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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Dwindling Savannas, Lions at Risk

The "big cats" in Africa are in trouble--

On Dwindling Savannas, Lions at Risk - "Using Google Maps, the group was able to zoom in on the African landscape and see what the other satellite images weren’t capturing: small fields and settlements fragmenting what used to be uninterrupted habitat. According to Dr. Pimm, only about 25 percent of Africa’s savanna remains intact. The team then turned its attention to the top savanna predator, the lion, as another way of gauging savanna integrity. Compiling the best data available on lion populations, the Duke team estimated that only 32,000 to 35,000 lions now survive in Africa. In 1960, there were 100,000. Perhaps even more worrisome, however, is what the team found when it compared maps of intact savanna with lion population data and statistics on human population density and distribution. Of the 67 lion areas the team identified, only 10 support lion populations that  are large, stable and protected enough to persist into the foreseeable future.  None of the those areas are in West or Central Africa. . . . "

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