The lion (Panthera lion) is the largest cat species in Africa, yet the populations of the well loved lion, the 'king of the jungle', has dramatically declined by nearly half in just two decades.
Lion (Panthera leo) Key Facts
Largest of the African cat species.
The only true social cat species living in prides.
Males are distinct from females with a mane of hair.
Lion (Panthera leo) Subspecies (lower classification)
Currently lions are classified into only two subspecies - the Asian and the African subpopulations. Historically lions occurred both in sub-Saharan Africa as well as in the north from Northern Africa into Southwest Asia and into Europe. However only a remnant population remains in India of the original northern population and the present day populations only occur in sub-Saharan Africa. However some African countries, especially in West Africa, are reporting local extinctions and it is estimated there has been an overall decline of African lions of 43% in just 21 years (1993-2014).
Regionally Extinct (RE)
- Lion Panthera leo (Mediterranean - North Africa)
- Asiatic Lion Panthera leo persica
- African Lion Panthera leo leo
Reference: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. 7 Feb 2017.
Lion (Panthera leo) Conservation
The following global organizations are all fighting to conserve our majestic lions in the face of rapidly diminishing habitat and persecution:
- Panthera - Project Leonardo
- World Wildlife Fund WWF - African Lions
- National Geographic - Big Cats Initiative
Lion (Panthera leo) Facts and Information
The following links will take you to websites with well researched and authoritative information on lions: