International law and lions (Panthera leo): Understanding and improving the contribution of wildlife treaties to the conservation and sustainable use of an iconic carnivore
Trouwborst A., Lewis M., Burnham D., Dickman A., Hinks A., Hodgetts T., Macdonald EA., Macdonald DW.
Copyright © 2017 Arie Trouwborst et al. The lion (Panthera leo) is featuring ever more prominently on the agendas of international wildlife treaties like the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS). Lion range and numbers have declined markedly over the last two decades. In this review we assess the present role of international wildlife treaties with a view to improving their combined contribution to the conservation and sustainable use of lions. Our analysis identifies a substantial body of relevant international wildlife law and, moreover, a significant potential for enhancing the contribution to lion conservation of these global and regional treaties. The time is right to invest in such improvements, and our review renders a range of general and treaty-specific recommendations for doing so, including making full use of the Ramsar Wetlands Convention, World Heritage Convention and transboundary conservation area (TFCA) treaties for lion conservation. The CMS holds particular potential in this regard and our analysis provides strong support for listing the lion in its Appendices.