[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 209 (Wednesday, October 29, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 64471-64502]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-25731]



[[Page 64471]]

Vol. 79

Wednesday,

No. 209

October 29, 2014

Part II





 Department of the Interior





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 Fish and Wildlife Service





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50 CFR Part 17





Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing the African Lion 
Subspecies as Threatened With a Rule Under Section 4(d) of the ESA; 
Proposed Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 79 , No. 209 / Wednesday, October 29, 2014 / 
Proposed Rules

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

[Docket No. FWS-R9-ES-2012-0025; 450 003 0115]
RIN 1018-BA29


Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing the 
African Lion Subspecies as Threatened With a Rule Under Section 4(d) of 
the ESA

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule and 12-month finding.

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SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 
proposed rule and a 12-month finding on a petition to list the African 
lion (Panthera leo leo) as endangered under the Endangered Species Act 
of 1973, as amended (Act). After review of the best available 
scientific and commercial information, we find that listing the 
subspecies Panthera leo leo as threatened is warranted, and we propose 
to list the subspecies as threatened. We are also proposing a rule 
under section 4(d) of the Act to provide for conservation measures for 
the African lion. To ensure that subsequent rulemaking resulting from 
this proposed rule is as accurate and effective as possible, we are 
soliciting information from the scientific community; other 
governmental agencies, including those within the range of the African 
lion; nongovernmental organizations; the public; and any other 
interested parties.

DATES: We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 
January 27, 2015. We must receive requests for public hearings, in 
writing, at the address shown in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT by 
December 15, 2014.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by one of the following methods:
    (1) Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. In the Search field, enter FWS-R9-ES-2012-0025, 
which is the docket number for this rulemaking. Then, click the Search 
button. You may submit a comment by clicking on ``Comment Now!''
    (2) By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public 
Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R9-ES-2012-0025, Division of Policy and 
Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; MS: BPHC, 5275 
Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Janine Van Norman, Chief, Branch of 
Foreign Species, Ecological Services, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
MS: ES, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803; telephone, 
703-358-2171; facsimile, 703-358-1735. If you use a telecommunications 
device for the deaf (TDD), call the Federal Information Relay Service 
(FIRS) at 800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Executive Summary

I. Purpose of the Regulatory Action

    Under the Act, a species may warrant protection through listing if 
it is found to be an endangered or threatened species throughout all or 
a significant portion of its range. Under the Act, if a species is 
determined to be endangered or threatened we are required to publish in 
the Federal Register a proposed rule to list the species. The purpose 
of this proposed listing determination is to publish and seek comments 
on our 12-month finding on a petition to add the African lion to the 
list of threatened and endangered species.

II. Major Provision of the Regulatory Action

    After review of the best available scientific and commercial 
information, we find that listing the African lion as threatened is 
warranted, and we announce a proposed rule to list the subspecies as 
threatened. We are also proposing a 4(d) rule to provide for 
conservation measures for the African lion.

III. Costs and Benefits

    We have not analyzed the costs or benefits of this rulemaking 
action because the Act precludes consideration of such impacts on 
listing and delisting determinations. Instead, listing and delisting 
decisions are based solely on the best scientific and commercial 
information available regarding the status of the subject species.

Information Requested

    Section 4(b)(1)(A) of the Act directs that determinations as to 
whether any species is an endangered or threatened species must be made 
solely on the basis of the best scientific and commercial data 
available. Therefore, we request comments or information from other 
concerned governmental agencies, the scientific community, industry, 
and any other interested parties concerning this proposed rule. We 
particularly seek comments concerning:
    (1) The subspecies' biology, range, and population trends, 
including:
    (a) Genetics and taxonomy;
    (b) Historical and current range, including distribution;
    (c) Historical and current population levels;
    (d) Information pertaining to range countries' regulatory 
mechanisms, including specific laws and regulations pertaining to loss 
of habitat, loss of prey base, and human-lion conflict.
    (e) Information pertaining to range countries' management plans, 
including information on management and implementation of hunting 
concessions, conservation measures in place for this subspecies and its 
habitat, community education and outreach programs that address lion 
conservation, revenue gained from trophy hunting and how it is 
allocated, and any information pertaining to long-term conservation of 
lions and their habitat and prey base; and
    (f) Potential threats not already identified, such as extractive 
activities.
    (2) The factors that are the basis for making a listing 
determination for a species or subspecies under section 4(a)(1) of the 
Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), which are:
    (A) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or 
curtailment of its habitat or range;
    (B) Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or 
educational purposes;
    (C) Disease or predation;
    (D) The inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or
    (E) Other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued 
existence.
    (3) The potential effects of climate change on the subspecies and 
its habitat.
    Please include sufficient information with your submission (such as 
scientific journal articles or other publications) to allow us to 
verify any scientific or commercial information you include. 
Submissions merely stating support for or opposition to the action 
under consideration without providing supporting information, although 
noted, will not be considered in making a determination.
    We request that you send comments only by the methods described 
above in ADDRESSES. We will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov. If you submit information via http://www.regulations.gov, your entire submission--including any personal 
identifying information--will be posted on the Web site. If your 
submission is made via a hardcopy that includes personal identifying 
information, you may request at the top of your document that we 
withhold this information from public review. However, we cannot

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guarantee that we will be able to do so. Please include sufficient 
information with your comments to allow us to verify any scientific or 
commercial information you include.
    Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting 
documentation we used in preparing this proposed rule, will be 
available for public inspection on http://www.regulations.gov, or by 
appointment, during normal business hours, at the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, Ecological Services, Branch of Foreign Species (see 
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

Public Hearing

    At this time, we do not have a public hearing scheduled for this 
proposed rule. The main purpose of most public hearings is to obtain 
public testimony or comment. In most cases, it is sufficient to submit 
comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal, described above in 
ADDRESSES. If you would like to request a public hearing for this 
proposed rule, you must submit your request, in writing, to the person 
listed in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT by the date specified in 
DATES.

Peer Review

    In accordance with our policy published on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 
34270), we will solicit the expert opinions of at least three 
appropriate and independent specialists for peer review of this 
proposed rule. The purpose of such review is to ensure that decisions 
are based on scientifically sound data, assumptions, and analysis. We 
will send peer reviewers copies of this proposed rule immediately 
following publication in the Federal Register. We will invite peer 
reviewers to comment, during the public comment period, on the specific 
assumptions and conclusions regarding the proposed listing status of 
threatened for the African lion subspecies. We will summarize the 
opinions of these reviewers in the final decision document, and we will 
consider their input and any additional information we receive, as part 
of our process of making a final decision on the proposal.
    Peer review is an important tool at our disposal to help evaluate 
the quality of the data and analyses we rely on in our decision making 
processes. The 1994 peer review policy commits us to soliciting the 
expert opinions of ``appropriate and independent specialists regarding 
pertinent scientific or commercial data and assumptions relating to 
taxonomy . . . for species under consideration for listing.'' The 
policy also requires that our final decision must document the opinions 
of all the independent peer reviewers, and that all information 
regarding peer review be included in the administrative record. All 
proposed listing rules must be peer reviewed according to this policy 
and to applicable standards under the Service's guidelines for 
implementing the Information Quality Act and the December 15, 2004, 
Office of Management and Budget Final Information Quality Bulletin for 
Peer Review.

Petition History and Previous Federal Action(s)

    On March 1, 2011, we received a petition dated the same day from 
the International Fund for Animal Welfare, the Humane Society of the 
United States, Humane Society International, the Born Free Foundation/
Born Free USA, Defenders of Wildlife, and the Fund for Animals 
requesting that the African lion subspecies be listed as endangered 
under the Act. The petition identified itself as such and included the 
information as required by 50 CFR 424.14(a). On November 27, 2012, we 
published a ``positive'' 90-day finding (77 FR 70727) indicating that 
we would initiate a status review of the African lion. This document 
consists of our proposed rule and our determination on the status 
review for the African lion and publishes our finding. Our status 
review may be obtained at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. 
FWS-R9-ES-2012-0025.

Conservation Status of the African Lion

U.S. Endangered Species Act
    The African lion (Panthera leo leo) is currently not listed as 
either endangered or threatened under the Act, although the Asiatic 
lion (Panthera leo persica) has been listed as endangered since 1970 
under the Act and its precursor, the Endangered Species Conservation 
Act of 1969.
International Union for the Conservation of Nature
    In 2008, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature 
(IUCN) classified the African lion as vulnerable with a declining 
population trend, which means the species is considered to be facing a 
high risk of extinction in the wild (Bauer et al. 2008, unpaginated). 
This classification is based on a suspected reduction in its population 
of approximately 30 percent over the previous two decades (Bauer et al. 
2008, unpaginated). Because the regional lion population in western 
Africa is isolated and estimated to number well below the IUCN 
endangered criterion level of 2,500 individuals, it is classified by 
the IUCN as regionally endangered (Bauer and Nowell 2004, entire). In 
the assessment for this classification, western Africa is defined as 
consisting of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Gambia (identified as 
``Regionally Extinct'' (RE)), Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia 
(RE), Mali, Mauritania (RE), Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone 
(RE), and Togo (Bauer and Nowell 2004, p. 35).
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna 
and Flora (CITES)
    The African lion is listed in Appendix II of the Convention on 
International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora 
(CITES). CITES (see http://www.cites.org) is an international agreement 
through which member countries work together to protect against over-
exploitation of animal and plant species found in international trade. 
Parties regulate and monitor international trade in CITES-listed 
species--that is, their import, export, and reexport, and introduction 
from the sea--through a system of permits and certificates. CITES lists 
species in one of three appendices--Appendix I, II, or III. Species 
such as the African lion that are listed in Appendix II of CITES may be 
commercially traded, subject to several restrictions. CITES Appendix II 
includes species that are less vulnerable to extinction than species 
listed in Appendix I, and ``although not necessarily now threatened 
with extinction, may become so unless trade in specimens of such 
species is subject to strict regulation in order to avoid utilization 
incompatible with their survival.'' The status of the African lion with 
respect to CITES and how it is affected by international trade is 
discussed in more detail below, in the section titled Import/Export of 
Lion Parts and Products.
Periodic Review Under CITES
    In an attempt to increase CITES protections for the African lion, 
in 2004, Kenya submitted a proposal for consideration at the Thirteenth 
Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (CoP13) to change the 
listing of the African lion from Appendix II of CITES to Appendix I 
(CoP13 Prop. 6; http://www.cites.org/eng/cop/13/prop/E13-P06.pdf). An 
Appendix-I listing includes species threatened with extinction whose 
trade is permitted only under exceptional circumstances, which 
generally precludes commercial trade. The import of specimens (both 
live and dead, as well as parts and products) of an Appendix-I species 
generally

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requires the issuance of both an import and export permit under CITES. 
Import permits are issued only if findings are made that the import 
would be for purposes that are not detrimental to the survival of the 
species in the wild and that the specimen will not be used for 
primarily commercial purposes. For live specimens, a finding must also 
be made that the recipient must be suitably equipped to house and care 
for the specimens (CITES Article III(3)). Export permits are issued 
only if findings are made that the specimen was legally acquired and 
the export is not detrimental to the survival of the species in the 
wild, and that a living specimen will be so prepared and shipped as to 
minimize the risk of injury, damage to health, or cruel treatment. 
(CITES Article III(2)).
    Although Kenya had submitted its proposal to CoP13 for 
consideration, it withdrew its proposal due to the lack of regional 
consensus on the proposal. Furthermore, plans were under way at that 
time for convening a regional workshop on lion management in 2005, the 
results of which would be reported to the CITES Animals Committee 
(Animals Committee) (http://www.cites.org/eng/cop/13/rep/E13-ComIRep13.pdf).
    Recognizing that lion workshops and other research had been 
completed, producing updated information on the conservation and status 
of this species, the Animals Committee, at its 25th Meeting (AC25) 
(Geneva, Switzerland, July 2011), agreed to include the African lion in 
the Periodic Review of Felidae [Decision 13.93 (Rev. CoP15)] (http://www.cites.org/eng/dec/valid15/E15-Dec.pdf) under the Animals Committee 
periodic review of the appendices. Kenya and Namibia offered to lead 
the review as a high priority with range country consultation (http://www.cites.org/eng/com/ac/25/sum/E25-SumRec.pdf). At CoP16 in March 
2013, the Parties adopted a revised Decision [Decision 13.93 (Rev. 
CoP16); http://www.cites.org/common/cop/16/sum/E-CoP16-Plen-06.pdf; 
http://www.cites.org/eng/dec/valid16/13_93_CoP16.php], directing the 
Animals Committee to complete its Review of the Appendices for Felidae 
and to provide a report at CoP17 on the result of the review of all 
Felidae. Kenya and Namibia recently submitted a report of their work on 
the Periodic Review of the African lion for discussion at the 27th 
Meeting of the Animals Committee (AC27, Veracruz, Mexico, 28 April-3 
May 2014) (CITES 2014a, entire). During discussion of this document at 
AC27, a representative of the IUCN informed the committee that the IUCN 
would be completing an updated Red List Assessment of the lion in 2015. 
In addition, she suggested potential nomenclature changes to lion 
subspecies (see Taxonomy). The Animals Committee took note of the 
upcoming Red List Assessment and requested Namibia and Kenya to 
incorporate this information into their Periodic Review and prepare a 
revised document for consideration at the 28th Meeting of the Animals 
Committee. Further, the Animals Committee made plans to continue 
seeking information from lion range states that had not yet responded 
to requests for information on the species. Finally, the Animals 
Committee took note of the recent information concerning changes in the 
nomenclature of lion subspecies and requested that the nomenclature 
expert of the Animals Committee review the information (CITES 2014b, p. 
3).
Regions in Which African Lions Occur
    The literature on African lion often includes reference to the 
following broad geographic regions: northern, western, central, 
southern, and eastern Africa. The boundaries of these regions vary 
somewhat among authors, based on the nature and result of the studies 
undertaken.
    As reflected in the literature reviewed for this proposed rule, the 
lion conservation community generally works in the context of the 
regions of Africa as they are described in Table 1. The regions as 
described in Table 1 may vary somewhat from the descriptions of the 
regions that may be found in taxonomic and other research literature.

  Table 1--Descriptions of the Different Regions of Africa as Generally
                   Used by the Conservation Community
  [Information derived from Chardonnet 2012, IUCN 2006a and IUCN 2006b]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Regions                             Countries
------------------------------------------------------------------------
North of Saharan Desert:
    North Africa \1\...................  Algeria \1\, Egypt \1\, Libya
                                          \1\, Morocco \1\, Tunisia.\1\
Sub-Saharan Africa:
    Western Africa.....................  Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote
                                          d'Ivoire \3\, Gambia \1\,
                                          Ghana \3\, Guinea, Guinea-
                                          Bissau \3\, Mali \3\,
                                          Mauritania \1\, Niger,
                                          Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone
                                          \1\, Togo.\2\ \3\
    Central Africa.....................  Cameroon, CAR, Chad, Congo,
                                          DRC, Gabon, Sudan/South Sudan.
    Eastern Africa.....................  Burundi \2\, Djibouti \1\,
                                          Eritrea \1\, Ethiopia, Kenya,
                                          Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan/South
                                          Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda.
    Southern Africa....................  Angola, Botswana, Lesotho \1\,
                                          Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia,
                                          South Africa, Swaziland,
                                          Zambia, Zimbabwe.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Lions extirpated.
\2\ Lions considered occasional or transient by Chardonnet 2002.
\3\ Lions considered absent by Henschel et al. 2014.

Species Description

    The lion is the second-largest extant cat species (second in size 
only to the tiger) and the largest carnivore in Africa. It has a broad 
geographical range, historically distributed throughout Africa (Ray et 
al. 2005, p. 67). As with other widely distributed large cats, there is 
considerable morphological variation within the species as a result of 
sexual selection, regional environmental adaptations, and gene flow 
(Mazak 2010, p. 194). These include, among others, variation in size, 
coat color and thickness, mane color and form, and skull 
characteristics (Mazak 2010, p. 194, citing several sources; Hollister 
1917, in Dubach 2005, p. 15). They are described by CITES (2014, p. 3) 
as follows:

    Characteristics include sharp, retractile claws, a short neck, a 
broad face with prominent whiskers, rounded ears and a muscular 
body. Lions are typically a tawny color with black on the backs of 
the ears and white on the abdomen and inner legs. Males usually have 
a mane around the head, neck and chest. Lions are sexually 
dimorphic, with males weighing about 20-27 percent more than 
females. Adult males, on average, weigh about 188 kg with the 
heaviest male

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on record weighing 272 kg. Females are smaller, weighing, on 
average, 126 kg. The male body length, not including the tail, 
ranges from 1.7 m to 2.5 m with a tail from 0.9 m to 1 m (Nowell & 
Jackson, 1996).
Taxonomy
    The lion (Panthera leo) was first described by Linnaeus (1758, in 
Haas et al. 2005, p. 1), who gave it the name Felis leo. It was later 
placed in the genus Panthera (Pocock 1930, in Haas et al. 2005, p. 1). 
Although the classification of the modern lion as Panthera leo is 
accepted within the scientific community, there is a lack of consensus 
regarding lion intraspecific taxonomy (Mazak 2010, p. 194; Barnett et. 
al. 2006b, p. 2,120).
    Based on morphology, traditional classifications recognize anywhere 
from zero subspecies (classifying lions as one monotypic species) up to 
nine subspecies (Mazak 2010, p. 194, citing several sources). The most 
widely referenced of the morphology-based taxonomies is an eight-
subspecies (six extant) classification provided by Hemmer (1974, in 
Nowell and Jackson 1996, p. 312; Barnett et al. 2006a, p. 507; Barnett 
et al. 2006b, p. 2,120), which is recognized by the Integrated 
Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) (ITIS 2013, www.itis.gov, accessed 
June 6, 2013). It divides the lion species into: Panthera leo persica 
(India); P. l. leo, commonly referred to as the Barbary lion (Morocco 
through Tunisia, extinct); P. l. senegalensis (West Africa east to the 
Central African Republic); P. l. azandica (northern Zaire); P. l. 
bleyenberghi (southern Zaire and presumably neighboring areas of Zambia 
and Angola); P. l. nubica (East Africa); P. l. krugeri (Kalahari region 
east to the Transvaal and Natal regions of South Africa), and P. l. 
melanochaita, also called the Cape lion (Cape region of South Africa, 
extinct) (Nowell and Jackson 1996, p. 312).
    In 1987, O'Brien (1987a, entire; 1987b, entire) reported the first 
results of genetic studies conducted on lion samples from some, but not 
all, regions of the species' range using early genetic techniques. 
Results indicated that lions in India differed from lions in Africa, 
supporting a two-subspecies classification for extant lions: P. leo leo 
and P. leo persica, the African and Asian lion, respectively (Ellerman 
et al. 1953, Meester and Setzer 1971, O'Brien et al. 1987, in Dubach 
2005, p. 16). According to Dubach (2005, p. 16), most taxonomic 
authorities recognize this two-subspecies taxonomy. This taxonomy is 
also recognized by the IUCN (Bauer et al. 2012, unpaginated) and, 
consequently, by several international organizations and governing 
bodies. As a result, this is the classification on which the 
conservation of the species is largely based. However, results of 
recent genetic research call into question this classification.
    In recent years, several genetic studies have provided evidence of 
an evolutionary division within lions in Africa (see Barnett et al. 
2014, p. 6; Dubach et al. 2013, p. 746; Bertola et al. 2011 (entire); 
Antunes et al. 2008 (entire); Barnett et al. 2006a, pp. 511-512). These 
studies include analysis of DNA samples from all major regions of the 
species' range, though some regions are represented by few samples. 
Results of analysis indicate that a major genetic subdivision among 
lions occurs in Africa, with lions in southern and eastern Africa being 
genetically distinct from and more genetically diverse than lions 
elsewhere (western and central western and central Africa and Asia). 
Evidence indicates that lions in western and central Africa (as well as 
now-extinct north African lions) are more closely related to lions in 
India than to lions in southern and eastern Africa (Barnett et al. 
2014, pp. 4-8; Dubach et al. 2013, pp. 741, 746-747, 750-751; Bertola 
et al. 2011, entire). According to Dubach et al. (2013, p. 753) 
contemporary range collapse and fragmentation is too recent a 
phenomenon to explain the lower genetic variability in these regions. 
Rather, the low genetic diversity in and between western and central 
African lion populations suggests they have a shorter evolutionary 
history than the more genetically diverse lions in southern and eastern 
Africa (Bertola et al. 2011, p. 1362). Several authors argue that the 
origin of these genetically distinct groups may be the result of 
regional extinctions and recolonizations during major climate (and 
consequently biome) fluctuations during the Pleistocene Epoch (Barnett 
et al. 2014, pp. 5-8; Bertola et al. 2011, pp. 1,362-1,364).
    These genetic studies on lion are based primarily on analysis of 
mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), which is inherited only from the mother. 
Because lions display sex-biased dispersal, in which males leave their 
natal range and females tend to remain in their natal range, one would 
expect gene flow in females to be lower than in males, resulting in 
greater geographic differentiation in females (Mazak 2010, p. 204). 
Consequently, some authors state that results of mtDNA analyses should 
be backed up by studies on nuclear DNA (nDNA, inherited from both 
parents) and morphological traits before assigning taxonomic importance 
to them (Barnett et al. 2014, pp. 1, 8). Recently, Mazak (2010, entire) 
examined morphological characteristics of 255 skulls of wild lions and 
found considerable variation throughout the species' range, with 
variation being greater within populations than between them. However, 
according to Dubach et al. (2013, p. 742), the genetic distinction of 
lions in southern and eastern Africa from those elsewhere in the 
species' range is confirmed by results of studies by Antunes et al. 
(2008, entire) which, in addition to analysis of mtDNA, also included 
analysis of nDNA sequence and microsatellite variation.
    The recent results of genetic research have renewed debate on lion 
taxonomy among the experts. For this reason, the IUCN Species Survival 
Commission Cat Specialist Group has commissioned a Cat Classification 
Task Force from among its expert members to determine a consensus 
taxonomy for the group. Until then, we conclude that the taxonomy of 
the species is currently unresolved. However, as required by the Act, 
we base this status review on the best available scientific and 
commercial information, which is the most recent taxonomy that is the 
most widely recognized by taxonomic experts: P. leo leo (Africa) and P. 
leo persica (India). Consequently, in this document we review the 
status of the petitioned entity, the African lion, P. leo leo.
Range
    Historically, lions occupied most of the African continent except 
the West African coastal rainforest zone, the Congo Basin rainforest 
zone, and the inner Sahara Desert (Bauer 2003, in Ray et al. 2005, p. 
67; IUCN 2006a, p. 10; IUCN 2006b, p. 10). Ray et al. (2005, p. 52) 
estimate lion historical range in Africa (at about 150 years prior to 
their study) to be roughly 22.2 million square kilometers (km\2\), 
while IUCN (2006a, p. 12; 2006b, p. 13) estimates lion historical range 
in sub-Saharan Africa to be 19.3 million km\2\ (Table 2). Depending on 
the study and methods used, the species' range is reported to currently 
cover between 3.0 million and 5.0 million km\2\ (Table 2). The most 
recent range-wide study was based on a review of all of the most 
current available estimates of lion populations (up through 2012) 
(Riggio et al, p. 21), combined with satellite imagery of savannah 
habitat, and provided estimates of current lion range to be 3.4 million 
km\2\ (Riggio et al. 2013, p. 26), or about 25 percent of the 
subspecies' historic range in savannah habitat. According to Chardonnet 
(2002, pp. 24-25), about half the range of the African lion falls 
within protected areas.

[[Page 64476]]

    The African lion is now believed to be extirpated from between 75 
and 83 percent of its former range (Table 2). The subspecies has been 
extirpated from all of its former range in northern Africa (Black et 
al. 2013, p. 1). In addition, according to IUCN (2006a,b; see Table 2), 
the species' range has declined by an estimated 91 percent in western 
Africa, 79 percent in central Africa, and 68 percent in eastern/
southern Africa (Table 2), with lion occurrence unknown in an 
additional 38 percent of the historical range (Bauer et al 2008, p. 
16). More recently, Henschel et al. (2014, p. 5) estimate the confirmed 
lion range in western Africa, based on data collected between 2006 and 
2012, to be 49,000 km\2\, or an estimated 1.1 percent of the species' 
former range in the region.

                                  Table 2--Estimates of the African Lion Range
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                     Current range as percent of
                                                       Historic     Current  range   historic range  (percent of
             Source               Region of Africa  range  (km\2\)      (km\2\)       historic  range w/unknown
                                                                                           lion presence)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ray et al. 2005:...............  Continent-wide...      22,200,000       3,800,000  17 percent.
Chardonnet 2002:...............  Western..........  ..............         121,980  ............................
                                 Central..........  ..............         651,970  ............................
                                 Eastern..........  ..............       1,137,205  ............................
                                 Southern.........  ..............       1,039,212  ............................
                                                   --------------------------------
                                 Total............  ..............       2,950,367  ............................
IUCN 2006a, b: \1\.............  Western..........       3,814,576         331,749  9 percent.
                                 Central..........       3,392,241         715,482  21 percent.
                                 Western + Central       7,206,817       1,047,231  15 percent.
                                 Southern +             12,080,000       3,915,000  32 percent.
                                  Eastern.
                                                   --------------------------------
                                 Total............      19,286,817       4,962,231  26 percent.
Bauer et al. 2008: \1 2\.......  Western + Central       7,206,817       1,047,231  15 percent.
                                                                                    (0 percent).
                                 Southern +             13,010,000       3,564,000  23 percent.
                                  Eastern.                                          (58 percent).
                                                   --------------------------------
                                 Total............      20,216,817       4,611,231  22 percent.
                                                                                    (38 percent).
Riggio 2013 \3\ (based on        Western..........  ..............         133,784  ............................
 estimates of savannah           Central..........                         936,465
 habitat):.
                                 Eastern..........  ..............         780,401  ............................
                                 Southern.........  ..............       1,540,171  ............................
                                 Total............      13,500,000       3,390,821  25 percent.
                                                   --------------------------------
Henschel et al. 2014:..........  Western..........  ..............          49,000  1 percent.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The  historical range of the African lion included most current 
continental African countries (Chardonnet 2002, pp. 25-28). Currently, 
the subspecies occurs only in sub-Saharan Africa. Within this region, 
Chardonnet (2002, p. 27) described lions as present in 34 range states 
(35 with South Sudan, which gained its independence as a country in 
July 2011) and recently extirpated from 6 range countries (Chardonnet 
2002, p. 27) (Table 1). The 34 sub-Saharan African range countries in 
which Chardonnet considered lions present included 10 in western 
Africa. More recently, during surveys of 21 large protected areas in 
western Africa, Henschel et al. (2014, p. 4) considered lions to be 
absent from protected areas in 5 of these 10 countries (Table 1).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Current range includes occasional and probable range.
    \2\ Bauer et al (2008) provides a synthesis of the efforts from 
which the IUCN (2006a, b) estimates were generated, providing 
somewhat different numbers for southern and eastern Africa. Also, 
current range is range where lion occurrence is known, and in 
approximately 38 percent of historical range, the occurrence of lion 
is unknown.
    \3\ Riggio et al. (2013) calculate estimates for savannah 
habitat, defined as areas that receive between 300 and 1,500 mm of 
rain annually and which includes most of sub-Saharan Africa.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Distribution and Abundance

    The general distribution of lions in Africa is summarized by Ray et 
al. (2005, p. 67) as follows:

    Lions formerly occupied most of the African continent except for 
equatorial forest and the inner-Sahara. Today, they are extinct in 
North Africa and have undergone dramatic range retraction at the 
limits of their historical distribution. Currently, lions are 
restricted mainly to protected areas and surrounding conservancies 
or `game management areas,' with the largest populations in East and 
southern Africa. Where protection is poor, particularly outside 
protected areas, range loss or population decreases can be 
significant. Declines have been most severe in West and Central 
Africa, with only small, isolated populations scattered chiefly 
through the Sahel. Lions in the region are declining in some 
protected areas and, with the exception of southern Chad and 
northern Central African Republic, are virtually absent from 
unprotected areas (Bauer 2003).

    Estimates of lion abundance on a large geographical scale are few 
in number. For a variety of reasons--including low densities, large 
ranges, cryptic coloration, nocturnal and wary habits--lions are 
difficult to count (Bauer et al. 2005, p. 6; Riggio et al. 2013, p. 
31). There are large areas of the species' range in which no data are 
available on lion occurrence or abundance (IUCN 2006b, pp. 12-13). 
Species experts recognize that estimating the size of the African lion 
population is an ambitious task, involving many uncertainties (IUCN 
2012, p. 2). Estimates, particularly range-wide or broad region-wide 
estimates, tend to rely to a considerable extent on expert opinion or 
inference (Riggio et al. 2013, p. 21; Chardonnet 2002, p. 19). 
Consequently, there is a large degree of uncertainty in these 
estimates. In addition, to date all efforts to estimate the size of the 
African

[[Page 64477]]

lion population have used different methods; the results of earlier 
estimates cannot be directly compared to those of later estimates to 
determine population trend. The earliest estimates of lion abundance in 
Africa were educated guesses made during the latter half of the 20th 
Century. Bauer et al. (2008, unpaginated) summarize the information as 
follows:

    There have been few efforts in the past to estimate the number 
of lions in Africa. Myers (1975) wrote, ``Since 1950, their [lion] 
numbers may well have been cut in half, perhaps to as low as 200,000 
in all or even less.'' Later, Myers (1986) wrote, ``In light of 
evidence from all the main countries of its range, the lion has been 
undergoing decline in both range and numbers, often an accelerating 
decline, during the past two decades''. In the early 1990s, IUCN SSC 
Cat Specialist Group members made educated ``guesstimates'' of 
30,000 to 100,000 for the African Lion population (Nowell and 
Jackson 1996).

    Ferreras and Cousins (1996, entire) provided the first 
quantitatively derived estimate using a GIS-based model calibrated with 
information obtained from lion experts. Ferreras and Cousins predicted 
African lion abundance in 1980 to be 75,800. Later, four additional 
efforts--Chardonnet (2002), Bauer and Van Der Merwe (2004), IUCN 
(2006a, 2006b), and Riggio et al. 2013--estimated lion population sizes 
ranging from 23,000 to 40,000 (Table 3). Currently, about 90 percent of 
all African lions occur in southern and eastern Africa (Table 3). 
According to most studies, most African lions are in eastern Africa 
(Table 3). According to Riggio et al. (2013, p. 27), only nine 
countries contain resident populations of at least 1,000 free-ranging 
lions (Central African Republic, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zambia, 
Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana, and possibly Angola). Approximately 
40 percent of all lions are found in Tanzania (Riggio et al. 2013, p. 
27). Only about 10 percent of all lions occur in western and central 
Africa (Table 3). According to the most recent survey effort, numbers 
in western Africa are extremely low. Henschel et al. (2014, p. 5) 
estimate that only 400 lions in the entire region, with most (about 
350, or 88 percent) concentrated in a single population.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ Estimates were made for individual Lion Conservation Units 
(defined management units), and were given as population size 
classes rather than specific figures. As calculated by Riggio et al. 
(2013, p. 27).

                                                      Table 3--Estimates of African Lion Abundance
                                                          [Rows may not tally due to rounding]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                         Western Africa          Central Africa          Eastern Africa        Southern Africa
               Source                  (percent of total)      (percent of total)      (percent of total)     (percent of total)           Total
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ferreras & Cousins 1996 (estimate    ......................  ......................  .....................  .....................  75,800 (18,600 in
 for lion abundance in 1980).                                                                                                       protected areas).
Chardonnet 2002....................  1,163 (3 percent).....  2,815 (7 percent).....  15,744 (40 percent)..  19,651 (50 percent)..  39,373.
Bauer & Van Der Merwe 2004.........  850 (4 percent).......  950 (4 percent).......  11,000 (48 percent)..  10,000 (44 percent)..  23,000.
IUCN 2006 \4\ (as calculated by      1,640 (5 percent).....  2,410 (7 percent).....  17,290 (52 percent)..  11,820 (37 percent)..  33,160.
 Riggio et al. 2013).
Riggio 2013 (based on estimates of   480 (1 percent).......  2,419 (7 percent).....  19,972 (57 percent)..  12,036 (34 percent)..  34,907.
 savannah habitat).
Henschel et al. 2014...............  406 (n/a).............
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In 2005-2006, in response to a growing concern that the African 
lion was in decline, IUCN and the Wildlife Conservation Society 
sponsored workshops to determine a lion conservation strategy. During 
these workshops, lion experts collectively assessed what they believed 
to be the then-current status of African lions based on a variety of 
information, including professional opinion. During the workshops, lion 
experts identified 86 African lion Conservation Units (LCUs). They 
defined LCUs as areas of known, occasional, or possible lion range that 
can be considered an ecological unit of importance for lion 
conservation (IUCN 2006a, p. 14; IUCN 2006b, p. 17). Of the 86 LCUs, 20 
are in western and central Africa and 66 are in southern and eastern 
Africa (Table 4). Most (71 percent) have more than half their area 
under some form of legal protection (Bauer et al. 2008, p. 19). Few (16 
percent) were estimated to contain large populations (Table 4). This 
was particularly the case for western and central Africa, where most 
(13, or 65 percent) of LCUs were estimated to contain fewer than 50 
lions (Table 4). The majority of those with large populations were in 
southern and eastern Africa (Table 4). Only 23 of 86 LCUs (27 percent) 
were considered to contain viable populations, though more than half 
were thought to contain potentially viable populations (Table 4). Lion 
populations within 42 percent of the 86 LCUs were considered to be 
decreasing, whereas those in 9 percent were considered increasing. The 
remaining were considered stable or of unknown trend (Table 4).

      Table 4--Lion Conservation Units (LCUs) as Identified and Characterized in IUCN 2006a and IUCN 2006b
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             Eastern &
             Number of LCUs                  Western &       Southern             All regions  (percent)
                                          Central Africa      Africa
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total...................................              20              66  86.
Estimated to contain:
    >500 lions..........................               2              12  14 (16 percent).
    50-500 lions........................               5              28  33 (38 percent).

[[Page 64478]]

 
    <50 lions...........................              13              26  39 (45 percent).
Considered:
    Viable..............................               4              19  23 (27 percent).
    Potentially Viable..................              12              34  46 (53 percent).
    Doubtful Viability..................               4              13  17 (20 percent).
With Populations Considered to be:
    Increasing..........................               3               5  8 (9 percent).
    Stable..............................               5              21  26 (30 percent).
    Decreasing..........................              12              24  36 (42 percent).
    Unknown.............................  ..............              16  16 (19 percent).
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Riggio et al. (2013, entire) provide the most recent, most 
comprehensive estimates to date of free-ranging lion populations in 
Africa. They compiled all existing estimates of African lion 
populations since 2002, including data from Chardonnet (2002), Bauer 
and Van Der Merwe (2004), IUCN (2006a, 2006b), over 40 mainly country-
specific reports, and their own experiences. They then combined these 
data with satellite imagery and information on habitat condition to 
estimate lion abundance and identify lion areas that they characterized 
as strongholds and potential strongholds. They conducted this within 
the context of savannah Africa, which they defined as areas that 
receive between 300 and 1,500 millimeters (mm) of rain annually, and 
within which most of the present range of the African lion occurs. 
Also, they used the LCUs identified in the 2005-2006 lion workshops as 
the general framework within which to identify lion areas, strongholds, 
and potential strongholds.
    Riggio et al. (2013, p. 32) describe lion strongholds as areas 
meeting the necessary requirements for long-term viability; broadly, 
where management appears to be working. Potential strongholds are 
described, broadly, as areas where immediate interventions might create 
a viable population. Specifically defined, strongholds (1) contain at 
least 500 lions, (2) are within protected areas (including those that 
allow hunting), and (3) have stable or increasing lion numbers as 
assessed by IUCN (2006a, 2006b) (Riggio et al. 2013, p. 22). Potential 
strongholds contain at least 250 lions, but do not satisfy either 
requirement (2) or (3) above. The remaining lion areas--those not 
meeting the requirements of a stronghold or potential stronghold--are 
described as areas ``where present management clearly isn't working'' 
(Riggio et al. 2013, p. 32). Riggio et al. (2013, p. 32) derived the 
thresholds of 500 and 250 using information in Bj[ouml]rklund (2003) on 
the number of prides needed to avoid the risk of inbreeding in lion 
populations, and information in Bauer et al. (2008) on the average size 
of lion prides. Bj[ouml]rklund (in Riggio et al. 2013, p. 32) assessed 
the risk of inbreeding due to habitat loss and determined that, ``. . . 
to sustain a large out-bred population of lions, a continuous 
population of at least 50 prides, but preferably 100 prides, with no 
limits to dispersal is required.'' Bauer et al. 2008 (in Riggio et al. 
2013, p. 32) indicate the average lion pride as containing 
approximately five adults.
    The results of Riggio et al. indicate the size of the African lion 
population to be about 35,000, which falls within the range of the 
other recent estimates (Table 3). However, they state that ``Although 
these numbers are similar to previous estimates, they are 
geographically more comprehensive. There is abundant evidence of 
widespread declines and local extinctions'' (Riggio et al. 2013, p. 
18).
    Riggio et al. identified lions as occurring in 67 areas (Table 5). 
While a small portion (22 percent) of lion areas identified by Riggio 
et al. contain large populations, the majority are small and isolated 
(Riggio et al. 2013, p. 30; Table 5). Most (69 percent) contain fewer 
than 250 lions. A considerable portion (39 percent) contains very small 
populations of fewer than 50 lions. These include 63 percent of the 
lion areas in western and central Africa, and 31 percent of those in e/
s Africa.

                  Table 5--Number of Lion Areas and Number of Areas Containing Lion Population Classes According to Riggio et al. 2013
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Number of lion areas                  Western         Central         Eastern        Southern               All regions  (percent)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total.......................................               8               8              28              23  67.
# Estimated to contain:
    >=500 lions.............................               0               1               7               7  15 (22 percent).
    250-499 lions...........................               1               2               1               2  6 (9 percent).
    50-249 lions............................               0               2              12               6  20 (30 percent).
    <50.....................................               7               3               8               8  26 (39 percent).
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Riggio et al. identify 10 lion strongholds (viable populations) and 
7 potential strongholds (Table 6). According to Riggio et al. (2013, p. 
29), the 10 strongholds contain approximately 24,000 lions, or about 70 
percent of the current African lion population. Of those, most (about 
19,000 lions) are in protected areas. Potential strongholds contain 
about 4,000 lions. More than 6,000 lions are located in areas not 
considered strongholds or potential strongholds and have a very high 
risk of being extirpated (Riggio et al. 2013, p. 33).

[[Page 64479]]



                                  Table 6--Lion Strongholds and Potential Strongholds Identified by Riggio et al. 2013
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                     Population
                                                                                                        Lion           size in        IUCN  (2006a, b)
             Lion area                     Country          Area  (km\2\)        Stronghold          population       protected            Trend
                                                                                                        size            areas
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                     Western Africa
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
W-Arly-Pendjari...................  Benin, Burkina Faso,           29,403  Potential.............             350             350  Stable.
                                     Niger.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                     Central Africa
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SE Chad...........................  Chad.................         133,408  Potential \5\.........             400             140  Stable.
E CAR.............................  Central African               328,721  Potential \6\.........           1,244             148  Stable.
                                     Republic.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                     Eastern Africa
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Boma-Gambella.....................  Ethiopia, South Sudan         106,941  Potential.............             500           ~ 500  Unknown.
Laikipia-Samburu..................  Kenya................          35,511  Potential.............             271              46  Stable.
Tarangire.........................  Tanzania.............          28,771  Potential.............             731             208  Decreasing.
Ruaha-Rungwa......................  Tanzania.............         195,993  Stronghold............           3,779           2,235  Stable.
Selous............................  Tanzania.............         138,035  Stronghold............           7,644           4,953  Stable.
Serengeti-Mara....................  Kenya, Tanzania......          35,852  Stronghold............           3,673           3,516  Increasing.
Tsavo-Mkomazi.....................  Kenya, Tanzania......          39,216  Stronghold............             880             820  Decreasing.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                     Southern Africa
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Etosha-Kunene.....................  Angola, Namibia......         123,800  Potential.............             455       ~ 315-595  Increasing.
Kafue.............................  Zambia...............          58,898  Potential.............             386             386  Stable.
Great Limpopo.....................  Mozambique, South             150,347  Stronghold............           2,311           2,179  Increasing.
                                     Africa, Zimbabwe.
Kgalagadi.........................  Botswana, South               163,329  Stronghold............             800           ~ 800  Stable.
                                     Africa.
Luangwa...........................  Malawi, Zambia.......          72,992  Stronghold............             574             574  Stable.
Mid-Zambezi.......................  Mozambique, Zambia,            64,672  Stronghold............             755       ~ 350-650  Stable.
                                     Zimbabwe.
Niassa............................  Mozambique, Tanzania.         177,559  Stronghold............           1,573           1,080  Increasing.
Okavango-Hwange...................  Botswana, Zimbabwe...          99,552  Stronghold............           2,300         ~ 2,300  Stable.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ Two lion areas in central Africa make up one potential 
stronghold.
    \6\ Riggio et al. make one exception to the requirement that 
lion strongholds contain populations that are stable or increasing. 
IUCN 2006 indicate lion numbers in the Tsavo/Mkomazi lion area are 
decreasing in numbers, but Riggio et al. believe that, while lion 
numbers are declining outside of protected areas, lions within the 
parks are usually well protected and in sufficient numbers to meet 
the criteria.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Most of the strongholds and potential strongholds identified by 
Riggio et al. are trans-boundary areas. The vast majority, including 
all 10 strongholds, are located in southern and eastern Africa. Of the 
17 strongholds and potential strongholds, only two potential 
strongholds are located in western and central Africa, one each in 
western Africa and central Africa. Only a small portion of the lions in 
the central Africa potential stronghold are within protected areas. The 
western Africa potential stronghold has one of the smallest lion 
populations of the 17 strongholds/potential strongholds and, according 
to Herschel et al. (2014, p. 5), contains 88-90 percent of all lions in 
the western Africa region.
    By definition, all 10 strongholds identified by Riggio et al. 
include protected areas. Packer et al. (2013a, entire; 2013b, entire) 
looked at the relationship between lion densities, population trends, 
management practices, and several other variables (human population 
densities, governance, sport hunting, private management, and reserve 
size) from 42 sites in 11 countries in Africa. Results of modeling 
indicate that by 2050 about 43 percent of lion populations in unfenced 
reserves may decline to less than 10 percent of the carrying capacities 
of the unfenced reserves, including those in Botswana, Kenya, Cameroon, 
Ghana, Tanzania, and Uganda. According to the same modeling results 
lion populations in fenced reserves are expected to remain at or above 
the carrying capacity of the fenced reserves for the next 100 years, 
although most are small protected areas with small lion populations 
(Creel et al. 2013, entire).
Trends
    Based on the best available information, as discussed above, 
African lion range and numbers have clearly declined over the past 
several decades. However, not all African lion populations have 
declined--some have increased or remained stable (see Distribution and 
Abundance), and some have been restored to areas from which they were 
previously extirpated (Packer et al. 2013, p. 636). Reports from the 
IUCN Species Survival Commission Cat Specialist Group (IUN 2006a, b) 
characterize the population as increasing in 3 of the lion strongholds 
identified by Riggio et al. (Table 6), as stable in 6 of the 
strongholds, and as decreasing in 1 stronghold. While four of the lion 
strongholds or potential strongholds identified by Riggio et al. (Table 
6) are considered to be increasing, several African lion populations, 
containing a total of more than 6,000 individuals, have a very high 
risk of local extinction (Riggio et al. 2013, p. 33). During the 2005-
2006 African lion workshops, lion experts characterized lion 
populations in 36 (42 percent) of the 86 LCUs as decreasing. In 
extensive surveys recently conducted within 15 of the 20 LCUs in 
western and central Africa, Henschel et al. (2010, entire) were able to 
confirm lion presence in only four. The work of Packer et al. (2013) 
suggests future declines within a number of protected areas. Craigie et 
al. (2010, entire) provide evidence of declining large

[[Page 64480]]

mammal populations in Africa's protected areas, indicating that 
protected areas in Africa have generally failed to mitigate threats to 
large mammal populations, including African lion. Although Craigie et 
al. (2010, p. 2,225) found large regional differences (from large 
declines in western Africa to positive rates of change in southern 
Africa), they found overall populations decreased steadily from 1970 to 
2005.

Biology/Ecology

Habitat
    Historically, the species occurred in all habitats in Africa, 
except rainforest and the hyper-arid interior of the Sahara (Ray et al. 
2006, p. 66). Today they are found primarily in savannah, although 
there are some remnant populations in other habitat types (Riggio et 
al. 2013, p. 19). According to Nowell and Jackson (1996, p. 19), 
optimal habitat appears to be open woodlands and thick bush, scrub, and 
grass complexes, where sufficient cover is provided for hunting and 
denning. The highest lion densities are reached in savannah woodlands 
plains mosaics of eastern and southern Africa (Ray et al. 2005, p. 66). 
The species is intolerant of anthropogenic (human-caused) habitat 
conversion, such as farming or overgrazing by livestock (Ray et al. 
2005, p. 66).
General Biology
    Lions are well studied. Much information exists on African lion 
habits, behavior, and ecology. CITES (2014a, p. 3) provides a general 
overview as follows:

    Lions are generalist, cooperative hunters, with foraging 
preferences changing with season and with lion group size. Lions 
live in groups called ``prides'', which are ``fission-fusion'' 
social units with a stable membership that sometimes divide into 
small groups throughout the range. Lions have no fixed breeding 
season. Females give birth every 20 months if they raise their cubs 
to maturity, but the interval can be as short as 4-6 weeks if their 
litter is lost. Gestation lasts 110 days, litter size ranges 1-4 
cubs, and sex ratio at birth is 1:1. At about four years of age, 
females will have their first litter and males will become resident 
in a pride. Pride takeovers by male lions and subsequent infanticide 
of cubs sired by the ousted male lions greatly influences 
reproductive success. Lionesses defending their cubs from the 
victorious males are sometimes killed during the takeover. 
Infanticide accounts for 27 percent of cub mortality. Adult 
mortality is typically caused by humans, starvation, disease or 
attacks from other lions. Injury and death can also occur during 
hunting attempts on some of their larger prey.

    Haas et al. (2005, entire) provide a summary of information on 
lion, including the following:

    Prides vary in size and structure, but typically contain 5-9 
adult females (range, 1-18), their dependent offspring, and a 
coalition of 2-6 immigrant males (Heinsohn and Packer 1995; Packer 
et al. 1991). . . . Pride sizes are smallest in arid environments 
with limited prey species (Elliott and Cowan 1977; Hanby and Bygott 
1979; Ruggiero 1991; Schaller 1972; Stander 1992b; Wright 1960) . . 
. Males reside in a pride for [approximately] 2 years before being 
replaced by another group of males (Packer et al. 1988). . . . In 
the absence of a pride takeover, males generally leave their natal 
pride when 2-4 years old (Bertram 1975b; Pusey and Packer 1987). 
Most females are incorporated into their natal prides (Pusey and 
Packer 1987; Van Orsdol et al. 1985). . . . A small proportion of 
lions is nomadic, including young and adult males without a pride. 
Nomadic lions follow the migrations of prey and hunt and scavenge 
cooperatively (Bertram 1975a; Bygott et al. 1979; Schaller 1968, 
1969; Van Orsdol et al. 1985).
    . . . Lion productivity (measured as number of surviving cubs) 
is limited by food. . . . Cub mortality is high in lions and is 
linked to periods of prey scarcity and infanticide by male lions 
during pride takeovers (Packer and Pusey 1983b; Schaller 1972; Van 
Orsdol et al. 1985; Whitman and Packer 1997).
    . . . Lions are mainly active at night . . . [They] usually hunt 
in groups; males hunt less frequently than do females, but males are 
stronger and can gain access to kills made by females (Bertram 
1975a; Scheel and Packer 1991). Prey selection is related to 
seasonal weather patterns and the migration of large herbivores in 
some parts of Africa (Hanby et al. 1995). . . . Lions exhibit 
individual preferences in prey selection within and between prides 
in the same area (Rudnai 1973b; Van Orsdol 1984).
Diet and Prey
    Lions are opportunistic hunters and scavengers. As scavengers, 
lions are dominant and can usually readily displace other predators 
from their kills (Packer 1986, Schaller 1972, in Haas et al. 2005, pp. 
4-5). As hunters they are known to take a variety of prey. However, 
they are also the largest carnivore in Africa and, as a result, require 
large prey to survive. Ray et al. (2005, pp. 66-67) summarizes lion 
prey as follows:

    Lions are generalists and have been recorded to consume 
virtually every mammal species larger than 1 kg in their range, as 
well as a wide variety of larger reptiles and birds (Nowell & 
Jackson 1996; Sunquist & Sunquist 2002). The constraints of large 
physical size and extended social groups, however, bind them to 
large-bodied prey, and their diet is dominated by medium-large 
ungulates. In fact, only a few species of large ungulates comprise a 
majority of their diet wherever they occur (Schaller 1972; Stander 
1992; Packer et al. 1995), and they are unable to persist in areas 
without large-bodied prey. The threshold of this requirement is 
perhaps represented at Etosha National Park, Namibia, where Stander 
(1992) showed that lions hunting in pairs met their minimum 
requirements hunting springboks which, at <50 kg, are the smallest 
preferred prey species recorded.

    Prey availability affects the reproduction, recruitment, and 
foraging behavior of lions and, as a result, strongly influences lion 
movements, abundance, and population viability (Winterbach et al. 2012, 
p. 7, citing several sources). Lion densities are directly dependent on 
prey biomass (Van Orsdol et al. 1985, in Packer et al. 2013a, p. 636; 
Hayward et al. 2007, entire), and range from 0.08-0.13 adults and 
subadults per 100 km\2\ in Selous Game Reserve up to 18 per km\2\ in 
protected areas of eastern Africa and South Africa (Creel and Creel 
1997, Nowell and Jackson 1996, in Haas et al. 2005, p. 4). Aside from 
human-related mortality, prey availability is likely the primary 
determinant of lion density (Fuller & Sievert 2001, in Winterbach et 
al. 2012, p. 7). In areas of low natural prey density, or high human 
contact, lions may prey on livestock (see Human-Lion Conflict).
Movements/Home Range
    Availability of prey is perhaps the primary factor that determines 
the ranging behavior of large carnivores (Gittleman & Harvey 1982, Van 
Orsdol et al. 1985, Grant et al. 2005, Hayward et al. 2009, in 
Winterbach et al. 2012, p. 4). Home-range sizes of lion prides 
correlate with lean-season prey biomass (Van Orsdol et al. 1985, in 
Haas et al. 2005, p. 4) and, therefore, vary widely among habitats. 
Average range sizes of African lion prides are 26-226 km\2\, but can be 
considerably larger (Stander 1992b; Van Orsdol et al. 1985; Viljoen 
1993, in Haas et al. 2005, p. 4). In areas of low or variable prey 
biomass, annual range requirements for a single lion pride can exceed 
1,000 km\2\ (Packer et al. 2013, p. 636). Funston (2011, p. 5) found 
the home ranges of lion prides in the dune-savannah habitat of 
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park to range from 1,762 to 4,532 km\2\.
    Because lion home ranges can be very large, many protected areas 
are not large enough to sustain them (Winterbach et al. 2014, p. 1; 
Funston 2011, p. 1, citing several sources). Where lion ranges 
approximate protected area size, lions roam near or beyond the 
protected area boundary, increasing human-lion contact and human-caused 
lion mortality. In these situations, local or regional extirpation 
probability is high due to the population sink created around the 
boundary of the protected area (Davidson et al. 2011, in Winterbach et 
al. 2012, p. 5; Funston

[[Page 64481]]

2011, p. 1, citing several sources; Brashares et al. 2001, entire). 
This ``edge effect'' is a major threat to carnivore populations inside 
protected areas throughout the world (Woodroffe 2001, in Winterbach et 
al. 2012, p. 5) (also see Human-Lion Conflict).

Habitat Loss

    Habitat loss and degradation is reported to be among the main 
threats to African lions (IUCN 2006a, p. 18; Ray et al. 2005, pp. 68-
69). The main cause of lion habitat loss and degradation is expansion 
of human settlements and activities, particularly agriculture and 
intensive livestock grazing in lion habitat (IUCN 2006a, p. 18; IUCN 
2006b, p. 23; Ray et al. 2005, pp. 68-69; Chardonnet 2002, pp. 103-
106). Expansion of human settlements and activities into lion habitat 
renders the habitat unsuitable for lions primarily because it results 
in reduced availability of the wild prey that lions depend on for 
survival (see Loss of Prey Base) and increased human-lion conflict 
resulting in lion mortality (see Human-Lion Conflict)--two of the main 
factors that influence the distribution and population viability of 
large carnivores such as lions (Winterbach et al. 2014, p. 1). Ray et 
al. (2005, p. 69) note that, although lions have a wide tolerance for 
habitats, they are generally incompatible with humans and human-caused 
habitat alteration and loss. Lions are sensitive to loss of cover or 
prey. Riggio et al. (2013, p. 18) state that dense human populations 
and widespread conversion of land to human use preclude use by lions.
    Habitat destruction and degradation has been extensive throughout 
the range of the African lion, resulting in local and regional lion 
population extirpations, reduced lion densities, a dramatically reduced 
subspecies range (see Range), and small, fragmented, and isolated lion 
populations that are increasingly limited to protected areas (see 
Distribution and Abundance) (Ray et al. 2005, p. 69; Bauer and Van der 
Merwe 2004, pp. 29-30; Nowell and Jackson 1996, pp. 20-21). Lions 
appear to have one of the lowest levels of ecological resilience to 
human-caused habitat fragmentation; they are the least successful large 
African carnivore outside conservation areas (Woodroffe 2001, in 
Winterbach et al. 2012, p. 6). Large carnivores with low ecological 
resilience have a high risk of local extinction. In order to survive, 
they require larger contiguous habitats with lower negative human 
impacts than do more resilient species (Winterbach et al. 2012, p. 5). 
As human populations continue to rise in sub-Saharan Africa, the amount 
of land required to meet the needs of those populations is constantly 
increasing (Brink et al. 2014, entire; Brink and Eva 2009, entire; Eva 
et al. 2006, p. 4), a problem accentuated by slow rates of 
technological progress in food production and land degradation from 
both overuse and natural causes (United Nations Environment Programme 
(UNEP) 2012a, p. 3; Chardonnet et al. 2010a p. 19; International 
Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for 
Development (IAASTD) 2009, pp. 3-4, 8; United Nations Economic 
Commission for Africa 2008, pp. 3-5). The result of this process is 
accelerated transformation of natural landscapes at the expense of 
wilderness that sustains species such as lions and their prey 
(Chardonnet et al. 2010a p. 19). From 1970 to 2000, the human 
population in sub-Saharan Africa increased by 126 percent (from 282 
million to 639 million) (United Nations (UN) 2013, p. 9), while at 
about the same time (1975 to 2000), there was a 57 percent increase in 
agriculture area (from just over 200 million ha to almost 340 million 
ha) and 21 percent decrease in natural vegetation in the region (Brink 
and Eva 2009, p. 507). In 2009, approximately 1.2 billion ha, or 40 
percent, of Africa's land area was in permanent pasture or crops, with 
the vast majority (31 percent) in pasture (UNEP 2012b, p. 68).
    Growing human populations have been associated with declines in 
large carnivore populations all over the world, and high human density 
is strongly associated with local extirpation of large carnivores 
(Linnell et al. 2001, Woodroffe 2001, in Woodroffe and Frank 2005, p. 
91; Woodroffe 2000, entire). Chardonnet et al. (2002, p. 103) indicate 
that the distribution maps of lion subpopulations tend to confirm a 
direct inverse correlation of lion density and numbers with human 
activity and presence. Further, Packer et al. (2013, entire) found that 
lions in unfenced reserves are highly sensitive to human population 
densities in surrounding communities.
    Based on a comparison of land-use and human population data, Riggio 
et al. (2013, p. 23) determined that a density of 25 or more people per 
km\2\ served as a proxy for the extent of land-use conversion that 
would render habitat unsuitable for lions. Woodroffe (2000, p. 167) 
analyzed the impact of people on predators by relating local carnivore 
extinctions to past and projected human population densities and 
estimated 26 people per km\2\ as the mean human density at which lions 
went locally or regionally extinct. Riggio et al. (2013, p. 29) 
estimate that there were originally approximately 13.5 million km\2\ of 
savannah habitat in Africa. In 1960, 11.9 million km\2\ of these 
habitats had fewer than 25 people per km\2\, and in 2000 this number 
decreased to 9.7 million km\2\. Based on analysis of land-use 
conversion using satellite imagery and human population densities, 
Riggio et al. (2013, p. 29) found current savannah habitat that is 
suitable for lions to be fragmented and to total about 3.4 million 
km\2\ (or 25 percent of African savannah habitat). These data suggest a 
substantial decrease in lion habitat over the past 50 years.
    Projections of future human population growth, area of conversion 
to agriculture, and livestock numbers in Africa suggest suitable lion 
habitat will continue to decrease into the foreseeable future. Africa 
has the fastest population growth rate in the world (UNEP 2012a, p. 2). 
Future population growth in sub-Saharan Africa is projected to be large 
and rapid (UN 2013, p. 9). Although urbanization is increasing in sub-
Saharan Africa (UN 2014, p. 20), the majority of the population is 
rural, and about 60-70 percent of the population relies on agriculture 
and livestock for their livelihood (UNEP 2006, pp. 82, 100, 106; IAASTD 
2009, p. 2). Much of the agriculture and livestock-raising is at 
subsistence level (IAASTD 2009, pp. 8, 28). As a result, a large 
portion of the growing population will depend directly on expansion of 
agriculture and livestock grazing to survive. Between 2010 and 2050 the 
population of sub-Saharan Africa is projected to more than double to 
more than 2 billion (from 831 million to 2.1 billion) (UN 2013, p. 9). 
During about this same time period (2005 to 2050), Alexandratos and 
Bruinsma (2012, p. 107) project the area of cultivated land to increase 
by 51 million ha (approximately 21 percent). However, this figure does 
not include range land, and the majority of agricultural land in Africa 
is devoted to grazing (UNEP 2012b, p. 68). The number of livestock 
(cattle, sheep, and goats) in sub-Saharan Africa is projected to 
increase about 73 percent, from 688 million to 1.2 billion, by 2050 
(Alexandratos and Bruinsma 2012, p. 133).
    Expansion of human settlements, agriculture, and/or livestock 
grazing are reported as occurring in or on the periphery of several of 
the areas identified by Riggio et al. (2013, suppl. 1) as lion 
strongholds (viable populations) and potential strongholds (IUCN 2006a, 
p. 16; IUCN 2006b, pp. 20-22), and are particularly a threat in 
western, central, and eastern Africa and

[[Page 64482]]

some parts of southern Africa. There are only two potential strongholds 
in western and central Africa (one in each region). Expansion of 
agriculture and livestock grazing are reported in or around both 
(Heschel et al. 2014, pp. 5-6; Houessou et al. 2013, entire; Chardonnet 
et al. 2010, pp. 24-26; IUCN 2008, pp. 8, 28-29), and management of 
protected areas in portions of both is reported as weak (Heschel et al. 
2014, pp. 5-6; IUCN 2008, p. 8). Eastern Africa contains over half of 
all the lions in Africa (Table 3). Seven of the seventeen African lion 
strongholds and potential strongholds identified by Riggio et al. occur 
in eastern Africa, and six of those seven (all four strongholds and two 
of three potential strongholds) are located in Tanzania and Kenya 
(Table 6).
    Between 1990 and 2010, Kenya's human population grew from 23 
million (40/km\2\) to 41 million (70/km\2\), whereas Tanzania's grew 
from 25 million (27/km\2\) to 45 million (48/km\2\) (UN 2013, pp. 421, 
798). Not unexpectedly, sources indicate that expansion of agriculture 
and livestock grazing is occurring in these countries (Brink et al. 
2014, entire; UNEP 2009, p. 91; Mesochina et al. 2010, p. 74), 
including in or around lion strongholds and potential strongholds 
(Ogutu et al. 2011, entire; Mesochina et al. 2010, pp. 71-74, 76; 
Packer et al. 2010, pp. 8-9; UNEP 2009, pp. 98-99; Newmark 2008, pp. 
322-324; IUCN 2006b, pp. 20-22; Ogutu et al. 2005, entire). Mesochina 
et al. (2010, p. 74) state that widespread destruction of wildlife 
habitat and human encroachment in wildlife corridors are major threats 
to lion conservation in Tanzania and consider loss of suitable habitat 
as a top threat to lion survival in the country. In Kenya, the Kenya 
Wildlife Service (2009, p. 21) indicates that habitat loss due to land-
use changes and human encroachment into previously wild areas is having 
a major impact on lion range size. By 2050 the UN projects the human 
population of Tanzania to almost triple its 2010 population, reaching a 
density of 137 people per km\2\, whereas Kenya's population is 
projected to more than double, reaching a density of 167 people per 
km\2\ (Table 7).
    The human populations of most other current and recent lion range 
countries are also expected to have very high growth rates (Table 7). 
It is important to note that the country-wide human population 
densities provided here (and in Table 7) are not directly comparable to 
the density thresholds determined by Riggio et al. (discussed above) 
due to the differences in scale at which they were made. However, 
country-wide population densities relate the number of humans to land 
area and, consequently, are indicative of the level of pressure that 
will exist to convert land to uses that will meet the needs of the 
human population. This is particularly the case given that much of sub-
Saharan Africa is rural and locals depend on agriculture for their 
livelihood.
    In southern Africa, the extent of current habitat destruction and 
degradation appears to vary widely. For example, according to the 
Zambia Wildlife Authority (2009 pp. 4-5), unplanned human settlement 
and other land-use activities in game management areas are a major 
threat to the long-term survival of the lion in Zambia. They note that 
conversion of natural habitat in game management areas for cropping and 
grazing of livestock has led to habitat destruction and indicate that 
elimination of tsetse flies and subsequent increase in pastoralist 
activities in game management areas places the lion under renewed 
direct conflict with humans. On the other hand, according to Funston 
(2008, pp. 123-126), in several areas of southern Africa where lions 
were recently extirpated, lions are reestablishing as a result of, 
among other factors, adequate protection of habitat and prey. Human 
population growth, and resulting pressures exerted on habitat, are also 
expected to vary widely in the region. Population increases from 2010 
to 2050 are projected to range from about 23 percent (South Africa) to 
well over 200 percent (Zambia), with 2050 densities in the region 
ranging from 5 people per km \2\ (Botswana and Namibia) to 348 people 
per km \2\ (Malawi) (Table 7).
Summary of Habitat Loss
    In the past several decades the human population has been expanding 
with concomitant large decreases in lion habitat and lion populations, 
resulting in an extremely large reduction in the species' range. 
Habitat for African lion continues to be threatened with destruction, 
modification, and curtailment. Human populations are projected to 
increase dramatically in sub-Saharan Africa in coming decades. As human 
populations continue to rise in sub-Saharan Africa, the amount of land 
required to meet the expanding human population's needs is constantly 
increasing. In addition, as indicated above, lions are increasingly 
limited to protected areas, and human population growth rates around 
protected areas in Africa tend to be higher than the average rural 
growth rate (Wittemyer et al. 2008, entire). Considering the majority 
of the human population in sub-Saharan Africa is rural, and land 
supports the livelihood of most of the population, loss and degradation 
of lion habitat can be expected to accompany the rapid growth in sub-
Saharan Africa's human population. Therefore, overall, because (1) lion 
prides have vast ranges and the subspecies requires large areas of 
suitable habitat to survive, (2) the subspecies' range has already 
declined dramatically and is increasingly limited to protected areas, 
and (3) habitat loss and degradation is occurring in or around several 
of the remaining lion strongholds (viable populations) and potential 
strongholds, we conclude based on the best available scientific and 
commercial information that the continued destruction, modification, 
and curtailment of lion habitat is likely to become a significant 
threat to the African lion throughout its range.

Human-Lion Conflict

    Human-lion conflict and associated retaliatory killing of lions has 
played a major role in the reduction of lion populations (Lion 
Guardians 2013, p. 1; Lion Guardians 2011, p. 2; Hazzah and Dolrenry 
2007, p. 21; Frank et al. 2006, p. 1; Patterson et al. 2004, p. 508) 
and is the greatest threat to remaining lion populations (Hazzah et al. 
2009, p. 2,428; Moghari 2009, p. 31; Kissui 2008, p. 422; Frank et al. 
2006, pp. 1, 3, 10; Ray et al. 2005 in Hazzah 2006, p. 2; IUCN 2006b, 
p. 18). Conflict between humans and wildlife has been linked to 
population declines, reduction in range, impacts to small population 
demographics, and even species extinctions (Dickman 2013, p. 377; Begg 
and Begg 2010, p. 2; Hazzah et al. 2009, p. 2,428; Moghari 2009, p. 36; 
Kissui 2008, p. 422; Hazzah 2006, pp. 15, 23, 25).
    Human-wildlife conflict stems from human population growth and the 
resulting overlap of humans and wildlife habitat (Chardonnet et al. 
2010, p. 6; Hazzah 2006, pp. 14, 15). Lion populations are increasingly 
restricted to protected areas, due to human expansion and associated 
expansion of livestock husbandry and agricultural activities. However, 
despite being within protected areas, lions continue to be impacted by 
people living on adjacent land. Villages are established on the borders 
of protected areas, cattle herders enter the protected areas, and lions 
move beyond the borders of protected areas in search of food, 
increasing interactions between humans and lions and the risk of human-
lion conflict (Hazzah et al. 2013, p. 1; Republic of Namibia 2013, p. 
13; Chardonnet et al. 2010, pp. 11-12;

[[Page 64483]]

Mesochina et al. 2010a, p. 39; Mesochina et al. 2010b, p. 33; Packer et 
al. 2010, pp. 2, 6; Gebresenbet et al. 2009, p. 9; Moghari 2009, pp. 1, 
14, 25, 26, 78; Kissui 2008, p. 422; Hazzah 2006, p. 2). The most 
significant cause of human-lion conflict is livestock depredation. Poor 
husbandry practices and grazing of livestock within or adjacent to 
protected areas increase exposure of livestock to lions and increase 
livestock loss (Uganda Wildlife Authority 2010, p. 27; Woodroffe and 
Frank 2005 in Moghari 2009, p. 35; Hazzah and Dolrenry 2007, pp. 22-
23). Although lions generally avoid people, they will occasionally prey 
on humans, causing serious injury or death (Dickman 2013, pp. 380, 384; 
Chardonnet et al. 2010, pp. 11, 12, 13; Moghari 2009, pp. 14, 49, 26, 
88; Bauer et al. 2001 in Moghari 2009, pp. 31, 78, 84; Frank et al. 
2006, p. 1; Hazzah 2006, pp. 14, 17; Patterson et al. 2004, p. 507). 
Attacks on humans appears to be more frequent in southern and eastern 
Africa (Chardonnet et al. 2010, pp. 12, 13; Mesochina et al. 2010a, pp. 
29-30; Frank et al. 2006, pp. 1, 10). Lion attacks can have various 
impacts on those communities that coexist with conflict-causing 
animals, generating resentment towards them. When lions cause or are 
perceived to cause damage to livestock, property, or people, the 
response is generally to kill them (Dickman 2013, pp. 378-379; Moghari 
2009, p. 25; Frank et al. 2006, p. 1).
Loss of Prey Base
    The lion's prey base has decreased in many parts of its range for 
various reasons, but a large factor is due to competition for meat by 
humans. Humans in Africa rely on protein obtained from bushmeat, 
resulting in direct competition for prey between humans and lions, and 
commercial poaching of wildlife is becoming a significant threat to 
many species, including those that lions rely upon for food. 
Historically, subsistence hunting with spears was traditionally used to 
hunt wildlife, which had minimal impact to wildlife populations. Spears 
have since been replaced by automatic weaponry (Chardonnet et al. 2010, 
p. 27), allowing for poaching of large numbers of animals for the 
bushmeat trade.
    The human population in a majority of African countries within the 
range of the lion has quadrupled since the 1960s (Riggio et al. 2013, 
p. 29; IUCN 2009, p. 15), increasing the demand for bushmeat. Bushmeat 
comprises between 6 percent (southern Africa) and 55 percent (Central 
African Republic) of a human's diet within the African lion's range 
(Chardonnet et al. 2005, p. 9; IUCN 2006b, p. 19). In addition, the 
sale of bushmeat is an important livelihood in Africa, (Chardonnet et 
al. 2010, p. 27; Mesochina et al. 2010a, p. 38; Abwe and Morgan 2008, 
p. 26; Bennett et al. 2007, p. 885; Fa et al. 2006, p. 507). This 
growing demand and widely available modern weapons has led to increased 
poaching of native wildlife (Chardonnet et al. 2010, pp. 13-14, 27; 
Packer et al. 2010, p. 8). Because many wildlife species are being 
hunted at unsustainable levels to meet this demand within the range of 
the lion, its prey base is becoming depleted in many areas, which has 
led lions to seek out livestock (and in some cases, humans) for food 
(Hoppe-Dominik et al. 2011, p. 452; Chardonnet et al. 2010, pp. 6, 13-
14; Frank et al. 2006, p. 12).
    Further, the demand for agriculture to meet the increasing needs of 
a growing population has been met by intensified agricultural and 
livestock practices (Chardonnet et al. 2010, p. 19). As natural 
habitats are converted to agricultural or pastoral land, it removes the 
food and cover needed by wildlife, and the lion's natural prey base is 
reduced, causing them to prey on domestic livestock (Chardonnet et al. 
2010, p. 27; Gebresenbet et al. 2009, p. 9).
    In Tanzania, which is home to more than 40 percent of the African 
lion population, conversion of rangeland to agricultural use has 
blocked several migratory routes for wildebeest and zebra populations, 
both lion prey species, which likely forces lions to rely more on 
livestock (Packer et al. 2010, p. 9). Conditions worsen as livestock 
numbers and area under cultivation increase, leading to overgrazing, 
further habitat destruction, and greater depredation rates by lions 
(Gebresenbet et al. 2009, p. 9; Hazzah 2006, p. 61; Frank et al. 2005, 
Ntiati 2002, Mishra 1997, Meriggi and Lovari 1996, Rao 1996, Mech et 
al. 1988 in Hazzah 2006, p. 18). Additionally, the use of fences to 
subdivide group ranches interferes with traditional wet and dry season 
grazing schedules for livestock and wildlife (Hazzah 2006, pp. 58-59). 
Restricting wildlife movement reduces wild prey and, when combined with 
an increase in livestock numbers, increases the rate of human-lion 
conflict (Hazzah 2006, pp. 59, 61). Although well-built bomas can 
effectively constrain cattle and keep predators out (Frank et al. 2006, 
p. 8), they are traditionally built to keep livestock confined, but do 
not offer effective protection from predators (Moghari 2009, p. 35). In 
the absence of reliable methods for protecting livestock, some amount 
of depredation can be expected, and some lions can become habitual 
livestock killers (Frank et al. 2006, p. 9).
    Studies have shown variation in rates of livestock depredation with 
regional rainfall that correlate with prey availability, including 
changes in herding strategies, movement of prey, and movement of lions 
(Lion Guardians 2011, p. 6; Moghari 2009, p. 32; Hazzah 2006, pp. 17, 
18; Patterson et al. 2004, p. 514). For example, in some parts of 
Zimbabwe, Kenya, and Tanzania, livestock losses occur during the dry 
season. During this time, herders travel further for forage and water, 
they use temporary bomas (a livestock enclosure) that are typically 
weak, they are unfamiliar with carnivore movements in these new areas, 
and livestock are weak due to disease, which makes them more vulnerable 
to predator attacks by lions (Hazzah 2006, p. 17). Additionally, 
herders are dependent on resources within protected areas, and 
livestock may be left to wander for days or weeks during a prolonged 
drought to find forage, increasing opportunities for attacks on 
livestock by lions (Chardonnet et al. 2010, p. 24; Frank et al. 2006, 
p. 6). In other parts of Kenya, the Maasai Steppe region of Tanzania, 
and Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda, livestock losses were 
greater during or following the rainy season (Moghari 2009, p. 88; 
Kissui 2008, pp. 427, 428; Frank et al. 2006, p. 6; Patterson et al. 
2004, pp. 510, 514). Weakened prey and readily available carcasses 
provide easy meals during times of drought, leading to fewer livestock 
attacks. However, when rains return, the abundant grass makes wild prey 
harder to catch and lions may turn to livestock. Migratory prey 
species, such as zebra and wildebeest, will move to other areas for 
forage and replenished water sources, leaving lions to turn to 
livestock as an alternate food source. Migratory prey may also move 
outside of protected areas. Opportunities for livestock predation on 
communal land increase when lions follow (Packer et al. 2010, p. 9; 
Kissui 2008, p. 427; Patterson et al. 2004, p. 514; Frank et al. 2006, 
p. 6). Similarly, environmental factors such as vegetative cover, 
habitat, climate, seasonality, and prey availability may affect the 
rate of attacks on humans. A certain amount of vegetative cover is 
crucial for hunting success; however, in some cases, the vegetative 
cover may make it more difficult to catch prey, leading to more attacks 
on humans. Additionally, dense cover near settlements allows lions to 
hide or stalk humans at a close distance

[[Page 64484]]

(Mesochina et al. 2010a, p. 39; Moghari 2009, p. 85; Frank et al. 2006, 
p. 12).
 Attacks on Livestock
    Traditional livestock husbandry practices are effective at reducing 
depredation of livestock by lions (Chardonnet et al. 2010, p. 35; 
Moghari 2009, p. 35; Frank et al. 2006, p. 2; Hazzah 2006, p. 22). 
These practices include livestock being closely herded by men and dogs 
during the day and being brought into bomas at night with people living 
in huts around them (Frank et al. 2006, p. 4). However, these 
traditional practices are being replaced by less diligent husbandry 
practices, which are increasing conflict (Woodroffe and Frank 2005 in 
Moghari 2009, p. 35; Frank et al. 2006, pp. 2, 10; Hazzah and Dolrenry 
2007, p. 23). In Botswana, livestock are often left to wander outside 
bomas at night (Frank et al. 2006, p. 5). In Kenya and Tanzania, social 
changes are altering traditional Maasai pastoral livelihoods, reducing 
dependency on livestock, and reducing traditional livestock care and 
management, leaving livestock more vulnerable to predation (Chardonnet 
et al. 2010, p. 35; Hazzah and Dolrenry 2007, pp. 22-23). Young Maasai 
boys traditionally guarded herds at night; however, increased access to 
schools has left herds unattended to wander into predator areas at 
night (Chardonnet et al. 2010, p. 35).
Attacks on Humans
    Provoked attacks on humans are usually associated with someone 
approaching a lion too closely or trying to injure or kill it and 
stealing a lion's prey for bushmeat (Chardonnet et al. 2010, p. 14; 
Uganda Wildlife Authority 2010, p. 27). Unprovoked attacks are usually 
associated with old, sick, or injured lions that turn to humans as easy 
prey. Additionally, there are risks of unprovoked attacks associated 
with certain human activities. These activities include walking alone 
at night, sleeping outside, and surprising a lion, particularly if it 
has cubs (Begg and Begg 2010, pp. 3, 21; Chardonnet et al. 2010, pp. 
14, 15; Mesochina et al. 2010a, pp. 38, 39; Mesochina et al. 2010b, p. 
32; Uganda Wildlife Authority 2010, p. 27; Moghari 2009, p. 85; Frank 
et al. 2006, pp. 11, 12). Inebriated people may walk in an altered 
manner that resembles sick or injured prey, attracting the attention of 
lions (Moghari 2009, p. 85). The most common context for attacks on 
humans occurs during harvest, due to prey dispersal during the wet 
season, bush pig attraction to crops, and because humans are 
particularly vulnerable in makeshift tents while protecting crops 
(Frank et al. 2006, p. 12).
Retaliatory Killing of Lions
    Competition with humans, habitat changes, and regional climate 
variations can decrease availability of prey and increase human-lion 
conflict. When native prey are unavailable or difficult to find and 
kill, lions will target domestic livestock or humans (Chardonnet et al. 
2010, p. 27; Moghari 2009, pp. 78, 83; Hazzah 2006, pp. 17-18; 
Patterson et al. 2004, pp. 507, 514). Lion attacks occur at the highest 
frequency in areas where natural prey abundance is lowest (Packer et 
al. 2010, p. 9; Frank et al. 2006, pp. 9, 12; Patterson et al. 2004, p. 
507). Livestock provide an economic value to humans, particularly those 
in extreme poverty who rely solely on livestock for their protein 
source and livelihood. When lions have no economic value to local 
communities, and they kill or are perceived to kill livestock that do 
have an economic value to people, they are subject to retaliatory 
killing. This greatly impacts already-dwindling lion populations 
(Chardonnet et al. 2010, pp. 12-14; Mesochina et al. 2010a, p. 38; 
Mesochina et al. 2010b, p. 32; Gebresenbet et al. 2009, p. 9; Moghari 
2009, pp. 4, 25, 49; Kissui 2008, pp. 423, 429; Hazzah 2006, p. 24; 
IUCN 2006a, pp. 23, 24; IUCN 2006b. pp. 18-19; Frank et al. 2006, p. 
3). The availability of guns and poison makes killing suspected 
predators cheaper and easier than other control methods, such as 
reinforcing bomas (Hazzah et al. 2009, p. 2,429; Moghari 2009, p. 35; 
Frank et al. 2006, p. 14; Hazzah 2006, p. 3). Spearing, shooting, 
trapping, and poisoning of lions, as either a preventive measure or in 
retaliation for livestock and human attacks, occurs regularly 
(Government of Namibia 2013, pp. 12, 13-14; Begg and Begg 2010, p. 15; 
Chardonnet et al. 2010, pp. 41-42; Packer et al. 2010, pp. 9-10; Uganda 
Wildlife Authority 2010, pp. 13, 42; Gebrensenbet et al. 2009, p. 7; 
Hazzah et al. 2009, p. 2,429; Moghari 2009, pp. 52, 89, 91; Ikanda 
2008, pp. 5-6; Hazzah and Dolrenry 2007, p. 21; Frank et al. 2006, pp. 
2-4, 7; Hazzah 2006, p. 52; IUCN 2006b, p. 15). Studies have shown that 
lion populations are declining in areas where pastoralism persists 
(Hazzah et al. 2009, p. 2,428). Within protected areas, human-wildlife 
conflict is likely under-reported because cattle herders are within the 
protected areas illegally and, therefore, unlikely to report it 
(Chardonnet et al. 2010, p. 14; Mesochina et al. 2010b, p. 34). For 
example, Etosha National Park and Caprivi Game Park have the highest 
rates of lions killed per 100 km\2\, yet it may be that just under half 
of the lions that are killed are reported (Republic of Namibia 2013, p. 
14). Although most of the information on human-lion conflict comes from 
just a few areas of the lion's range (e.g., Kenya, Tanzania, and 
Uganda), it is reasonable to conclude that lions are being killed due 
to conflict in all major range countries, due to their depredation on 
livestock (Frank et al. 2006, p. 4).
    In areas of high conflict, identifying the responsible animal is 
often difficult, and a token animal may be killed instead (Hazzah 2006, 
p. 25), leaving the problem lion to continue to attack and the 
potential for additional retaliatory killings. In Tanzania, game 
officers kill numerous lions each year in retaliation for attacks 
(Frank et al. 2006, p. 12). Whereas shooting or spearing target 
specific problem animals, poisoning is indiscriminate and is known to 
remove entire prides at once (Frank et al. 2006, pp. 2, 10, Living with 
Lions no date, unpaginated). In the absence of reliable methods for 
protecting livestock, rural people often turn to indiscriminant 
methods, like poisoning, to control livestock depredation. Poisoning is 
an easy method for lethal control since it is readily available, and 
reinforcing bomas or more carefully tending livestock requires time and 
effort. The use of Furadan, a widely available and cheap agricultural 
pesticide, is particularly lethal to wildlife and is increasingly being 
used to kill predators in small pastoralist areas of Kenya and 
Tanzania. Livestock carcasses are doused with the poison, killing 
predators and scavengers that feed on them (Frank et al. 2006, pp. 2, 
10, Living with Lions no date, unpaginated). Poisoning of bush pig 
carcasses to kill lions is not uncommon after attacks on humans. These 
practices have serious negative impacts on lion populations (Frank et 
al. 2006, p. 9).
Factors That Drive Retaliation
    Several anthropogenic factors drive the level of resentment towards 
lions and the extent of retaliatory killing (Dickman 2013, pp. 379, 
385), including the extent of the loss caused by the lions, and the 
wealth and security of the people affected (Dickman 2013, p. 381; 
Mesochina et al. 2010b, p. 54; Moghari 2009, pp. 14, 25; Hazzah 2006, 
p. 81). Depending on alternative assets or incomes, the economic impact 
of lions killing livestock can be significant. Domestic livestock can 
provide manure, milk, and meat, and are the basis of many family 
incomes, savings, and social standing; losses can amount to a large 
proportion of a subsistence

[[Page 64485]]

herder's annual income. These losses are generally uncompensated, 
reinforcing negative community attitudes toward lions and causing 
retaliation (Dickman 2013, pp. 380, 381; Chardonnet et al. 2010, pp. 
11, 12, 18, 29; Hazzah et al. 2009, p. 2,428; Moghari 2009, pp. 14, 25, 
27, 36; Kissui 2008, pp. 422-423). Furthermore, a common perception 
among local communities is that lions are conserved at the cost of 
community safety and uncompensated financial losses. When the people 
who suffer significant costs from wildlife feel that the wildlife's 
needs are being put before their own needs, their frustration can lead 
to retaliatory killings (Dickman 2013, p. 382). This situation further 
contributes to negative attitudes toward lion conservation programs 
(Moghari 2009, p. 37).
    Lions are particularly vulnerable to retributive killing because 
they are often driven by a perceived level of lion predation on 
livestock rather than actual levels of conflict. In some locations, 
other predators (e.g., baboons (Papio ursinus), spotted hyenas (Crocuta 
crocuta), and leopards (Panthera pardus)) as well as disease are 
responsible for the majority of livestock losses and human casualties, 
yet it is lions that are sought and killed more often. Negative 
perceptions of lions may be based on an over-estimated number of lions 
in a community or protected area and an over-estimated number of human-
lion conflicts (Dickman 2013, p. 380; Begg and Begg 2010, p. 20; 
Chardonnet et al. 2010, pp. 12, 21-22; Hazzah et al. 2009, p. 2,436; 
Maclennan et al. 2009 in Hazzah et al. 2009, p. 2,429; Moghari 2009, 
pp. 77-78, 107, 150; Holmern et al. 2007 in Moghari 2009, p. 34; Butler 
2001 in Moghari 2009, p. 34; Kissui 2008, pp. 426, 428, 429; Hazzah 
2006, pp. 18-19, 83-85, 96, 98, 107, 111; Patterson et al. 2004, pp. 
514, 515). One cause for the disproportionate blame put on lions is 
that the lion is a highly visible species. It is a large-bodied species 
that lives in groups and has cultural significance. Because of its 
physical presence, there is often a ``hyper-awareness'' of the 
potential risk for lion attacks and lions may be blamed simply because 
they have been seen in an area (Dickman 2013, pp. 380-381).
    Cultural beliefs and traditions can have a negative impact on 
lions. Because cattle are of great cultural significance to Maasai, 
their loss can impose social or cultural costs and incite greater 
resentment and higher levels of retributive killing (Dickman 2013, p. 
384; Kissui 2008, p. 429; Hazzah 2006, p. 99). In some areas of Africa, 
locals believe in ``spirit lions'', a lion whose body is overtaken by 
evil to kill rivals or their livestock (West 2001 in Dickman 2013, pp. 
381-382). Because people believe spirit lions are created by their 
enemies, the number of perceived spirit lions, and killing of these 
lions, increases during times of social tension (Dickman 2013, p. 382. 
The prohibition of ritual lion hunts provides a greater incentive for 
participating in retaliatory hunts (Packer et al. 2010, p. 10; Moghari 
2009, pp. 13-14, 28; Ikanda 2008, pp. 5, 6; Kissui 2008, p. 423; Frank 
et al. 2006, p. 10; Hazzah 2006, p. 99).
    Social tensions within tribes and between local communities and 
other communities, the government, park officials, or tourists can lead 
to conflict and retributive killing of lions (Dickman 2013, p. 382; 
Hazzah 2006, p. 75). Locals often report that wildlife authorities do 
not react effectively when chronic livestock raiders are reported 
(Frank et al. 2006, p. 9). Significant numbers of lions have been 
killed when promised benefits were not received or adequate 
compensation was not provided for livestock and human losses (Dickman 
2013, p. 383; Hazzah 2006, p. 45).
Summary of Human-Lion Conflict
    Human-lion conflict and associated retaliatory killing of lions has 
played a major role in the reduction of lion populations and is the 
greatest threat to remaining lion populations. The most significant 
cause of human-lion conflict is livestock depredation and, to a lesser 
extent, attacks on humans. Expansion of human settlements and 
agricultural and pastoral activities into lion habitat, and even into 
protected areas, decreases prey availability and increases exposure of 
livestock and humans to lions.
    The most common solution to lion attacks is retaliatory killing. 
Spearing, shooting, trapping, and poisoning of lions occur regularly. 
Although a majority of information on human-lion conflict comes from a 
few areas of the lion's range, we can reasonably conclude that lions 
are being killed due to conflict in all major range countries, because 
of their depredation on livestock (Frank et al. 2006, p. 4).
    Impacts on victims of lion attacks create resentment towards lions 
and lion conservation, and a greater likelihood of retaliation. Even 
when lions are not the predators responsible for the majority of 
attacks, lions incite a greater response and are killed more often than 
other predators of livestock.
    In areas of high human density and low lion density, mainly in 
smaller reserves and outside large protected areas, lion populations 
may not be sustainable. Attacks on humans can impact long-term 
viability for lions as people who fear for their lives or safety are 
unlikely to support conservation actions and are more likely to 
retaliate by killing any lions found near settlements (Frank et al. 
2006, p. 12). Every year, human-lion conflicts intensify due to habitat 
loss, poor livestock management, and decreased availability of wild 
prey, further increasing the likelihood that the subspecies will be at 
risk of extinction within the foreseeable future (Lion Guardians 2013, 
p. 1).
    Human population growth within the lion's range is projected to be 
2.1 billion by 2050 (UN 2012, p. 2). The number of livestock within the 
lion's range is projected to increase by about 73 percent by 2050 (Food 
and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations 2012, p. 133). Given 
this expected increase in humans and livestock by 2050, we conclude the 
conditions described above will continue to worsen to the point that 
African lions will likely be at risk of extinction within the 
foreseeable future. As livestock numbers increase, expansion of 
agricultural and pastoral practices continue, and the lion's prey base 
is hunted at unsustainable levels to meet a growing demand for food, 
livestock depredation and retributive killing of lions will likely 
increase (Dickman 2013, p. 379; Hoppe-Dominik et al. 2011, p. 452; 
Chardonnet et al. 2010, p. 19; Gebresenbet et al. 2009, p. 9; Hazzah 
and Dolrenry 2007, p. 3). Furthermore, as the need for grazing land 
becomes more critical, expansion of livestock numbers may be partially 
supported by the network of protected areas, seen by herders as unused 
pastures (Chardonnet et al. 2010, p. 25).
    Retaliatory killing of lions continue in many areas and this 
practice impacts the viability of lion populations throughout its 
range. The killing of lions due to human-lion conflict is enough to 
result in the local extirpation of lion populations, though at present 
does not place the subspecies in danger of extinction. Human-lion 
conflict is exacerbated by an increasing human population, the 
expansion of human settlements, loss of prey base due to the bushmeat 
trade and expanding agriculture, as well as increasing pressures on 
natural resources to meet the needs of the growing human population. We 
expect retaliatory killings due to human-lion conflict to continue to 
increase into the foreseeable future. We conclude based on the best 
available scientific and commercial information that the continuation 
of this

[[Page 64486]]

activity is a significant threat to the African lion throughout its 
range.

Disease

    Wild lions are known to be infected with various pathogens (Hunter 
et al. 2012, p. 2; Craft 2008, p. 6; Michel et al. 2006, p. 92; 
Hofmann-Lehmann et al. 1996, pp. 559-561). The human population within 
the range of the lion is expanding into lion habitat, increasing the 
exposure of lions to diseases from domestic animals (IUCN 2006b, p. 
26). Because lions are a top predator, they are at a particularly high 
risk of exposure to pathogens (Keet et al. 2009, p. 11). Some pathogens 
are endemic, meaning they are constantly present, but often do not 
cause disease. Others are epidemic and cause a sudden severe outbreak 
with the potential to cause high mortality (Craft 2008, pp. 5, 6). 
Although lions are known to be infected with certain pathogens, 
information on the extent of the subspecies' infections and impacts of 
these diseases on lion populations is limited, because few long-term 
studies have been conducted; for example, those lion populations found 
in Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, and Kruger National 
Park.
    Feline calicivirus, feline herpesvirus, feline parvovirus, feline 
coronavirus, and feline leukemia virus are endemic viruses known to 
occur in lions of Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake 
Manyara National Park, Kruger National Park, and Etosha National Park 
(but not all viruses are known in all parks). However, these diseases 
are not known to affect lion survival (Hunter et al. 2012, p. 2; Craft 
2008, p. 6; Hofmann-Lehmann 1996, pp. 559, 561).
    Lions within Kruger National Park and Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, South 
Africa, and Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, are known to be infected 
with Mycobacterium bovis, a pathogen that causes bovine tuberculosis 
(bTB). This pathogen is not endemic to African wildlife and was likely 
introduced from cattle imported from Europe. M. bovis is transmitted to 
ungulates, such as African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) and wildebeest 
(Connochaetes taurinus) from domestic cattle located on the periphery 
of the parks (Maas et al. 2012, p. 4,206; Keet et al. 2009, pp. 4, 11; 
Renwick et al. 2007, p. 532; Michel et al. 2006, pp. 92, 93; Cleaveland 
et al. 2005, pp. 446, 449, 450). Spillover of the disease from buffalo 
to other lion prey species, such as kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros) and 
warthog (Phacochoerus africanus), have also been documented (Keet et 
al. 2009, pp. 4, 11; Renwick et al. 2007, p. 535; Cleaveland et al. 
2005, p. 450). Because the lion's primary prey are infected with bTB, 
they are frequently exposed to large amounts of infected tissue and are 
at risk of infection (Keet et al. 2009, pp. 4, 6; Renwick et al. 2007, 
pp. 532, 536; Michel et al. 2006, p. 93; Cleaveland et al. 2005, pp. 
450, 451). Furthermore, predators prey on weak animals and scavenge on 
carcasses, increasing their likelihood of being exposed to M. bovis 
(Renwick et al. 2007, p. 536; Michel et al. 2006, p. 93). Transmission 
may also occur among lions via scratching and biting (Keet et al. 2009, 
p. 7; Renwick et al. 2007, pp. 532-533). M. bovis is a pathogen that 
causes the infected animal to remain infectious and, therefore, a 
source of infection, until it dies (Renwick et al. 2007, p. 531).
    The social behavior of buffalo and lions allows M. bovis to spread 
to larger areas and facilitates the transmission within and between 
prides. Drought conditions may also encourage the spread of this 
pathogen as herds must move into new areas in search of forage, 
potentially putting them in contact with new, uninfected herds (Keet et 
al. 2009, pp. 4, 6; Renwick et al. 2007, p. 533; Michel et al. 2006, p. 
93). In Kruger National Park, bTB was introduced in the southeastern 
corner of the park between 1950 and 1960. It gradually made a northern 
progress and reached the park's northern boundary in 2006. In 2009, the 
disease was found in buffalo across the river boundary in Zimbabwe 
(Keet et al. 2009, pp. 6, 11; Renwick et al. 2007, pp. 532, 533; Michel 
et al. 2006, pp. 92, 96, 98). In time it will likely spread to 
Mozambique (Keet et al. 2009, p. 6). In Serengeti National Park, 
infection may be widespread due to the large, migratory wildebeest 
population that ranges throughout the Serengeti ecosystem, including 
Maasai Mara National Reserve (Cleaveland et al. 2005, p. 450). Although 
an eradication program has been implemented for cattle in South Africa, 
once an infection is established in a free-ranging maintenance host, 
like buffalo, it is unlikely to be eradicated (Keet et al. 2009, p. 11; 
Renwick et al. 2007, pp. 537, 538; Michel et al. 2006, p. 96). In fact, 
modeling has predicted that prevalence could reach as high as 90 
percent over the next 25 years, with similar consequences for predators 
(Renwick et al. 2007, p. 535).
    Clinical signs of bTB in lions include: emaciation, respiratory 
complications, swollen lymph nodes, draining sinuses, ataxia, and 
lameness (Keet et al. 2009, p. 13; Renwick et al. 2007, pp. 533, 534; 
Cleaveland et al. 2005, p. 450), although some lions may be 
subclinically infected but remain asymptomatic until they experience 
another bTB infection, suffer from poor nutrition or advancing age, or 
become super-infected with other diseases that may exacerbate the 
infection (Renwick et al. 2007, p. 533). The impact of bTB on lions is 
largely unknown. Researchers suggest that bTB may lower breeding 
success, reduce resiliency, and may be a mortality factor based on data 
that indicate survival is shortened in infected lions, with death 
ranging between 2 and 5 years after infection (Maas et al. 2012, p. 
4,212; Renwick et al. 2007, p. 536; Michel et al. 2006, p. 93; 
Cleaveland et al. 2005, pp. 450, 451). Thirty percent of the inbred 
populations in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park died due to a combination of bTB 
and malnutrition (Hunter et al. 2012, p. 3). A study from Kruger 
National Park indicated that bTB spreads quickly through lion 
populations; in an area with high herd prevalence of M. bovis, 90 
percent of lions became infected (Cleaveland et al. 2005, p. 451). 
However, despite bTB infection and a high prevalence in prey species, 
the lion population in Kruger National Park has remained stable 
(Ferreira and Funston 2010, p. 201).
    Epidemics of canine distemper virus (CDV) are known to have 
occurred in the Serengeti-Mara Ecosystem, an area that encompasses the 
Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, and Maasai Mara 
National Reserve (Craft 2008, pp. 13-14; Cleaveland et al. 2007, pp. 
613, 616, 618). CDV is a common pathogen in the large population of 
domestic dogs around the Serengeti-Mara Ecosystem, which are believed 
to be the source of CDV (Cleaveland et al. 2007, pp. 613, 617). CDV is 
assumed to be transferred to lions by the sharing of food sources with 
spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta) or jackals (Canis spp.) that become 
infected by consuming the infected carcasses of domestic dogs (Canis 
lupus familiaris). Lions may also transmit CDV among themselves via 
sharing food, fights, and mating (Craft et al. 2009, pp. 1,778, 1,783; 
Craft 2008, pp. 13, 18, 71).
    CDV generally lacks clinical signs or measurable mortality in 
lions, and most CDV events have been harmless. However, in 1994 and 
2001, CDV epidemics in the Serengeti National Park/Maasai Mara National 
Reserve and Ngorongoro Crater, respectively, resulted in unusually high 
mortality rates (Hunter et al. 2012, p. 2; Craft 2008, p. 14; Munson et 
al. 2008, pp. 1, 2; Cleaveland et al. 2007, pp. 613, 618; Roelke-Parker 
et al. 1996, pp. 441, 443). These outbreaks coincided with climate 
extremes that resulted in a higher number of Babesia, a tick-borne

[[Page 64487]]

parasite, infections (Munson et al. 2008, pp. 2, 5). Babesia is common 
in lions, but typically at low levels with no measurable impacts on 
their health (Craft 2008, p. 14; Munson et al. 2008, p. 3). However, 
droughts in 1993 and 2000 in Serengeti National Park/Maasai Mara 
National Reserve and Ngorongoro Crater, respectively, led to large-
scale starvation and widespread die-offs of buffalo. This situation 
combined with resumption of rains and fire suppression in Ngorongoro 
Crater favored propagation of ticks, vectors of Babesia, leading to 
unusually high tick burdens. The compromised health of buffalo allowed 
lions to feed on an inordinate number of tick-infested prey (Craft 
2008, p. 14; Munson et al. 2008, pp. 2, 4, 5).
    Exposure to either CDV or Babesia singly is not typically 
associated with a compromise in health or an increase in mortality 
(Craft 2008, p. 14; Munson et al. 2008, pp. 1, 2, 3). However, the 
Babesia infections were exacerbated by the immunosuppressive effects of 
CDV and led to the unusually high mortality rates (Craft 2008, p. 14; 
Munson et al. 2008, p. 5). The Serengeti National Park/Maasai Mara 
National Reserve lion population lost 30 percent of its population 
(approximately 1,000 lions), but has recovered to its pre-epidemic 
population levels (Craft 2008, pp. v, 14, 41; Munson et al. 2008, p. 1; 
Cleaveland et al. 2007, pp. 613, 617; Roelke-Parker et al. 1996, p. 
444). Thirty-four percent of the Ngorongoro Crater lion population was 
killed, but frequent outbreaks of disease have prevented this 
population from recovering back to its carrying capacity (Craft 2008, 
p. 14; Munson et al. 2008, pp. 1, 2; Cleaveland et al. 2007, p. 617). 
The difference in recovery is likely due to the highly inbred nature of 
the Ngorongoro Crater lion population, compared to the Serengeti 
population, and its greater susceptibility to parasitic and viral 
infections (Hunter et al. 2012, p. 2; Munson et al. 2008, p. 5; Brown 
et al. 1994, pp. 5,953-5,954).
    Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is an endemic pathogen in many 
lion populations of southern and eastern Africa (Maas et al. 2012, p. 
4,206; Adams et al. 2011, p. 173; Pecon-Slattery et al. 2008, p. 2; 
Hofmann-Lehmann et al. 1996, pp. 555, 558; Brown et al. 1994, p. 
5,966). FIV is believed to have been present in lions since the late 
Pliocene (O'Brien et al. 2012, p. 243; Troyer et al. 2011, p. 2; Roelke 
et al. 2009, p. 3; Pecon-Slattery et al. 2008, p. 8). There are 6 
subtypes of FIV, A through F, each with a distinct geographic area of 
endemnicity (Adams et al. 2011, p. 174; Troyer et al. 2011, p. 2; 
Roelke et al. 2009, p. 3; Pecon-Slattery et al. 2008, p. 4; O'Brien et 
al. 2006, p. 262). The social nature of lions allows for viral 
transmission within and between prides through saliva when biting (Maas 
et al. 2012, p. 4210; Pecon-Slattery et al. 2008, p. 5; Brown et al. 
1994, p. 5,953). Prevalence of FIV in infected lion populations is 
high, often approaching 100 percent of adults (O'Brien et al. 2012, p. 
243; Troyer et al. 2011, p. 2; Roelke et al. 2009, p. 3; O'Brien et al. 
2006, p. 262; Hofmann-Lehmann et al. 1996, p. 559).
    FIV causes immune deficiencies that allow for opportunistic 
infections in the host (Brown et al. 1994, p. 5,953). Chronic effects 
of FIV are important to long-term survival and differ according to 
subtype (Troyer et al. 2011, p. 6). Studies have indicated that lions 
may exhibit signs of opportunistic infection associated with AIDS, such 
as swollen lymph nodes, gingivitis, tongue papillomas, dehydration, 
poor coat condition, and abnormal red blood cell parameters, and in 
some cases death (Troyer et al. 2011, p. 2; Roelke et al. 2009, pp. 2, 
3-6). Lions in Botswana and Tanzania have demonstrated multiple 
clinical features of chronic immune depletion similar to HIV and 
domestic cat AIDS (Troyer et al. 2011, pp. 2-3). However, there is no 
evidence that it poses a threat to wild populations (Frank et al. 2006, 
p. 1); FIV does not appear to be impacting lions in Kruger National 
Park (Maas et al. 2012, p. 4,212), and no evidence of AIDS-like 
illnesses or decreased lifespan has been found in FIV lion populations 
in the Serengeti (O'Brien et al. 2006, p. 263).
    Infection with a single disease does not appear to have detrimental 
impacts on lions, although general body condition, health, and lifespan 
may be compromised. Co-infections, however, could have synergistic 
effects that lead to greater impacts on lions than a single infection. 
Lions impacted by the 1994 CDV outbreak in Serengeti National Park/
Maasai Mara National Reserve may have been more susceptible to CDV due 
to depleted immunity caused by FIV (O'Brien et al. 2006, p. 263). 
Troyer et al. (2011, pp. 5-6) found that survival during the CDV/
Babesia outbreak in Serengeti National Park/Maasai Mara National 
Reserve was significantly less for lions infected with FIV A and/or C 
than FIV B. This finding suggests that FIV A and C may predispose 
carriers to CDV pathogenesis and may increase the risk of mortality 
(O'Brien et al. 2012, p. 243). Additionally, certain environmental 
conditions may exacerbate the effects of an otherwise innocuous 
infection. For example, as discussed above, CDV and Babesia infections 
generally have no measurable impacts on lion health, but climatic 
conditions increased exposure of lions to Babesia infections, which 
were exacerbated by the immunosuppressive effects of CDV and led to 
unusually high mortality rates. Furthermore, species with reduced 
genetic variation may be less able to mount an effective immune 
response against an emerging pathogen (O'Brien et al. 2006, p. 255). 
Some lions infected with bTB may remain asymptomatic until conditions 
change and they suffer from poor nutrition due to low prey density, 
advancing age, or become super-infected with other diseases that may 
exacerbate the infection (Renwick et al. 2007, p. 533). Impacts of 
coinfections of FIV with FCV, FPV, FHV, and FCoV on individual lions 
are negligible and do not endanger the lion population, at least in the 
absence of other aggravating cofactors (Hofmann-Lehmann et al. 1996, p. 
561). Pathogen-pathogen interactions may become more important when 
lions are under additional stress (e.g., increased parasite load or low 
prey density) (Maas et al. 2012, p. 4,212).
    Although disease is known in several populations, the impacts are 
known in only a couple of populations where disease has been frequently 
studied. Disease can be a factor in the decline of lions when combined 
with other factors, including environmental changes, reduced prey 
density, and inbreeding depression. However, this type of impact has 
been observed in some small populations that are at a higher risk, but 
has not been observed at the species population level. Therefore, we 
conclude, based on the best scientific and commercial information 
available, that disease is not a significant threat to the species.

Deleterious Effects Due to Small Population Sizes

    The risk of extinction is related to the moment when a declining 
population becomes a small population and is often estimated using 
minimum viable population (MVP) sizes (Traill et al. 2010, p. 28). The 
viability of a lion population is complex, but it partly depends on the 
number of prides and ability of males to disperse and interact with 
other prides, which affects exchange of genetic material (Bjorklund 
2003, p. 518). Without genetic exchange, or variation, individual 
fitness is reduced and species are less able to adapt to environmental 
changes and stress, increasing the risk of extinction (Bijlsma and 
Loeschcke 2012, pp. 117, 119; Segelbacher et al. 2010, p. 2; Traill et 
al. 2010, p. 31; Bjorklund 2003, p. 515).

[[Page 64488]]

    Some scientists believe that the minimum viable population size 
(MVP) to maintain genetic viability is between 500 and 5,000 
individuals, although this estimate is not specific to lion (Bijlsma 
and Loeschcke 2012, p. 122; Traill et al. 2010, p. 30; Willi et al. 
2006, p. 449). The MVP for the African lion has not been formally 
established and agreed upon by species experts (Riggio et al. 2011, p. 
5; CITES 2004, p. 2; Bjorkland 2003, p. 521); however, it has been 
suggested that, to conserve genetic diversity populations of 50 to 100 
prides (250 to 500 individuals), with no limits to dispersal, are 
necessary because inbreeding increases significantly when populations 
fall below 10 prides. If there are less than 10 prides, inbreeding will 
increase from an F-value of 0.0 in the initial state to an F-value 
0.26-0.45 after 30 generations, while if the number of prides is 100 
this F-value is only around 0.05 assuming no migration into the 
population (Bjorkland 2003, p. 515). F is the probability that the two 
alleles of a gene in an individual are identical by descent. Therefore, 
the Service considers the MVP to be 50 prides. Because the number of 
prides and male dispersal are the most important factors for 
maintaining viability, sufficient areas are needed to support 50 or 
more prides and allow unrestricted male dispersal. Unfortunately, few 
lion populations meet these criteria, and few protected areas are large 
enough to support viable populations (Bauer et al. 2008, unpaginated; 
Riggio 2011, p. 5; Hazzah 2006, p. 2; Bauer and Van Der Merwe 2004, pp. 
28-30; Bjorklund 2003, p. 521). Even within large areas, inbreeding 
will increase if dispersal is limited, (Bjorklund 2003, pp. 521-522). 
More than 6,000 lions are in populations where their probability of 
survival is likely to be at risk of extinction within the foreseeable 
future (Riggio et al. 2013, p. 33). Furthermore, research indicates 
that there is a general lack of gene flow in most lion conservation 
units (Dubach et al. 2013, pp. 749, 750; Bertola et al. 2011, p. 1364; 
Chardonnet et al. 2009, p. 54). Small populations (e.g. fewer than 50 
lions) can persist in the wild for some time; however, the lack of 
dispersal and genetic variation can negatively impact the reproductive 
fitness of lions in these populations and local extirpation is likely 
(Traill et al. 2010, p. 30; O'Brien 1994, p. 5,748).
    Increasing human population growth between now and 2050 will 
continue to decrease and fragment large areas of habitat needed to 
support viable lion populations and disrupt dispersal routes for 
genetic exchange. Additionally, as the human population grows and lion 
populations decline, as discussed above, more lion populations could 
reach levels below the suggested minimum of 10 prides to maintain 
genetic diversity, putting more populations at risk of inbreeding and 
extirpation. Therefore, we conclude, based on the best scientific and 
commercial information available, that small population sizes currently 
pose a threat to the species.

Trophy Hunting

    Trophy hunting (also known as sport hunting) has been identified by 
the petitioners as one of the factors contributing to the decline of 
African lions (Petition 2011, p. 24). Lions are a key species in sport 
hunting as they are considered one of the ``big five'' (lion, leopard, 
elephant, rhino, and cape buffalo), touted to be the most challenging 
species to hunt, due to their nimbleness, speed, and behavioral 
unpredictability (Lindsey et al. 2012a, p. 2). However, with the 
documented decline in lion population numbers throughout Africa, the 
sport hunting of lions for trophies has become a highly complex issue 
that has raised considerable controversy among stakeholders.

Range Countries

    As of May 2014, approximately 18 countries in Africa permit lions 
to be hunted for trophies: Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African 
Republic (CAR), Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Ivory 
Coast, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa (RSA), 
Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. However, in 2013 
lion trophy hunting was only documented to occur in nine countries, 
specifically Benin, Burkina Faso, CAR, Mozambique, Namibia, RSA, 
Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe (Lindsey 2013, personal communication). 
Four countries, Burundi, Guinea Bissau, Lesotho, and Swaziland, provide 
no legal protection for lions (CITES 2014a, p. 14).
Hunting Moratoriums
    In response to growing international recognition of reduced 
population numbers, many countries began implementing moratoriums 
banning the sport hunting of lions. In this document we use the terms 
moratorium and ban interchangeably. A ban or moratorium can be 
permanent, long term, or temporary, and can occur in countries that 
have hunting quotas in place. Having both a moratorium and a quota in 
place at the same time means that, although the country may have a 
hunting quota, the country has halted authorization of trophy hunting 
pursuant to that quota until some later date or until some further 
action is taken, as prescribed by that country. Therefore, you will see 
us refer to countries like Zambia and Botswana, each of which has 
hunting quotas and bans in place. Trophy hunting is currently banned in 
12 countries: Angola, Botswana, Cameroon,\7\ Congo, Gabon, Ghana, 
Kenya, Malawi, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, and Rwanda (CITES 2014a, 
p.14; Lindsey et al. 2013a, entire; Lindsey 2013, pers. comm.; Jackson 
2013, pp. 7-8). Botswana banned lion hunting between 2001 and 2004, and 
then again from 2008 to the present (Davison et al. 2011, p. 114). 
Kenya banned all sport hunting in 1977 (African Wildlife Foundation 
1998, p. 3). Trophy hunting is restricted to problem or dangerous 
animals in Ethiopia and Uganda (Lindsey 2008, p. 42). Zambia banned all 
sport hunting in January of 2013; while restrictions were lifted from 
other trophy species in August 2014, the ban on lions and leopards 
remains in place (ABC News 2014, unpaginated; Flocken 2013, 
unpaginated). In 2011, researchers in Cameroon suggested that there 
should be an immediate moratorium of at least 5 years on the hunting of 
lions in Cameroon, during which lions are allowed to recover and a 
management plan for lion hunting is established (Croes et al. 2011).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ We found conflicting data on Cameroon, which was reported to 
prohibit trophy hunting (CITES 2014, p. 14), although other 
information provided by Lindsey (2013, pers. comm.) and Jackson 
(2013, p. 8) state that trophy hunting is legal in Cameroon.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Quotas
    A scientifically based ``quota'' is the maximum number of a given 
species that can be removed from a specific population without damaging 
the biological integrity and sustainability of that population (World 
Wildlife Fund (WWF) 1997, p. 9). For a quota to be scientifically 
based, it must be based upon available monitoring data of the species. 
Although varying by country and by economic resources, monitoring data 
used to determine quotas have included, but are not limited to, past 
hunting off-take records, trophy quality data, ground transect surveys, 
wildlife ranger and safari operator input, the species' reproductive 
biology, and aerial population census data, although usually aerial 
data is limited to species that can be easily observed from the air, 
such as elephants and buffalo (Barnett & Patterson 2005, p. 102). 
Generally, the conservation principle behind scientifically based 
quotas is to limit

[[Page 64489]]

offtake of the species to either equal or slightly lower than the 
growth rate of the target specimens (e.g., males vs. female), provided 
the offtake does not damage the integrity and sustainability of that 
population.
    In order for scientifically based quotas to result in offtake less 
than the growth rate of target specimens, many factors are evaluated 
including the species' biological factors (reproductive rate, gender, 
age, and behavior), as well as community and client objectives (WWF 
1997, pp. 14-19). Each quota should be then assigned to a geographical 
area and/or population based on this information. Thus, for lions, a 
scientifically based quota defines the specific number of lions that 
can be removed from a specific geographical area and population, for 
any purpose, within a particular year. Scientifically based quotas do 
not apply solely to sport hunting, but set the limits for all offtake 
for a particular year; other potential offtake includes problem-animal 
control (to reduce human-wildlife conflict), translocation (to expand 
conservation), culling (reducing population pressures), and local 
hunting (for protein/meat or employment) (WWF 1997, pp. 8-10).
    While each of these uses offers advantages and disadvantages, 
quotas are typically utilized only for sport hunting, as it may provide 
the highest all-around benefits to local communities. For example, a 
portion of a quota could be used to kill a problem animal; the benefits 
to the community would then include the use of the animal parts for 
meat or trade and it would theoretically reduce the conflict. However, 
this provides a more limited economic benefit to the community than 
would selling the same quota for trophy hunting, which could 
potentially eliminate the problem animal, provide meat and parts for 
trade, and provide revenue for the community (WWF 1997, pp. 31-33).
    There are two primary types of quotas, ``fixed'' and ``optional.'' 
Trophy fees for ``optional'' quotas are paid only when the lion is 
shot, whereas, ``fixed'' quotas require the payment of a portion (40-
100 percent) of the lion trophy fee, regardless of whether the hunt is 
successful. Until 1999, male lions were typically on ``fixed'' quotas, 
whereas female lions were under ``optional'' quotas. Due to this 
approach, trophies collected in the 1990's were often of lower quality, 
younger, less desirable male lions, as operators and hunters had no 
incentive to be selective (e.g. the hunter had already paid for it). 
Therefore, current recommendation for all quotas is to be the 
``optional'' type (Lindsey et al. 2013a, p. 9; Packer et al. 2006, pp. 
5, 9).
    Two primary concerns have been raised by the scientific and 
international community with regards to current lion quotas. 
Specifically, that existing quotas are set above sustainable levels and 
the data used for setting quotas is inconsistent and not scientifically 
based (Hunter et al. 2013, unpaginated; Lindsey et al. 2006, p. 284). 
For example, recent quotas appear rarely to address safeguards for 
sustainability or establish a systematic approach to setting lion 
quotas (Hunter et al. 2013, p. 2; Lindsey et al. 2013b, p. 8). 
Additionally, it has been noted that previous quotas in Namibia, 
Mozambique, and Zimbabwe may have been influenced by human-lion 
conflict, with higher quotas being allocated to locations with 
reportedly higher human-lion conflict levels (Lindsey et al. 2013b, p. 
4). Apparently, in recognition of these inconsistencies, range 
countries and conservationists have been working to establish a set of 
best practices in order to create a more consistent, scientifically 
based approach to determining quotas. The recommended best practices 
include: (1) Establishing processes and procedures that are clearly 
outlined, transparent, and accountable; (2) establishing processes and 
procedures that are CITES compliant;(3) demonstrating management 
capacity; (4) standardizing information sources; (5) establishing 
monitoring systems for critical data; (6) recording and analyzing 
trophy hunting data; (7) conducting data collection and analysis for 
each hunting block and concession; and (8) establishing a primary body 
who will approve quotas (Burnett and Patterson 2005, p. 103). We have 
no information on whether these best practices have been implemented by 
the lion range states. However, most countries that allow trophy 
hunting of lions appear to be reviewing their trophy hunting practices 
(Jackson 2013, pp. 2-3; White 2013, pp. 12-13). Benin halved their 
quotas in 2002 after the first population census of lions was conducted 
and resulted in the current quota of six lions every 2 years in 
Pendjari and four lions every 2 years in western Benin or one lion 
annually in each of the five hunting zones. This was largely due to 
impacts to lions from habitat degradation and fragmentation 
(particularly exacerbated by the increase of human population), loss of 
prey by poaching, trade (both legal and illegal), and human-lion 
conflict. (CITES 2014a, p. 5; Sogbohossou 2014, p. 1).
    Throughout the countries in Africa, most appear to have reduced 
their offtake considerably since the 1990's. According to Packer et al. 
(2006, pp. 2-3), regardless of population estimates, countries are 
allowing for only a small proportion of their lion populations to be 
hunted, with most countries ranging from 2-4 percent annually 
(excluding offtake from South Africa, where offtake has been increasing 
from the trophy hunting of primarily captive-born lions, and Zimbabwe, 
where offtake was 2-3 percent higher than other countries from 1998-
2004.
    Regardless of these reductions, many stakeholders consider the 
quota system to be outdated and ineffective because it does not address 
the biological and social impacts of trophy hunting on lion prides. 
Opponents also state that trophy hunting affects the social structure 
of the pride and results in increased infanticide of lion cubs. This 
supposition is inconclusive and not well supported (CITES 2014a, p. 14; 
Dagg 2000, pp. 831-835) (See Infanticide and Age-based Hunting 
Strategies). Regardless, since 2006, researchers have recommended the 
implementation of age-based hunting strategies; these are discussed 
below (Packer et al. 2006, pp. 6-8).
    Five countries maintain quotas to allow for approximately 6-15 lion 
trophies to be taken per year: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon,\7\ 
Mozambique, and Namibia. Tanzania allows the take of approximately 50 
lions annually, and Zimbabwe allows approximately 70 animals annually 
to be taken (Jackson 2013 pp. 7-8, CITES WCMC-UNEP trade database, 
accessed December 2013). In Ethiopia and Uganda, trophy hunting is 
restricted to problem or dangerous animals only (Lindsey 2008, p. 42), 
and Botswana and Zambia currently ban all trophy hunting (CITES 2014a, 
p.14). South Africa has not set a quota for the take of wild lions 
since 99 percent of the trophy-hunted lions are reportedly not of wild 
origin, but captive-born (Hunter et al. 2013, p. 2; RSA 2013, pp. 5, 
7).
    Below is a summary of estimated annual hunting quotas for the 
African lion:

         Table 7--Annual Trophy Quotas (Approximate) as of 2013
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           Annual lion
                                                          trophy quotas
                        Country                           (Jackson 2013,
                                                             pp. 7-8)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Benin..................................................                6
Botswana (moratorium)..................................               30
Burkina Faso...........................................                6
Cameroon \7\...........................................                6
Mozambique.............................................               15
Namibia................................................               10
Tanzania (as of 2012)..................................               50

[[Page 64490]]

 
Zambia (moratorium)....................................               50
Zimbabwe...............................................               70
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Import/Export of Lion Trophies
    Although each country has its own method of regulating trophy 
hunting, international trade of lion trophies must adhere to CITES (see 
Conservation Status). International trade of lion parts and products 
(including trophies) are reported by both the exporting and importing 
countries and tracked by the United Nations Environment Programme World 
Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC). The international trade 
data on the African lion that has been compiled in the CITES UNEP-WCMC 
Trade Database is extensive. Therefore, it is likely that the actual 
numbers of African lion parts and products in international trade is 
slightly smaller than what we have reported using the UNEP-WCMC ``gross 
exports'' report (CITES lion gross exports, http://trade.cites.org, 
accessed April 23, 2014).
    In 2012, the most recent year for which CITES trade data are 
available, U.S. CITES Annual Report trade data indicated that the 
United States allowed the direct import of African lion trophies from 
eight African countries, as follows:

Central African Republic = 1 trophy
Ethiopia = 1 trophy
Mozambique = 5 trophies
Namibia = 5 trophies
South Africa = 413 trophies (the majority of which are reported to 
be of captive-born origin)
Tanzania = 42 trophies
Zambia = 32 trophies
Zimbabwe = 49 trophies

    According to the CITES UNEP-WCMC database, between 2005 and 2012, 
exports of lion trophies have demonstrated a decreasing trend when 
exports of captive-born lions from South Africa are excluded (CITES 
lion gross exports, http://trade.cites.org, accessed April 23, 2014). 
For example, in 2005 there were 874 lion trophy exports reported in 
UNEP-WCMC, 521 if South Africa were excluded; whereas in 2012, there 
were 1,237 lion trophy exports reported in UNEP-WCMC, 336 if South 
Africa is excluded.
    Here it should be noted that there are limitations to interpreting 
the above reported information. The 2004 guide to using the CITES Trade 
Database indicates that the outputs produced by the CITES Trade 
Database can be easily misinterpreted if one is not familiar with it 
(CITES 2004b, p. 5). The number of ``trophies'' reported does not 
necessarily equate to the number of lions hunted. Additionally, the 
number of trophies reported for a given year in the trade report does 
not equate directly to the number of animals hunted in that given year 
(CITES export permits may be valid for 6 months, and a trophy could in 
theory be exported the year after it was hunted). The second limitation 
to interpreting this information is, although many permits may indicate 
that an animal is of wild origin (source code ``W''), these permits may 
be incorrectly coded. This is true for South Africa, where during the 
period of 2000 to 2009, animals that were captive-born and released 
into private reserve systems were assigned an incorrect source code of 
``wild.'' South Africa has since requested their provincial authorities 
to use the correct source code for ``captive bred'' in order to 
correctly reflect the source of sport-hunted lion trophies; however, 
some provinces are still not complying (RSA 2013, pp. 8-9). However, 
based on South African trade data, the bulk of the exports of lions and 
their parts and products (including trophies) from South Africa were 
from captive-born lions (RSA 2013, p. 7).
    Tanzania, with the highest lion populations (Hamunyela et al. 2013, 
pp. 29, 283; Riggio et al. 2013, p. 32; Ikanda 2008, p. 4; Baldus 2004, 
pp. 5, 6), was the largest exporter of wild-origin lion trophies, but 
their exports have decreased significantly since 2006. In 2008, 
approximately 138 lions had been estimated to be killed in Tanzania as 
trophies. In 2010, Tanzania's numbers declined to 128 exports, 55 in 
2011, and 42 in 2012 (CITES lion gross exports, http://trade.cites.org/
, accessed April 25, 2014). In 2012, Tanzania established an annual 
quota to limit trophy hunting to no more than 50 animals (Jackson 2013, 
p. 7). Again, it should be noted that there may be discrepancies 
between the annual quota and the actual number of trophies exported in 
a given year (see http://www.cites.org/common/resources/TradeDatabaseGuide.pdf for additional information). Regardless, the 
numbers of lion trophies exported by Tanzania according to the UNEP-
WCMC database suggest a decreasing trend.
    In other areas within the range of the African lion, the number of 
lions hunted or authorized to be hunted annually has remained fairly 
consistent. In Burkina Faso, approximately 12 lions per year have been 
hunted over the past two decades (IUCN 2009, pp. 36-37; Bauer and 
Nowell 2004, p. 36), although their current annual quota is 6 animals. 
In Botswana, a quota of 30 lions per year was authorized for nearly two 
decades; however, Botswana has recently implemented a hunting 
moratorium (Jackson 2013, p. 8). (CITES lion gross exports, http://trade.cites.org, accessed April 23, 2014; CITES UNEP-WCMC database, 
accessed January 8, 2014, and August 16, 2013).
Potential Impacts of Trophy Hunting
Infanticide and Age-Based Hunting Strategies
    Tourist safari hunting of males has been suggested by the 
petitioners to increase infanticide rates (when males kill young lion 
cubs sired by other males) (Petition 2011, p. 24; Whitman et al. 2004, 
p. 175), due in part to trophy hunters taking males under a certain 
age. Removing a younger male lion is purported to allow another male to 
take over the pride, and kill the former patriarch's cubs. This 
supposition is inconclusive and not well supported (CITES 2014a, p. 14; 
Dagg 2000, pp. 831-835). Infanticide is a common practice among many 
species, including lions (Hausfater et al. 1984, pp. 31, 145, 173, 
487). When an adult male lion in a pride is killed, surviving males who 
form the pride's coalition become vulnerable to takeover by other male 
coalitions, and this often results in injury or death of the defeated 
males (Davidson et al. 2011, p. 115). In some cases, replacement males 
who take over the pride will kill all cubs less than 9 months of age in 
the pride (Whitman et al. 2004, p. 175). One range country specifically 
addressed this issue; the Republic of Namibia indicates that lion 
populations reproduce at similar rates in both harvested and non-
harvested populations, but it is unclear whether cub survival is 
consistent in harvested vs. non-harvested lion populations.
    While utilizing individual-based simulation models, Whitman et al. 
(2004, pp. 175-177) found that if offtake is restricted to males older 
than 6 years of age, then trophy hunting will likely have minimal 
impact on the pride's social structure and young (Packer et al. 2006, 
p. 6). This 6-year age restriction approach for lion trophies is in the 
process of being self-implemented, along with other best practices, by 
professional hunting guides, and is being adopted by certain range 
states (White 2013, p. 14; Davidson et al. 2011, p. 114; Whitman et al. 
2004, p. 176). It involves conducting an age assessment of male lions 
using identification

[[Page 64491]]

techniques, such as mane development, facial markings, nose 
pigmentation and tooth-aging, to establish the relative age of male 
lions. Tooth wear on incisors, yellowing and chipping of teeth, coupled 
with scars, head size, mane length and color, and thinning hair on the 
face, as well as other factors can be an indicator of advanced age in 
lions (Whitman and Packer 2006, entire). Although these characteristics 
may be subjective, as regional differences may occur between lion 
populations, there are clear attempts by the trophy hunting community 
to establish and implement best practices. Promoting the removal of 
males 6 years of age or older, theoretically allows younger males the 
opportunity to remain resident long enough to rear a cohort of cubs 
(allowing their genes to enter the gene pool; increasing the overall 
genetic diversity). By removing males in a manner that promotes healthy 
population growth, the lion population could yield more males in the 
long term (Davidson et al. 2011, p. 114; Whitman et al. 2004, p. 176). 
The governments of Tanzania, western Zimbabwe, Mozambique in the Niassa 
National Reserve, Zambia, and most recently Benin have instituted or 
are in the process of instituting reforms such as 6-year age 
restrictions on lion trophies to increase the likelihood that trophy 
hunting of lion is sustainable in those countries (Van der Merwe 2013, 
p. 2; Jackson 2013, p. 3; White 2013, p. 14; Dallas Safari Club 2013, 
pp. 1-2; Hunter et al. 2013, p. 2).
    In addition to quota-setting, moratoriums, and the 6 year age 
limit, it has been reported that more protective standards and 
guidelines are implemented, such as the best practices listed below 
(Jackson 2013, pp. 3, 8-10, Dallas Safari Club 2013, pp. 1-2).
     Minimum trophy quality, sizes, and standards;
     Wildlife hunting regulations enacted and enforced;
     Professional hunting associations formed;
     Professional hunting training courses;
     Professional hunter standards established;
     Quota-setting procedures;
     Compliance with CITES demonstrated;
     Monitoring; and
     Information and data collection and analysis.
    While the supposition of increased infanticide due to the remove of 
established males from a pride is inconclusive and not well supported, 
it is clear that improved management practices are beneficial to 
maintaining viable lion populations. Developing and implementing best 
management practices, while not categorically establishing a direct 
correlation with increased population numbers and health, do appear to 
have practical impacts on lion populations. Based on the best available 
scientific and commercial information, infanticide, as a result of the 
removal of lions through hunting, is not a threat to African lions. 
Further, it is not likely to become a threat in the foreseeable future 
since the science is not well supported as to whether infanticide 
resulting from offtake due to trophy hunting is a significant threat to 
the subspecies (Whitman et al. 2004, pp. 175-176; CITES 2014a, p. 14).
Corruption
    Corruption is common in some areas within the range of the African 
lion, particularly in areas with extreme poverty (Michler 2013, pp. 1-
3; Kimati 2012, p. 1; Garnett et al. 2011, p. 1; IUCN 2009, p. 89; 
Leader-Williams et al. 2009, p. 296-298; Kideghesho 2008, pp. 16-17; 
http://www.transparency.org). Several of the range countries of African 
lion have experienced political instability for many years, which 
appears to be a contributing factor in intensifying levels of 
corruption. Political instability results in war and famine, which 
essentially halt conservation efforts and the enforcement of existing 
wildlife protection laws (Barnett & Patterson 2005, p. 82). Corruption 
manifests itself in several ways, including embezzlement of funds and 
acceptance of bribes to overlook illegal activities or for political 
influence (Garnett et al. 2011, p. 1). Given the financial aspects of 
sport hunting, it is reasonable to assume that corruption and the 
inability to control it could have a negative impact on decisions made 
in lion management by overriding biological rationales with financial 
concerns.
    Corruption has complex roots and will not end immediately, but from 
all appearances, it is being addressed in many of the African lion 
range countries where it has occurred in the past. Countries throughout 
the range of the African lion are putting tools in place to combat 
corruption and create awareness (http://www.transparency.org/cpi2012/results, accessed June 20, 2013). In recent years, in several African 
lion range countries, leadership has taken steps to address corruption, 
or activities that facilitate corruption, associated with wildlife 
management. For example, in 2013, the Tourism Minister of Zambia banned 
hunting in 19 game management areas for 1 year due to corruption and 
malpractice among the hunting companies and various government 
departments. Some game management areas and privately owned game 
ranches were not included in the ban, but lion hunting appears to be 
currently prohibited throughout the country (Michler 2013, pp. 1-3). 
According to some authors (Martin 2012, pp. 4, 104; Kimati 2012, p. 1; 
Kideghesho 2008, pp. 16-17), corruption in the wildlife sector has 
often been one of the most discussed topics in Tanzania's National 
Assembly, which presumably would indicate the awareness of and 
willingness to address the corrupting factors in the wildlife sector.
    Provided that countries continue to address corruption within the 
wildlife sector, we conclude, based on the best scientific and 
commercial information available, that corruption, in and of itself, 
does not currently pose a threat to the species. However, if efforts to 
address corruption do not continue, it could become a threat to African 
lions in the future.
Revenue From Trophy Hunting
    The high value of lions makes them one of the most expensive large 
game species to hunt. The revenue derived from lion hunting is 
substantial. Lions are reported to generate the highest daily rate of 
any mammal hunted (USD $2,650 per day), the longest number of days that 
must be booked, and the highest trophy fee ($24,500) (Jackson 2013, p. 
6; Lindsey et al. 2012a, p. 5). According to Groom (2013, p. 4), a 21-
day lion hunt in Zimbabwe may be sold for approximately $2,500 per day, 
with an additional trophy fee of $10,000. Depending on the country in 
which a hunter visits, there may be several different fees required, 
including game fees, observer fees, conservation fees, permit fees, 
trophy handling fees, and government payments in terms of taxes, as 
well as safari operator fees (Barnett & Patterson 2005, p. 71). In the 
late 1990's, Tanzania reported annual revenue of $29.9 million from all 
trophy hunting, South Africa reported $28.4 million, Zimbabwe reported 
$23.9 million from all trophy hunting, Botswana reported $12.6 million, 
and Namibia reported $11.5 million; the revenue generated solely from 
lion hunting was not broken out (Barnett & Patterson 2005, p. iv). In 
the past, government and private land owners were the primary 
beneficiaries of the revenue gained; however, a portion of the revenue 
derived from hunting, in some countries, is now being distributed to 
local communities as well, which benefits the livelihoods of local 
people as well as contributes to

[[Page 64492]]

national economies of African range states (Barnett & Patterson 2005, 
p. vi).
Trophy Hunting as a Wildlife Management Tool
    The concept of using trophy hunting to support lion conservation is 
complex and counterintuitive to many. Many range countries rely heavily 
on tourism (predominantly ecotourism and safari hunting) to provide 
funding for wildlife management (IUCN 2006a, p. 24). The countries that 
rely most on lion hunting are proportionally the highest in Mozambique, 
Tanzania, and Zambia (Lindsey et al. 2012a, pp. 7-8). The revenue 
generated from these industries provides jobs for locals, such as game 
guards, cooks, drivers, and security personnel, and often brings in 
revenue for local microbusinesses that sell art, jewelry, and other 
native crafts. Revenue generated from scientifically based management 
program is used to build and maintain fences, provide security 
personnel with weapons and vehicles, provide resources for anti-
poaching activities, and provides resources for habitat acquisition and 
management (Chardonnet et al. 2010, pp. 33-34; Newmark 2008, p. 321). 
Revenue from trophy hunting increases the ability of many African 
countries to manage wildlife populations both within and adjacent to 
reserves; many of these hunting areas are geographically linked to 
national parks and reserves, providing wildlife corridors and buffer 
zones (Chardonnet et al. 2010, p. 34; Newmark 2008, p. 321).
    Proponents and most species experts support trophy hunting as a 
conservation tool for the African lion (Hunter 2011, entire; van der 
Merwe 2013, entire; Hunter et al. 2013, entire) because it provides: 
(1) Incentives for the conservation of large tracts of prime habitat, 
and (2) funding for park and reserve management, anti-poaching, and 
security activities. As habitat loss has been identified as one of the 
primary threats to lion populations, it is notable that the total 
amount of land set aside for hunting throughout Africa, although not 
ameliorating the concerns about habitat loss, exceeds the total area of 
the national parks, accounting for approximately half of the amount of 
viable habitat currently available to lions (Chardonnet et al. 2010, p. 
34; Packer et al. 2006, pp. 9-10). In Tanzania, 25-33 percent of the 
total area, encompassing 190 hunting units and over 247,000 km\2\, has 
been set aside for sport hunting purposes; this has resulted in an area 
5.1 times greater than Tanzania's fully protected and gazetted parks 
(Jackson 2013, p. 6; Barnett & Patterson 2005, p. 61).
    In Botswana, despite the current ban on lion hunting, the country 
currently has over 128,000 km\2\ of gazetted wildlife management areas 
and controlled hunting areas set aside for hunting purposes, which 
equates to 22.1 percent of the country's total area. This is in 
addition to 111,000 km\2\ (or 19.1 percent) that has been set aside as 
habitat in the form of National Parks, Game Reserves, and Forest 
Reserves (Barnett & Patterson 2005, p. 7). Tanzania has land set aside 
for sport hunting in the form of safari areas, communal land, and 
privately owned properties that make up 23.9 percent of the total land 
base (Barnett & Patterson 2005, pp. 76-77). In 2000, five countries in 
southern Africa (Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, and 
Zimbabwe) had set aside a combined 420,000 km\2\ of communal land, 
188,000 km\2\ of commercial land, and 420,089 km\2\ of state land 
totaling over 1,028,000 km\2\ for sport hunting purposes (Barnett & 
Patterson 2005, p. iii). As a species with a considerable range (up to 
1,000 km\2\) (Packer et al. 2013 p. 636; Haas et al. 2005, p. 4), 
suitable habitat is important to the survival of the species, and the 
marked decline in suitable habitat is a significant threat to the 
species (see Habitat Loss). The land currently designated for use in 
sport hunting has helped to reduce, but not eliminate, the impact of 
habitat loss for the African lion.
    Cost estimates for maintaining lion populations range, from an 
annual budget of $500 per km\2\ in smaller fenced reserves to $2,000 
per km\2\ annually for unfenced populations (Packer et al. 2013, p. 
640; Lindsey et al. 2012a, p. 9). This includes but is not limited to 
costs associated with permanent and temporary staff, fencing 
installation and maintenance (fences can cost $3,000 per km to 
install), infrastructure maintenance, anti-poaching activities such as 
surveillance and snare/trap removal, wildlife restocking fees (both for 
lions killed by illegal poaching/snares as well as other trophy species 
killed by lions on the reserves), community outreach, and compensation 
for loss of livestock in surrounding communities (Packer et al. 2013, 
p. 640; Groom 2013, pp. 4-5; Lindsey et al. 2012a, p. 9; Barnett & 
Patterson 2005, p. 82). For example, in the past, the Sav[eacute] 
Valley Conservancy in Zimbabwe invested $546,000 annually on anti-
poaching activities and employed 186 permanent scouts, while operators 
in Coutada 16, Mozambique, spent $60,000 annually on anti-poaching 
(such as the removal of 5,000 gin traps) (Groom 2013, p. 5; Lindsey et 
al. 2012a, p. 9). According to Barnett and Patterson (2005, p. 82), in 
Zimbabwe:

    Land invasions, resettlement and political instability has had 
dire consequences for wildlife occurring in the commercial sector. 
Land invasions have affected all wildlife management activities, and 
resulted in severe habitat destruction, increased poaching and 
infrastructure damage with thousands of kilometers of fences being 
destroyed to make wire snares . . . A typical questionnaire response 
from an invaded 50,000 acre farm in Masvingo Province . . . 
indicates substantial poaching losses of up to $1,819,040, with over 
3,400 snares recovered and 134 poachers arrested in just two months.

    Niassa National Reserve, Mozambique, incurs annual costs of 
approximately $1.9-2 million to maintain a 42,000-km\2\ area (Lindsey 
et al. 2012a, p. 9). As a single source of revenue, the trophy hunting 
of lions provides a substantial source of funds to pay for the 
management of lion habitat. According to Lindsey et al. (2012a, p. 5), 
with the exception of rhinoceros and exceptional elephant trophies, 
``lions generate the highest revenue per hunt of any species in 
Africa.'' In Niassa National Reserve, lion trophy hunting has generated 
$380,000-400,000 annually (Lindsey et al. 2012a, p. 9). In the 
Sav[eacute] Valley Conservancy, between 2005 and 2011, lion hunting in 
Zimbabwe provided an estimated net income (based on 26 lions) of 
approximately $1,365,000 in per-night charges and roughly $260,000 in 
trophy fees (Groom 2013, p. 4).
    Trophy hunting of lions, if part of a scientifically based 
management program, can provide direct benefits to the species and its 
habitat, both at the national and local level (See: Role of Local 
Communities in Lion Conservation). Trophy hunting and the revenue 
generated from trophy hunting are tools that range countries can use to 
facilitate maintaining habitat to sustain large ungulates and other 
lion prey, protecting habitat for lions, supporting the management of 
lion habitat, and protecting both lions and their prey base through 
anti-poaching efforts. While hunting alone will not address all of the 
issues that are contributing to the declined status of the species, it 
can provide benefits to the species.
Role of Local Communities in Lion Conservation
    Over the last few decades, conservationists and range countries 
have realized the integral role local communities play in the 
conservation of lions and their habitat; when communities benefit from 
a species,

[[Page 64493]]

they have incentive to protect it. Therefore, utilizing the wildlife 
sector as a land-use option and source of income for rural populations 
has increasingly been employed throughout the range countries of the 
African lion. Many of these countries are classified as `developing' 
nations; specifically, seven of the ten countries (we include Cameroon 
here) where trophy hunting is permitted have 27-64 percent of their 
populations living in severe poverty (United Nations Development 
Programme's (UNDP) Human Development Report, http://hdr.undp.org/en/data, accessed July 7, 2014; Barnett & Patterson 2005, p. iii). These 
countries often have high population growth, high unemployment, limited 
industry, and a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita lower than the 
poverty level (Barnett & Patterson 2005, p. iii). These combined 
challenges highlight the need for innovative solutions. 
Conservationists and range countries recognize the value of the 
wildlife sector; if managed sustainably, there is high potential to 
contribute to rural economic development while simultaneously 
protecting the unique ecological habitats and species contained therein 
(Chardonnet et al. 2010, p. 33; Kiss [editor] 1990, pp. 1, 5-15).
    Studies have indicated that, in order for species such as the 
African lion to persist, the local communities must benefit from or 
receive a percentage of funds generated from tourism such as wildlife 
viewing, photography, or trophy hunting (White 2013, p. 21; Martin 
2012, p. 57; Kiss [editor] 1990, pp. 1, 5-15). The economic value of a 
species, such as lion, can encourage range countries to develop 
management and conservation programs that involve local communities 
which would ultimately discourage indiscriminate killings by local 
communities (Groom 2013, pp. 3, 5; Hazzah et al. 2013, p. 1; White 
2013, p. 21; Martin 2012, p. 49). If local communities see no 
beneficial value of lions being present in their communal areas, 
sustainable utilization of lions as a land-use becomes less competitive 
with other land-use options, such as grazing and livestock management, 
and local communities become unwilling and unable to manage their 
wildlife heritage (Barnett & Patterson 2005, p. iii). When the value of 
lions in areas outside of national parks is diminished, those areas are 
likely to be converted to forms of land use less suitable for lions, 
such as agriculture, livestock pastures, or areas of resource 
extraction, making them even more vulnerable to expanding human 
settlement (Van der Merwe 2013, p. 2).
    Community conservancies that benefit from trophy hunting have 
specifically been formed as a way to protect wildlife and habitat. As 
an example, in Namibia, 160,000 km\2\ (61,776 mi\2\) of community 
conservancies were established in part due to revenue from trophy 
hunting. These conservancies benefit the local communities, which in 
turn protect lion habitat. For example, in 2012, the Sav[eacute] Valley 
Conservancy (Zimbabwe) ``provided over US$100,000 worth of support to 
adjacent villages or farmers in the resettled areas. Assistance 
included drilling boreholes, maintaining boreholes, dredging of dams, 
building clinics and schools, assisting with repairs, maintenance and 
materials for schools, education initiatives, school field trips, 
provision of computer equipment in schools, and craft programs'' (Groom 
2013, p. 5) Connecting conservation to community benefits can provide a 
value for wildlife, including lions, where there was previously 
resentment or indifference, helping to instill a sense of importance 
for lion conservation Additionally, an estimated 125,000 kg of game 
meat is provided annually to rural communities by trophy hunters at an 
estimated value of $250,000 per year, which is considerable for rural 
locations where severe poverty and malnutrition exists (White 2013, p. 
21), further providing a value for wildlife, including lions. Lastly, 
local communities benefit from the trophy hunting industry by gaining 
employment as cooks, drivers, game guards, security, and anti-poaching 
personnel, and they also obtain revenue for items purchased by trophy 
hunters such as jewelry, art, and native handicrafts.
    Trophy hunting as part of a scientifically based management program 
may provide direct economic benefits to the local communities and can 
create incentives for local communities to conserve lions, reduce the 
pressure on lion habitat, and end retaliatory killing, primarily 
because lions are viewed as having value. Conversely, lack of 
incentives could cause declines in lion populations because lions are 
viewed as lacking value and are perceived to kill livestock, which do 
have value to communities (see Human-lion Conflict).
    Many range countries have realized local communities must benefit 
from the conservation of the species because [why?] and have revised 
their land management and ownership policies to reflect this. Of the 
ten countries where lion trophy hunting currently occurs (including 
Cameroon), seven have developed National Poverty Reduction Strategies 
in partnership with the International Monetary Fund (for a complete 
list, see http://www.imf.org/external/np/prsp/prsp.aspx); each of these 
has incorporated sustainable natural resource development as a main 
priority, and emphasized benefit distribution and management to rural 
communities (Benin 2000, unpaginated; Burkina Faso 2000, unpaginated; 
unpaginated; CAR 2000, p. 45; Mozambique 2000, unpaginated; Tanzania 
2000, pp. 13, 21; Zambia 2000, unpaginated). As a result, an increase 
in participation by local communities in managing natural resources 
that are adjacent to reserves is occurring in several areas.
Captive Lions
    In analyzing threats to a species, the Service focuses its analysis 
on threats acting upon wild specimens within the native range of the 
species, because the goal of the Act is survival and recovery of the 
species within its native ecosystem. We do not separately analyze 
``threats'' to captive-held specimens because the statutory five 
factors under section 4 (16 U.S.C. 1533) are not well-suited to 
consideration of specimens in captivity and captive-held specimens are 
not eligible for separate consideration for listing. However, we do 
consider the extent to which specimens held in captivity create, 
contribute to, reduce, or remove threats to the species.
    Captive-held African lions, including those that are managed for 
trophy hunting in South Africa and lions held in captivity in zoos, are 
believed to number between a few thousand and 5,000 worldwide (Republic 
of South Africa 2013, p. 5; Barnett et al. 2006a, p. 513). Captive 
lions in general are not suitable for reintroduction due to their 
uncertain origins (Barnett et al. 2006a, p. 513; Hunter et al. 2012, p. 
3), potential maladaptive behaviors, and higher failure risk compared 
to translocated individuals (Hunter et al. 2012, pp. 2-3). There may be 
cases where captive specimens provide a benefit to the species under 
certain circumstances. For example, the display of Giant pandas in U.S. 
zoos has generated considerable revenue that is used for in-situ 
conservation of the species in China. It may be possible that captive 
lions could also serve a purpose of generating revenue for in-situ 
conservation.
Summary of Trophy Hunting
    Although there is some indication that trophy hunting could 
contribute to

[[Page 64494]]

local declines in lion populations through unsustainable quotas, 
corruption, and possible disruption of pride structure through 
infanticide and take of males that are too young, we do not find that 
any of these activities rises to the level of a threat to the African 
lion subspecies at this time. It appears that most range countries that 
allow trophy hunting of African lions restrict offtake to approximately 
2-4 percent of their lion populations for trophy hunting annually, 
excluding South Africa, where offtake is from predominantly captive-
born animals, and Zimbabwe, where offtake is 2-3 percent higher than in 
other countries (Packer et al. (2006, pp. 2-3). Exports of lion 
trophies have demonstrated a decreasing trend when exports of likely 
captive-born lions from South Africa are excluded (CITES lion gross 
exports, http://trade.cites.org, accessed April 23, 2014), and lions 
from South Africa are likely captive-born (RSA 2013, p. 5). Most of the 
range countries that allow trophy hunting have quotas in place to limit 
take. Tanzania, with a population of approximately 16,000 lions, has a 
quota of 50 animals per year. Many other range countries have laws in 
effect that address trophy hunting, and several have moratoriums in 
place. The hunting community is taking the lead in developing best 
management practices to address take of males that are under 6 years of 
age, and they are guiding the development of scientifically based tools 
for minimizing the impact of trophy hunting on the social structure of 
lion populations. This 6-year age restriction on lion trophies is in 
the process of being self-implemented by professional hunting guides, 
and is being adopted by certain range states, such as Tanzania (White 
2013, p. 14; Whitman et al. 2004, p. 176).
    Currently, most countries that allow trophy hunting of lions appear 
to be reviewing their trophy hunting practices (Jackson 2013, pp. 2-3; 
White 2013, pp. 12-13). Range countries have recognized the need to 
incorporate best management practices, and have been progressively 
updating the policies and management systems in order to implement them 
(Lindsey et al. 2013a, pp. 4-10).
    Finally, we found that, if trophy hunting of lions is part of a 
scientifically based management program, it could provide considerable 
benefits to the species, by reducing or removing incentives by locals 
to kill lions in retaliation for livestock losses, and by reducing the 
conversion of lion habitat to agriculture. Trophy hunting, if managed 
well and with local communities in mind, can bring in needed revenue, 
jobs, and a much-needed protein source to local people, demonstrating 
the value of lions to local communities (Groom 2013, pp. 1-3; Lindsey 
et al. 2006, pp. 283, 289). In addition, the amount of habitat that has 
been set aside by range countries specifically for trophy hunting has 
greatly increased the range and habitat of lions and their prey base, 
which is imperative given the current ongoing rate of habitat 
destruction occurring in Africa. The total amount of land set aside for 
trophy hunting throughout Africa exceeds the total area of the national 
parks, providing half the amount of viable lion habitat (Chardonnet et 
al. 2010, p. 34; Packer et al. 2006, pp. 9-10). However, expanding 
protected areas without taking the human population into consideration 
could lead to more resentment and retaliatory killing of lions (Nelson 
et al. 2009, p. 315).
    Therefore, we conclude, based on the best scientific and commercial 
information available, that trophy hunting is not a significant threat 
to the species.

Traditional Use of Lion Parts and Products

    CITES (2014, p. 8) reports that many African countries, including 
Somalia, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Kenya, and Cameroon, maintain local 
markets in lion products, which include teeth, claws, fat, whiskers, 
bone, bile, testicles, meat, and tails for use as talismans, 
decorations, and in traditional African medicine. In Ghana, lion parts 
and products are used for ceremonial, medicinal, and nutritional 
purposes (Burton et al. 2010, p. 4). Skins and claws of lions were 
observed for sale in a market in Tamale, Ghana. Lions in and around 
Mole National Park in Ghana have been killed for traditional 
consumptive purposes (Burton et al. 2010, p. 4). In some cases, lions 
(either alive or dead) have been ``laundered'' through other countries 
so that their country of origin is unknown. As an example, lions have 
been found to be shot in Zimbabwe and Mozambique and declared as South 
African trophies (Lion Aid 2011, p. 20). In other cases, there have 
been reports of captive-born lions being smuggled between Botswana and 
South Africa and described as wild (Mouton 2013, pp. 1-2). Lion 
products, such as the trade in lion bone, seem to be primarily 
byproducts of trophy hunting; hunters are primarily interested in the 
trophy and skin and, therefore, the bones and other parts are sold 
separately (CITES 2014a, p. 10). However, since the reports of these 
types of activities are primarily anecdotal in nature, based on the 
best available scientific and commercial information, we find that the 
sale of these byproducts does not currently pose a threat to the 
species. Further, without a significant shift in the market, it is not 
likely to become a threat in the foreseeable future.

Conservation Measures in Place To Protect Lions

    There has been awareness for several years that conservation 
strategies need to be implemented for the African lion due to the 
apparent decrease in its population numbers (Hamunyela et al. 2013, p. 
1; Henschel et al. 2010, p. 34; Gebresenbet et al. 2009, p. 5; IUCN 
2006a, b, entire). Prior to 2006, institutional inconsistencies 
throughout the African lion's range resulted in poor lion conservation 
policies and little to no enforcement of existing laws (IUCN 2006b, p. 
18). As mentioned, in 2005 and 2006, nongovernmental organizations 
(NGOs) and several governments at various levels organized two regional 
lion conservation workshops. Species specialists, wildlife managers, 
and government officials attended these regional workshops in order to 
provide range country governments with frameworks for developing their 
own national action plans for the conservation of lions. Over 50 lion 
specialists, representing all lion range countries, participated in 
these workshops (Henschel et al. 2010, p. 34). During the workshops 
lion experts collectively assessed what they believed to be the then-
current status of African lions based on a variety of information, and 
subsequently identified 86 African LCUs. This information was then used 
as a framework to identify lion areas, strongholds, and potential 
strongholds by Riggio et al. (2013, p. 32).
    Many countries with very small lion populations have developed or 
updated their conservation plans for the African lion. Some of these 
include Benin, Cameroon, Uganda, and Malawi. Some range countries 
participate in transboundary conservation projects and are 
collaborating on transboundary lion conservation initiatives for shared 
lion populations. Most range countries have a national lion action plan 
or strategies in place, particularly if there are economic incentives 
for them to have viable lion populations (Groom 2013; Nghidinwa et al. 
2013, pp. 11-12; Zambia Wildlife Authority 2012; Lion Aid 2011, pp. 1-
2; Mesochina et al. 2010; Government of Tanzania 2010; Begg and Begg 
2010). Range states have also implemented a number of conservation 
strategies designed to conserve habitat, reduce human-lion

[[Page 64495]]

conflict, and preserve the lion's prey-base.
Conservation Measures To Stem Habitat Loss
    Habitat loss represents one of the main threats facing the African 
lion (Bauer et al. 2008, unpaginated). Attempts by range countries to 
address this decline in habitat are manifested in a number of ways, 
such as the creation of protected areas and the establishment of 
wildlife corridors to connect fragmented habitats.
    Two conservation tools utilized by range countries for African 
lions include the establishment of protected areas and the enforcement 
of protections in these areas (Mesochina et al. 2010a and b; Treves et 
al. 2009, pp. 60, 64). Over the past few decades, the effectiveness of 
protected areas in protecting habitat has been studied, particularly in 
Africa (Pfeifer et al. 2012, p. 1; Craigie et al. 2010, pp. 2,221-
2,222). A study conducted by the Wildlife Conservation Society in 2005 
found that most lion populations in protected areas of southern and 
eastern Africa have been essentially stable over the previous three 
decades (Ray et al. 2005, p. 67). However, several problems have 
emerged. For example, certain land-tenure systems do not recognize 
community ownership of land and wildlife and undermine the extent to 
which benefits are converted into incentives for conservation. 
Protected-area ``boundaries'' are not always visible. Additionally, law 
enforcement in protected areas can be sporadic, and parks are often 
understaffed (Pfeifer et al. 2012, pp. 1, 7). Lastly, despite the 
Wildlife Conservation Society's findings, more recent evidence suggests 
that some protected areas are being more commonly encroached upon as 
human populations expand and search for resources.
    Despite encroachment, protected areas are somewhat effective at 
protecting wildlife and habitat as rates of habitat loss tend to be 
lower in protected areas than outside them (Green et al. 2013, p. 70; 
Pfeifer et al. 2012, p. 2). African countries are realizing the 
benefits of managing their wildlife populations and parks for tourism; 
however, conservation of vast areas of land for megafauna such as the 
African lion is not only complex, but also expensive. As an example, 
the 28-km (17-mi) elephant corridor, completed in 2011 in Kenya, cost 
$1 million (The Nature Conservancy 2013, unpaginated). Additionally, 
the overall costs of anti-poaching and compensation is expected to 
increase in range states concurrently with growing human populations, 
declining purchasing power of external funds, and corruption (Garnett 
et al. 2011, pp. 1-2; Wittemyer et al. 2008, pp. 123, 125).
    Another mechanism for protecting habitat is to reconnect fragmented 
habitat across national boundaries. Corridors are being restored, 
fences are being removed, and protected areas are being connected. 
Restoration of these corridors allows wildlife to travel between areas 
of suitable habitat (Jones et al. 2012, pp. 469-470). In some areas, 
fences have been constructed to protect grazing resources for domestic 
livestock as well as to provide barriers to disease (Gadd 2012, pp. 
153, 176). One aspect of these fences is that they separate lions from 
their prey. In southern Africa, the trend now is to take down fences to 
increase the size of connected habitat and link it to reserves and 
national parks (IUCN 2009, p. 101; IUCN 2008, various). The Limpopo 
Transfrontier Park is another example of where this is being 
implemented (Newmark 2008, p. 327). Boundary fences along national 
borders that separate many reserves are being removed to form a 35,000-
km\2\ park. Limpopo National Park (formerly known as Coutada 16) in 
Mozambique; Kruger National Park in South Africa; Gonarezhou National 
Park, Manjinji Pan Sanctuary, and Malipati Safari Area in Zimbabwe will 
all be connected, as will be the area between Kruger and Gonarezhou, 
and the Sengwe communal land in Zimbabwe and the Makuleke region in 
South Africa (Newmark 2008, p. 327). However, in some locations, areas 
that have previously been designated as corridors have been encroached 
upon by human settlements and agriculture (Estes et al. 2012, pp. 258-
261; Jones et al. 2012, p. 469).
    Tanzania is an example of a country attempting to reconnect 
habitat. As of 2002, the Tanzanian Government, with donor and NGO 
support, was reconnecting the nine largest blocks of forest in the East 
Usambara Mountains using wildlife corridors (Newmark 2002, various). 
Additionally, the 2009 Wildlife Act of Tanzania allows the Minister, in 
consultation with relevant local authorities, to designate wildlife 
corridors, dispersal areas, buffer zones, and migratory routes. The 
2010-2015 National Elephant Management Plan of Tanzania indicates that 
corridors are the primary objective of the plan, and although primarily 
designed for elephants, these corridors allow for continuity of 
populations of other large mammal species such as lions (Jones et al. 
2012, p. 470).
    In 2011, Kenya (which neighbors Tanzania to the North), completed a 
28-km corridor through an area that had been heavily impacted by human-
wildlife conflict. The purpose of the corridor was primarily to reduce 
human-elephant conflict and appears to have been successful (Mount 
Kenya Trust 2011, p. 1). The corridor also allows other wildlife such 
as lions to disperse through habitat that otherwise would have been 
unfavorable for wildlife to travel through (Mount Kenya Trust 2011, p. 
1). It was an expensive project, but recent reports indicate that the 
effort has served its purpose: Elephants are using the corridor on a 
regular basis (particularly an underpass under a highway), and humans 
are reporting less human-wildlife conflict (Mount Kenya Trust 2011, p. 
1).
    However, connectivity alone does not ensure the dispersal of 
animals (Roever et al. 2013, pp. 19-21). The Tanzania Wildlife Research 
Institute (TAWIRI) is a parastatal organization under Tanzania's 
Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, and is responsible for 
conducting and coordinating wildlife research activities in Tanzania 
(http://tawiri.or.tz/). In this role, TAWIRI has been actively involved 
in promoting the development of and monitoring the use of wildlife 
corridors in Tanzania (http://www.tzwildlifecorridors.org). Surveys 
conducted in 2009 and 2010 suggest that the Nyanganje Corridor in 
Tanzania is no longer being used by elephants and other wildlife. This 
corridor is at a narrow passage in the Kilombero Valley and is the 
shortest distance for animals to cross between the Udzungwa and Selous 
ecosystems. Despite efforts in place, much of the corridor is being 
encroached upon by conversion of land to rice farming and cattle 
grazing (Jones et al. 2012, p. 469). Because these activities often 
deter wildlife from passing through, the corridor is ineffective (Jones 
et al. 2012, p. 469). TAWIRI reminds wildlife managers that they need 
to continue to implement steps to ensure that corridors are functioning 
properly.
Conservation Measures in Place To Stem the Loss of Prey Base
    Lions, like most large carnivores, prey upon a variety of species 
including buffalo, plains zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, gemsbok, kob, and 
warthog (Kenya Wildlife Service 2013, p. 13; Niassa National Reserve 
Technical Report 2011, p. 4; Nowell and Jackson 1996, p. 18). Depletion 
of these prey species due to competition with humans represents a 
threat to the lion (Chardonnet et al. 2005, pp. 8-9). As noted, the 
increase in the human population in Africa is a major contributor to 
the increase in the

[[Page 64496]]

demand for bushmeat, which in turn increases human encroachment into 
wildlife lands (Lindsey et al. 2012b, p. 36). In addition to the 
increase in the human population, lack of an alternative livelihood, 
lack of alternate food sources, and lack of clear rights over land or 
wildlife are contributing factors toward the increase in demand for 
bushmeat (Lindsey et al. 2012b, pp. 36-41). The advent of automatic 
weapons in the bushmeat trade impacts the lion's prey base, which is 
being hunted at unsustainable levels.
    Reconnecting fragmented habitat has the additive effects of not 
only conserving the biodiversity of the African lion's habitat, but 
also that of its prey base (Lindsey et al. 2012b, p. 43). These types 
of restoration practices enhance the health of species by allowing 
genetic interchange to occur and, thus, conserve the genetic diversity 
of all wildlife. Wildlife management entities are linking many of the 
major protected areas by removing boundary fences along national 
borders that separate many reserves in addition to creating or 
improving corridors to link good-quality habitat for wildlife (Gadd 
2012, p. 179; Newmark 2008, pp. 323-324). To address the increasing 
consumption of bushmeat, host countries have employed a variety of 
different strategies, including the development of alternative 
industries for communities. Helping local communities develop alternate 
industries represents one of the ways range countries can reduce their 
dependence on bushmeat. Throughout Africa, several ideas have been 
attempted with varying levels of success. For example, the Anne Kent 
Taylor Fund (AKTF) helps local Maasai women to buy beads and other 
supplies to produce traditional items for the local tourist industry 
(AKTF 2012, p. 7; Lindsey et al. 2012b, p. 45; van Villet 2011, p. 17). 
In addition, AKTF helps organize local men into anti-poaching and de-
snaring teams (AKTF 2012, p. 5; van Villet 2011, p. 17). By creating 
programs targeting both men and women, AKTF creates an environment that 
provides communities with financial stability as well as direct 
community interest in protecting local wildlife. With 13 years 
assisting local communities, the AKTF represents one of the more 
successful attempts to encourage locals to shift away from relying on 
bushmeat.
    Studies compiled by Huzzah 2013 (pp. 1, 8) have shown that local 
communities who lived near protected areas with more lenient policies 
have a more positive attitude and relationship with both the manager 
and the protected area as a whole. This open approach to protected area 
management reflects a trend in recent years to bring in local 
communities to assist in the management of protected areas (Lindsey et 
al. 2012b, p. 53). Wildlife management programs run by local 
communities are defined by two goals: Conserving wildlife and providing 
economic aids to the community (Bandyopadhyay et al. 2010, p. 5). With 
regards to discouraging the consumption of bushmeat, this new approach 
is seen in the creation of community-based wildlife management programs 
(van Villet 2011, p. 26). The purpose of these programs is to give the 
local community a direct stake in the management of wildlife areas. One 
use for these areas is to turn them into game ranches. These areas are 
used both for legal bushmeat production as well as trophy hunting and 
ecotourism.
    One such program is the Chivaraidze Game Ranch in Zimbabwe (van 
Villet 2011, pp. 28-29). The Chivaraidze Game Ranch started in 1996 
with the stated goal of reducing poaching through providing bushmeat at 
a reduced price. However, internal infighting in the organization over 
the devolution of power to local communities, between those in favor of 
devolution and a powerful local interest group, limited the 
effectiveness of the organization. In the span of 8 years (between 2001 
and 2009), the Chivaraidze Game Ranch has had six different boards of 
directors (Mombeshora and Le Bel 2010, p. 5). Furthermore, a power 
shake-up in local communities along party lines and kinship affiliation 
limited the abilities for communities to cooperate with each other (van 
Villet 2011, pp. 28-29; Mombeshora and Le Bel 2010, p. 7). The result 
was that the cost of maintaining the program exceeded the benefits to 
the local community. The decline in economic benefits to the local 
community coincided with a resurgence in poaching within areas of the 
park (Mombeshora and Le Bel 2010, p. 3). The result of the Chivaraidze 
Game Ranch project reflects the difficulty in shifting wildlife 
management from a centralized national government approach towards a 
more decentralized, community-based approach.
    Unlike the difficulties encountered in Zimbabwe, Namibia has had 
greater success in setting up community-run conservancies. After 
gaining independence in 1990, Namibia began to turn over ownership of 
wildlife areas to local communities (van Vliet 2011, p. 29; 
Bandyopadhyay et al. 2010, p. 6). By 2011, Namibia had 64 communities 
that covered 17 percent of the country total area (van Vliet 2011, p. 
29; Connif 2011, npn; NASCO 2010, p. 4). The majority of the incomes 
from these conservancies come from ecotourism, followed by trophy 
hunting (NASCO 2010, p. 22). These incomes are then used to support 
infrastructure improvement in the community. In addition, legal 
bushmeat acquired within conservancy lands is distributed to local 
families (NASCO 2010, p. 25). The success of the program in Namibia has 
been attributed to Namibia's unique characteristics, including low 
population density and favorable seasonal rain, which helps prey 
species recover (van Vliet 2011, p. 30). Despite the successes in 
Namibia, the country's unique characteristics mean that adapting 
Namibia's success to other, more densely populated countries will be 
difficult.
Conservation Measures To Stem Human-Lion Conflict
    As the human population expands, the potential for conflict with 
wildlife increases. In Africa, conflict between villagers and lions, 
who prey upon livestock, represent a threat to the species (Chardonnet 
et al. 2010, p. 12; Moghari 2009, p. 14; IUCN 2006a, p. 23). In 
addition, habitat loss due to conversion of land increases the chance 
of villagers coming into direct contact with lions (Chardonnet et al. 
2010, p. 24). In an attempt to address these problems, range countries 
have employed a variety of different strategies to help the lion. Such 
strategies involve education, an effective conservation plan, and 
interacting with the local community.
    Historically, range countries seek to mitigate human-lion conflict 
through controlling rather than conserving the predator population. In 
countries such as Malawi, for example, the Department of Game, Fish and 
Tsetse Control would shoot large carnivores that prey upon livestock. 
The result of this policy was that, between 1948 and 1961, over 560 
predators (which include lions and leopards) were killed in the country 
(Mesochina et al. 2010b, p. 35). While this department was disbanded in 
1963 and jurisdiction shifted to the new Department of Forestry, crop 
and livestock protection still remains an important part of its 
function. Despite the department focusing on protecting crops and 
livestock, the number of lions killed in the country has declined. 
Between 1977 and 1982, eight lions were killed, whereas six lions were 
killed between 1998 and 2007 (Mesochina et al. 2010b, p. 35). While 
fewer lions are being killed than in the previous decades, problems 
remain, including lack of resources, lack of

[[Page 64497]]

manpower, and corruption within the range countries.
    Current governmental management of lions in countries such as 
Malawi, Tanzania, and Zambia are managed by the Problem Animal Control 
units (Mesochina et al. 2010a, p. 41; Mesochina et al. 2010b, p. 36). 
When lion attack incidents occur, Problem Animal Control dispatches 
officials to investigate the problems. If the problem lion is located, 
it is either removed or eliminated. When properly funded, this program 
has helped in reducing not only conflicts between lions and humans but 
also has driven down the numbers of lions killed. Between 2005 and 
2009, there were 116 reported cases of lions killed, with the number of 
lions killed being less than 50 per year in Tanzania (Mesochina et al. 
2010a, p. 41). However, limitations of resources (including both 
manpower and funds) have hampered the effectiveness of these officials 
in responding to these incidents. In addition, many Problem Animal 
Control interventions resulted in the death of the lion (Mesochina et 
al. 2010a, p. 41; Chardonnet et al. 2009, p. 36). Even in cases of 
translocation, the lions that were being transported often end up 
injured or continue to pose problems to the community (Bauer et al. 
2007, p. 91).
    NGOs are also assisting in protecting lions. Intervention by NGOs 
often takes the form of interacting with the local community 
(Winterbach et al. 2010, p. 98). Lion Guardians, which operate in 
Kenya, recruits and educates local young men. These men then monitor 
and track lion movement and warn herders of lion presence in the area, 
thereby mitigating or preventing possible lion-human conflict (Hazzah 
et al. 2014, p. 853; Lion Guardians 2013, p. 7; Lion Guardians 2012, p. 
3). In addition, Lion Guardians work with tribal elders to dissuade 
young men from killing lions for ceremonial purposes. Historically, the 
killing of lions through ritualized lion hunts called ilmurran is 
rewarded with gifting of cows and other rewards (Lion Guardians 2012, 
p. 5; Goldman et al. 2010, p. 334). After introducing village elders to 
the Lion Guardians program first hand, many return home to their 
village and give their blessings to the project. This education led to 
significant results; on August 11, 2013, two Lion Guardians stopped a 
group of hunters who were planning to hunt a lion in retaliation for 
the lion preying on their livestock. The local village elders fined the 
potential hunters two cattle each for going on a lion hunt, marking a 
gradual but significant shift in the cultural attitudes regarding the 
lion (Hazzah et al. 2014, p. 858; Lion Guardians 2013, p. 20). Since 
its establishment in 2007, only five lions had been killed in 
territories where Lion Guardians operates, in contrast to more than 100 
lions killed in adjacent areas (Lion Guardians 2013, p. 5). 
Furthermore, reduced lion mortality was sustained across multiple 
years, resulting in the reserve having one of the highest lion 
densities in Africa (Hazzah et al. 2014, p. 857; Schuette et l. 2013, 
p. 149). Despite the success of this program, retaliatory as well as 
ceremonial killings of lions outside the program areas remain a threat 
to the species.
    We found that many of the lion range states are trying to address 
lion conservation through the establishment of protected areas, 
wildlife management areas, wildlife corridors, and reconnecting 
habitat. In some areas, creating incentives for lion conservation is 
occurring through community conservation programs in range countries. 
In other cases, participatory strategies have been implemented to 
enhance local tolerance for large carnivores in Africa. An increasing 
number of programs encourage local communities to solve problems that 
arise from human-lion conflict without killing lions. However, the 
effectiveness of these measures still ranges from successful to 
unsuccessful, due in part to lack of resources, political will, and 
infighting. It is imperative that range countries continue to recognize 
and support the role that local communities play in lion conservation. 
Greater support by countries to address the needs of local communities, 
and thereby address the needs of lions, may be the single-most 
important role these countries can play in changing the trajectory of 
lion declines.

Regulatory Mechanisms

    Regulatory mechanisms in place to provide protections to African 
lions vary substantially throughout Africa. As mentioned in the 
Conservation Status of African Lions CITES section, lions are listed in 
Appendix II under CITES, and with the exception of South Sudan, all of 
the lion range states are parties to CITES. According to the draft 
CITES Periodic Review of the Status of African Lions (CITES 2014a, pp. 
14-15) outside of CITES, lions have no legal protections in four 
countries: Burundi, Guinea Bissau, Lesotho, and Swaziland. However, 
CITES 2014a (p. 15), states that most of the southern and eastern lion 
range states have regulatory mechanisms in place to protect lions. We 
found that most of the range states have national environmental 
legislation to establish national parks and conservation areas, and to 
conserve and regulate the take, hunting, and trade of wildlife, 
including parts and products, but could find no legislation specific to 
lions, nor to the main threats affecting lions: habitat loss, human-
lion conflict, and loss of prey base (See: Appendix A, Ecolex 
information was accessed July 7-10, 2014, at http://www.ecolex.org.\8\).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \8\ ECOLEX is a comprehensive database on environmental law, 
maintained by the International Union for Conservation of Nature 
(IUCN), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the 
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Our 
search terms used with respect to wildlife laws were ``African 
lion'' and ``country'', e.g., ``Angola'', ``Benin'', etc. See 
Appendix A.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Our status review did not reveal regulatory mechanisms in place 
that specifically address the main threats affecting lions. We are 
requesting comments or information from lion range states, other 
concerned governmental agencies, the scientific community, or any other 
interested parties concerning regulatory mechanisms that address the 
three main threats to lions: habitat loss, human-lion conflict, and 
loss of prey base.

Finding

    Section 4 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1533) and its implementing 
regulations at 50 CFR 424 set forth the procedures for adding a species 
to, and/or removing a species from, the Federal Lists of Endangered and 
Threatened Wildlife and Plants. As noted in the Information Requested 
section, a species may be determined to be an endangered or threatened 
species due to one or more of the five factors set forth in section 
4(a)(1) of the Act:
    (A) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or 
curtailment of its habitat or range;
    (B) Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or 
educational purposes;
    (C) Disease or predation;
    (D) The inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms;
    (E) Other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued 
existence.
    In assessing whether the African lion meets the definition of an 
endangered or threatened species, we considered the five factors in 
section 4(a)(1) of the Act. A species is ``endangered'' for purposes of 
the Act if it is in danger of extinction throughout all or a 
significant portion of its range and is ``threatened'' if it is likely 
to become endangered within the foreseeable future throughout all or a 
significant portion of its range. The ``foreseeable future'' is the 
period of time over which events or effects reasonably can or should be 
anticipated, or trends extrapolated.

[[Page 64498]]

    When considering what factors might constitute threats to a 
species, we must look beyond the mere exposure of the species to a 
factor to evaluate whether the species may respond to the factor in a 
way that causes actual impacts to the species. If there is exposure to 
a factor and the species responds negatively, the factor may be a 
threat and we attempt to determine how significant a threat it is. The 
threat is significant if it drives, or contributes to, the risk of 
extinction of the species such that the species may warrant listing as 
endangered or threatened as those terms are defined in the Act. We 
conducted a review of the best scientific and commercial data available 
regarding the status of the African lion and assessed whether the 
African lion is endangered or threatened throughout all of its range.
    There is consensus within the research community as well as lion 
range states that the African lion is impacted by a number of factors 
actively contributing to its population decline throughout Africa: 
habitat loss (fragmentation and degradation) (Factor A); decreased 
access to food prey sources (aka loss of prey base) (Factor B); 
retaliatory killing, snaring, and poaching (both intentional and 
unintentional), and deleterious effects in its viability due to small 
populations in some areas within its range (Factor E) (Nyanganji et al. 
2012, p. 12; Seguya et al. 2010, p. 26).
    We find three main threats, habitat loss, loss of prey base, and 
human-lion conflict, are impacting lions, alone and in combination, 
such that the subspecies is likely to become endangered within the 
foreseeable future throughout all of its range. In the past several 
decades, the human population has been expanding with concomitant large 
decreases in lion habitat and likely lion numbers, resulting in an 
extremely large reduction in the species' range. As human populations 
continue to rise in sub-Saharan Africa, the amount of land required to 
meet the expanding human population's needs is constantly increasing. 
Lions are increasingly limited to protected areas, and human population 
growth rates around protected areas in Africa tend to be higher than 
the average rural growth rate (Wittemyer et al. 2008, entire). 
Considering the majority of the human population in sub-Saharan Africa 
is rural, and land supports the livelihood of most of the population, 
loss and degradation of lion habitat, loss of prey base, and increased 
human-lion conflict can reasonably be expected to accompany the rapid 
growth in sub-Saharan Africa's human population into the foreseeable 
future.
    Africa has the fastest population growth rate in the world (UNEP 
2012a, p. 2). The majority of the population is rural, and about 60-70 
percent of the population relies on agriculture and livestock for their 
livelihood (UNEP 2006, pp. 82, 100, 106; IAASTD 2009, p. 2). As a 
result, a large portion of the growing population will depend directly 
on expansion of agriculture and livestock grazing to survive in the 
future. Between 2010 and 2050, the population of sub-Saharan Africa is 
projected to more than double to more than 2 billion (from 831 million 
to 2.1 billion) (UN 2013, p. 9). During about this same time period 
(2005 to 2050), the area of cultivated land is projected to increase by 
51 million ha (approximately 21 percent) (Alexandratos and Bruinsma 
2012, p. 107). However, this figure does not include rangeland, and the 
majority of agricultural land in Africa is devoted to grazing (UNEP 
2012b, p. 68), thus that figure may be much larger. The number of 
livestock (cattle, sheep, and goats) in sub-Saharan Africa is projected 
to increase about 73 percent, from 688 million to 1.2 billion, by 2050 
(Alexandratos and Bruinsma 2012, p. 133). Therefore, in the case of 
African lion, the best available scientific and commercial data that we 
rely upon in projecting future conditions for the purpose of this 
listing determination establish the foreseeable future to be 2050.
    Human settlements and agricultural and pastoral activities have 
expanded into lion habitat and protected areas, decreasing prey 
availability and increasing exposure of livestock and humans to lions. 
Human-lion conflict and associated retaliatory killing of lions will 
continue to play a major role in the reduction of lion populations and 
is the greatest current threat to remaining lion populations. The 
lion's prey base has decreased in many parts of its range in large part 
due to the bushmeat trade
    Bushmeat is the primary source of protein for humans in much of the 
lion's range (Chardonnet et al. 2010, p. 27; Mesochina et al. 2010a, p. 
38; Abwe and Morgan 2008, p. 26; Bennett et al. 2007, p. 885; Fa et al. 
2006, p. 507), comprising between 6 percent (southern Africa) and 55 
percent (Central African Republic) of a human's diet (Chardonnet et al. 
2005, p. 9; IUCN 2006b, p. 19). This reliance by humans on protein 
obtained from bushmeat results in direct competition for prey species 
between humans and lions, and commercial poaching of wildlife through 
the use of automatic weapons is a significant threat to lion prey 
(Chardonnet et al. 2010, p. 27). Because many wildlife species are 
being hunted at unsustainable levels to meet this demand within the 
range of the lion, its prey base is becoming depleted in many areas and 
has led to lion attacks on livestock and humans (Hoppe-Dominik et al. 
2011, p. 452; Chardonnet et al. 2010, pp. 6, 13-14; Frank et al. 2006, 
p. 12). Given the rapid increase in humans and livestock by 2050, we 
can reasonably expect the conditions described above to worsen. Also, 
as livestock numbers increase and as expansion of agricultural and 
pastoral practices continue to deplete and degrade the habitat that 
lion's prey rely on, the lion's prey base is expected to further 
decline. As the lion's prey base is hunted at unsustainable levels to 
meet a growing demand for food, livestock depredation and retributive 
killing of lions through spearing, shooting, trapping, and poisoning 
will continue to occur, and will likely increase (Dickman 2013, p. 379; 
Hoppe-Dominik et al. 2011, p. 452; Chardonnet et al. 2010, p. 19; 
Gebresenbet et al. 2009, p. 9; Hazzah and Dolrenry 2007, p. 3).
    Lion range countries are aware of the threats affecting lions, and 
many are working to address them. NGOs and several governments at 
various levels have organized regional lion conservation workshops, 
which have helped them to identify Lion Conservation Units. Most range 
countries have a national lion action plan or strategy in place (Groom 
2013; Nghidinwa et al. 2013, pp. 11-12; Zambia Wildlife Authority 2012; 
Lion Aid 2011, pp. 1-2; Mesochina et al. 2010; Government of Tanzania 
2010; Begg and Begg 2010). Some range countries participate in 
transboundary conservation projects to create wildlife corridors and 
reconnect habitat, and are collaborating on transboundary lion 
conservation initiatives for shared lion populations. Reconnecting 
fragmented habitat has the additive effects of not only strengthening 
the biodiversity of the African lion but also that of its prey species 
(Lindsey et al. 2012b, p. 43). Wildlife management entities are linking 
many of the major protected areas by removing boundary fences along 
national borders that separate many reserves, in addition to creating 
or improving corridors to link good-quality habitat for wildlife (Gadd 
2012, p. 179; Newmark 2008, pp. 323-324).
    Range states have also implemented a number of conservation 
strategies designed to conserve habitat, reduce human-lion conflict, 
and preserve lion

[[Page 64499]]

prey-base. In order to address the increasing consumption of bushmeat, 
host countries have employed a variety of different strategies, 
including the development of alternative industries for communities, 
which can reduce their dependence on bushmeat. For example, the Anne 
Kent Taylor Fund (AKTF) helps local Maasai women to buy beads and other 
supplies to produce traditional items for the local tourist industry 
(AKTF 2012, p. 7; Lindsey et al. 2012b, p. 45; van Villet 2011, p. 17) 
and has organized local men to participate in anti-poaching and de-
snaring teams (AKTF 2012, p. 5; van Villet 2011, p. 17). By targeting 
both men and women in the community, such programs provide communities 
with financial stability as well as direct community interest in 
protecting local wildlife. African countries are realizing the benefits 
of managing their wildlife populations and parks for tourism; however, 
conservation of vast areas of land for megafauna such as the African 
lion is expensive. The costs of anti-poaching and compensation is 
expected to increase in range states concurrently with growing human 
populations, declining purchasing power of external funds, and 
corruption (Garnett et al. 2011, pp. 1-2; Wittemyer et al. 2008, pp. 
123, 125).
    Studies have shown that local communities who live near protected 
areas (PAs) with community-based conservation policies have more 
positive attitudes and relationships with both the park manager and the 
PA as a whole (Huzzah 2013, pp. 1, 8). This open approach to PA 
management reflects a trend in recent years to bring in local 
communities to assist in the management of PAs (Lindsey et al. 2012b, 
p. 53). Wildlife management programs run by local communities are 
defined by two goals: conserving wildlife and providing economic aids 
to the community (Bandyopadhyay et al. 2010, p. 5). NGOs are also 
assisting in protecting lions. Intervention by NGOs often takes the 
form of interacting with the local community (Winterbach et al. 2010, 
p. 98). For example, Lion Guardians, which operates in Kenya, has shown 
great success with its Lion Guard program. Lion Guardians educates 
local young men who monitor and track lion movement and warn herders of 
lion presence in the area, thereby mitigating or preventing possible 
lion-yhuman conflict (Hazzah et al. 2014, p. 853; Lion Guardians 2013, 
p. 7; Lion Guardians 2012, p. 3). Outreach to tribal elders has 
successfully helped elders to dissuade young men from killing lions for 
ceremonial purposes. The result of such programs has been a gradual 
change in cultural attitudes towards lions (Hazzah et al. 2014, p. 858; 
Lion Guardians 2013, p. 20).
    Finally, many range countries rely heavily on tourism 
(predominantly ecotourism and safari hunting) to provide funding for 
wildlife management (IUCN 2006a, p. 24). The revenue generated from 
these industries can be critical to fund wildlife management programs 
in range states. Tourism, through ecotourism and trophy hunting, can 
provide jobs to locals (such as game guards, cooks, drivers, security 
personnel) and often brings in revenue for local microbusinesses that 
sell art, jewelry, and other native crafts. Lions can generate the 
highest daily rate of any mammal hunted (USD $2,650 per day), the 
longest number of days that must be booked, and the highest trophy fee 
($24,500) (Jackson 2013, p. 6; Lindsey et al. 2012a, p. 5), thus 
generating significant revenue for range countries. Creating community-
based incentives to conserve lions from revenue derived from trophy 
hunting may ameliorate the human-lion conflict that arises from lions 
and humans coexisting in the same area.
    Revenue from scientifically based management programs that include 
trophy hunting can increase the ability of many African countries to 
manage wildlife populations both within and adjacent to reserves; many 
of these hunting areas are geographically linked to national parks and 
reserves, providing wildlife corridors and buffer zones (Chardonnet et 
al. 2010, p. 34; Newmark 2008, p. 321). In the past, government and 
private land owners were the primary beneficiaries of the revenue 
gained; however, a portion of the revenue derived from hunting is 
reportedly now being distributed to local communities, creating a value 
for lions that encourages their conservation (Barnett & Patterson 2005, 
p. iv). Revenue from trophy hunting is purported to create: (1) 
Incentives for countries to conserve large tracts of prime habitat; and 
(2) funding for park and reserve management, anti-poaching, and 
security activities. Because habitat loss has been identified as one of 
the primary threats to lion populations, it is notable that trophy 
hunting has provided lion range states incentives to set land aside for 
hunting throughout Africa, and the land set aside exceeds the total 
area of the national parks, accounting for approximately half of the 
amount of viable lion habitat (Chardonnet et al. 2010, p. 34; Packer et 
al. 2006, pp. 9-10).
    In Tanzania, which is home to 40 percent of all lions, land set 
aside for sport hunting purposes has resulted in an area 5.1 times 
greater than Tanzania's fully protected and gazetted parks (Jackson 
2013, p. 6; Barnett & Patterson 2005, p. 61). In Botswana, despite the 
current ban on lion hunting, the country currently has more than 
128,000 km\2\ of gazetted wildlife management areas and controlled 
hunting areas set aside for hunting purposes, which equates to 22.1 
percent of the country's total area; this is in addition to 111,000 
km\2\ (or 19.1 percent) that has been set aside as habitat in the form 
of National Parks, Game Reserves, and Forest Reserves (Barnett & 
Patterson 2005, p. 7). In 2000, five countries in southern Africa 
(Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe) had set aside 
a combined 420,000 km\2\ of communal land, 188,000 km\2\ of commercial 
land, and 420,089 km\2\ of state land totaling more than 1,028,000 
km\2\ for sport hunting purposes (Barnett & Patterson 2005, p. iii). As 
a species with a considerable range (up to 1,000 km\2\) (Packer et al. 
2013 p. 636; Haas et al. 2005, p. 4), suitable habitat is important to 
the survival of the species, and the marked decline in suitable habitat 
is a significant threat to the species. The habitat currently preserved 
for use in sport hunting has helped to reduce the impact of habitat 
loss for the African lion, but as discussed previously, habitat loss 
remains a significant threat to the species.
    Within its current range, the African lion exists in 10 stronghold 
populations containing approximately 24,000 lions (70 percent of the 
current African lion population), 19,000 of which are in protected 
areas, and in 7 potential stronghold populations containing another 
4,000 lions. Reports from the IUCN Species Survival Commission Cat 
Specialist Group (IUN 2006a, b) characterize the population as 
increasing in 3 of those strongholds, as stable in 6 of the 
strongholds, and as decreasing in 1 stronghold. Most lion populations 
in protected areas of southern and eastern Africa have been essentially 
stable over the last three decades (Ray et al. 2005, p. 67). In 
contrast to the stronghold or potential stronghold populations, other 
African lion populations, containing a total of more than 6,000 
individuals, have a very high risk of local extinction (Reggio et al. 
2013, p. 33. During the 2005-2006 African lion workshops, lion experts 
characterized lion populations in 36 (42 percent) of the 86 LCUs as 
decreasing. In extensive surveys recently conducted within 15 of the 20 
LCUs in western and

[[Page 64500]]

central Africa, Henschel et al. (2010, entire) were able to confirm 
lion presence in only four. The work of Packer et al. (2013) suggests 
future declines within a number of protected areas. Craigie et al. 
(2010, entire) provide evidence of declining large mammal populations 
in Africa's protected areas, indicating that protected areas in Africa 
have generally failed to mitigate threats to large mammal populations, 
including African lion. Although Craigie et al. (2010, p. 2,225) found 
large regional differences (from large declines in western Africa to 
positive rates of change in southern Africa), they found overall 
populations decreased steadily from 1970 to 2005.
    The best available scientific and commercial information leads us 
to conclude that the African lion is in danger of extinction within the 
foreseeable future throughout all of its range. Accordingly, we find 
that listing is warranted and we propose to list it as a threatened 
species throughout its range, wherever found.

Significant Portion of Its Range

    Under the Act and our implementing regulations, a species may 
warrant listing if it is endangered or threatened throughout all or a 
significant portion of its range. The term ``species'' includes ``any 
subspecies of fish or wildlife or plants, and any distinct population 
segment [DPS] of any species of vertebrate fish or wildlife which 
interbreeds when mature.'' We published a final policy interpreting the 
phrase ``Significant Portion of its Range'' (SPR) (79 FR 37578, July 1, 
2014). The final policy states that (1) if a species is found to be 
endangered or threatened throughout a significant portion of its range, 
the entire species is listed as endangered or threatened, respectively, 
and the Act's protections apply to all individuals of the species 
wherever found; (2) a portion of the range of a species is 
``significant'' if the species is not currently endangered or 
threatened throughout all of its range, but the portion's contribution 
to the viability of the species is so important that, without the 
members in that portion, the species would be in danger of extinction, 
or likely to become so in the foreseeable future, throughout all of its 
range; (3) the range of a species is considered to be the general 
geographical area within which that species can be found at the time 
FWS or NMFS makes any particular status determination; and (4) if a 
vertebrate species is endangered or threatened throughout an SPR, and 
the population in that significant portion is a valid DPS, we will list 
the DPS rather than the entire taxonomic species or subspecies.
    We found the African lion to be in danger of extinction within the 
foreseeable future throughout all of its range. Therefore, no portions 
of the species' range are ``significant'' as defined in our SPR policy 
and no additional SPR analysis is required.

Proposed 4(d) Rule

    The purposes of the ESA are to provide a means whereby the 
ecosystems upon which endangered species and threatened species depend 
may be conserved, to provide a program for the conservation of such 
endangered species and threatened species, and to take such steps as 
may be appropriate to achieve the purposes of the treaties and 
conventions set forth in the ESA. When a species is listed as 
endangered, certain actions are prohibited under section 9 of the ESA, 
as specified in 50 CFR 17.21. These include, among others, prohibitions 
on take within the United States, within the territorial seas of the 
United States, or upon the high seas; import; export; and shipment in 
interstate or foreign commerce in the course of a commercial activity.
    The ESA does not specify particular prohibitions and exceptions to 
those prohibitions for threatened species. Instead, under section 4(d) 
of the ESA, the Secretary, as well as the Secretary of Commerce 
depending on the species, was given the discretion to issue such 
regulations as deemed necessary and advisable to provide for the 
conservation of such species. The Secretary also has the discretion to 
prohibit by regulation with respect to any threatened species any act 
prohibited under section 9(a)(1) of the ESA. Exercising this 
discretion, the Service has developed general prohibitions (50 CFR 
17.31) and exceptions to those prohibitions (50 CFR 17.32) under the 
ESA that apply to most threatened species. Under 50 CFR 17.32, permits 
may be issued to allow persons to engage in otherwise prohibited acts 
for certain purposes.
    Under section 4(d) of the ESA, the Secretary, who has delegated 
this authority to the Service, may also develop specific prohibitions 
and exceptions tailored to the particular conservation needs of a 
threatened species. In such cases, the Service issues a 4 (d) rule that 
may include some or all of the prohibitions and authorizations set out 
in 50 CFR 17.31 and 17.32 but which also may be more or less 
restrictive than the general provisions at 50 CFR 17.31 and 17.32. For 
the African lion, the Service has determined that a 4(d) rule is 
appropriate.
    We propose to add a 4(d) (special) rule for the African lion 
(Panthera leo leo) at 50 CFR 17.40(n). This 4(d) rule would maintain 
all of the prohibitions and exceptions codified in 50 CFR 17.31 and 
17.32 and would supersede with regard to African lion the import 
exemption found in 50 CFR 17.8 for threatened wildlife listed in 
Appendix II of CITES, such that a threatened species import permit 
under 50 CFR 17.32 would be required for the importation of all African 
lion specimens. Through the promulgation of the proposed 4(d) rule, the 
presumption of legality provided under Section 9(c)(2) of the Act for 
the otherwise lawful importation of wildlife listed in Appendix II of 
CITES that is not an endangered species listed pursuant to section 4 of 
the Act would not apply to this subspecies. Thus, under the proposed 
4(d) rule, all otherwise prohibited activities, including all imports 
of African lion specimens, would require prior authorization or permits 
under the Act. Under our regulations, permits or authorization to carry 
out an otherwise prohibited activity could be issued for scientific 
purposes, the enhancement of propagation or survival of the species, 
economic hardship, zoological exhibitions, educational purposes, or 
special purposes consistent with the purposes of the Act. Applications 
for these activities are available from http://www.fws.gov/forms/3-200-37.pdf.
    The intent of this proposed 4(d) rule is to provide for the 
conservation of the African lion consistent with the purposes of the 
Act. Under the proposed 4(d) rule, the prohibitions would, in part, 
make it illegal for any person subject to the jurisdiction of the 
United States to ``take'' (includes harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, 
wound, kill, trap, capture, or to attempt any of these) within the 
United States or upon the high seas; import or export; deliver, 
receive, carry, transport, or ship in interstate or foreign commerce, 
by any means whatsoever, in the course of commercial activity; or sell 
or offer for sale in interstate or foreign commerce any lion specimens. 
It would also be illegal to possess, sell, deliver, carry, transport, 
or ship any such wildlife that has been taken in violation of the Act. 
We believe that these protections, including the requirement for an 
import permit for all African lion specimens, will support and 
encourage conservation actions for the African lion and require that 
permitted activities involving lions are carried out in a manner that 
is consistent with the purposes of the Act and our implementing 
regulations.

[[Page 64501]]

    In connection with this proposed 4(d) rule, the Service notes that 
the African lion is listed in Appendix II of CITES, and thus can be 
imported into the U.S. pursuant to Section 9(c)(2) of the Act and upon 
presentation of a proper CITES export permit from the country of 
origin. Section 9(c)(2) of the Act provides that the otherwise lawful 
importation of wildlife that is not an endangered species listed 
pursuant to section 4 of the Act, but that is listed in Appendix II of 
CITES, shall be presumed to be in compliance with provisions of the Act 
and implementing regulations. While there has been question as to 
whether this provision of the Act might automatically require allowing 
the importation of a species that is both listed as threatened and in 
Appendix II, and preclude the issuance of more restrictive 4 (d) rules 
covering importation, the Service has concluded that such 4 (d) rules 
may be issued to provide for the conservation of the involved species. 
Section 9(c)(2) does not expressly refer to threatened species or 
prevent the issuance of appropriate 4 (d) rules and could not logically 
have been intended to allow the addition of a species to an appendix of 
an international convention to override the needs of U.S. law, where 
there is reliable evidence to affect the presumption of validity. 
Finally, the term ``presumed'' implies that the established presumption 
is rebuttable under certain circumstances, including through the 
promulgation of a protective regulation pursuant to section 4(d) of the 
Act.
    In the case of the African lion, there are substantive grounds on 
which to challenge the presumption. For the import of sport-hunted 
trophies, while there is evidence that many of the range countries are 
implementing lion management plans, we want to encourage and support 
efforts by these countries to develop plans that are based on sound 
scientific information. As noted, the proposed 4(d) rule for African 
lion would provide for the importation into the United States of 
trophies taken legally in range countries upon the issuance of a 
threatened species import permit. While the Service cannot control 
hunting of foreign species such as African lion, we can regulate their 
importation and thereby require that U.S. imports of sport-hunted 
African lion trophy specimens are obtained in a manner that is 
consistent with the purposes of the Act and the conservation of the 
subspecies in the wild, by allowing importation from range countries 
that have management plans that are based on scientifically sound data 
and are being implemented to address the threats that are facing lions 
within that country.
    Such management plans would be expected to address, but are not 
limited to, evaluating population levels and trends; the biological 
needs of the species; quotas; management practices; legal protection; 
local community involvement; and use of hunting fees for conservation. 
In evaluating these factors, we will work closely with the range 
countries and interested parties to obtain the best available 
scientific and commercial data. By allowing entry into the United 
States of African lion trophies from range countries that have 
scientifically based management plans, the range countries would be 
encouraged to adopt and financially support the sustainable management 
of lions that benefits both the species and local communities. In 
addition to addressing the biological needs of the subspecies, a 
scientifically based management plan would provide economic incentives 
for local communities to protect and expand African lion habitat.
    As stated, anyone wishing to conduct any otherwise prohibited 
activity, such as interstate commerce or imports, must first obtain a 
permit under the current permitting regulations found at 50 CFR 13 and 
50 CFR 17. As will all permits, the individual requesting authorization 
to carry out an otherwise prohibited activity under the Act must submit 
a permit application to the Service with specific information 
concerning the proposed activity and the benefits/impacts of the 
activity on the species. In some cases, such as imports of sport-hunted 
trophies, it is not always possible for the applicant to provide all of 
the necessary information needed by the Service to make a positive 
determination under the Act to authorize the activity. For the import 
of sport-hunted trophies, it is typical for the Service to consult with 
the range country and other interested parties to obtain the necessary 
information. To date, the Service typically has made the required 
findings on sport-hunted trophy imports on a country-wide basis, 
although individual import permits are issued for each applicant. While 
the Service encourages the submission of information from individual 
applicants, we would primarily rely on information from other sources 
when making a permitting decision.

Effects of This Rule

    This rule, if made final, would revise 50 CFR 17.11(h) to add the 
African lion to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. This 
rule, if adopted, would also establish a 4(d) rule for the African 
lion, which implements all of the prohibitions and exceptions under 50 
CFR 17.31 and 17.32 and requires a threatened species import permit 
under 50 CFR 17.32 for the importation of all African lion specimens. 
Under the proposed 4(d) rule, the import exemption found in 50 CFR 17.8 
for threatened wildlife listed in Appendix II of CITES would not apply 
to this subspecies. Through the promulgation of the proposed 4(d) rule, 
the presumption of legality provided under Section 9(c)(2) of the Act 
for the otherwise lawful importation of wildlife listed in Appendix II 
of CITES that is not an endangered species listed pursuant to section 4 
of the Act would not apply to this subspecies. (See: Proposed Special 
Rule section).

Available Conservation Measures

    Conservation measures provided to species listed as endangered or 
threatened under the Act include recognition of conservation status, 
requirements for Federal protection, and prohibitions against certain 
practices. Recognition through listing encourages and results in public 
awareness and conservation actions by Federal and State governments in 
the United States, foreign governments, private agencies and groups, 
and individuals.
    Section 7(a) of the Act, as amended, and as implemented by 
regulations at 50 CFR part 402, requires Federal agencies to evaluate 
their actions that are to be conducted within the United States or upon 
the high seas, with respect to any species that is proposed to be 
listed or is listed as endangered or threatened. Because the African 
lion is not native to the United States, no critical habitat is being 
proposed for designation with this rule. Regulations implementing the 
interagency cooperation provision of the Act are codified at 50 CFR 
part 402. Section 7(a)(2) of the Act requires Federal agencies to 
ensure that activities they authorize, fund, or carry out are not 
likely to jeopardize the continued existence of a listed species or to 
destroy or adversely modify its critical habitat. If a proposed Federal 
action may adversely affect a listed species, the responsible Federal 
agency must enter into formal consultation with the Service. Currently, 
with respect to the African lion, no Federal activities are known that 
would require consultation.
    Section 8(a) of the Act authorizes the provision of limited 
financial assistance for the development and management of programs 
that the Secretary of the Interior determines to be necessary or useful 
for the conservation of

[[Page 64502]]

endangered or threatened species in foreign countries. Sections 8(b) 
and 8(c) of the Act authorize the Secretary to encourage conservation 
programs for foreign listed species, and to provide assistance for such 
programs, in the form of personnel and the training of personnel.
    Section 9 of the Act and its implementing regulations at 50 CFR 
17.31 set forth a series of general prohibitions that apply to all 
threatened wildlife, except where a 4(d) rule applies, in which case 
the 4(d) rule will contain all the applicable prohibitions and 
exceptions. If the 4(d) rule is adopted as proposed, these prohibitions 
would apply to the African lion. These prohibitions, in part, make it 
illegal for any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States 
to ``take'' (includes harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, 
trap, capture, or to attempt any of these) within the United States or 
upon the high seas; import or export; deliver, receive, carry, 
transport, or ship in interstate or foreign commerce, by any means 
whatsoever, in the course of commercial activity; or sell or offer for 
sale in interstate or foreign commerce any lion specimens. It also is 
illegal to possess, sell, deliver, carry, transport, or ship any such 
wildlife that has been taken in violation of the Act. Permits may be 
issued to carry out otherwise prohibited activities involving 
threatened wildlife species under certain circumstances. Certain 
exceptions apply to agents of the Service and State conservation 
agencies.

Required Determinations

National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.)
    We have determined that we do not need to prepare an environmental 
assessment, as defined under the authority of the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969, in connection with regulations 
adopted under section 4(a) of the Act. We published a notice outlining 
our reasons for this determination in the Federal Register on October 
25, 1983 (48 FR 49244).

References Cited

    A list of all references cited in this document is available at 
http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS-R9-ES-2012-0025, or upon 
request from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Endangered Species 
Program, Branch of Foreign Species (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT).

Authors

    The primary authors of this proposed rule are staff of the Branch 
of Foreign Species, Ecological Services, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service.

Proposed Regulation Promulgation

    For the reasons described in the preamble, we propose to amend part 
17, subchapter B of chapter I, title 50 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations, as follows:

PART 17--[AMENDED]

0
1. The authority citation for part 17 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1361-1407; 1531-1544; and 4201-4245; unless 
otherwise noted.

0
2. In Sec.  17.11(h), the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife, 
add an entry for ``Lion, African'' under Mammals to read as follows:


Sec.  17.11  Endangered and threatened wildlife.

* * * * *
    (h) * * *

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        Species                                                    Vertebrate
--------------------------------------------------------                        population where                                  Critical     Special
                                                            Historic range       endangered or         Status      When listed    habitat       rules
           Common name                Scientific name                              threatened
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
             Mammals
 
                                                                      * * * * * * *
Lion, African....................  Panthera leo leo....  Africa.............  Entire.............  T               ...........           NA     17.40(n)
 
                                                                      * * * * * * *
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

* * * * *
0
3. Amend Sec.  17.40 by adding paragraph (n) to read as follows:


Sec.  17.40  Special rules--mammals.

* * * * *
    (n) African lion (Panthera leo leo).
    (1) General requirements. All prohibitions and provisions of 
Sec. Sec.  17.31 and 17.32 of this part apply to this subspecies.
    (2) The import exemption found in Sec.  17.8 of this part for 
threatened wildlife listed in Appendix II of the Convention on 
International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora 
(CITES) does not apply to this subspecies. A threatened species import 
permit under Sec.  17.32 of this part is required for the importation 
of all African lion specimens.
    (3) All applicable provisions of 50 CFR parts 13, 14, 17, and 23 
must be met.
* * * * *

    Dated: October 20, 2014.
Stephen Guertin,
Director, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 2014-25731 Filed 10-28-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P