Activists Win A Case Of Adding 2 Lion Subspecies To Endangered List

Posted: Dec 21 2015, 9:59am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

Cecil the Lion
Photo credit: Andy Loveridge/Wildlife Conservation Research via Associated Press

The US Fish and Wildlife Service has promised to declare on Monday that two lion subspecies will be added to the endangered list following a sustained pressure from the Humane Society International and the International Fund for Animal Welfare among other lobbyists who had been asking for over five years to have the big cats so designated - according to The Washington Post.

Jeff Flocken, North American regional director of the animal welfare fund noted that “This is going to be a very exciting announcement for those who want to see greater protection for lions.”

While many may be tempted to think that the killing of Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe was responsible for this development, the truth is that latest data about lion populations and their situations informed this decision to protect them further from man. The data was released by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, stating that as little as 20,000 lions remain in Africa – declining by as much as 60% in the past 21 years.

The Endangered Species Act now specifies that hunting lions will not be taken off the sports list, but hunters in the US will be required to have an import permit from the US Fish and Wildlife Service before they are allowed to bring their game trophies back into the US. And to obtain this permit, a hunter must be able “to demonstrate that the hunting and the trophy enhance survival of the species.”

“This is a very high bar,” said Teresa Telecky, the director of wildlife at the Humane Society International.

Based on this, populations of lions in central, western, and northern Africa will be protected as endangered and those in the southern and eastern part of the continent will be listed as threatened because they are more than the others.

But whether they are listed as threatened or endangered, a hunter will be required to have this permit from the US Fish and Wildlife Service to bring in a killed lion trophy into the US – starting from Monday.

“Habitat and loss of prey are top reasons for the decline, but poorly regulated trophy hunting was one of the biggest threats mentioned in their assessment,” Telecky said. “Another huge and emerging threat: the trade in lion bones to Asia, where they’re used in traditional Asian medicine.”

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/52" rel="author">Charles I. Omedo</a>
Charles is covering the latest discoveries in science and health as well as new developments in technology. He is the Chief Editor or Intel-News.




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