Our photo of the day is a beautiful lioness resting in the shade in Zimbabwe. But there's no time to rest when it comes to lion conservation. Lions have disappeared from over 80% of their historic range. They exist in 28 African countries and one country in Asia and are extinct in 26 countries. Project Leonardo is Panthera’s solution to protecting & increasing the world’s remaining wild lions.
On Monday, India's Supreme Court green lighted the translocation of a group of Asiatic lions from Gujarat state's Gir forest to the Kuno game sanctuary in neighboring Madhya Pradesh state.
Enjoy our photo of the day of a lion taking a nice long stretch in Davison Camp, Zimbabwe! Check out Panthera's lion fact sheet to learn about the lion's habitat and threats to survival.
Learn more about how Panthera is working to ensure a future for this magnificent big cat through Project Leonard.
The New York Times Interviews Panthera’s President, Dr. Luke Hunter, on Conserving and Fencing Africa’s Wild Lions
Read the recently published New York Times article, ‘Fences May Be Best Route to Saving African Lions,’ to learn about the dire state of Africa’s fewer than 30,000 wild lions and a new Panthera co-authored report on the viability of conserving fenced versus unfenced lion populations. Learn about the conservation costs and lion population trends in fenced versus unfenced habitats and read what co-author and Panthera President, Dr. Luke Hunter, had to say about the study’s conclusions:
By Anthony Ham – The Age
When Kamunu Saitoti heard that Nosieki the lioness had been killed, he wept. Saitoti is a young Maasai warrior (murran) in southern Kenya, and for centuries his people have killed lions, doing so to prove their bravery and their readiness to protect their communities. Killing lions is a rite of passage, a cornerstone of Maasai identity. It is also one of Africa's oldest battles. The other reason why the Maasai kill lions - is more prosaic: an eye for an eye. This, too, is one of the immutable laws of the African wild whenever predators and human beings come into conflict. It is also precisely why Nosieki had been poisoned - a Maasai cow had been killed by a predator and the Maasai wanted revenge.
Watch HuffPost Live Video Interview with Panthera’s President, Dr. Luke Hunter, on Captive Big Cats & State of Cats in the Wild
Today, Panthera's President & wild cat scientist, Dr. Luke Hunter, was interviewed on the webTV network HuffPost Live on the state of wild cats around the world and what is truly needed to ensure their survival long into the future. Learn about Panthera's efforts to "preserve habitat & address threats facing cats around the world so they can exist in the wild & aren't just restricted to captivity." Also hear Dr. Hunter’s feedback on the nature of wild cats kept in captivity and the events surrounding the recent, tragic California Cat Haven Sanctuary attack.
Watch the interview below:
New York, NY - A new report published today concludes that nearly half of Africa's wild lion populations may decline to near extinction over the next 20-40 years without urgent conservation measures. The plight of many lion populations is so bleak, the report concludes that fencing them in - and fencing humans out - may be their only hope for survival.
Last year, the international conservation journal, Oryx, published a Panthera co-authored report, (‘Walking with lions: Why there is no role for captive-origin lions (Panthera leo) in species restoration’) which assessed the potential of Africa’s ‘wildlife encounter’ operations to assist in the conservation of the continent’s declining wild lion population, now estimated to number fewer than 30,000 individuals.
Popular among tourists, these self-proclaimed ‘eco-tourism’ operations typically charge paying customers to pet, feed and walk with hand-raised and so-called ‘tame’ lions, claiming to eventually release these captive lions into the wild.
Our photo of the day shows an affectionate lioness and her son in the midst of a morning cleaning session, in South Africa’s Thanda Private Game Reserve. Read up on Panthera's lion conservation work across Africa through Project Leonardo and our work in the Phinda Game Reserve, bordering Thanda, to preserve the region's leopard populations through the Munyawana Leopard Project.
In addition to its notoriety for three spectacular volcanic craters and the Olduvai Gorge archaeological site where the unearthing of hominid fossils helped to establish Africa as the ‘cradle of mankind,’ Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) is particularly renowned for its ubiquitous wildlife. Drawing in thousands of tourists from around the world every year, the Ngorongoro region hosts one of the world’s most superb natural phenomenons – the annual great migration of over 1 million wildebeest, zebra, gazelle and other herbivores, which graze and bear their young across Tanzania’s Serengeti plains, to Kenya’s Maasai Mara region, and back.