A wild animal does not belongs in caves. But the zoos all over the world do a great work to safeguard many animals from distinction.
Today the “sweet big cat” is in trouble and needs our help.
Around the world, the populations of many iconic big cat species have precipitously declined in the last fifty years. Sixteen of the 36 wild cat species are considered vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered by the IUCN.
Nowhere in the world is it legal to hunt wild tigers, as each remaining subspecies of the giant cat is infamously on the verge of extinction.
Yet the close cousin of the tiger, the lion — almost equally large, equally charismatic and, in places, equally threatened — is legally killed by trophy hunters across its shrinking African range.
Lions have disappeared from over 80% of their historic range, and their population declined by nearly 50% from just 1980 to 2002.
“Lion populations in west and central Africa are acutely threatened with many recent, local extinctions even in nominally protected areas” a new study warns. The study estimates that more than 6,000 lions are in populations with a very high risk of local extinction.
“Only immediate, energetic conservation measures can offer any hope for their survival.”
Add your voice: Sign The Petition
- Help save African lions by Endangered Species Coalition (socialactions.net)
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is accepting public comments now as they decide whether to protect these big cats under the Endangered Species Act.Please ask FWS to list African lions as endangered and help to give lions the chance to recover.
- African Lions Move Closer to U.S. Endangered Species Act Protection (blogs.scientificamerican.com)
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced this week that African lions (Panthera leo leo) may deserve protected status under the Endangered Species Act.
- Big Cat Week – Nat Geo Wild (greatcatsoftheworld.wordpress.com)
- Celebrating Big Cats (ecology.com)
Artist, and cat enthusiast, Grace Fowler, shares her delightful celebration of these majestic creatures, in hopes that appreciation of their beauty and awareness of their plight will help to inspire their preservation.
- Closer Look: Sleeping with Lions (newswatch.nationalgeographic.com)
Nat Geo WILD presents a week dedicated to nature’s fiercest felines—big cats—creatures of magnificent strength, ferocity and beauty that are rapidly facing extinction. With visually stunning and powerful stories from around the world, get closer than ever before to lions, tigers, cheetahs, panthers and more as you share in their triumphs, defeats, and epic struggles to survive.
- Africa’s vanishing savannahs threaten lions: study (nation.co.ke)
Africa’s savannahs and the lions that roam there are disappearing at an alarming rate as ballooning human populations deprive the big cats of their natural habitat, a study released Tuesday showed.
- African Lions Move Closer to US Endangered Species Act Protection (motherjones.com)
First, hunting is occurring at unsustainable levels in 16 of the 20 African countries in which lions can still be found. Second, hunting appears to be increasing. The number of trophies imported into the U.S. in 2008 was more than double that in 1999 and higher than in any other year in that decade, said Teresa Telecky, director of Humane Society International’s wildlife department, speaking at a press conference on November 26.
- Big cats in crisis: Populations dramatically decline (usatoday.com)
There are only 100 to 200 snow leopards in Afghanistan
- Big cat crisis: Africa’s lions being crowded out by people (guardian.co.uk)
African lions are running out of room to roam and some local populations, especially in west Africa, are heading for extinction, a new study warns.
New satellite data, studied by scientists from Duke University, found about three-quarters of Africa’s wide open savannah had disappeared over the last half century, broken up into farms or engulfed by development.