The lion is one of the most magnificent and revered animals on earth, yet few realize the species is in a race against extinction.
Join us to learn why Africa’s lions are in crisis and how you can help to #LetLionsLive.
Few wildlife stories have had as momentous a global impact as that of Cecil, the magnificent, black-maned lion that was illegally hunted and killed in Zimbabwe in July 2015. The tragic incident focused worldwide attention on the plight of the African lion, widely perceived to be abundant, but now known to be in rapid decline throughout much of Africa.
Lion populations have plunged by more than 43% in the last two decades. Today just 20,000 lions remain, occupying only 8% of their historical range.
While the species is under tremendous pressure from a variety of human-caused threats, hope for the lion exists. With a renewed focus on proven methods to stabilize and increase lion populations, it is now up to the international community to stand with the governments and people of Africa to save the extraordinary African lion.
I urge my country’s leaders to prioritize financial support to Africa for management of its protected areas.Lions need adequately funded, well-managed protected areas to thrive. The massive cost of maintaining these vast protected area networks is prohibitive for many African governments. International investment in protected areas helps African countries to develop their tourism industries, fuelling sustainable rural development and creating jobs.
I stand with Africa in its efforts to promote co-existence between people and wildlife.As people and their livestock encroach on lions’ landscapes, conflict is inevitable. Proven solutions to reducing conflict need to be implemented alongside legal frameworks that allow communities and landowners to realize the benefits from co-existing with wildlife. Further incentives for local communities to tolerate wildlife are needed to replace revenue from practices like hunting that deplete lion populations.
I pledge never to eat bushmeat—the meat of wild animals.While some bushmeat is consumed for subsistence, a high proportion is hunted illegally to meet local urban and, in some cases, overseas demand, where bushmeat is rising in status as a luxury item. Bushmeat poaching is stripping Africa’s savannahs of the prey lions need to live, driving human-wildlife conflict where livestock becomes a prey substitute. Moreover, the crude snares used to catch wild animals often trap lions instead, leading to cruel and lengthy deaths.
I refuse to buy, sell or promote products that are made from the parts of lions.Lion parts, including bones, fur, teeth and skin are often sold in both African and Asian markets, frequented by local customers and tourists alike. Global demand for these products — whether used for medicinal or decorative purposes — is on the rise and poses an increasing threat to wild lion populations.
I pledge not to patronize close-encounter lion attractions.Across Africa, commercial lion encounter operations draw in thousands of tourists, offering opportunities to feed, pet and walk with captive lions. While captive breeding facilities claim to benefit conservation, they do not contribute to wild lion conservation and in fact are often detrimental. Lion cubs are taken away from their mothers shortly after birth, and when they outgrow tourists’ laps, are often sold to canned hunting operations.