Navigation Links
Report: Captive lion reintroduction programs in Africa operate under 'conservation myth'
Date:7/31/2012

New York, NY - A new report published in the international conservation journal Oryx concludes that commercial 'wildlife encounter' operations across Africa promoting the reintroduction of captive lions do little to further the conservation of African lions in the wild.

Released 'Early Online' on July 31, 'Walking with lions: Why there is no role for captive-origin lions (Panthera leo) in species restoration,' was authored by a blue-ribbon panel of lion conservationists and wild cat biologists from Panthera, the IUCN Cat Specialist Group and a team of university-based lion researchers. Demonstrating that no lions have been successfully released as a result of this process, the report determines that commercial captive lion reintroduction programs operate largely under a 'conservation myth.'

The last two decades has seen a rapid growth of such operations especially across Southern Africa. Advertised as 'wildlife encounters,' the programs typically charge tourists and paying volunteers to pet, feed and walk with hand-raised and so-called tame lions. To the paying public, the stated objective is the eventual release to the wild of lions.

The Oryx paper assesses the potential of these programs to assist wild lion conservation by evaluating the role and suitability of captive lions for release. The report concludes that captive-bred lions are simply unnecessary for reintroduction projects. For more than two decades, wild lions have been translocated and rigorously monitored in over 40 parks across southern Africa with high success rates. Over 500 wild lions have been re-established by this process. More importantly, the evaluation shows that captive-bred lions and their offspring are poorly suited for survival and release compared to their wild-born counterparts.

The report's senior author and Panthera's President, Dr. Luke Hunter, explained, "The simple fact is, 'lion encounter' type programs do little to help conserve wild lions. We show that any sincere effort to re-establish lions simply has no reason to resort to captive animals; wild lions are already much better equipped to be wild. Releasing captive animals unnecessarily increases the costs, risks of failure and the danger - to both lions and humans."

The report also claims that captive-lion enterprises divert critical resources and attention from projects making a real impact on declining wild lion populations. Dr Paula White, an author of the paper and Director of the Zambia Lion Project at the University of California notes, "These operations charge the public to spend time with tame lions claiming that it contributes meaningfully to lion conservation. Imagine if that funding, and the sincere interest of the people paying it, was devoted to addressing the real reasons that wild lions are declining and threatened. Spending money to breed lions behind fences is not helping."

While perhaps more than 200,000 wild lions lived in Africa over a century ago, their numbers are now thought to be fewer than 30,000. Listed as 'Vulnerable' by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and extirpated from over 80% of its natural range, the lion is now on track to share the fate of its distant cousin, the Endangered tiger.

Dr. Matthew Becker, CEO of the Zambian Carnivore Programme (and not an author on the report) notes "Certainly interacting with tame lions is a unique experience, but it's not conservation. We have such 'Walking with Lions' programs in Zambia and they require a continual stream of young imported lions, which live out their days in captivity because they are not suitable for release. Zambia doesn't need captive-bred lions versus increased protection of its wild populations and ecosystems. Help lions by supporting the classic walking safaris that occur in our magnificent protected areas - that's the real walking with lions."


'/>"/>
Contact: Susie Weller
sweller@panthera.org
646-786-0417
Panthera
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Mercury in dolphins: Study compares toxin levels in captive and wild sea mammals
2. UC research tests new tool to guide reintroduction of the American chestnut
3. Research: Many programs to help diabetics manage their health do work
4. DFG establishes 10 new priority programs
5. Levels of hepatitis C virus higher among African-Americans and males
6. UN protects wild heart of Central Africa
7. South African daffodils may be a future cure for depression
8. Herbivores select on floral architecture in a South African bird-pollinated plant
9. Considerable prevalence of both malaria, STIs exist among pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa
10. Second Middle East & Africa Osteoporosis Meeting to take place in Jordan
11. African scientist, designer partner to fashion anti-malaria garment that wards off bugs
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Report: Captive lion reintroduction programs in Africa operate under 'conservation myth'
(Date:3/15/2016)... March 15, 2016 --> ... by Transparency Market Research "Digital Door Lock Systems Market - ... - 2023," the global digital door lock systems market in ... 2014 and is forecast to grow at a CAGR of ... small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) across the world and high ...
(Date:3/11/2016)... http://www.apimages.com ) - --> http://www.apimages.com ) - ... ( http://www.apimages.com ) - Germany . The ... refugee identity cards. DERMALOG will be unveiling this device, and a ... next week.   --> Germany . ... new refugee identity cards. DERMALOG will be unveiling this device, and ...
(Date:3/9/2016)... YORK , March 9, 2016 This ... and future states of the RNA Sequencing (RNA Seq) ... segments such as instruments, tools and reagents, data analysis, ... Analyze various segments of the RNA-Sequencing market such as ... services Identify the main factors affecting each segment and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2016)... ... May 23, 2016 , ... Foresight ... nanotechnology, announced the winners for the 2015 Foresight Institute Feynman Prizes. , ... in two categories, one for experiment and the other for theory in nanotechnology. ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... ... 20, 2016 , ... Kablooe Design, a leading provider of product design and ... anniversary of the business. “We have worked hard to build long-term relationships,” says President ... privilege and honor of serving their product design and development needs through the years.” ...
(Date:5/19/2016)... Virginia (PRWEB) , ... May 19, 2016 , ... Anton ... new 30,000 square foot office building is complete. The new structure adds a third ... 2011, Anton Paar USA purchased 2.4 acres of land, along with office ...
(Date:5/19/2016)... ... 19, 2016 , ... KCAS Bioanalytical and Biomarker Services, a ... Large Molecule & Biomarker Bioanalysis. , Dr. Siddiqui has more than 15 years ... preclinical and clinical safety programs. “We’ve seen significant demand for, and we are ...
Breaking Biology Technology: