BEIJING, Jan. 14 (Xinhuanet) -- African lions are facing extinction danger across the entire African continent, according to a new study of lion populations published lately.
The study shows that by covering an area spanning 11 countries and a distance of more than 2,400 km, only 406 lions are found in West Africa; less than 250 of them are mature individuals.
Fifty years ago, the study said there were 100,000 lions in Africa. Destruction of habitat, poaching and retaliatory killings have been the main cause to the collapse of Africa’s lion populations.
Dr Pieter Kat, trustee of LionAid, stated that “Lions are a vital component of African ecosystems. These lions have been neglected for a very long time and do not have adequate protection programs. ”
Researchers say the key to avoid the lion population keeping decreasing is developing responsible tourism, boosting conservation efforts and encouraging local governments to provide a more efficient species protection.