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:11/22/2016)... --  MedNet Solutions , an innovative SaaS-based eClinical technology ... is pleased to announce that the company has been ... Awards as "Most Outstanding in eClinical Solutions" for ... recognition and growth for MedNet, which has effectively supported ... iMedNet ™ , MedNet,s flagship eClinical technology ...
(Date:11/17/2016)... Global Market Watch: Primarily supported by ownership types; ... Academics) market is to witness a value of US$37.1 billion ... Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10.75% is foreseen from ... 2014-2020. North America is not way ... Europe at 9.56% respectively. Report Focus: ...
(Date:11/15/2016)... 2016  Synthetic Biologics, Inc. (NYSE MKT: SYN), ... the gut microbiome, today announced the pricing of ... its common stock and warrants to purchase 50,000,000 ... to the public of $1.00 per share and ... the offering, excluding the proceeds, if any from ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 01, 2016 , ... ... value of DNA microarray comparative genomic hybridization (array CGH) for HER2 genomic ... Symposium. Using molecular test results from tumors with previously documented positive, negative, ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 01, 2016 , ... PhUSE will build ... popularity of US Single Day Events (SDE) to organize a multiple-day US conference. ... Raleigh, NC. Topics of the pharmaceutical and life sciences industry will cover industry ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 01, 2016 , ... DrugDev believes the only ... a beautiful technology experience. All three tenets were on display at the 2nd Annual ... from over 40 sponsor, CRO and site organizations to discuss innovation and the future ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... consortium of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies dedicated to collaboratively developing improved chemistry, ... in supplying a vendor-supported, portable online UHPLC, with robust, probe-based sampling. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: