posted on Jan, 9 2014 @ 08:14 AM
Source : Scientificamerican.com
, January 8,
The populations of other large mammal species declined an average of 85 percent in West Africa between 1970 and 2005
This has been ongoing but researchers never thought that there would be this few lions in the country.
Back in 2005, before the survey began, West African lions were believed to live in 21 different protected areas. But now a paper about the survey,
published today in PLoS One, confirms that lions actually exist in just four of those sites..
The research team conducted in-person surveys in 13 of the 21 protected areas—each of which was larger than 500 square kilometers..
The researchers found the most West African lions in W-Arly-Pendjari, a complex of parks that crosses the borders of Benin, Burkina Faso and
Niger, which they estimate to hold about 350 big cats. The three other sites in Senegal and Nigeria are each estimated to have fewer than 50
Even on the website of the UICN, the Lion (Panthera Leo) is just classified as ' Vulnerable ';
Why is this happening?
Tthe IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group, which determines the conservation status of wild cats around the world, is also tackling the thorny issue of
lion taxonomy, which may result in new classification for the West African lion. The IUCN currently lists the West African lion as a population, not a
separate subspecies, and considers it to be endangered. “If West African lions were indeed classified as a separate subspecies by IUCN/SSC, we would
recommend listing them as Critically Endangered,”
Amongst the killing, selling :
..declined an average of 85 percent in West Africa between 1970 and 2005, mostly to feed the voracious demand of the bushmeat trade. The 11
nations of West Africa are among the poorest on earth and include six of the world’s least developed countries. The countries in the region have no
money for conservation, and the study found that most of the protected areas that were expected to contain lions had little to no enforcement,
security patrols or management
Lions are being eaten, killed for medical purposes, sold for their bones ..and other cruel things.
If this doesn't stop, the Lion as we know it would be extinct before the elephant. Who would have thought?
It pains me to see such a beautiful animal at the brink of extinction.
This needs to stop. Period.