Gir National Park is an important protected area in Asia and is the home of the pure Asiatic Lions. The second most important predator in this region is the Leapord. The park is located in the south west of Gujarat, India. To be precise, it is 65 km south east of Junagadh and 60 km south west of Amreli. The Asiatic lion once had a wide range in natural territory running from NW India through Persia to Arabia. But unfortunately hunted as a coveted trophy item during the British Raj era, it is now only found in the Gir forest of Gujarat.
The famine of 1899 decimated the Asiatic lion population so much that Lord Curzon cancelled his shoot at Gir, where he was staying as the guest of Nawab Junagadh. Curzon persuaded the Nawab to protect the remaining lions. In 1965, the India Government declared this place as a National park. The land is rugged with deep ravines, steep rocky hills and plenty of rivers. The vegetation, mainly along the main rivers and streams is mixed deciduous, with Teak, Acacia, Jamun, Tendu and Dhak trees, interspersed with large patches of grasslands and offers the visitor long pleasant drives, through the thick forest cover. These trees are mostly broad leaved and evergreen, giving the area a cool shade and moisture content. The Gir forest is dry for most of the year with scrub trees, like babul and few flowering trees.
The Gir Forest falls under the Very Dry Teak Forest Classification. It has 507 different species of plant in the region. The count of 2,375 distinct fauna species of Gir includes about 38 species of mammals, around 300 species of birds, 37 species of reptiles and more than 2,000 species of insects. The main herbivores of Gir are Chital, Nilgai (or Bluebull), Sambar, Four-horned Antelope, Chinkara and Wild boar. Blackbucks from the surrounding area are sometimes seen in the sanctuary.