He said if hunters can lure out of the park and kill even Cecil - legendary in Zimbabwe, known for his majestic black mane - "it does not bode well" for other lions. That's why even though hunting isn't the main cause for the lions' decline, it splits the conservation community more than any other factor, Pimm said. Some see it as a way to provide money for conservation - just as duck hunters do in the United States - while other see it as ineffectual, too costly and even unethical. A decade ago, top lion researcher Craig Packer and his team came up with a way to allow limited trophy hunting of lions and not hurt their dwindling numbers.
If only certain, older, unattached lions, identifiable by nose color, were hunted in specific ways, the practice could be sustainable. His team even published a guide on telling the age of a lion by nose color to help trophy hunters go after lions in a sustainable way. It's very cynical and very corrupt.
Bauer takes a more nuanced position on trophy hunting.
In theory, Bauer said, "there's a lot of habitat in Africa where lions exist because of trophy hunting. But Bauer added, "it's very often poorly managed as in the case of Cecil where a lion gets lured out of the habitat.
The Shrinking Jungle
This type of mismanagement happens much more than hits the news. Bauer and his Oxford colleague Claudio Sillero said as bad as trophy hunting can be - estimates of lions killed each year range from to more than 1, - habitat loss and conflicts between lions and locals over livestock and agriculture are bigger problems. There used to be a giant band across Africa from the Atlantic Ocean to the Indian Ocean where lions could roam and people were few, but that's changed. Wars in the region have hurt too, Pimm said. King of a shrinking jungle: Lions threatened long before Cecil In this image taken from a November video made available by Paula French, a well-known, protected lion known as Cecil strolls around in Hwange National Park, in Hwange, Zimbabwe.
When humans and lions clash, the king of the jungle usually loses. Related Stories Authorities contacted by representative of U. Trophy hunting big business in Africa despite threats to vulnerable species.
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Report Error. Top Video false. Southern California left shaken by powerful earthquake. Trump's Fourth of July spectacle sparks controversy. New report highlights key climate change threats to Canada. Don't Miss false. Canadians chowing down at U. More News from Sci-Tech. In jungles, everywhere is special. Host to a staggering array of species, they are the oldest and most diverse ecosystems on our planet.
A myriad of micro-worlds, our jungles contain a bewildering diversity of life, all intricately linked. Life here has evolved to fit every niche, but due to deforestation they're disappearing faster than anywhere on earth. And once we lose any part of our jungles, we may lose species forever. People around the world are adding their voice to call for urgent action to help our planet.
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