He noted that the population of sub-Saharan Africa is expected to double in the next few decades, placing lions even more at risk for rapid extinction. "Even protected areas are affected," Ashe wrote. "Humans are also depleting the wild prey that supports lions, consuming these animals and selling them as bushmeat, or wild-sourced meat. Faced with declining habitat and prey, lions are increasingly targeting livestock and people - resulting in retaliatory killing of lions."
The U.S. plans to provide continue to fund conservation efforts, Ashe wrote, as well as work with law enforcement partners to halt poaching and local partners to reduce lion-human conflicts.
However, it's not all good news. Ashe also supported legal wild-lion hunters, claiming in his op-ed that big game hunting - in South Africa at least - can play a part in successful conservation programs.