FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JUNE 26, 2013
Washington, DC – Today, experts on the status of the African lion explained to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) that the African lion is not on the brink of extinction. Their testimony contradicts the claims in a petition filed by several anti-rights groups asking the service to list the African lion as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
Safari Club International Foundation (SCI Foundation) participated in an exclusive workshop hosted by the FWS. SCI Foundation Conservation Chair Dr. Al Maki outlined current conservation efforts across the lion’s range and focused on Tanzania’s successful management of the species.
“Today’s presenters and scientists agreed with SCI Foundation’s position that the majority of African lion populations are secure,” said SCI Foundation President Joe Hosmer. “We are glad that SCI Foundation’s extensive lion population research could shape today’s important conservation and thus prove the African lion is not on the brink of extinction.”
“With years of experience researching lions in southern Africa, I was originally concerned that the FWS’s deliberations would not be based on the best available science,” Dr. Paula White. “I was pleased to see that the overwhelming evidence that was presented today demonstrated that lions are certainly not on the brink of extinction.”
“Lions reproduce like rabbits making habitat and prey the primary factor. Habitat and prey are secured for at least 100 years in the world’s largest protected areas,” stated John J. Jackson, President of Conservation Force.
“After today’s successful meeting, the FWS will be faced with a decision whether to list the African lion on the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Our expectation is that it will not be necessary as the scientific research demonstrates that there are strong stable lion populations throughout southern and eastern Africa,” said Dr. Al Maki. “The fact is that 70% of all African lions live in strongholds that are large, stable and well-protected.
About SCI Foundation’s Conservation Programs for African Lions:
SCI Foundation’s mission is to fund and direct worldwide programs dedicated to wildlife conservation and outdoor education, using its financial resources to support scientific and technical studies that categorically improve management practices for keystone species like African lions. SCI Foundation has provided the majority of financial support for research to be conducted on the conservation status of lions in Tanzania (2010), Mozambique (2009), Malawi (2010), and Zambia (2009) which included conservation strategy and action plan for the country.
MEDIA CONTACT: Nelson Freeman; Nfreeman@safariclub.org
Safari Club International Foundation (SCIF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization that funds and manages worldwide programs dedicated to wildlife conservation, outdoor education, and humanitarian services including such programs as Sportsmen Against Hunger, Sensory Safari, Safari Care, Disabled Hunter, the American Wilderness Leadership School, Becoming an Outdoors Woman & More and Youth Education Seminars (YES) Outdoors. Since 2000, SCIF has provided over $50 million to these causes around the world. Call 877-877-3265 or visit www.safariclubfoundation.org for more information.