Prides, protection and parks: Africa’s protected areas can support four times as many lions

Prides, protection and parks: Africa’s protected areas can support four times as many lions.
Africa’s protected parks and reserves are capable of supporting three to four times as many wild lions if well funded and managed, according to a new report led by Panthera, the global wild cat conservation organization.
Published in Biological Conservation, the study shows that populations of the African lion and its prey species are drastically below their natural potential inside most of Africa’s protected areas (PA).
Panthera Research Associate and Wildlife Conservation Network Conservation Initiatives Director, Dr. Peter Lindsey, shared, "Africa’s incredible protected areas hold the key to securing the future of lions and several other wildlife species, and can yield significant benefits for people.
African governments have set aside enough space to conserve lions effectively — we just need to find ways to enable those areas to be funded sufficiently and managed effectively.
Panthera and partner scientists found that adequate management budgets and management capacity are essential pre-requisites for successfully conserving lions in PAs, as they permit effective law enforcement and other critical conservation initiatives.
Today, sub-Saharan Africa’s tourism industry, supported by dozens of parks and reserves, is valued at $25 billion dollars, compared to the $20 billion a year illegal wildlife trade that is increasingly targeting Africa’s big cats and wildlife for their precious parts.
However, for Africa’s vast PA network to fulfill its potential for conserving lions and other species, there is an urgent need to greatly escalate funding and capacity to effectively manage those parks.
ScienceDaily, 21 February 2017.

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