LIONS (PANTHERA LEO) IN Cote DIvoire

Principle Threats

“Bushmeat” is of considerable importance to peoples’ diet of protein in West and Central Africa; contributing to 39% of the diet in Côte d’Ivoire.  The hunting of the lions’ prey base in contributes to the decline of lion populations directly, as well as increasing the likelihood of conflict with humans as lions seek livestock to maintain their meat intake.  Such action results in retribution killings from affected communities.

Although the species’ presence cannot be unequivocally ruled out, it is reasonable to assume that resident populations are extirpated in Côte d’Ivoire. Lion populations within neighbouring countries that may form the basis for natural recolonization are small, if not non-existent.  Populations in Ghana have been extirpated in recent years; Liberia never had lions; both Guinea and Mali were only deemed to have 21 lions each in the study by Chardonnet in 2002, and any remaining lions within Burkina Faso are in the Eastern side of the country away from the border with Côte d’Ivoire.  Therefore, any effort to re-establish lions in Côte d’Ivoire at this stage would rely on translocation from populations in other countries, although genetic considerations would greatly limit populations that could be considered as sources for such programs.

Trade in Lions

Number of wild source lions estimated in international trade, 1999-2008:  1
Average annual wild source trade as percent of population size*:  <1%
* Used average of Chardonnet (2002) and Bauer & van der Merwe (2004) studies

“Between 1999 and 2008, only one skin was exported from Côte d'Ivoire in 2001; it was from a wild source, originated in Côte d'Ivoire and was traded for commercial purposes to the U.S.. The one lion skin exported from Cote d’Ivoire to the U.S. for commercial purposes may have been the last lion in the country, since Henschel et al. (2010) did not find any lions in that country. Thus, it is of concern the U.S. legally imported a lion skin from Côte d'Ivoire a country that may no longer have lions.”

Place J, Flocken J, Travers W, Waterland S, Telecky T, Kennedy C, Goyenechea A (2011) Petition to list the African Lion (Panthera leo leo) as endangered pursuant to the US Endangered Species Act.  The International Fund for Animal Welfare, The Born Free Foundation, The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International, Defenders of Wildlife (pdf)

Lions in Culture

Governing Body

Lions in the News

Miscellaneous

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