I created this fundraising page which is dedicated to saving the world's big cats in honor of the fallen Cecil the Lion. All funds go directly to Panthera, the world's leading wild cat charity, to protect the world's big cats.
Some startling facts:
- Perhaps only a century ago, there were as many as 200,000 lions living in the wild in Africa. However, the latest surveys estimate that there are fewer than 30,000 lions living in the wild in Africa today.
- Lions are currently listed as “Vulnerable” on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. In West and Central Africa, the species is now classified as “Endangered.”
- Lions have vanished from over 80 percent of their historic range. • Lions exist in 28 countries in Africa and one country in Asia.
- Lions are extinct in 26 countries.
- Only 7 countries- Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe- are thought to each hold more than 1,000 lions.
Some statistics from a 2007 paper on the impact of sport hunting on lions in Africa: Between 1999 and 2004 we undertook an ecological study of African lions (Panthera leo) in Hwange National Park, western Zimbabwe to measure the impact of sport-hunting beyond the park on the lion population within the park, using radio-telemetry and direct observation. 34 of 62 tagged lions died during the study (of which 24 were shot by sport hunters: 13 adult males, 5 adult females, 6 sub-adult males). Sport hunters in the safari areas surrounding the park killed 72% of tagged adult males from the study area. Over 30% of all males shot were sub-adult (<4 years). Hunting off-take of male lions doubled during 2001-2003 compared to levels in the three preceding years, which caused a decline in numbers of adult males in the population (from an adult sex ratio of 1:3 to 1:6 in favour of adult females). Home ranges made vacant by removal of adult males were filled by immigration of males from the park core. Infanticide was observed when new males entered prides. The proportion of male cubs increased between 1999 and 2004, which may have occurred to compensate for high adult male mortality.
Some beautiful photos of Cecil: http://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/cecil-the-lion-killed-by-hunter/7/
WE CAN DO MORE. Help save the big cats by donating to Panthera today.