Why Are Lions Endangered?

lions-endangered Credit: elPadawan/CC-BY-SA 2.0

Lion populations are decreasing because they are being squeezed out of their natural habitat by humans and livestock. Although there are only 32,000 to 35,000 lions in the world, the animal is still not considered endangered. However, some conservationists have declared that the West African lion is gravely endangered.

Throughout Africa, lions roam less than one-quarter of the space they had originally. However, in West Africa, they have less than 1 percent of their original space.

Some lion advocates argue that, although the space is less than the lion's had originally, it is ideal for promoting long-term viability of the species. More than two-thirds (68 percent) of lions live in protected habitats where there are at least 500 lions and the numbers are stable or growing.

Supporting these lions requires the land to be managed, and this task takes money. Unfortunately, it can be hard for these protected zones to get the money that they need, but hunting advocates argue that allowing people to hunt lions in a managed way brings the necessary money (in the form of tourism and hunting licenses) to these areas. Thus, the best way to save the almost-endangered lions may be to kill a few.