Threats To Lions
A century ago, there were about 200,000 lions in the wild; today there are estimated to be less than 30,000.
Lions used to roam the lands of Africa, but have lost about 80% of their historic range. They can be found mostly in Eastern and Southern Africa.
One of the greatest threats to lions is human conflict. As they lose more of their habitat to human expansion and their prey base dwindles, they often prey on livestock. As a result, farmers often kill lions as a retaliatory or preventative measure. In Kenya alone, 100 lions are killed each year, leaving experts to believe there will be no lions left in Kenya by 2030.
Canned hunting of lions is a huge business in South Africa. Approximately 600 lions are killed every year in trophy hunts. The male lion is the most sought after in hunts and when a male lion is killed, the whole pride faces instability. Other males may fight to the death to take over the pride and often the new male will kill the previous male’s cubs, thus eliminating an entire generation of the pride. There are actually breeding farms that breed lions just for canned hunts. Many people argue that breeding tame lions helps protect wild lion populations from being hunted, but that isn’t true. You can learn more about canned hunting here and how it’s an issue that affects both captive and wild lions.