This Sad Map Shows Where Lions Used to Live and Where They Remain Today

Written by Michael Graham Richard

A king without a kingdom…

Credit: Public domain

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species has been labeling the iconic lion as ‘vulnerable’ since 1996. Various estimates show that populations have been going down by about 30–50 percent over each 20-year period of the second half of the 20th century. Starting with a population of around 400,000 in 1950, lions are now down to around 16,500-47,000 living in the wild based on estimates from 2002–2004 (certainly less than that now).

What’s happening? Mostly habitat loss and conflicts with humans, as well as some disease outbreaks.

The best way to illustrate just how much things have changed for lions is with the map above. The red areas show the species’ historic range, while the blue areas show where they can be found today… Sad, isn’t it?

For more on this, see our previous article about the “catastrophic collapse” of lion populations in West Africa.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

While this is depressing, here’s something to bring your spirits back up:

More on the backstory of this video here.

Via WikipediaWildlife Extra

This post originally appeared on TreeHugger

Photo Credit: Wikipedia/Public Domain


Jim Ven
Jim Vabout a year ago

thanks for the article.

Carrie-Anne Brown

thanks for sharing :)


Puta this is really sad, I hate so much humans who kill animals, I wish I had a special power to kill those humans too.

Janice Thompson
Janice Thompson2 years ago


Marianne R. said it best. Give her Green Stars.

Ruhee B.
Ruhee B2 years ago

No animal is safe these days - it's too terrible.

Kamia T.
Kamia T2 years ago

Petition already signed. It's so sad to see the map, which must track directly with the growth of human populations who are unwilling to learn how to live side by side with lions. I think if we did the same sort of map with just about every species, it would look very similar. Sadly it may take the wipe-out of a wide range of humans to allow the rest of nature to recuperate.

Deborah F.
Deborah F2 years ago

sad facts, indeed.

alice rozgon
alice rozgon2 years ago

Well, we are here on Care2 to bring world back it's beauty (; while those are sad facts, I think there is no need right now to cry about humanity misbehavior - we'll just act from now on. Talking to people around you about these facts may be really eyes opening experience for them - and you as well, and spreading the word is making a real change. We have no other power but love and communicating (:
Petition signed. Idealistic world full of awarness and tenderness to one another is a dream, yes, but everything Real once was a Dream. As Nelson Mandela said, it allways seems impossible until it's Done.

Jennifer H.
Jennifer H2 years ago

Signed. Wouldn't it be a dream come true to be able to hug and play with lions like in the video. Only in dreams. Humans are seeing to the destruction of their ranges and hunting them to extinction.

Manuela C.
Manuela C2 years ago

So sad, they're such beautiful creatures!