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Extinction Countdown

African Lions Face Extinction by 2050, Could Gain Endangered Species Act Protection

lion

The African lion (Panthera leo leo) faces the threat of extinction by the year 2050, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service director Dan Ashe warned today. The sobering news came as part of the agency’s announcement that it has officially proposed that African lions receive much-needed protection under the Endangered Species Act. The decision to list [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Shocking Study Finds Lions are Nearly Extinct in West Africa

west african lion

Physically and emotionally demanding. That’s how Philipp Henschel, Lion Program Survey Coordinator for the big-cat conservation organization Panthera, describes the six years he and other researchers spent combing the wilds of 17 nations looking for the elusive and rarely studied West African lion. The results of their quest were disheartening to say the least. Back [...]

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Extinction Countdown

DNA Reveals the Last 20 Ethiopian Lions Are Genetically Distinct

ethiopian lion

Every day 20 unusual lions greet visitors at a tiny animal park in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. These lions, which have spent generations in captivity, are not like most African lions (Panthera leo leo). For one thing, they are slightly smaller than the wild lions found elsewhere on the continent. For another, the males carry distinctive [...]

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Extinction Countdown

African Lions Move Closer to U.S. Endangered Species Act Protection

african lion

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced this week that African lions (Panthera leo leo) may deserve protected status under the Endangered Species Act. The decision, published November 27 in the Federal Register, comes in response to a petition (pdf) filed in March 2011 by five conservation groups that argued that American hunters pose a [...]

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Extinction Countdown

The Last 400 Asiatic Lions Need More Room to Grow–but Where Will They Go?

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They are mostly forgotten today, but Asiatic lions (Panthera leo persica) once roamed in vast numbers across the Indian subcontinent, Mediterranean and Middle East until overhunting brought them to within a hair’s breadth of extinction. By 1907, when an Indian prince finally banned hunting and protected the last lions, only 13 members of the subspecies [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Lions vs. Cattle: Taste Aversion Could Solve African Predator Problem

After coexisting for thousands of years, humans and African lions (Panthera leo) are on a collision course. Lion populations have dropped from 450,000 animals 50 years ago to as few as 20,000 today. Most of that decline has taken place over the past two decades, and experts are now predicting that the big cats could [...]

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Extinction Countdown

African lion may be added to U.S. endangered species list to curb American trophy hunters

African lion roaring

A coalition of conservation groups filed a petition Tuesday to list the African lion (Panthera leo) as a protected species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA), citing the American appetite for sports hunting and lion products—such as lion-skin rugs—as major factors in the big cat’s decline. The petition was filed by the International Fund [...]

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Symbiartic

The Drawings Behind Charles R. Knight’s Famous Paintings

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If you’ve ever visited the great animal halls of New York’s American Museum of Natural History or Chicago’s Field Museum, you have seen the paintings of Charles R. Knight. Despite being legally blind (due to a childhood injury), his depictions of animals in their natural environments were unrivaled at the time. To this day, they [...]

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Thoughtomics

The sexy sabercat: how the sabertooth got its teeth

Skull of Homotherium crenatidens in the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle in Paris.

Many sabertooths have stalked this world. The first sabertoothed mammals appeared over 50 million years ago. The last sabercats, such as Smilodon and Homotherium, went extinct only 10.000 years ago. All in all, five different lineages of carnivorous mammals evolved sabertooth dentition: the ancient creodonts, marsupials and three different lineages of true cats and cat-like [...]

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