Are fences the only hope for Africa's lions?06/03/2013 17:38:39 Lions will disappear from 50% of current areas
March 2013. A new report has concluded that nearly half of Africa's wild lion populations may decline to near extinction over the next 20-40 years without urgent conservation measures. The plight of many lion populations is so bleak, the report concludes that fencing them in - and fencing humans out - may be their only hope for survival.
Not ideal - But may be necessary
Whether fencing or some alternative physical boundary such as intensely managed buffer zones, it is clear that separating lion and human populations will be essential for the species' survival. Along with maintaining physical boundaries, conflict mitigation initiatives such as those carried out through Panthera's Project Leonardo and the Lion Guardians program, are required to reduce the killing of lions where humans and lions share the landscape.
Panthera's Dr. Guy Balme stated, "We have shown that it is possible to keep both humans and lions in African landscapes by reducing lion-human conflict, but it requires extensive resources. As the numbers of people and their livestock continue to grow in Africa, it is essential to scale up these programs to avert losing many lion populations."
Fewer than 30,000 lions in Africa
Learn more about Panthera's efforts to protect and grow Africa's remaining lion populations through Project Leonardo.
Led by the University of Minnesota's Professor Craig Packer and co-authored by a large team of lion biologists, including Panthera's President, Dr. Luke Hunter, and Lion Program Director, Dr. Guy Balme, the report, entitled Conserving large carnivores: dollars and fence, was published today in the scientific journal Ecology Letters.