Opinion: African Lions Should Not Be Listed as Endangered

A lioness surveys the landscape in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Can lion hunting support conservation?

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering a petition from several animal rights groups to place the African lion on the list of endangered species. By law, species are to be placed on that list only when the Fish and Wildlife Service determines that they are currently “in danger of extinction.” In an attempt to garner support for the petition, a proponent claimed recently that the lion is “in danger of disappearing in our lifetimes.”

(Related: “Opinion: Why Are We Still Hunting Lions?“)

Is the condition of the lion really that dire? Fortunately, the most recent scientific data say no. A comprehensive study published last December concluded that there are between 32,000 and 35,000 lions living in the wild in Africa. The lion population is spread across 27 countries, with nine countries having populations of at least 1,000 lions. (See “The Serengeti Lion.”)

Of greatest significance is the fact that 24,000 of the lions, which is at least 68 percent of the total population, live in what the study terms “strongholds.” Strongholds are areas that meet “the necessary requirements for [the] long-term viability” of their lion populations.

Read the full story here.

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About jensera

Jennifer Harrington is a Toronto-based illustrator, writer and graphic designer. She illustrated the best-selling children’s book series 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' which includes the titles 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' 'The Night Before a Canadian Christmas' and 'Canadian Jingle Bells.' She is also the owner of JSH Graphics, a boutique graphic design agency that specializes in print and web advertising. With her latest project, Eco Books 4 Kids, Jennifer has partnered with illustrator Michael Arnott to create a series of ecologically-themed ebooks for children. Her next book, 'Spirit Bear,' is due for release in the Summer of 2013. Jennifer offers two different school presentations for her 'Moose in a Maple Tree' collection, an illustration demonstration and a Christmas concert series, which can be booked at www.amooseinamapletree.com. She will be taking bookings for school readings of 'Spirit Bear' beginning in October 2013.

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