While increasing amounts of land is given to wildlife in southern Africa and the lion population grows, unfortunately in east and central Africa the opposite is happening.
Unfortunately in west and central Africa, the lions (many of these lions are orphaned relict populations of the Asiatic lion, and therefore highly important) tend to live in fragmented and small groups cut off from others of their kind. If humans can reconnect these populations then the dramatic decline that is expected in this region, could be halted.
Unfortunately, in east Africa, a place that supports more wild lions than anywhere else on the planet, growing human populations is leading to a significant reduction in lion numbers. In Tanzania, perhaps half of the remaining wild lions live, spread across a handful of huge reserves. A significant number of these lions have ranges that cover both protected and unprotected land. These unprotected lands are increasingly being used for human purposes, thereby reducing their space and numbers.
Due to their abundance, Tanzania also has a thriving lion hunting market. While there are places where this is carefully controlled so as to not deplete the lion population over time, in some regions there is no management, and so the lion population is being gradually hunted out of existence – often by well meaning people who have been told that their fee will go to support lions continued existence in the wild.
I have been lucky enough to enjoy some wonderful moments with lions, I want my children grandchildren and great grandchildren to be able to experience those same thrills, though whether that will be possible is hard to say