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Lions, trophy hunting and beyond: knowledge gaps and why they matter

Macdonald, David W., Loveridge, Andrew J., Dickman, Amy, Johnson, Paul J., Jacobsen, Kim S., Du Preez, Byron
Mammal review 2017 v.47 no.4 pp. 247-253
Panthera leo, biodiversity, economic sustainability, human population, income, models, mortality, planning, sport hunting, tourism, wildlife, Africa, United Kingdom
What does trophy hunting (selective hunting for recreation) contribute to wild lion conservation? Macdonald (Report on Lion Conservation with Particular Respect to the Issue of Trophy Hunting. WildCRU, Oxford, UK, 2016) summarises what we know. We identify unknowns, gaps in the knowledge that inhibit conservation planning, including: the causes of lion mortality, the amount of land used for lion trophy hunting, the extent to which trophy hunting depends on lions for financial viability, and the vulnerability of areas used for hunting to conversion to land not used for wildlife, if trophy hunting ceased. The cost of reversing biodiversity loss exceeds income from tourism, including hunting. New financial models are needed, particularly in view of the expanding human population in Africa.