Lion populations are declining drastically. My post several weeks ago provides some explanation, but I was aghast to discover that lion trophy hunting is increasing and especially from America.
Trophy hunting of lion is only one of the causes for the decline, but it is one that ought to be easily ended. “Recreational” hunting, as it’s often referred to, is appropriately named. People do it for fun.
I can’t imagine how someone considers it “fun” to hasten the decline of a species in trouble. Once I was persuaded that lion hunting in Africa contributed to its conservation, much as today duck hunters claim the same.
Whether that was true in the past or not is now irrelevant, because it definitely is not the case, today. Follow my link above to my earlier article for the scientific corroboration.
Then go to www.huntingreport.com and filter to “lion hunts.” In this morning’s report you’ll find 45 accounts of recent lion trophy hunts in Africa. (The list is actually 65 reports long, but 20 of those are mountain lions in Canada, the U.S. and Argentina.)
Of those reported hunts 15 are in South Africa, 12 in Tanzania, 10 in Zimbabwe, 3 in Namibia and 6 in Burkina Faso.
These are reports voluntarily submitted by individual hunters over the last several year period, so like any social media platform, they don’t necessarily represent an average recreational hunter.
Nevertheless, it’s the only reference we have and it’s very disturbing.
Legislation is pending in both Canada and the United States which would ban recreational hunters from spending any money in America or using any banks in America that facilitates hunting in Burkina Faso.
Legislation is also possible that would ban the importation of any lion trophy. That is often the most effective way to stop recreational hunting.
But I suggest you lobby your representative to go even further.
Both the EU and the United States are proposing that lions be “listed” by the international treaty that protects endangered species as threatened enough that lion hunting would be stopped or massively restricted.
Although the Obama administration can move unilaterally on this, I don’t think it will. Obama’s record on conservation has been less than stellar, and given the current political climate and upcoming elections, I think that Congress must at least be moved to consider.
Tell your Congressman to support “Fish & Wildlife’s Proposed Legislation to Protect the Lion.” Ask for documentation on his/her actions.
Those of you who have been reading my blog over the years know that my personal position on big game hunting as changed. Originally I was neutral, having had positive experiences in my life time with hunters and hunting organizations that definitely contributed to conservation.
In my view that changed a decade or more ago, and with our current science on the state of the wild and rapid decreasing of our planet’s biodiversity, “recreation” should be an easy thing to eliminate to help save the world.
And lions in particular.