The Asiatic lion, also known as the Indian lion, is a lion subspecies that exists as a single population inIndia’s Gujarat State. It is listed as Endangered by IUCN due its small population size. The lion population has steadily increased in Gir Forest National Park, more than doubling from a low of 180 individuals in 1974 to a level of 411 individuals consisting of 97 adult males, 162 adult females, 75 sub-adults, and 77 cubs as of April 2010.
The Asiatic lion was first described by the Austrian zoologist Johann N. Meyer under the trinomen Felis leo persicus. It is one of the five big cats found in India, apart from Bengal tiger, Indian leopard, snow leopard and clouded leopard. It formerly occurred in Persia, Mesopotamia, Baluchistan, from Sind in the west to Bengal in the east, and from Rampur and Rohilkund in the north toNerbudda in the south. It differs from the African lion by less inflated auditory bullae, a larger tail tuft and a less developed mane.
It is also known as the Persian lion.