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Lions in West Africa are facing extinction

Posted on Wednesday, 15 January, 2014 | Comment icon 18 comments

Lions in West Africa are now critically endangered. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Yathin S Krishnappa
A recent survey has suggested that there are only around 400 of the animals left in the entire region.
Conservationists have warned that lion populations in West Africa have suffered a "catastrophic collapse" and that the entire population now numbers in the low hundreds. The research was carried out across 17 countries over the course of six years.

"Our results came as a complete shock; all but a few of the areas we surveyed were basically paper parks, having neither management budgets nor patrol staff, and had lost all their lions and other iconic large mammals," said report co-author Philipp Henschel.

The lions in West Africa are genetically different to the lions spread across other parts of the continent and have been mostly neglected by conservation efforts. A lot of their habitat has been converted for agricultural purposes and they now roam just one percent of the area they once dominated.

"In some areas, we also witnessed the retaliatory killing of lions by herdsmen that entered protected areas illegally with their herds of cattle and goats," said Henschel. "We are talking about some of the poorest counties in the world - many governments have bigger problems than protecting lions."

Source: BBC News | Comments (18)

Tags: Lion, Africa

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #9 Posted by Xanthurion2 on 15 January, 2014, 21:50
That sucks. Lions are my favorite animal.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Sundew on 15 January, 2014, 22:23
Comment icon #11 Posted by ancient astronaut on 16 January, 2014, 5:02
If That is true, then that is a shocking statistic.
Comment icon #12 Posted by brizink on 16 January, 2014, 6:05
Actually, most of Africa is comprised of 4th world countries based on the human growth and development index. Not a single sub-saharan country ranks as part of the 1st or second world. That is to say; the entirety of Africa ranks as 3rd and 4th world countries. That being said, Africa is effing broke, there's no way they can afford to make the nescissary changes in their policies and budgets to accommodate precting the lions. The only way would for third-party organizations and other governments to fund and staff a xoncervation effort. Buuuuut, not gonna happen, the lions are totally screw... [More]
Comment icon #13 Posted by redhen on 16 January, 2014, 10:31
All of this should come as no surprise to anyone. From a BBC report 10 years ago Never mind gasoline shortages, think of all the things that are made out of petroleum products, rubber tires is the first thing that comes to my mind. I know UM readers have enlightened me about new synthetic rubber made out of algae, but this is still in the development stage. Time's a tickin'....
Comment icon #14 Posted by psyche101 on 21 January, 2014, 6:40
I saw a special on Telly the other week about Game Parks in Africa. They breed Lions and other game solely for the purpose of hunting. Some of the farmers get attached to certain animals and won't allow hunting of them, one farmer I remember had a family of Giraffes he was particularly fond of. He had many Lions and bred them, and they looked very healthy, and were in large open habitats. He said that Africa is shot, they cannot farm, predators kill livestock, this is a perfect solution for them. Not only do they breed more than is hunted to sustain the population, they brought some type ... [More]
Comment icon #15 Posted by redhen on 21 January, 2014, 12:41
Some pretty bleak and chauvinistic things have been said on this post about Africans. Let's be clear, there is no inherent biological difference in sub-Saharan Africans that hold them back. Politics holds them back.
Comment icon #16 Posted by LimeGelatin on 22 January, 2014, 15:59
Seeing as how the lioness' all mate with the same male, would there be more potential to help save the species in taking some of the males who aren't being mated with into controlled environments in which they would be the only male presented to a limited amount of females? At the least it would provide zoo's with more attractions, and as I see it, this idea could increase the likelihood of the maximum amount of lioness' conceiving, carrying for a full term, and having an opportunity to raise their offspring till they are fully mature. -I don't know just a concerned citizen... [More]
Comment icon #17 Posted by HollyDolly on 22 January, 2014, 19:38
Well speaking about lionsyou need to check out KSAT 12 the local San Antonio ABC affiliate. According to a report Monday,,and african lion was supposed to be running around the New Berlin area.New Berlin is a small town south of here in Guadalupe County.It is i guess maybe 20 to 30 miles from San Antonio.Apparently someone started a rumor on Facebook that a lion was running a round. The Guadalupe County sheriff's office said that Tarzan had come from Africa to get it and take it back home. It's funnier to read it at KSAT12 then I told it. Having lived her for 43 years this is just ... [More]
Comment icon #18 Posted by moonshadow60 on 23 January, 2014, 0:11
Endangered wildlife is also killed every day for such things as Chinese "medicine" to enhance male virility, etc. Or bush meat for restaurants all over the world. Elephants just for their ivory. Gorillas for various parts of their bodies. It has probably always been thus, but there are far less animals to kill and the price goes up, which makes for more animals being killed. Totally breaks my heart. The human animal is not kind to his animal brethren.

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