Lions in crisis: UK and US told they must act now03/03/2011 08:42:59
Lion population on verge of collapse
March 2011: The US and UK governments are being asked to take urgent action to help save the African lion, now seriously under threat.
The Foundation believes that unless current trends are reversed, it is possible that the continent's population of wild lions, already down to less than 40,000 animals from nearly 76,000 in 1980, will collapse. Ten years ago, lions inhabited 30 African countries. That number is now down to 27 and it is likely that they will disappear from more countries in the years ahead unless immediate action is taken.
US is single biggest importer of lion parts
Listing under the ESA would prohibit the general import of lion trophies into the US unless it could be shown that the importation enhanced the species' survival or was for scientific purposes. This single measure could dramatically cut the number of lions shot for ‘sport' by US citizens.
Will Travers, CEO of the Born Free Foundations explains: ‘The pressure on lions comes from all sides. Loss of habitat due to the impact of a sub-Saharan human population that is predicted to grow from 518 million in 1990 to 1.75 billion in 2050; loss of the wild animals that lions naturally prey on, due to the ravages of the commercial bushmeat trade; the impact of deadly diseases often transmitted from livestock or companion animals; retaliatory killings - the spearing or poisoning of lions after they have attacked livestock; and high levels of unsustainable trophy-hunting and body part trade.'