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59% Decrease in Population of Large African Animals

A recent study has stated that large mammals like buffalo and lions in African game parks have decreased by 59 percent from 1970 to 2005. The study was conducted by researchers from the United Nations Environment Program and the London Zoological Society.

“Africa has undergone a large (human) population increase since that period of time. There’s incredible pressure from hunting for food,” United Nations Environment Program spokesman Nick Nuttall said.

Elephants and rhinos were not included in the study, because of special trade restrictions.  (Rhinos are endangered, especially black rhinos, which are under greater poaching pressure than ever.)

Lions in Kenya are facing extinction. Their population numbers less than 2,000 now. Poisonings have contributed to the problem.

Dr. Richard Leakey (son of Louis Leakey), has said, “If we fail to put a stop to poisonings, our lions could go extinct in a matter of years; a catastrophic loss for anyone who cares about our national heritage, but also a devastating blow to the tourism industry that currently brings in hundreds of millions of dollars to our economy. ” He works with an organization called Wildlife Direct which is trying to ban Furadan, a poison that is often used to kill lions.

Last year it was reported another study showed large declines in African hoofed animals in the Masai Mara. Some of the data showing severe losses was disputed by conservationists who said surveys used for that study were out of date. The recent study seems to corroborate to some degree, that such large declines could have taken place. Masai Mara is in Kenya, and near the Serengeti National Park.

The Kenya Wildlife Service has formed a task force to create a giraffe conservation strategy, due to a decline in giraffes there in the last ten years.

Last year, 100m world record holder Usain Bolt adopted a Kenyan Cheetah to raise awareness about the decline of wild cheetahs. The Cheetah Conservation Fund says the wild cheetah is the most endangered cat in Africa.

Image Credit: Public Domain

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6:14AM PDT on Jun 2, 2011

Thanks for the article.

8:16AM PDT on Aug 26, 2010

It´s sad. I don´t now another way to express this huge felling of sadness...

6:24PM PDT on Aug 10, 2010

how sad, I didn't know, could you imagine Africa with out lions or giraffes!

7:59AM PDT on Aug 10, 2010

Numbers of people in Africa are thriving and the wild animal population is down by 59%. We humans micro manage everything, down to culling animal species to control their population growth, everything that is, except our own exploding numbers. In 40 years there will be nearly 12 billion people on this planet. Where will that leave any other living creature that needs somewhere to live and something to eat?

1:57PM PDT on Jul 27, 2010

Which sickening individuals thought it would be okay to poison these beautiful animals? They should poison themselves and do the world a favour.

1:17PM PDT on Jul 27, 2010

It's all because of humanity's fault. Humans want more territory so they destroy animal habitat, the environment and the earth, instead of doing what God has told them and called them to do, take care of the earth and the animals and be good stewards!

5:28AM PDT on Jul 27, 2010

OMG! What a terrible loss that would be for anyone who truly enjoys the beauty of the animals around the world, especially for me, the big cats. It's even a greater loss to our grandchildren if they cannot enjoy their beauty in the wild. Seeing them in Bass Pro Shops and the likes just doesn't do it.

10:39PM PDT on Jul 26, 2010

So disheartening to hear. I hope something is done about this so that we don't lose any of those special animals due to extinction because humans are overpopulating the area and killing the animals for food or other means.

3:03AM PDT on Jul 26, 2010

it is so sad, thanks for sharing

2:45AM PDT on Jul 26, 2010

Thank you for sharing!

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