The Lion (Panthera leo) is classified as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List with a declining population trend. There is estimated to be between 23000-39000 mature individuals remaining in the wild.
HABITAT AND DIET
Lions are only absent from tropical rainforests and the interior of the Sahara desert, making themselves at home in all other habitats. Lions can live relatively independently of water and in very arid conditions as they are able to obtain their moisture requirements from prey and plants. Their preferred prey is medium to large sized ungulate such as zebra and antelope; but they can and will take almost any other animal. Lions are also known to scavenge and will displace smaller predators, such as the Spotted Hyena (Crocuta crocuta), from their kills. Lions are the most social of the cats with non-related females remaining in prides.
Lions face difficulty from prey base depletion and habitat loss and conversion. They are also a favourite animal of trophy hunters and so face many human killings. There is also a large illegal trade base for lion body parts. All these factors have lead to the decline of the numbers of lions in the wild.
Lions are listed on Appendix II of CITES. Also, in Africa most lions are present in large and well managed protected areas. As lions are a popular tourist favourite, the wildlife tourism profits help to go toward the conservation of lions.
However, the continued decline in the numbers of lions have shown that the political priority and funding for conservation is not currently sufficient.
If you want to donate to the conservation of lions, there are a couple of way you can do this.
If you visit Born Free you can adopt a lion for £2.50 a month. In the adoption pack you receive a cuddly toy, a picture of the lions you can adopt (Sinbad and Achee), Sinbad and Achee’s full story, a personalised adoption certificate, a Born Free window sticker and a Born Free folder. You will also receive the ADOPT! magazine twice a year with update on the lions.
You can also donate to LionAid if you don’t want to adopt and just want to donate. At LionAid you can pick the amount you wish to donate and how often.
You can also read more on my Animal Travels: Kenya post.
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