World Lion Day 2023: History, significance and the animal’s population In India


AUGUST 10, 2023

Representational image. Lion Guardians

World Lion Day was established back in 2013 to raise awareness about the conservation and preservation of this species of big cats

August 10th of every year is celebrated as World Lion Day. It is used to raise awareness about the royal members of the cat family. It also acts as an opportunity to learn more about the lions’ role in our ecological cycle. Did you know that the extinction of lions can be a warning sign for humans? Yes, you read it right. Now, let us learn more about the history and significance of World Lion Day.

The History Of World Lion Day

As you might be aware, the population of lions across the globe has deteriorated by approximately 80 per cent in the last century. Back in 2013, World Lion Day was established in an attempt to conserve and preserve this species of big cats, and also to raise awareness about their conservation. A couple Dereck and Beverly Joubert served as the leaders and contacted ‘National Geographic’ for assistance after they realised that the global lion population has decreased throughout the world.

They created the Big Cat Initiative (BCI) in 2009 in collaboration with them.

The Significance Of World Lion Day

World Lion Day is observed to mark the importance of lions in our ecosystem. The animals come under the top predators in their environment. They help keep the population of browsers and grazers in check, restoring the ecological balance.

Additionally, they also keep the population of their prey healthy by eliminating the weakest members of the herd. Their preservation further helps in protecting the natural forest areas and habitats.

Population Of Lions In India

The number of wild lions has gone down drastically across the globe, with the only exception being Africa. However, Lions have naturally settled in India, leading to a steady increase in their population in the country, especially in Gir Forest, which is the second largest home to big cats outside of Africa. The number of Asiatic lions has increased at a steady rate in Gujarat’s Gir forest and the larger Saurashtra protected area. The population of lions rose from 523 to 674 between 2015 and 2020.

It might also be interesting to know that the Asiatic lions of India are distantly related to the African lions, which are much bigger in size.

Courtesy/Source: Firstpost / PTI