Africa Without Lions: Where Is Your Pride?

Great article in the Opinion section of New York Times by Richard Conniff this week on the dramatic decline in African lion populations, “Angry Tweets Won’t Help African Lions.”  In West and Central Africa only a total of 400 lions remain.

The culprit? They have a highly motivated competitor for their prey… impoverished Africans.  According to the NYT and Philipp Henschel with Panthera, “Now many protected areas have also lost the buffalo, antelope and other large animals that lions would normally feed on, according to Philipp Henschel, a lion specialist with the cat conservation group Panthera. In many habitats, only warthogs and baboons survive, because of Muslim rules against eating them.”

Then there is Africa’s projected population growth…

africaeuropepopulationgrowth4_thumb

Even in countries with larger prides of over 1,000 within East Africa, this region has seen a 60% decline in lion populations in the last 20 years.

The solution according to the article, The first step in making sure that doesn’t happen may seem obvious to us, but less so to Africans struggling to feed their families: Set aside and truly protect part of each country as wildlife habitat.”

 

In short according to Richard Conniff, ”  That is, we should be lobbying the United Nations, the World Bank, the United States Agency for International Development, the European Union, the International Development Bank and other international bodies to take on the park management shortfall, estimated at $700 million to $3 billion a year.”

Where is your pride?

We Heard You.

Mark

#letlionslive

Photo: @Judy Spangler Jones

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