A new survey from West Africa reveals worrying news for lions: they’re getting pretty close to extinct in the region.
Carnivore conservation charity Panthera (not to be confused with durable metal band Pantera) found that the lion now only roams 1.1% of its historic range between Senegal and Nigeria. The results come as a shock: lion conservation programmes have traditionally been (and still are) focused in central and eastern Africa.
Unsurprisingly, habitat destruction is thought to be a major culprit, while illegal lion-killing also figures. Interestingly, another element of human-wildlife conflict here is that the lion’s usual prey (e.g. antelope species) is widely poached to fuel the bushmeat trade.
“We are talking about some of the poorest counties in the world,” said report co-author Dr Philipp Henschel. “Many governments have bigger problems than protecting lions.”
While tigers remain in even more serious trouble, “to save the lion will require a massive commitment of resources from the international community,” according to Panthera’s president Dr Luke Hunter.
The original article can be found here.