Africa’s lion populations have undergone a major loss in the last two decades. According to IUCN data, the lion's population numbers have decreased 42 percent in just 21 years, and threats continue to mount.As habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict, and poaching continue to threaten the big cat’s existence, it’s become more important than ever to closely track this oftentimes-elusive species.
Africans traveling around the continent is the next big thing. African tourism is also projected to grow by 55 percent over the next ten years.
Poaching and the unsustainable hunting of wildlife threaten biodiversity and the long-term viability of Africa’s ecosystems. Many species are also hunted for bush meat, affecting the continued survival of those key populations. It is estimated that the national value of the bush meat trade, widely practiced in sub-Saharan Africa, ranges from US $42 million to US $205 million across countries in West and Central Africa.
At the base of Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, infant mountain gorillas were celebrated during the Kwita Izina naming ceremony.
Famous for its sizeable populations of elephants and large carnivores, Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe is also home to one of the most elusive predators on the continent: the endangered African wild dog. About 150 wild dogs—also known as “painted dogs” for their colorful, patchy coats—live in Hwange and its environs. As more people settle around Hwange, the African wild dog population faces increasing pressure in the form of habitat fragmentation and human–wildlife conflict.