Dear Secretary Jewell and Director Ashe,
I am writing to urge that the Department of Interior's USFWS list the African lion as "Endangered Throughout its Range" under the Endangered Species Act.
Lions have disappeared from over 80% of their historic range, and their population declined by nearly 50% from just 1980 to 2002. The threats facing African lions today are numerous and reinforcing: habitat destruction and fragmentation, loss of traditional prey species, disease, and inevitable conflict with humans.
The United States can help to stop this marked decline by addressing unsustainable trophy hunting and commercial trade in lion parts. The United States is by far the world’s largest importer of both commercially traded African lion parts and lion trophies. This trend is only increasing.
Protecting African lions under the U.S. Endangered Species Act would begin to curtail this trade and allow lions to recover.
Thank you for your consideration.
Endangered Species Coalition
Once numbering over one million by some estimates, African lions now exist in a fraction of their former range and fewer than 35,000 remain in the wild.
African lions have been slipping away at an alarming rate--dropping by 50% in just 30 years--due to habitat loss, disease, loss of prey species, conflicts with humans, and unsustainable trophy hunting and trade in lion parts.
We could begin to address these threats by protecting African lions throughout their remaining range under the Endangered Species Act. The United States is the world's largest importer of lion "trophies." Protecting lions under the Endangered Species Act would put needed, strict limits on the import and sale of lion "trophies" and parts.
This crucial step towards saving African lions is a long time coming; lions are the only big cat that has yet to be granted Endangered Species Act protections.
Please ask the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect African lions under the Endangered Species Act.