Might a raise in the minimum age for lion trophy hunting help?

At the moment, in most areas, male lions can be hunted from the age of 6. Unfortunately as the age of the lion is regularly over-estimated, this means that lions as young as 4 are often shot.

I dont see any bravery of hunting lions, as such I do not want to publicize any current hunters

A recent proposal is to increase the age to 8. This would mean that young lions are not shot regularly, and will give lions a chance to reproduce before the end of their lives. With male lions naturally living to 12-16 years, this change would be a positive one.

I still find is baffling that anyone would want to go and hunt a wild lion. One of my most exciting moments in Africa was when a lioness visited our camp in the evening. Despite it not being late at all, our night guard was already in bed, and while this was clearly failing in his job, as we were sat by a fire, our lives were not in serious danger.

That moment will always stick with me, looking over into the eyes of a wild lioness, and watching her as she crossed through the camp and disappeared into the distance. This corner of the Selous as was, now renamed Nyerere National Park, is particularly popular with lions, and we heard roars from lions in all direction.

There are very few reserves, where hunting should be allowed – I would argue that the Nyerere national park hunting rate of roughly 1% of the population a year is as high as it should be (not least because if dominant males are killed, then the ensuing chaos often leads to a few more lions in each pride dying -either females defending their young from new pride males, or the young themselves). The problem is that in general this rate is far too low for hunting to be viable – but I believe that this is entirely the point. It would mean that in most hunting regions, single digit lion trophies each year.

Another ban I would support, is for dominant male lions to be targeted. I realize that hunters want to kill dominant males in their prime, but I believe that this threatens the overall population to, too great an extent.

A take rate of 1% or lower (and that is of the hunting area, not the greater ecosystem), and a moratorium of taking pride males, would limit the damage that this behaviour would do. While hunters are likely to argue against these rules, it could mean that hunting was actually a net gain, as you would be killing only males who will never be pride males (or older males that have been forced out) thereby avoiding impacting breeding behaviour.

South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Zambia currently host lion hunts. To be clear, I would prefer these hunts to stop, though I will admit that there are places where lion hunting is the most simple way to protect the ecosystem, and therefore the lion population as a whole.

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