Are Lions Endangered?

Currently, African lions are not considered endangered under the International Union for Conservation of Nature; however, they are considered endangered in parts of their range and are listed as vulnerable. Lions face pressure from habitat loss, disease and humans. Their population is thinnest in West Africa.

The wild lion population is currently estimated to be between 32,000 to 35,000 animals, the majority of which live in areas where their numbers are either stable or growing. These lions largely live in disconnected populations across sub-Saharan Africa. Lions once ranged across almost the entire continent, as well as parts of Eurasia. Distemper, a disease spread by ticks, caused massive casualties in lions during years of drought. Poaching and poisoning by humans has also taken its toll. Classifying lions as endangered is considered controversial, as the animals are popular as game for tourists interested in hunting.