LIONS IN CRISIS
Please join the Global March for Lions: 15 March 2014
This is a very urgent appeal on behalf of South Africa’s lions and lion heritage, which is in desperate trouble.
A series of coordinated rallies are taking place around the world on March 15th 2014 – with the aim of banning canned lion hunting. Join the march in the city nearest to you. For a list of cities, and updated info: www.globalmarch4lions.org
This campaign is gaining momentum by the day. If you would like to lead a march in a city not yet mentioned, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Conservation organizations are uniting against canned hunting. Join us and represent the WLT at each march, please contact : email@example.com
Nearly 1.5 Million signatures worldwide have been gathered calling for a prohibition of South Africa’s death-trade in lions and lion parts.
THE GLOBAL IMPORTANCE OF THE LION
The Lion (Panthera leo) is the most iconic species in Africa for conservation, research, tourism, and culture.
Its cultural heritage is profound: not only throughout traditional Africa is the Lion the symbol of Kingship, but in all the royal houses around the globe, where lions feature in coats of arms, heraldry, heroic names of former kings, painted frescos in churches, legendary tales, proverbs, and even names of national football teams.
Occurring in all African habitats except arid desert and deep rainforest, it is an important element throughout African ecosystems, however in the last 50 years its natural distribution range has drastically shrunk by over 70%, and its numbers in the wild have crashed. As the apex predator at the top of the food chain, the Lion is critical to maintaining the predator-prey balance within the natural ecosystem. Lion presence in an area is a natural indicator of its wild integrity and biodiversity.
Ecologically, if the apex predator dies, the entire eco-system risks collapsing.
If the Lion goes extinct, humans will not only lose our most powerful indicator of natural order and leadership, we will be putting our own survival at risk.
LATEST STATISTICS ON THE LION CRISIS
1. In South Africa, there are many more lions in cages than in the wild.
2. The captive killing of tamed lions (“canned hunting”) is a rapidly growing, un-policed industry.
3. Over 160 “Canned Lion” killing camps in South Africa have established over the past 15 years.
4. The genetics of these lions in captive-breeding operations have been compromised, meaning they can never return to their natural eco-system.
5. In the wild, lions have lost over 50% of their historic range in the last 30 years.
6. Less than 3% of trophy income reaches the local communities.
7. Trophy hunting accounts for only 0.27% of GDP and 1.8% of tourism revenue.
8. Lion bones are being traded large-scale from captive breeding operations into the Eastern Markets.
9. According to the numbers, the extinction risk for lions is even greater than rhino.
*Data taken from recent environmental and economists’ Reports.
“No-one in their right mind would ever travel to Thailand and there murder the rare White Elephants. But people come to South Africa to brutally murder the White Lions in the name of manliness and sport. The sacred icons of other nations are respected, revered and protected. But the icons of Africa are massacred with cold impunity.”
Credo Mutwa, esteemed Zulu Traditional Leader