Our Lion Conservation Objectives
Lions Are At Risk
Lions are the top predator in ecosystems. Lose lions and lose ecosystem stability and function. Lions are already extinct in 25 African nations and clinging to survival in a further 10 in small and scattered populations.
This means that only 14 African countries have lions today. To lose the lion in Africa would be considered as another in our long list of failures to keep natural populations of large predators alive. Conservationists say most natural populations of lions will be gone in the next ten to twenty years - hunted, poisoned, speared, trapped, slaughtered. If things don't change. LionAid are working to make things really change. In the past 50 years existing approaches to lion conservation have allowed 185,000 lions to become bleached bones or tanned skins. This is why LionAid are taking a different approach with new ideas and new ways to protect and conserve the remaining 15,000 lions.
LionAid - Doing things differently to Save Lions
A new approach is clearly needed, and LionAid is committed to identifying solutions that WILL make a difference. We have identified the following priorities:
- Educate the general public as to what is actually happening to our top African predator; there remains an overwhelming lack of awareness of the huge decline of lions and contributory causes.
- Convince the UK Government and the EU Commission to effect a ban on the importation of lion trophies and indeed all lion products. The USA might be the largest importer of lion trophies, but European nations are strong contributors. For example, between 2003 and 2012 EU Member States imported a total of 2,691 lion trophies, mainly to Spain, France and Germany. European hunters are responsible for over 90% of lion trophy imports from the highly endangered western African lions.
- Conduct meetings to speed progress towards this ban with UK/EU Member State parliamentarians, Members of European Parliament, the European Parliament Intergroup on Animal Welfare and Conservation, the Associated Parliamentary Group on Animal Welfare (UK), and the EC Commissioner for Environment.
- Bring African lions on the agenda of the EC Wildlife Trade Regulation Scientific Review Group to evaluate their status given current trade offtake. This is especially urgent for central and western African lions that are genetically distinct, occur in small and scattered populations, are declining at a rapid rate ... but still are trophy hunted.
- Work together with our growing list of conservation NGO partners to jointly push forward LionAid initiatives.
- Work with African lion range states to urge them to conduct scientific lion population counts in their nations and declare lions nationally protected species. Also urge these nations to design and where necessary update their national lion conservation plans.
- Initiate effective and self-sustaining programmes to reduce lion/livestock conflict and thereby reduce retaliatory killing of lions. We have initiated a program in Kenya that we hope to duplicate in many African lion range states.
- Urge the IUCN and CITES to officially list central and western African lions as "regionally endangered". The IUCN Red List currently refers to a 2004 publication that mentions these lions as such, but no definitive listing has resulted.
- Accord the African lion "World Heritage Species" status with UNESCO. The Great Apes already have this status, and as lions occupy a highly important status within great diversity of cultures, all the UNESCO requirements are met.
- Highlighting the horrors of the canned lion hunting industry and its associated cub petting trade, volunteer market and lion walking business
- Working with Governments to stop the illegal wildlife trade. The trade in lion bones is accelerating and is inevitably leading to an escalation of lion poaching in poverty stricken rural areas of Africa
- Highlighting the cub smuggling trade which feeds the canned lion hunting industry and the pet trade, particularly to the United Arab Emirates
- Discouraging zoos worldwide from keeping and breeding lions (to supply a stream of cute cubs to boost visitor numbers) and to particularly desist from breeding white lions which have no conservation value
- Working with schools worldwide through skype classroom to bring the truth about lions and the importance of lion conservation to the upcoming generation