Recently, the lion population has been shrinking rapidly. Lions could be extinct in the next 10 years. Why are lions getting killed you wonder? There are 3 answers; poaching, lion poisoning, and human development in the lions habitat.
Poachers have been killing lions since 1950, they killed 2,002 lions in Kenya alone in 2004. Poachers have been killing more and more lions each year. Because lions eat cattle rancher’s cattle, ranchers poison the lions. They do this by giving the lions pieces of meat that have a chemical on it called Carbofuran. Carbofuran is a deadly pesticide that is banned in the US and Europe.
In west Africa, lion poisoning is terrible. Lions have been poisoned so many times that according to National Geographic News, only 160 adult lions and 50 cubs roam west Africa. The west African lions are different then the eastern lions and the southern lions. The west African lions have thinner manes and have longer legs, so if they are killed an entire species will be extinct.
Many people build houses in the lions’ habitat and lions have no where else to go. Once the lions have no where to live, they either starve or get killed by people. The question that you are probably thinking about is will the lions be extinct soon?
In Kenya there are many farms because Kenya has a lot of people. Once the farms are built in the lions habitat, the lions try to eat the cows. To try to stop the lions from killing the cattle, farmers put pesticide around the cows, killing the lions. Cattle ranchers sometimes have guns so they can shoot the lions when the lions are trying to kill the farmers cattle.
In Senegal, there are fewer than 10 west African lions. In Nigeria, there are fewer than 25 west African lions. All together, the west African lions in Benin, Burkina Faso, and Niger are less than 200. In Africa, there are about 210 African lions left in west Africa. Bob Smith, a reporter for 60 minutes, says cattle ranchers are poisoning lions with a cheap American pesticide to protect their cattle. Cattle ranchers should not poison the lions, lions need food or they will die. In the next 10 years, west African lions might be extinct.
Kenya lost 7720 lions between 1970-2004. This is the largest drop that happened to a type of species says reporters. The International Union for Conservation of Naturalists the African lion on the red list of threatened species. Poachers are also a problem in Kenya. There lions are killed to get money and they kill more and more lions. 10 years ago, you could see lions every where. Now, it is very rare to see lions in Africa because they are in protected places to save them from poachers and getting poisoned. In the next 15 years, lions in Kenya might be extinct.
In India, one type of lion that is called the Asiatic lion. The Asiatic used to live in more places, from the Mediterranean to India. Now the only place that you can see them is India. In India there are less than 300 lions. The Gir National Park is the only place where the Asiatic lion. The Asiatic lion is rated the most endangered large carnivore globally. This happened because of poaching. Poachers get a lot of money from the lions skin.
The poachers get this money from China. There is a lot of demand in China for tiger and lion skin, elephant tusks, and a powder that comes from Rhino horns. This business in lion and tiger skin is especially bad because it is making the world into a darker place. Because of poaching in 13 years, the Asiatic lion might be extinct.
Even though the lion population is very low, rangers and the conservation workers in India and Africa are working to stop poachers. Conservation workers are helping the lions stay heathy. The rangers are making sure that no one shoots these amazing cats. However, the conservation workers and rangers need help – so please, save the lions!