Friday, 17 January 2014
NEWSLINK -Lions 'facing extinction in West Africa'
There has been a "catastrophic collapse" in the number of lions in West Africa, with only around 400 left in the region, a new survey suggests.
With fewer than 250 mature lions of breeding age, there are concerns the entire population could disappear.
The research by Panthera, a non-profit organisation, was carried out in 17 countries, from Senegal to Nigeria, and took more than six years.
West African lions are genetically distinct from others in Africa.
In 2005, West African lions were believed to live in 21 different protected areas. But the survey, published in the scientific journal PLOS One, suggests lions now exist in just four of those sites.The report says lions now roam in just 1.1% of their historic range in West Africa. The majority of their habitat has been converted for agricultural use, says Philipp Henschel, co-author of the report.READ MORE