Archive for Lioness

Bringing Conservation Into Focus: The Last Lions

Posted in Africa: Lions, iLCP: Bringin Conservation Into Focus with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 1, 2011 by ilcpcommunications

In the new wildlife adventure, The Last Lions, filmmakers Dereck and Beverly Joubert follow the epic journey of a lioness named Ma di Tau (“Mother of Lions”) as she battles to protect her cubs against a daunting onslaught of enemies in order to ensure their survival.

The gripping real-life saga unfolds inside a stark reality: Lions are vanishing from the wild. In the last 50 years, lion populations have plummeted from 450,000 to as few as 20,000. The Jouberts weave their dramatic storytelling and breathtaking, up-close footage around a resonating question: Are Ma di Tau and her young to be among the last lions? Or will we as humans, having seen how tough, courageous and poignant their lives in the wild are, be moved to make a difference?

So, what will you do?


Here are three simple things you can do to help lions:

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Lions Targeted For Chinese ‘Medicines’ As Tigers Become Increasingly Scarce

Posted in Africa: Lions with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 26, 2010 by kendickjerkins

As wild tiger populations dwindle, poachers are turning to lions to feed the insatiable Chinese appetite for ‘potions’ made from big cat bones. Conservationists are sounding the alarm about a disturbing development in the fight to save wildlife from poaching: Lions are being killed as a substitute for tigers so their bones can be sold as Chinese “remedies.”

While the main threat to African lions at this point is human encroachment (especially poisoning by farmers), Dereck Joubert, a National Geographic filmmaker and writer focusing on big cats, said in today’s Washington Post that African lions are also at risk of becoming commodities in China.

Big cats are in trouble everywhere. The number of tigers has dipped below 3,000. Indeed, as we look at the lion population today, it’s the shadow of the tiger’s history that scares me most. Tiger bones are used extensively in the East for medicines and mythological (read nonsense) cures for ailments or limp libidos, and the demand is increasing. A growing demand and a disappearing supply is a formula for disaster.

The solution we are seeing play out is a switch from tiger bones to lion bones, which can be easily sold off as tiger bones. It’s ironic that the most famous animal in Africa, perhaps in the world, can’t even be poached on its own value but only as a “mock tiger.”

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90% drop in Africa’s lion population in 20 years!!!!

Posted in Africa: Lions with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 25, 2010 by kendickjerkins

For many years there has been a general attitude prevailing (even amongst wildlife authorities) that lions and leopards particularly, as well as other predators, have been able to look after themselves and that some how they would always be around and that wild Africa would allow them to roam freely as they always have.  Somehow the lion and leopard have been largely ignored in all of this and the wild African lion population, which was estimated at between 150,000-200,000 in the 1980’s, has plummeted in the last two decades to between 18,000 and 25,000 today. It is thought that Kenya holds about 10% of that figure. And yet, unlike elephants (a far more numerous species), lions have no protection under the international accord governing such matters.

Credit:  James Weis

Much spotlight and huge international reaction was drawn to the dreadful elephant and rhino poaching of the 1970’s and 1980’s which resulted in a dramatic turn around. In addressing the appalling losses through poaching of these two species Richard Leakey spearheaded a massive campaign to combat the poaching and also harnessing the huge attention and funding that his efforts and those of many others generated. This all resulted in dramatically reducing the poaching in Kenya, international bans on ivory and rhino horn and species protection policies that are still much in place today where these species exist. Why can’t this be done today for the predators? Do these incredibly valuable and beautiful species have to be reduced in numbers to where they only exist in National Parks and sanctuaries? Or can they still roam wild and free in large areas like the wildland habitat surrounding Masai Mara? Importantly the Masai Mara region holds more than one third of the entire lion population of Kenya. This makes it all the more valuable to protect.

Credit: James Weis

We don’t have much time. The biggest threat isn’t hunters, poachers or poison makers — it is our own complacency, the lazy hope that someone else is taking care of the great beasts of Africa. Lions and other large predators are disappearing even as we learn more about the collapse of entire ecosystems. The $200 billion a year reaped from ecotourism will be lost, causing suffering among communities all over Africa that rely on this trade.

Credit: James Weis

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