African savannah has shrunk in extent by 75% in the last 50 years. During that time Africa’s lion population has declined from about 100,000 to approximately 32,000.
This loss of numbers is so rapid that the US Fish and Wildlife Service is considering adding lion to the endangered species list which would mean that trophy hunting would be affected as trophies could no longer be imported to the US.
It’s a conundrum. Trophy hunting provides a livelihood for some local communities and if it were stopped there would no longer be any incentive to maintain the open savannah where lions live. Eventually humans would spread out over African plains and lion habitat would be destroyed. At present, trophy hunting helps preserve lions.
Which to save? My big cuzzies or a patch of grass?
- Lion Numbers Plunge as African Wilderness Succumbs to Human Pressure (newswatch.nationalgeographic.com)