Threat analysis for more effective lion conservation
BAUER H., DICKMAN A., Chapron None., Oriol-Cotterill None., Nicholson None., SILLERO-ZUBIRI C., Hunter None., MACDONALD D.
We use comparable 2005 and 2018 population datasets to assess threats driving the decline of lion (Panthera leo) populations and review information on threats structured by Problem Tree and Root Cause Analysis. We defined eight threats and ranked their severity and prevalence. Two threats stood out in affecting both the number of populations and lion numbers within them: i) human lion conflict defined as livestock depredation leading to lion killing, and ii) bushmeat poaching leading to prey depletion. Our data do not allow for determination of whether any specific threat would drive declines faster than others. Out of 20 local extirpations, most were associated with armed conflicts as a driver of proximate threats. We discuss the prevalence and severity of proximate threats and their drivers to identify priorities for more effective conservation of lions, other carnivores and their prey.