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Lion population decreasing along with African savannahs


A new report warns that African savannahs are in decline taking with them the continent's lion population.


Warren Little

A new report says that while African savannahs disappear so do the lion populations that they contain.

Duke University researchers say that 75 percent of Africa's savannah's and two thirds of the lion population that dwells in them has disappeared in the last 50 years.

The study authors said that the savannah is becoming far from the ideal that many imagine.

“Maybe some lions chasing down zebras in the distance, and Meryl Streep wandering around in khakis and a big hat,” said Stuart Pimm, of Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, according to the New York Times.

“What they don’t realize is that the savanna is in worse shape than the rain forests we’re always hearing about.”

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They estimate that the number of lions living on African savannahs to be about 32,000.

Half a century ago it was estimated that nearly 100,000 lions roamed there, said Science Blog.

About 25 percent of the savannah remains in Africa despite having been a third larger than the entire United States at one point.

National Geographic said that Africa's lions remain in 10 concentrated places with four in East Africa, and six in southern Africa.

There are still lions that remain in West Africa but are considered threatened and, in some places, extinct.

The study was published in the journal Biodiversity and Conservation.