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Why Are Lions Poached?

The International Anti-Poaching Foundation is fighting against lion poaching in Africa. Read here to learn more.

April 24, 2021

Why Are Lions Poached?

Illegal wildlife trade is a worldwide problem. It is an issue that Africa knows all too well, as many African animal populations are decreasing at unprecedented rates. African lions are currently considered critically endangered in some areas of the continent and lion populations as a whole are listed as “vulnerable.” That is why IAPF is leading the battle against lion poaching and illegal wildlife trading in Africa and beyond.

Why are lions poached in Africa? Here, we’ll answer that question and explain what you can do to help conserve African lion populations for generations to come.

Why Are Lions Being Poached, and What Are Lions Poached For?

The illegal wildlife trade is greatly affecting lion populations across Africa. Tiger teeth, bones and claws have always been in high demand, as they’re used in traditional African and Asian medicines. They’re also used in a variety of luxury products, including bone wine and jewelry. As tigers become scarcer, however, the poaching of lions becomes more popular. Lion teeth, claws and bones are now being sold as tiger products. The motivation to kill lions is now greater than ever.

The wildcat conservation organization Panthera recently reported that lion populations have plummeted 43% in the last 21 years. Another study showed that poaching for lion body parts made up 35% of the total human-caused lion killings throughout their study area. These staggering statistics highlight the importance of IAPF’s mission to stop poaching.

Impact of Lion Poaching in Africa

Lion poaching in Africa has countless negative effects on the environment, wildlife and local communities. A typical lion pride includes multiple generations and roughly 15 lions. The poaching of an adult pride member can alter the entire structure and survival of the pride. Typically, reproductive success decreases, and it becomes more difficult for prides to defend their territory. These disruptions can cause the population to decline and also reduce the chance of population recovery.

The increase in demand for lion parts has resulted in higher pay for lion claws, teeth and bones. This has incentivized the poaching of lions among local communities. As motives to kill lions become greater, the fight against poaching become even more essential.

What You Can Do:

The lion poaching facts and statistics are alarming. However, you can help fight lion extinction in numerous ways. The following are several actions you can take right now:

  • Never purchase medicines or products including lion parts.
  • Donate to the International Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAPF) or other credible conservation organizations.
  • Share information about the importance of the fight against lion poaching.
  • Urge politicians and government bodies to stand against illegal lion body part trade.

How IAPF Is Fighting Lion Poaching

The International Anti-Poaching Foundation has been fighting the poaching of African animals since 2009. Our organization takes a community-led approach to conservation. For example, the Akashinga and Lead Ranger programs drive local community members to stand against poaching. Through these programs, local men and women receive military-style training and all of the tools needed to fight poaching while bettering their personal lives and the greater good of the entire community.

Our film “Akashinga -- The Brave Ones” highlights African animal species — including lions, elephants and more — that are currently facing extinction. It also introduces our all-female Akashinga anti-poaching program. These are just some of the many ways we’re leading the fight against African lion poaching.

IAPF’s impact:

  • 80% reduction in poaching activity in areas we serve
  • 350% increase in wildlife levels in our preserve areas
  • 460,000 acres of nature preserves now protected from poachers
  • 200+ locals working as anti-poaching rangers and crew

You can help us stop lion poaching by donating on our website, fundraising for IAPF or choosing IAPF as your favorite charity when shopping online.