Almost 200,000 lions roamed Africa one century ago, but recent studies show that the species is extinct in 26 countries across the continent and occupies a fraction of its historical rangeland. With lion populations plummeting by a staggering 43 percent in just the last two decades, the King of the Jungle is now a vulnerable species on the IUCN Red List.
As the only great ape species experiencing a population rise, the mountain gorilla’s recovery is an undeniable conservation success story. But the unprecedented growth poses a challenge for its habitat in the Virunga Mountains: can it sustain the future of this critically endangered species in a rapidly industrializing Africa?
Despite a unanimous vote granting all eight species of the African and Asian pangolin the highest possible protection against illegal trading in late 2016, this scaly animal still bears the unfortunate record as the world’s most illegally trafficked mammal.
As more countries recognize wildlife poaching and trafficking as serious crimes run by organized syndicates, they turn to the legal system to protect wildlife. Not only is legislation being strengthened across eastern Africa, but the capacity of law enforcement officers, investigators, and prosecutors is also strategically enhanced.
To most Rwandans, the Volcanoes National Park is evidence of beauty and source of tourism revenues to the national treasury. To the residents of the Kinigi sector, Musanze District—right at the edge of the national park —this park is “everything.”