link: https://www.smore.com/7ccm-save-the-mediterranean-monk-seal