If you visit the savannahs of Africa you expect to see lions. However, the chances of doing so are rapidly diminishing. In 1975 there were around 200,000 lions roaming around Africa. In 2012, that number was estimated to be around 32,000. Other reports suggest this figure may be as low as 16,000 (tinyurl.com/b98f9g7). The African lion (Panthera leo) is currently classified as ‘vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List. If this trend continues, the lion will be extinct within the next 40 years, which will have fundamental consequences for Africa’s ecosystem. In response, a range of conservation initiatives are under way to conserve and restore wild lion populations. Conservationists don’t necessarily agree on how to do it, but they do agree that we need to act fast to protect this globally iconic and important African predator before it disappears.
|Publication status||Published - Feb 2014|