Wildlife Groups Seek Protection of African Lions
A petition has been filed to ask the Department of Interior in the United States to certify African lions as being endangered under provisions provided in the Endangered Species Act.
The petition was the work of a disparate group of wildlife protection organizations, including the Humane Society of the United States, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, Born Free USA, Humane Society International, Defenders of Wildlife and the Born Free Foundation.
Both the range and population of the lions in Africa are in serious and alarming decline. In the last 20 years African lion populations have declined by more than 48.5 percent. This is due to many factors such as loss of prey species and habitat, retaliatory killings by humans, disease, trophy hunting and commercial trade as well as other natural and human caused factors.
There are less than 40,000 of these noble beasts left in only a few countries. Wildlife experts project that two thirds of the remaining population are at risk due to lack of protection.
A very uncertain future is facing African lions. Most African countries could see their wild lions disappear completely if urgent steps are not taken before it is just too late.
The petition included documentation that shows that the global trade of the lions and their body parts, trophy hunting included, has a significant role in the African lion’s population reduction.
In a ten year period beginning in 1998, around 7,445 wild African lions got traded globally with about 4,021 of them ending up in the United States.