The trophy hunting of African lions: Scale, current management practices and factors undermining sustainability

The trophy hunting of lions Panthera leo is contentious due to uncertainty concerning conservation impacts and because of highly polarised opinions about the practice. African lions are hunted across at least ~558,000 km2, which comprises 27–32% of the lion range in countries where trophy hunting of the species is permitted. Consequently, trophy hunting has potential to impart significant positive or negative impacts on lions. Several studies have demonstrated that excessive trophy harvests have driven lion population declines. There have been several attempts by protectionist non-governmental organisations to reduce or preclude trophy hunting via restrictions on the import and export of lion trophies.

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