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Preserving Lions

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by

Sue House

on 27 August 2015

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Transcript of Preserving Lions

Preserving Lions
Why protect lions?
We like to look at them.
Predator/prey balance
: control population size of prey species
Provide competition for other top predators
Specialists:
evolved to live in challenging environments
Able to hunt over large tracts of land
Utilize a large variety of prey and also scavenge
Keystone species:
removal could drastically impact ecosystem
Umbrella species:
protection results in protection of many other species
Flagship species
: we only protect the species we can love
Threats to African Lions (panthera leo)
loss of habitat
habitat fragmentation
protection of cattle and other livestock
human kills for: meat, local rituals, medicinal use in Asia, trophies
unintentional snaring
displacement of prey by livestock
disease
protecting humans
It's complex...
Lions are the only felines that form social groups. Male lions form loose associations with a pride, driving away other males and killing off their cubs.

Maasai warriors traditionally kill lions in a rite of passage (olamayio).

Lions are one of the few human predators remaining on the planet.
400 human deaths in one decade in Tanzania alone.

Lions kill fewer humans during the stages of a full moon.

Lions are hard to count.

Lions of the Duba Plain hunt during the day.
Potential solutions?
Fence lion habitat.

Improve homestead fencing and lighting.

Turn Maasai warriors into Lion Guardians.

Increase natural parks and reserves / decrease habitat loss.

Increase tourism.

Pay locals to collect illegal snares.

Create domestic prides for hunting to protect wild prides.

Education

Legislation
Lion Guardians
http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2013/08/lion-conservation/lions-hunting-humans
Population size has decreased
by approximately 30% in last 20 years

Why?
Study before action!
Full transcript