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Increased development has African lions facing extinction

A study performed by Duke University has shown that increasing human populations in West Africa are putting the future of lions at risk.

Researchers compared current satellite images of the savannah to a combination of early savannah maps and lion population records to see which land was still suitable for their habitation. The findings were very grim.

According to The Guardian, almost three-quarters of the savannah have been overrun by development and farmland. West African lions already face the dangers of poaching and disease, and the increase in human population threatens their existence more every day.

Stuart Pimm, a conservation ecologist at Duke, and one of the authors of the study, warned that current trends will continue unless conservation efforts are made.

“The reality is that from an original area a third larger than the continental United States, only 25% remains,” Pimm said in a statement.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was on the same page, releasing a statement that they are reviewing the African lion’s status to determine whether it will be included in the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife.

Although the species is overseas, placing the African lion on the federal list would insure that the United States’ actions were not harming them. In fact, it would allow for increased awareness and aid in fund-raising to help conserve the species in its home country.

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