Is it possible that we're finally getting the traction we need to save lions?
Last week, I found out that our friends at Panthera reported a lion sighting in Gabon: an African country where lions were previously thought to be locally extinct. Footage from two camera trap videos captured a male lion roaming alone through the savannah.
According to Panthera's press release on the exciting find, by the end of the 1900s, poaching, habitat loss and fragmentation, and illegal hunting of the lion's prey species resulted in the disappearance of lions from the Gabonese landscape. These are the same conditions that currently threaten lion populations across their remaining, fragmented, and reduced range.
This sighting suggests that lions can still survive - and possibly thrive - in Gabon and the surrounding region. Now, experts hope to determine whether this lion is solitary or if he is part of a reproducing group. From there, Panthera and its partners will strategically plan a conservation strategy for this potentially burgeoning population.