CONTACT: MARY DIXON (1-347-840-1242; mdixon@wcs.org)

STEPHEN SAUTNER: (1-718-220-3682; ssautner@wcs.org)

WCS Supports U.S. Government Actions to Protect Lions

“The U.S. government’s actions are necessary to allow the recovery of one of the most iconic top predators on the planet”

New York – (Dec. 21, 2015) – The following statement was released today by John Robinson, WCS Chief Conservation Officer, and Executive Vice President for Conservation and Science:

“WCS supports the steps taken today by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect lions across their range, as populations have decreased in the last 20 years.

“Specifically, we agree with the actions: to list the lion (Panthera leo), as endangered in Central and Western Africa; to list as threatened the Eastern and Southern Africa lion populations; and to issue an order strengthening enforcement of wildlife permitting requirements.

“The U.S. government’s actions are necessary to allow the recovery of one of the most iconic top predators on the planet. At WCS, we are committed to improving the conservation and management of lions in protected and game reserve areas and across the broader landscape. Better information on population numbers and their distribution are needed in many areas to improve management. 

“We believe that listing the lion under the U.S. Endangered Species Act will encourage this better management of lion populations.  WCS recognizes that hunting programs provide an important source of revenue for conservation in some countries in Africa and supports the proposal by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to allow the import of specimens but only if legally obtained and as part of a well-regulated, scientifically-sound management program.  

“Lions face multiple threats: habitat loss, loss of their prey, poorly-regulated recreational hunting, and their killing after conflicts with local communities and their livestock. It is estimated there are only 25,000 to 30,000 remaining in the wild. Better science and better management on the ground can mean a recovery for the great, majestic lion.”


WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society)

MISSION: WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in nearly 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. Visit: newsroom.wcs.org Follow: @WCSNewsroom. For more information: 347-840-1242.