The African Lion Needs
Endangered Species Act Protection
The African lion is in crisis. Experts agree that fewer than 40,000 remain in the wild. The species faces imminent danger of extinction throughout significant portions of its range due to several unabated threats, including over-exploitation by recreational trophy hunting and commercial trade, loss of habitat and prey species, retaliatory killings, disease and other human-caused and natural factors.
The United States has the shameful distinction of being the world's largest importer of lion trophies and parts (otherwise known as "specimens"). Yet the nation does not show any signs of halting this unsustainable over exploitation. The number of lion parts imported into the United States in 2008 was more than twice the number in 1999. Many of these imports came from African countries where lion off-take is unsustainable.
By listing the African lion as endangered under the ESA, the United States would have the opportunity to finally be part of the solution. U.S. importation of lion parts would be prohibited unless such imports are determined to enhance the survival or propagation of the species or are for scientific purposes. The listing also would encourage the United States to support African range countries in their efforts to protect lion habitat, and heighten global awareness of the immediate need to protect lions from extinction.
(Read about our 2011 undercover investigation into the lion meat trade.)
Time is running out for the African lion. Born Free USA urges the government to respond to the petition in a timely manner before it's too late.
And you can stay informed on the ESA Petition and help save the King of the Jungle and other wildlife by joining our Action Alert Team.
For more information, please see:
- Born Free USA's Adam Roberts talks on Canadian TV about the issue.
- NBC News: "African Lion Could End Up on Endangered Species List"
- Our latest press release about this issue — Nov. 26, 2012.
- The Petition and Petition Executive Summary (Acrobat PDFs)
- Facts Sheet: African Lion - Why List It as Endangered?
- Press Release: "Saving the King of the Jungle"
- Press Statement by Adam M. Roberts, Born Free USA Executive Vice President
- African Lions ESA Petition: Media Coverage
- View still photograph previews for media use of wild lions and lion trophies and parts (Acrobat PDF)
- How the Endangered Species Act Works
- Learn more about lions and their connection to Born Free USA.
- Learn more about which species in the United States that are currently listed as endangered.
- Members of Congress write to U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar in support of the listing the lion.
Born Free CEO Will Traver's three brief sound bites on lions and why they need to be protected:
Nearly 50 Years Later, 'Born Free' Re-Recorded
The Oscar-winning song "Born Free" has been re-recorded by legendary Queen guitarist Brian May and West End and Broadway singer Kerry Ellis. Their interpretation of the classic song is being sold in aid the Born Free Foundation. Stay tuned for details about how it can be purchased for downloads in the United States; for the moment, it's only available in Great Britain.