Principle Threats

Burton et al. (2010) concluded that lack of prey-biomass in Ghana’s Mole National Park was less likely to be the cause of the loss of the region’s lion population as the Park continues to support other large carnivore populations.  The study noted that instances of illegal killing through direct persecution as a result of human – wildlife conflict is an issue with a recent instance in 2004 and 45% of village interview respondents confirming conflict between lions and livestock. 

Further, the study noted that 55% of village interview respondents reported that lions were used for traditional ceremonial and medicinal purposes.

The study discovered the sale of lion skins and claws in a market in the regional capital near to Mole National Park.

Other factors were considered, such as disease, intraguild competition, inbreeding depression and Allee effects although no research was undertaken to evaluate these.

Burton AC, Buedi EB, Balangtaa C, Kpelle DG, Sam MK, Brashares JS (2010) The decline of lions in Ghana’s Mole National Park.  African Journal of Ecology 2010: 1-5 (pdf)

Trade in Lions

The hunting of lions in Ghana is prohibited.

Number of wild source lions estimated in international trade, 1999-2008:  0
Average annual wild source trade as percent of population size*:  0%
* Used average of Chardonnet (2002) and Bauer & van der Merwe (2004) studies

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


Burton et al. (2010) found that 55% of village interview respondents near Mole National Park reported that lions were used for traditional ceremonial and medicinal purposes.

On the Ghana coat of arms, in the centre of the green St. George's cross will be found a gold lion, representing the continued link between Ghana and the Commonwealth (html)

The Heart of Lions Football Club is a Ghanaian football club based in Kpandu (html)

The Lion's Dinner – a story from Ghana (source: html)

There was one place in the savannahs which the animals liked very much.  There was good water and green grass there.  But a strong lion lived there. He killed two or three animals every day.  One day the animals came to the Lion, and one of them began to speak: "Oh dear Lion, it is not good for you to run and hunt all day long in the savannas. We will send you one animal for your dinner every day."

"All right," the Lion said, "but you must begin to send me my dinner now: I am hungry, I must have my dinner every day! If you do not send an animal to me every day, I shall kill as many of you as I want!"

"Do not kill us, dear Lion. We shall send you an animal every day."

They cast lots, and that day it was an antelope who became the Lion's dinner. And every day they sent one animal to the Lion. But the animals were not happy. Each of them thought: "Oh, tomorrow my turn will come!"

One day it was a Hare's turn to be the Lion's dinner. But the Hare was not unhappy. He smiled!  "That is good, very good!" the Hare said. "Do not be afraid! The Lion will not eat me up!"

The Hare ran to the river, jumped into the water and then began to roll in the mud. He came to the Lion very dirty.  The Lion saw him and became angry. "But I do not want that dirty animal for my dinner," he cried. "Oh, dear Lion, I am not your dinner. I had to bring you a hare, but on my way I met another lion, and he took the hare for himself."

"Is there another lion in the savannahs?" asked the Lion.

"Yes, there is. He is big and strong. I think he is stronger than you are."

The Lion became angrier than before and said to the Hare, "Show me that lion!"  "All right!" said the Hare. "Let us go to him."

And they went to a big well. The Hare looked into the well and said, "Look, he is there, and the Hare is with him." The Lion looked into the well.  He saw himself and the Hare in the water. He jumped into the well to catch them - and never came back!

The animals were happy, they jumped and danced and thanked the clever Hare.

Burton AC, Buedi EB, Balangtaa C, Kpelle DG, Sam MK, Brashares JS (2010) The decline of lions in Ghana’s Mole National Park.  African Journal of Ecology 2010: 1-5 (pdf)

Governing Body

Ghana Wildlife Division
a division of the Ministry of Lands & Natural Resources
PO Box M239
Accra, Ghana
Email: contact form


“To ensure conservation, sustainable management and development of Ghana’s wildlife resources for socio-economic benefit to all segments of society.”


“To conserve wildlife in Ghana in general and manage wildlife protected areas in particular within representative ecological zones of the country.”

“The Wildlife Division is one of the three divisions of the reconstituted Forestry Commission. It began as a branch of the Forestry Department of the Ministry of Agriculture responsible for wildlife issues. In 1965, it became a full-fledged line agency of the Ministry of Forestry known as the Department of Game and Wildlife, which later changed to Wildlife Department after the adoption of the Forestry and Wildlife Policy of 1994. In the intervening period, the Department moved from the Ministry of Forestry to the Ministry of Lands & Mineral Resources, to the present Ministry of Lands & Natural Resources. It is responsible for all wildlife in the country and administers 16 Wildlife-Protected Areas (PAs), 5 coastal Ramsar Sites and the Accra and Kumasi Zoos. It also assists with the running of 2 community-owned Wildlife Sanctuaries.”

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