Is the lion under threat?

Is the lion under threat?

A new study published in Science indicates that a boom in prey doesn't mean more predators -- and that's unfortunate news for the African lion.

A recent study has found that the number of lions, and other predators, isn’t increasing in proportion to its prey for reasons that are baffling scientists — and is this a cause of concern for the future of the species?

Most people think that as prey increases, that means predators like the lion will also increase because more food is available, but a new study published recently in the journal Science found that this wasn’t the case, and that the number of prey doesn’t seem to boost the numbers of predators. That applies to species beyond just the lion, but it is cause for concern for the so-called King of Beasts.

The study found that with more prey, the growth in the numbers of predators actually grows more slowly. So far, scientists don’t really have an answer as to why.

The truth is that we don’t know just how endangered the African Lion is, and many are advocating that this species get protection from the Endangered Species Act.

A Scientific American report from late last year indicates that African Lions could face extinction by 2050. This came from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service director Dan Ashe, who argued that the African lion should get protection under the Endangered Species Act.

By listing these big cats as a threatened species — not quite endangered, but one step from there — the U.S. government would be able to help with conservation efforts and restrict the sale of lion parts or hunting trophies. The recent killing of Cecil the Lion by an American dentist caused an uproar and much attention to that issue.

Ashe said that there are about 24,000 African lions remaining today, and about 70 percen tlive in just 10 regions in Africa, and they have basically disappeared from West Africa.


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