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Asiatic Lion Reintroduction Project

India Ravisingh Offline
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(09-06-2016, 10:31 PM)Pckts Wrote: If you read through the whole thread you should be able to get some answers to the questions you're asking.

I used to agree with valmik but probably not so much anymore. I have pretty much defended lions in being as adaptable as any big cat. (See the Congo lion thread)

But still, the lack of hunting records or stories of Asiatic lions being hunted compared to tigers from times past beg some questions. 
Why aren't they as documented nor as many individuals measured? 

In regards to tigers of the Sunderbans, let's remove the fact that they live in the largest mangrove system in the world and suffer massive amounts of deforestation, tigers show a much wider variety of size throughout sub species compared to lions which generally don't have such size disparities between subspecies.

simply coz record keeping culture was bought in india by britishers . prior to that there were very almost no such records of animal sizes and appearence were kept by hindu aur mugals. but by the time britishers came to india lions were already very few left and were also killed within some years after british colonisations as they we most easy to find and hunt many in a single day. record of those lions were kept as mentioned by apollo in his reply.then came the tiger and finding it in dense jungles and killing one by one and keeping a long term record . what you call records are of recent history of india that is late mugal and british period when tiger was the only option to track and hunt after quick demise of lions from plains.
in ancient culture of india lion has always dominated tiger
just because they were abundent in open and tiger sighting were rare.
see national emblem of india which has four heads of lions taken from maurya empires king ashoka.
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India Ravisingh Offline
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@packts every single patch of open land which was not much in india was converted to farms very early in india history to feed vast population .in those times also india had higest density of population in the world. there was space left only for tigers and leopards which were hiding.

tiger tends to show size differences because they live in snow, in forests of india, on small islands like sumatra. but in case of lions there is no such major variations in habitates in africa but in india prey size is realy small and habitat is little dence so by time they have evolved and become best suited for their prey and habitat. they are of almost same size as lions of central africa.
almost all animal evolve and have size variations within mainland populations
lion is not an exception after all lions and tigers are identical biologicaly. only difference is in social behaviour.
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United States Blackleopard Offline
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( This post was last modified: 09-07-2016, 02:17 AM by Blackleopard )

(09-07-2016, 12:35 AM)Ravisingh Wrote: @packts every single patch of open land which was not much in india was converted to farms very early in india history to feed vast population .in those times also india had higest density of population in the world. there was space left only for tigers and leopards which were hiding.

         tiger tends to show size differences because they live in snow, in forests of india, on small islands like sumatra. but in case of lions there is no such major variations in habitates in africa but in india prey size is realy small and habitat is little dence so by time they have evolved and become best suited for their prey and habitat. they are of almost same size as lions of central africa.
almost all animal evolve and have size variations within mainland populations
lion is not an exception after all lions and tigers are identical biologicaly. only difference is in social behaviour.


I was talking to some guys online about this awhile ago, yeah I think it was definitely man that drove the Indian lion out, if you do a quick google search a lot of info comes up, the Asiatic lion's seemed to be there for quite some time long before.  The Indian lion may have been larger as well back then.  





*This image is copyright of its original author



twenty five years back, lion, occured in many parts of the country, like 
Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujrat, Maharashtra etc. Then it disappeared, quickly
and not gradually. The causes of the disappearance of the lion from these places,
could be man made...
https://www.google.com/search?q=%22twenty+five+years+ba ck%2C+lion%2C+occured+in+many+pa rts+of+the+country%2C+like%22&tb m=bks&tbo=1&oq=%22twenty+five+ye ars+back%2C+lion%2C+occured+in+m any+parts+of+the+country%2C+like %22&gs_l=heirloom-serp.3..30i10.482726.488818.0.48 9022.4.4.0.0.0.0.563.1044.0j3j5-1.4.0....0...1ac.1.34.heirloom-serp..0.4.1041.a1VrsQZFets




Apparently there were Asiatic lions said to be as large as the Cape lion, a hunter shot a maneless breed, 11 in one day. 

https://books.google.com/books?id=DwFHAA...ia&f=false


Behaviorally the two cats seem to be different, but anatomically they also may have differences.

"(Asiatic lion)The lion is higher at the shoulder but shorter in the body than the tiger, the forelegs and feet are more massive than those of the tiger..."

https://books.google.com/books?id=ZP7fAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA199&d q=%22lion%22+%22tiger%22+%22shor ter%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CCwQ6AEwB GoVChMIvZ28jMSOxgIVSouSCh3QywAn# v=onepage&q=%22lion%22%20%22tige r%22%20%22shorter%22&f=false


Its possible and I'm not 100% sure, but the older Asiatic lion may have been larger, even bulkier than the tiger. 



*This image is copyright of its original author


! Now for the Lion of Kattywar or central Gezerat. In the B. S. M. for July, 1840, is a record of one there slain, of which we read : -——“ This Lion was 9 feet, with flowing mane, and altogether much more bulky than any Tiger I have killed
lion more bulky tiger&f=false[/b]




The Gir Lion Sanctuary Project - Page 30


*This image is copyright of its original author

https://books.google.com/books?id=SbhXAAAAMAAJ
1972 - ‎Snippet view - ‎More editions
As said before, the tiger is believed to have entered India from the northeast after the last ice age. Most naturalists now seem to believe that the lion is the older inhabitant. Some peonle believe that the tiger was responsible, in some ways at ..


https://www.google.com/search?biw=1280&b...bTaFKQ8MdM

It is believed that lion entered India from Persia about 6000 
years ago, and then
spread in northern India
https://www.google.com/search?tbm=bks&tbo=1&q=%22It+is+ believed+that+lion+entered+India +from+Persia+about+6000+years+ag o%2C+and+then%22
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India Ravisingh Offline
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Tigers can not displace lions from open forests coz they live in pride and lion could not displace tigers coz they are big and dangerous and live in dense forests where lions do not feel comfortable...so it was a natural balance I thing..lions occupied open areas and tigers occupied forested patchs and both avoided each other.
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Canada GrizzlyClaws Offline
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( This post was last modified: 09-07-2016, 12:21 PM by GrizzlyClaws )

I do believe the Asiatic lions were about the same size with the African lion in the past, but it is unlikely they were some kind of goliath that dwarfs those large tiger subspecies.

They were undoubtedly larger in the past, but the tiger was still slightly larger. And the lions were living in pride, that was an important leverage over the tiger.
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Netherlands peter Offline
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( This post was last modified: 09-07-2016, 09:26 PM by peter )

Size is not a criterium because of the amount of individual variation in all big cats. The only way to get to a reliable statement on size is large and reliable samples. The information we have says Gir lions are a bit smaller than African lions. The longest male, however, compared to the longest measured in Africa. As large populations usually produce more variation, it's likely some individuals in India exceeded 9.10 in total length measured in a straight line not so long ago.

I agree with Amnon regarding the general appearance of Gir lions. Those I saw were average in size and quite stocky. They also seemed more uniform. The main difference with African lions is in the skull in that the occiput, like in Javan tigers, often is constricted (narrower). Apart from that, the skull is a bit shorter.

Although the number of conflicts between wild Gir lions and humans is limited, captive Gir lions are considered as dangerous as African lions. Captive lions and humans often do not get along. 

Some years ago, there was a debate on why lions disappeared from central parts of India. The answer is humans.

In 1856, a book was published on tigers and tiger distribution. Although J.F. Brandt read just about everything available at the time, he never found a trace of conflict between both big cats. Remarkable, as lions and tigers lived in close proximity in quite many regions (Asia Minor, Afghanistan, parts of Pakistan and northwestern India). The most likely reason is both big cats use very different habitats. Tigers prefer elevated and forested regions, whereas lions prefer open plains. Tigers did breed in plains in some parts of the Caspian region (north and east of Lake Aral), but conditions in India were very different.

Although they had been hunted by Moguls and, later, local Indian rulers, lion numbers quickly dropped after the British had arrived. The reason is they had the means to hunt big game. Furthermore, many of them hunted. As often as possible, that is. Hunters like visibility. As lions are more visible than tigers, they were targeted first.

Based on what Brandt found, I'm not too sure about the argument often used (tigers) to keep lions in Gir today. Solitary big cats avoid confrontations with animals able to injure or kill them when possible, unless territory is involved. Or food. Experienced male Amur tigers hunt brown bears in Primorye, but they nearly always have a weight advantage and the intention isn't territory, but food. Even these specialists only very seldom extend to bears similar in size (350-450 pounds). In two incidents observed, the attack resulted in a 20-minute fight. Although both female bears were killed, both male tigers were injured. A female brown bear of, say, 160-170 kg. (353-387 pounds), however, is very different from an adult male Gir lion of similar weight. One is lions won't be considered as food and two is they live in prides. Furthermore, males are more aggressive than females.

All in all, I'd say an intentional confrontation about territory between an Indian lion and an Indian tiger is unlikely. Indirect proof can be found in the posts on Nepal tigers in the tiger-extinction thread. Smythies wrote a pair of lions (male and female) were released in Nepal in the thirties of the last century. Although the male, at just over 8 feet in total length 'over curves', was a small animal, especially when compared to an average male Nepal tiger, no proof was found of a confrontation with a tiger. The lions were on their own for about a month. Both were shot because they had turned to cattle. 

Meaning the reason to keep lions in Gir most probably isn't about tigers. My guess is pride and money could be involved in some way.
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India brotherbear Offline
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(09-07-2016, 11:23 AM)Ravisingh Wrote: Tigers can not displace lions from open forests coz they live in pride and lion could not displace tigers coz they are big and dangerous and live in dense forests where lions do not feel comfortable...so it was a natural balance I thing..lions occupied open areas and tigers occupied forested patchs and both avoided each other.

According to pckts at "Primates and Predator Interactions" post #34, lions have no trouble in adapting to a forest environment. This would mean that, except for the open grasslands, lions and tigers might occupy the same terrain.
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Sri Lanka Apollo Offline
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( This post was last modified: 09-07-2016, 11:38 PM by Apollo )

(09-07-2016, 09:42 PM)brotherbear Wrote:
(09-07-2016, 11:23 AM)Ravisingh Wrote: Tigers can not displace lions from open forests coz they live in pride and lion could not displace tigers coz they are big and dangerous and live in dense forests where lions do not feel comfortable...so it was a natural balance I thing..lions occupied open areas and tigers occupied forested patchs and both avoided each other.

According to pckts at "Primates and Predator Interactions" post #34, lions have no trouble in adapting to a forest environment. This would mean that, except for the open grasslands, lions and tigers might occupy the same terrain.


Lions can adapt to forest environment and tigers can adapt to open grasslands provided if there is a good prey base and no any bigger apex predator (more adapted to that particular environment) to challenge them.
A good example is tigers in present time have adapted and successful in living in the open grasslands of central and northwest India due to the absence of lions.

Ancient India is a much different place, lions entering dense forests will have to face the more adapted and bigger tigers. Tigers entering open grasslands will have to face the more adapted pride of lions.
So the more logical decision is to avoid such confrontations.
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India Ravisingh Offline
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there was this article about 'haryana' in hindustan times i found on internet.
see how lions were found close to village vicinity.even today haryana has least
forest cover in all over india and such arid areas were prime habitat of lions.
today no tigers and lions live here.
http://www.hindustantimes.com/india/litt...2Cc6M.html
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India Ravisingh Offline
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most difficult thing in lion reintroduction to kunno is the difference between maldari people of gujrat and natives of madhya pardesh.
1. maldaries have sticks to defend them from lions whereas kunno people have firearms (decoit region) to defend against tiger.
2. lions have a nature of coming close to maldaries coz they know these people won't harm them and visa-versa(see documentary: wandering lions of india) whereas people of kunno have rarely see a tiger so both people and tiger fear each other and avoid each other from a long distance.
so what happens when lions are realesed in kunno ..
they will not fear of people and wander like they do in gir. and people will either poison them for cattle lifting aur lions will be provoked by people due to their
fear and will result in conflict(killing of lions).
keeping last lions of asia with minimum genetic variations in a single forest would definatly result in sudden extinction of lions by some disease.
so only solution is educating every single kunno person about
lion behaviour and how different they are from tigers and showing them how people intrect with lions in gir.
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United States Blackleopard Offline
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The thing that is bit odd about lion behavior and not sure if the Asiatic lion is like this, because I thought from what I heard some where that they don't have the same large prides--but what's odd, is some of these African male coalition stories you hear about, the lions can be basically psychotic, they seem not to tire of killing other lions and taking over more territory.  I don't remember the link where I saw this, maybe I can find it, but I believe the Mapogo lions had killed hundreds of lions in just a few years time.  Which would seem a destructive nature toward your own species.

I can't imagine lions with such a nature when faced with a tiger in their territory, obviously the tiger would be confronted, whether alone or with the other coalition members.  In the wild both cats would be very fit and in prime awareness and reaction, with such a high caliber killing ability at present in both beast, and a resolute to sudden death with just a bite from either, it would seem the mane protecting the throat area and some added fighting wiles could prove advantage in the outcome.  But again, I'm not sure, is the Asiatic lion as mentally psycho as the African lion, if so, I'd say the fight would be on. 

I remember seeing some instances on several sites posted where the Asiatic lion and Bengal did come into conflict, but I'd have to do an extensive google search on those to make sure they were wild and not just staged fights. 

There was a famous accidental fight in the Tower of London, but it was between a captive Asiatic lion King George vs two wild Bengals fresh from the jungle.  I was a bit surprised at the fight the lion put up, it took both tigers to finally pin it down, and then after being broken up, the lion didn't stop fighting, and eventually ripped out one of the tigers teeth.

https://books.google.com/books?id=5AssXd...er&f=false
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Canada GrizzlyClaws Offline
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Good information, but better to avoid to turn this topic into another "lion vs tiger" theme.
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United States Blackleopard Offline
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(09-08-2016, 05:38 AM)GrizzlyClaws Wrote: Good information, but better to avoid to turn this topic into another "lion vs tiger" theme.


I think what you guys are hypothesizing is that both cats would of avoided each other when they originally shared the same territory in India, or I guess the question is did they avoid each other.  I happen to think that is probably true to some extent, the lions occupying the open areas, the tigers the thicker denser jungles.  But with the behavior of lions evident in various documentaries, it is doubtful encounters between the two cats would not have been doubtless.  I know you guys were saying J.F. Brandt didn't recall seeing any traces of conflict at the time, but I know Ive seen some actual accounts that speak otherwise.  A more detailed search would have to be conducted to verify this.
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United States Pckts Offline
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In regards to hunting, I was reading my tiger book by Steve winter on my long flight and I couldn't believe how long tigers have been hunted for. I'll post some images and info when I'm back, I also couldn't believe how worshipped they have been, not that the lion isn't worshipped as well, just discussing the hardships of seeing a tiger, it didn't stop them from being hunted nor having cave paintings of them in India from over 8 thousand years ago.
"Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is."
-Oscar Wilde
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Guatemala GuateGojira Offline
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I see where this is going. The debate "lion vs tiger" is useless and have no importance. Why you are insisting on it @Blackleopard?

It is an historic fact that there is not a single real account of a lion fighting a tigers in India, no one. Nor even the oldest Indian books mention this (Thapar, 2004). Besides, it is also an accepted fact that lions and tigers can't share the same habitat: lions prefer the open habitat and its group living way of life is adapted to use it; tigers evolved for close forest habitat and its way of life is perfect for this. This is the clever way that nature have to avoid conflicts, with two large predators that exploit two different habitats. If in any moment a tiger or a lion ever fight each other, this was simply never witnessed by any human. Other fact, Indian male lions live solitary lives, or with a male mate in some cases, which reflect an adaptation for the Indian habitat. Yes, lions can adapt themselves to forest and tigers to dryer habitats, but this is not the norm in India, when the changes in climate are very marked.

It is interesting to see that the only possible interaction between a lion and a tiger was in Burma (to far away from the eastern region of the Indian lion), with the legend of a great cat with mane like a lion and stripes like a tiger. Some cryptozoologists believe that this is evidence of the existence of ligers in the wild, but I guess that like many legends, this originated for a real liger born in captivity and latter, the peoples myths made the rest. Check that even this possible interaction in the wild was not even aggressive, but like I mentioned before, this was probably just a myth.

With respect of the arrival of the lions and tigers to India, the same book that @Blackleopard show here (Sudipta Mitra, 2005, Gir Forest and the Saga of the Asiatic Lion) mentions that lions arrived first, so the book contradict itself, in the same chapter. However, the real facts show that the tiger arrived to India just about 12,000 years ago (Yamaguchi & Kitchener, 2010), while the Asian lion invaded all Asia at about 21,000 years ago (Barnett et al., 2014). So, is obvious that the lion was the first arrival to India and take in count that about 20,000 years ago, India was a dry savanna like area, perfect for lions but unsuitable for tigers (Kitchener & Dugmore, 1999).

Finally, on the size issue, there is no evidence that the Cape lions were any larger than the nominal South African lions at the Kruger region (Guggisberg, 1975). Also, a deep look to all the available records of sizes from the Indian lions show that they were in fact, smaller than the African lions, and similar to those of the West African region, which constitute the African branch of this subspecies. The only two weights available in the old literature are somewhat doubtful: the male of 255 kg was taken in 1620 so there is no way to verified it, the other male of 222 kg seems more reliable but this is a figure that is normal for large African male lions.

Now, let's focus in the theme of the topic, which is the reintroduction of lions in Kuno, and the problems or advantages that this would create. No more "lion vs tiger" crap.
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