The Lions of West Africa: Reduced to Way Too Few
|January 15, 2014||Posted by Staff under Environmental|
A 2014 excerpt of the BBC, Jan 14.
There has been a “catastrophic collapse” in the number of lions in West Africa, with only around 400 left in the region.
With fewer than 250 mature lions of breeding age, the entire population could disappear.
West African lions are genetically distinct from others in Africa.
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.
Reserves are basically paper parks, having neither management budgets nor patrol staff; most have lost all their lions and other iconic large mammals.
The conservation of lions in West Africa has been largely neglected, whereas in eastern and southern Africa millions of dollars a year are spent.
Poaching of animals – usually preyed upon by lions – to supply local bushmeat markets is probably the main threat.
In some areas, herdsmen that had entered protected areas illegally with their herds of cattle and goats reentered for retaliatory killing.
Lions of West Africa have special significance in the culture of the region. They are a symbol of pride for the governments and people, and are represented on the coats of arms of several countries.
Ed. Notes: Must humans expand everywhere? Into the habitats of every other species? Could our species and others co-inhabitat? Should human populations shrink? If so, various populaces have slowed their growth, even stopped growing, when people become materially comfortable. So how do we help people prosper?
Basically we share the value of land; people in the country would get a share of the value of land in the city, just as cities get a large share of the resources of the country. When people in a region share the value of locations in the region, then they can get rid of the taxes and subsidies that are obstacles to attaining prosperity. Enjoying prosperity, people breed less, and without even thinking about they’d leave more room for other species.
Just as you see bison making a comeback in Europe, so we might see lions making a comeback in West Africa, geonomics is that powerful.