Africa's great cat, the magnificent lion, is facing a poaching crisis.
The lion is the latest species swept up in the insatiable trade in wildlife for the Asian 'medicinal' market. As tigers become scarcer and the number of consumers explodes, the poachers are hunting further afield. South Africa's lion breeders now sell lion bones openly to Chinese markets. Wild lions have a new value to local people- dismembered as parts and pieces, to sell into the same trade routes that end on restaurant tables in China.
Intensifying the pressure, the use of wire snares by people has devastated wildlife populations across the savannas of Africa. The bushmeat trade doubly impacts lions; it kills off their prey species to feed a hungry human population, and lions themselves are caught in snares, usually to die a slow and excruciatingly painful death.
The lion is running out of time. A recent report co-authored by Panthera and a large team of lion biologists found that half of Africa's wild lion populations will approach extinction in the next 20-40 years.
But Panthera is fighting back.
Across Africa, we have launched programs that tackle the key issues. By supporting law enforcement patrols, we are reducing the numbers of snares set in the bush, and rescuing snare victims from a terrible fate. Addressing the root cause of bushmeat hunting, our programs are also helping to establish alternative livelihoods and increase local communities' food security. With our partners in Mozambique, the Living Fences project is helping local people plant thick bush walls to prevent bushpigs and warthogs from raiding their crops. This also reduces the inadvertent snaring of lions in crop fields and reduces conflict between lions and people- another reason why people set snares in the first place.
Your support of our initiatives represents hope for the African lion. Help protect lions from poachers by making a contribution to Panthera's Anti-Poaching Campaign. Only 19 days remain and we are just $15,000 short of our $100,000. Help us get there, and help us stop the war on wildlife.
Thank you for your support.
Dr. Luke Hunter