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Study finds lions are nearly extinct in West Africa

By Ernest Dempsey     Jan 10, 2014 in World
Lions in West Africa are approaching extinction and may soon entirely disappear from the natural scene in the region if conservation efforts are not improved.
The alarming news came as a new study published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE informs that currently only 250 adult lions inhabit the wilderness stretching from Senegal to Nigeria, reported National Geographic. The findings come out of a six-year long survey of lion population in 11 countries in West African region.
Co-author of the study Philipp Henschel, of the big cat conservation group Panthera, was quoted as, “It was really not known that the status of the lion was so dire in West Africa.”
According to Huffington Post, the comparatively larger eastern African big cats are also on decline with an existing population of nearly 35,000. The paper writes that West African lions are genetically related to the Asiatic lion of India, another endangered lion with only 450 animals of its kind left.
A blog on Scientific American called it a “shocking study” commenting that despite the shocking nature of the news, it doesn’t come as a surprise as the countries in this region are one of the poorest in the world and have no money for conservation. The blog quoted Panthera president Luke Hunter calling on the international community for massive commitment to save the lions in West Afirca.
More about West African lions, lions in Africa, endangered lions
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