Scientists: Trophy Hunts Should Target Older Lions
New research reveals that stricter trophy hunting rules are needed to conserve the big cats.
When Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer killed Zimbabwe’s Cecil the lion last July, proponents of trophy hunting argued to an infuriated public that the pricey practice helps lions. A portion of the fees supports poor villages and conservation programs, their argument goes.
But some reports have shown that trophy hunts take a toll on Africa’s declining lions, which already face a host of severe threats, such as habitat loss, lack of prey, and greater conflict with humans. A 2012 study, for instance, found that excessive hunts have hurt lions in Tanzania.
Now new research shows why: inadequate hunting regulations. Only strict quotas and restrictions on hunting younger lions can ensure healthy populations, researchers reported on June 9 in the journal