Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Lions at risk from extinction unless action is taken

Posted: 11 February 2013. Updated: 4 September 2018


Lions are extinct in 27 countries and possibly extinct in 7 others, with numbers across the world estimated as low as 23,000 individuals compared to around 200,000 in Africa in the 1980s. It is thought that within 30 years the African lion could disappear from the wild unless urgent action is taken. Vulnerable to extinction due to hunting and habitat loss, lions are also under threat due to persecution by livestock farmers.

The U.S. is the world’s largest importer of lion trophies and African lion parts and so plays its part in putting lion populations at risk. Most U.S. citizens however want to see lions in the wild protected – a recent poll found that over 80% of the public are supportive of the U.S. government taking action to prevent trophy hunting and believe they should back international efforts to end the commercial trade of lion products.

What You Can Do

CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, is a legally binding treaty (international law), an agreement between governments regulating international trade of endangered and protected species. Each Party to the Convention designates one or more Management Authorities in charge of administering the rules and one or more Scientific Authorities to advise them on the effects of trade on the status of the species. In the UK, the CITES authority is the Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) and in the US, it is the US Fish & Wildlife Department (USFW). The government representative of the Parties to CITES meets every three years at their Conference of the Parties (COP) to discuss and vote on changes to the international law on wild animal and plant trade. The next COP will be held in Bangkok (Thailand), 3-14 March 2013.

  • Contact your national CITES representative and urge them to ensure that lions receive protection under CITES – ask them to take action to end trophy hunting
  • Write to your local newspaper and outline some of the points made here, and ask people to support the campaign
  • Support ADI and keep up-to-date with our campaigns by ‘liking’our facebook page and signing up to our eAlerts

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