African lions are going extinct at a rapid rate, a shocking decline that has received little media attention or public concern. In fact, complacency seems to be the overwhelming response to any reports of their plight.
How serious is the situation? Consider these statistics. In the 1960’s, there were possibly as many as 200,000 lions on the African continent, and interestingly, this was the time that Joy Adamson published her book “Born Free” based on the life of Elsa, a little lion raised by Joy and George.
In 1996, another report was made available that estimated lion numbers in Africa to be between 30,000 and 100,000. Again nobody paid much attention; surely 100,000 lionswas a big number?
The next estimates came in 2002 and 2004, and this time there were two sources. Both were based on “surveys” (mail campaigns and interviews, really), and came up with a minimum of 12,500 and a maximum of about 37,000.
Recent reports from Kenya estimate a further 20-30% decline in that country alone since the 2004 numbers were published.
Now we have to take action. 200,000 lions in the 1960’s and probably about 20,000 lions now. This is a staggering 90% decline over 50 years.
In early Spring 2010 , we at LIONAID, a UK Charity dedicated to the conservation of the African Lion, are embarking on a Campaign to raise the awareness of the plight facing the African Lion, which involves the cooperation of many towns and cities throughout the length and breadth of the UK and promises to be a spectacular, news grabbing event when it is launched.
We have three main aims for which we are seeking funds:
To conduct unbiased surveys of remaining lion populations to determine relevant conservation programmes in each instance;
To facilitate further research into disease issues to prevent declines in lion populations in protected areas;
To help organise on the ground research programmes aimed at delivering carefully considered lion population management programmes for each country.
In preparation of the Campaign itself, one of the many things we have done is to create a presence on Twitter and on Facebook
The more followers we have on our Twitter and Facebook accounts, which are both simply called LIONAID, the higher visibility we will have. Once the Campaign gets underway, the day to day events of the Campaign will be revealed on Twitter and Facebook.
We would be very grateful if you would consider becoming a follower of LIONAID on both Twitter and Facebook. The more people who sign up to follow us now, the greater the impact we will have.
If you would like to have further involvement with the LIONAID Campaign, we would also be delighted to welcome you aboard. We are based in Dover.
We are looking for donations, help, services or support to help us achieve our aims. You will be at the forefront of an effective campaign to reverse the decline of lions, an iconic species to us all.