The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Monday proposed listing the African lion as threatened after a study showed the big cats were in danger of extinction in the foreseeable future.
A listing as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act would bar trafficking of the species as it faces dwindling habitat in Africa and more competition with humans.
African lions, or Panthera leo leo, are found across a wide range in the continent, but about 70 percent, or 24,000, of them live in only 10 major strongholds, the service said in a statement.
Listing the African lion as threatened “will bring the full protections of U.S. law to lion conservation, allowing us to strengthen enforcement and monitoring of imports and international trade,” Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe said.
The main threats to the African lion are loss of habitat and of the animals lions prey on, and increased conflict with humans, the statement said.
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SOURCE: Reuters Africa