Good news for conservationists, as a new lion pride was found in Ethiopia that had recently passed the detection of the Born Free Foundation. Researchers from the Washington-based charity who is preoccupied with the fate of the big cats have run into some good news. This offers hopes that lions might still have a fighting chance.
Researchers followed large footprints across the Atalash National park in northwestern Ethiopia. Using camera traps, they managed to capture pictures of a previously untracked pride of lions. And, reportedly, there could be between 100 to 200 new lions within it, so the numbers of their population could potentially swell. According to lead researcher of the study and known lion conservation from Oxford University, Hans Bauer, the lions’ presence has been confirmed.
However, the exact numbers have not. Researchers suggest that there could be up to 200 of them, but it’s likely that 27 and 54 actually live in Atalash. The rest could spread through the neighboring regions, including some travelling to Dinder National Park in Sudan. If that is the case, the it’s excellent news. There are more big cats out there, roaming the lands and attempting to bring their species back from the edge of extinction.
The lion population has seen a dramatic decline. In the past 20 years, their numbers have dropped by 42%. Back in the 1900, their population was around 500,000 lions, and was then halved by the 1950s to 200,000. The problems continued due to hunting for trophies and damaging their environment. Now, there are barely 20,000 known lions around Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, and around South Africa.
The species are officially recognized as endangered, but perhaps with efforts, they might not perish from this world and head for extinction. That is why the discovery of up to 200 lions is exciting. This could mean that the lions not only survive, but have the potential of thriving. Perhaps one day, they might see their numbers go up once again and we could see more of the big cat around the arid African lands.
According to the CEO of Born Free Foundation, Adam M. Roberts, it’s now important to communicate with both the governments of Ethiopia and Sudan to look after the conservation needs surrounding the new pride. Hopefully, the newly discovered stronghold in a remote area around the African country can be protected. And with it, the potentially hundreds of lions living there.
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