A lifeline for lions

A four-point plan to save Africa’s top predator is launched by conservation groups.

The major issues affecting lions in Africa are habitat loss and conflict with herdsmen. © pilesasmiles/iStock
The major issues affecting lions in Africa are habitat loss and conflict with herdsmen. © pilesasmiles/iStock

A ‘roadmap’ to save lions from extinction has been outlined by a consortium of conservation organisations.

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One year on from the furore sparked by the killing of Cecil the lion, Panthera, WildAid and the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit have combined to say how the future of Africa’s top predator can be assured.

There are four steps that must be taken, they say.

First, donor countries must help to fund the management of protected areas; second, resolution of the issue of conflict with local people; third, reforming trophy hunting; and fourth, reducing the demand for lion parts such as bones.

Lion numbers have declined by 43 per cent in the past 20 years, and there are just 20,000 left across the whole of Africa.

The main threats to the species are habitat loss, poaching for bushmeat and killing by herdsmen.

These kill 5–10 times as many lions every year as trophy hunting does.

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