Today is World Lion Day. World Lion Day is a global initiative aimed at generating awareness concerning the plight of lions. Widely known as the king of beasts, lions hold a significant place not just in ecosystems, but also in the imagination and cultures of people the world over. Lions hold a special place in my heart because a decade ago, I spent a year conducting research on them in South Africa.
Lions as a species are not classified as endangered. Currently, the IUCN Red List considers them to be “vulnerable”, which means they might become endangered. Lion populations are, however, declining at an alarming rate. It is estimated that since the 1970s, lion populations in Africa have plummeted by anywhere between 80-90%. It seems to be a trend among humans that we only care once we have labeled something as endangered. But, in truth, action is needed before a species reaches that point. While it is my opinion that lions should already be considered endangered, now is really the time to do something about it.
For more information about World Lion Day, you can visit their website by clicking here. They do not collect money, but aim to spread awareness. They do encourage you to donate to a lion conservation organization of your choice. If you are interested, I have worked with both of the following groups, who do excellent work:
- The Global White Lion Protection Trust: aims to preserve White Lions is their endemic homelands of Timbavati, South Africa, while also preserving the rich cultural heritage surrounding them.
- Panthera: conducts research and implements conservation initiatives with a variety of wild cats species around the world, including lions.
Help out any way that you can, even if it is just to spread the word!
Until next time,