The Gir National Park of India, the only place in the world where Asiatic lions are found, presently boats of a population of around 359 lions (as per April 2006 census). The entire population of the lions lives in an area that stretches upto 1,412 sq km (558 square miles). The current status of Asiatic lions has improved to quite an extent from that of 1907, when there were only 13 lions in India. Still, it is less than what it should have been and a number of factors have contributed to this. Some of these factors have been mentioned below.
The authorities have made immense efforts to make Gir National Park a completely protected area for the species. However, one can still find considerable incidences of poaching here. Another major reason that has contributed to declining population of lions is their poisoning by the nearby residents. Natural epidemics like floods, fires, etc also add to their vulnerability. The wells dug by farmers for irrigation purposes end up as death traps for the lions, making the Indian (Asian) lion's present status far from satisfactory.
On many instances, it has been found that farmers fence their lands with crude and illegal electrical fences, to protect their crops from Nilgai. However, many times, lions are found to be electrocuted by these fences. The Maldhari community of Gir also threatens the existence of lions. The cattle raised by Maldharis are left for grazing inside Gir, leading to the destruction of the natural habitat of the lions. The prey of the lions gets depleted and they are forced to kill livestock, leading to their being targeted by the residents.