Study: African lions slowly disappearing

February 1, 2006

It may still be "king of the beasts," but the African lion's kingdom is shrinking, the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society reported.

The organization issued a 200-page saying African lions have disappeared from 82 percent of their historic distribution during the past several decades.

The report looked at the conservation status of the 20 largest species of African carnivores and ranked them by various external factors, from the state of current knowledge on the species, to the threats facing each of them.

The number of lions -- listed in the report as "most vulnerable" -- has dropped steadily during recent decades, primarily due to conflicts with humans, destruction of habitat and the loss of prey, the report said.

Also making the most-vulnerable list are cheetahs and African wild dogs, which have vanished from up to 89 percent of their historical habitat, and Ethiopian wolves, which have vanished from an astonishing 98 percent of their range, the WCS said.

Other species of concern include the leopard, spotted hyena and golden cat.

Only a few species seem to thrive among humans, including the African civet and several species of jackals.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Tropical forests just got a little more diverse

Related Stories

Study hints at why parrots are great vocal imitators

June 24, 2015

An international team of scientists led by Duke University researchers has uncovered key structural differences in the brains of parrots that may explain the birds' unparalleled ability to imitate sounds and human speech.

African vultures declining at a critical rate

June 19, 2015

An international team of researchers, including leading scientists from the University of St Andrews, the Hawk Conservancy Trust and the University of York, say African vultures are likely to qualify as 'Critically Endangered' ...

Recommended for you

'Expansion entropy': A new litmus test for chaos?

July 28, 2015

Can the flap of a butterfly's wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas? This intriguing hypothetical scenario, commonly called "the butterfly effect," has come to embody the popular conception of a chaotic system, in which ...

Lobster-Eye imager detects soft X-ray emissions

July 28, 2015

Solar winds are known for powering dangerous space weather events near Earth, which, in turn, endangers space assets. So a large interdisciplinary group of researchers, led by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.