Protect Lions From Cruel Trophy Hunting

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Sponsor: The Rainforest Site

Tell the International Union for Conservation of Nature that vulnerable species shouldn't be allowed in game hunts.


Tell the International Union for Conservation of Nature that vulnerable species shouldn't be allowed in game hunts.

Many people mistakenly and understandably think that lions are considered an endangered species. Lions have become extinct in 26 countries. Only seven countries – Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe – are believed to contain more than 1,000 lions each. Despite this fact, they are still only classified as a "vulnerable species" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the governing body that determines such categorizations, and by extension, whether certain protections are put in place for a species.

Between 1999 and 2008, 64% of the 5,663 lions that were killed in the African wild for sport ended up as trophies back in the United States. While arguments that the hefty fees associated with the permits to hunt these magnificent creatures can offset the costs of conservation efforts, the risk of this leading to eventual extinction is a real threat. Because prime male lions are often the most coveted trophies, the process places entire prides at risk by disrupting the speciesÂ’ complex social structure. Prime male lions are the primary protectors of females and cubs, and a decrease in their population places the rest of the family in a truly vulnerable position. Killing the strongest and most fit lions also removes the best genes from the pool, weakening the species as a whole.

It's time to ensure that animals classified as "vulnerable" are truly protected. Tell the IUCN that trophy hunters should not be allowed to target vulnerable species.

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The Petition:

Dear Director General Julia Marton-Lefevre:

I believe the time has come to actively re-evaluate the protections we offer to vulnerable species. Your recommendations have such a powerful influence on how these decisions are made, and you are in an actionable position to increase the protection of truly vulnerable species, such as the African lion, a creature being ruthlessly hunted towards "endangered" status every year.

Many people mistakenly and understandably think that lions are considered an endangered species. Lions have become extinct in 26 countries. Despite this fact, they are still only classified as a "vulnerable species" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

While arguments that the hefty fees associated with the permits to hunt these magnificent creatures can offset the costs of conservation efforts, the risk of this leading to eventual extinction is a real threat. Because prime male lions are often the most coveted trophies, the process places entire prides at risk by disrupting the species' complex social structure. Prime male lions are the primary protectors of females and cubs, and their death places the rest of the family in a truly vulnerable position. Killing the strongest and most fit lions also removes the best genes from the pool, weakening the species as a whole.

Animals that are classified as "vulnerable" should be truly protected. Please change the legal status of "vulnerable" to prevent trophy hunters from targeting animals with precarious situations. Please consider addressing this urgent matter before you step down in 2014.

Sincerely,
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Updates:

The world was shocked when a wealthy American hunter, Walter Palmer, illegally killed and beheaded Cecil, a beloved and friendly lion for "sport." Cecil was lured off the wildlife preserve where he lived and murdered for Palmer's entertainment. Lions continue to be subjected to these needless hunts that stroke hunter's egos while devastating prides. Sign today to show your disgust with the barbaric practice of trophy hunting.
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