Lions are quickly losing vital habitat across Africa's savanna habitats, a new study reveals. As much as 75 percent of their original range has been lost mainly as a result of widespread habitat destruction. Among the most critical regions is West Africa where fewer than 500 lions remain in the wild.
The research team which included Dr. Philipp Henschel of Panthera and scientists from Duke University's Nicholas School of the ENvironment used Google Earth's high-resolution satellite imagery to evaluate the quality of savannah habitat across Africa. They found that only 67 locations throughout Africa remained where sizeable lion populations could survive. Of those 67 locations, only 15 currently supported more than 500 lions.
Panthera is a participant of the National Geographic Society's Big Cat Initiative and as such shares the aim of addressing the most challenging threats facing large cats in the wild today.
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