This Thursday, August 10, is World Lion Day. Similar to the recent Global Tiger Day, this day has been set aside to generate support for lion conservation.
Two years ago, the killing of Cecil the Lion brought Panthera leo (lions’ scientific name) into the limelight. Thousands of people became aware that lion numbers had dropped from 200,000 to 20,000 in a little more than 100 years, and that their global population had declined by 43% in the last two decades alone (Panthera, 2015b; Bauer, Packer, Funston, Henschel, & Nowell, 2016).
In order to further educate the public about the lion’s situation, the NGOs Panthera and WildAid launched a website called Let Lions Live. It summarizes the dominant threats facing the species in different parts of Africa (remember, Africa is a massive continent), as well as lions’ population status throughout their range. One noteworthy trend is that while lion numbers are falling in most of Africa, they are growing in some countries in the southern portion of the continent. This shows that it is possible to restore lion numbers, and that their fate is not yet sealed.
You can also download a document from the Let Lions Live website with much more detailed information about the state of lion conservation. It is called Beyond Cecil: Africa’s Lions in Crisis, and I have reviewed it here.
To help raise the profile of his useful website, I have added it to the Allies list on the right-hand column of this blog. Be sure to check it out and learn how you can help turn the tide for lions!
P.S. I will be sharing at least one story about lions this week, so stay tuned!
Bauer, H., Packer, C., Funston, P.F., Henschel, P. & Nowell, K. (2016). Panthera leo. (errata version published in 2017) The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T15951A115130419. Retrieved from http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/full/15951/0.