In 20 years, the king of the jungle may no longer reign supreme
In today’s USA Today, science reporter Dan Vergano offers a look at the current decline of big cat populations—including lions and tigers. In discussions with several wildlife experts, he addresses the threats facing the various species. Vergano notes, “Icons of the wild — lions, tigers and other big cats — are fading from the world's wild places. Wild lions, tigers and other big cats may face a slide toward extinction within two decades, say conservation scientists, who are urging increased efforts to save them.”
It’s important to remember that there are things we can do today, both locally and abroad, to protect these animals tomorrow.
For example, listing the African lion as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) — something that the International Fund for Animal Welfare and a coalition of wildlife groups petitioned the U.S. government to do earlier this year — is crucial to the species’ survival.
An ESA listing for African lions would restrict the importation of lions and their parts to the United States. That’s one of the most important measures of protection that we can offer the species now.
The king of the jungle may lose his throne in 20 years if current conditions do not change. We must do all we can now to ensure a prolonged and majestic future for these creatures.