LIONS (PANTHERA LEO) IN Central African Republic

Principle Threats

Pressures on land use from increasing human populations leading to continued fragmentation of the remaining suitable habitat coupled with indiscriminate killing in defense of life and livestock and prey base depletion are recognized as being the principle causes for their decline.

“Bushmeat” is of considerable importance to peoples’ diet of protein in the Central African Republic constituting 41% of meat consumption (IUCN, 2006)

IUCN SSC Cat Specialist Group (2006) Conservation Strategy for the Lion in West and Central Africa. IUCN – Regional Office of Central Africa (BRAO and the West and Central African Lion Conservation Network (ROCAL). Yaounde, Cameroon. (pdf)

Trade in Lions

Some trade in lion specimens occurring in CAR

Number of wild source lions estimated in international trade, 1999-2008:  49
Average annual wild source trade as percent of population size*:  < 1%
* Used average of Chardonnet (2002) and Bauer & van der Merwe (2004) studies

“Between 1999 and 2008, 49 lion specimens, in the form of trophies only, were exported from Central African Republic (CAR).  All of these were from wild sources, were traded as hunting trophies or for personal purposes, and originated in CAR. France was the main importer but the U.S. also imported some of these. This represents 49 wild lion specimens. Bauer et al. (2003) stated that, considering the small populations and their isolation, sustainable off-take in West Africa and Central Africa was “hardly possible”. The alarming situation of lion populations in Central Africa (Henschel et al., 2010) means that sustainable off-takes are less likely now than in 2003. Packer et al. (2009) identified CAR as one of the countries where trophy hunting is likely to have contributed to the decline of lion populations in the 1980s and 1990s. Thus, it is of concern that 49 wild source lions were exported from CAR during the decade; this is 8 percent of the population (49 of 643). Annualized, these exports represent less than 1 percent of the population.”

Place J, Flocken J, Travers W, Waterland S, Telecky T, Kennedy C, Goyenechea A (2011) Petition to list the African Lion (Panthera leo leo) as endangered pursuant to the US Endangered Species Act.  The International Fund for Animal Welfare, The Born Free Foundation, The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International, Defenders of Wildlife (pdf)

Lions in Culture

The late emperor of CAR, Jean-Bedel Bokassa was a controversial character, surrounded by myths and accusations.  One such allegation is that he fed 30 of his students to lions kept at his palace when they refused to buy uniforms provided by Bokassa’s own family textile business. (html)

There is a stream named Lion in CAR. (html)

Governing Body

Department of Environment, Forests and Parks
Direction de la Faune
B.P. 830
Central African Republic

Lions in the News




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