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Africa’s Lions In Steep Decline

Africa’s Lions In Steep Decline

A surprising new study released this week finds that Africa is losing its lions, fast.  The lion population in Africa declined from 100,000 to about 32,000 over the last 50 years, according the Duke University researchers who conducted the study.  It finds that 6,000 lions face a high risk of extinction and that the lions of West Africa have declined by half in the last ten years.

The main culprit is the loss of the African savannahs. The study, which used satellite imagery from Google Earth, finds that the biologically diverse grasslands that sustain lions and thousands of other species have declined by 75 percent since 1960.  The loss is so severe that it is outpacing the loss of tropical rainforests. The study finds that there are only 67 isolated areas suitable to lions in Africa, and that lions have a high chance of survival in only ten of these.

What happens in Africa in the next 10 years will decide the future of lions, according to scientists familiar with the study. Giving lions “a fighting chance” will require substantial increases in effort.

Aid for Africa members are doing just that.  Panthera is working to create the Pan-African Lion Corridor to protect key lion habitat and connect core lion populations so that the species’ genetic diversity is preserved. Panthera is also training Maasai warriors in Kenya as a “front line” in reducing human-lion conflict.  Aid for Africa member Wildlife Conservation Network supports programs to enhance lion habitat in the undeveloped areas of Mozambique as a stronghold for lion survival.

Learn more about Aid for Africa members providing support to wildlife in Sub Saharan Africa.

Aid for Africa is an alliance of 85 U.S.-based nonprofits and their African partners who help children, families, and communities throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. Aid for Africa’s grassroots programs focus on health, education, economic development, arts & culture, conservation, and wildlife protection in Africa.

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180 comments

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7:19PM PDT on Apr 28, 2013

Conservation methods should be implemented for the Savannah and its inhabitants.

12:24PM PDT on Apr 28, 2013

Thank you! We must outlaw lion hunting. (P, T)

3:12AM PDT on Apr 25, 2013

What next ?? After killing the rhino almost to extincion, they now move onto lions, after they manage to kill & poach them, what species will follow.At one time these animals were killed for the purpose of staying alive by feeding yourself & your family, the killing only took the lives of one or two animals.The purpose of any medicinal value has not been proved.. With the huge amount of money involved, nobody listens to facts. The steep decline of the lions will get worse, before it gets better.It's not just the fault of the poachers or the people who have to survive from the what they can get from the land.
How many people visit Africa for one reason, to hunt & kill, They call it a sport, & there is the added bonus of extra cash for the skeletal remains. Over the past ten years the number of lions lives lost has halved, what will the next ten years bring if something is not done to protect them....

7:10PM PST on Feb 16, 2013

Very sad news.

9:09AM PST on Jan 17, 2013

Stop HUMAN OVERPOPULATION!

9:04AM PST on Jan 15, 2013

Sad. :(

9:52AM PST on Jan 12, 2013

thanks for sharing

9:17AM PST on Jan 7, 2013

Very sad to read once again that men destroy wherever they walk trough

9:34AM PST on Jan 2, 2013

This is not a surprise to me. I don't believe there is a single species that isn't in danger of extinction or decline because of humans.

I have literally signed hundreds upon hundreds of petitions to help the dolphins, whales, wolves, polar bears, community cats, pit bulls, mice, rats, squirrels, prairie dogs, snakes, rhinos, elephants, possum, raccoons, birds, lizards, penguins, seals, chimps, lions and tigers and bears and the list goes on and on and on. There is no species immune from our greed and need to destroy.

And it sickens and disgusts me to no end.

5:27AM PST on Jan 2, 2013

Really sad. I hope they can save the lions.
They are amazing creature and I don't want this to be the last of them.
We need to get out of their homes and stick to the places we have already destroyed.
I wish we could just give them their homes back.

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