IFAW Applauds US Government Action to Protect Lions Under Endangered Species Act

US government today finalized a ruling to provide protections for all lions.
Monday, 21 December, 2015

Responding to a petition filed by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and a coalition of wildlife groups, the US government today finalized a ruling to provide protections for all lions under the US Endangered Species Act. 

“The US government made the right decision today for lions in finally giving them the protections they deserve under the Endangered Species Act,” said Jeff Flocken, North American Regional Director, IFAW, and one of the authors to the technical petition to list the species. “The last things lions need is American hunters killing them for fun, and this announcement makes clear that the status quo allowing this without question isn’t good enough.”

African lion populations have experienced devastating population declines, by 60 percent, over the past three decades, with as few as 20,000 remaining in the wild. Despite the significant and sustained declines in population and range, lions have continued to be hunted for sport and their trophies imported to the US. Americans are responsible for importing more than half of the hundreds of lion trophies brought home by trophy hunters globally each year.

IFAW has long advocated for listing the lion under the Endangered Species Act and were one of the first organizations to call for USFWS to finalize the listing after the notorious killing of Cecil the lion by an American trophy hunter this summer in Zimbabwe.

“Today’s decision is a monumental step in ensuring needless tragedies like Cecil’s slaying don’t occur in the future. By putting strict limitations on the import of sport-hunted lion trophies, with permits only being issued for lions originating in countries with a sound management plan for the species, this will be cutting down significantly on the hundreds of lions being killed needlessly by Americans in Africa each year.” 

“Today’s decision is putting the US in the direction we should be going – finding real solutions that work for both people and wildlife. It is 2015 – killing iconic wild animals for fun isn’t necessary, and it isn’t acceptable.”


About the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)

Founded in 1969, IFAW (the International Fund for Animal Welfare) saves animals in crisis around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.  Photos and video available at www.ifawimages.com.




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Azzedine Downes,IFAW President and CEO
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Beth Allgood, Country Director, United States
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Cynthia Milburn, Director, Animal Welfare Outreach & Education
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Faye Cuevas, Esq.
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Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia
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