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.

Civil unrest and poor Government structures are seen as threats to lions in Somalia.

Chardonnet P (ed.) (2002) Conservation of the African Lion: Contribution to a Status Survey. International Foundation for the Conservation of Wildlife, France & Conservation Force, USA.


Trade in Lions

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

The Somali male name Asad means lion (html).

A Somali children’s story The Animals Who Looked After A Camel

Once upon a time there were a group of animals that looked after a camel. They decided to raise and feed it. One day a fox and an ostrich took the camel for grazing. After a short while in the grazing field, the fox tried to cheat the ostrich by saying, “Oh ostrich, I am hungry and I need something to eat, will you go to the forest and find some fruits to eat or stay here and keep watch over the camel”.  The ostrich said, “I am going to stay here and keep watch over the camel. Go and find something to eat.

The fox collected a lot of shiny stones and put some wax on the stones and said to the ostrich come and eat your lunch, the ostrich was very hungry and began to eat all the stones swallowing one by one until she couldn’t say anything and choked.

The ostrich died and fox came to the king of the animals and said,

Oh Lion, I can’t alone keep raising the camel, please find me another fellow who will help me”.

The lion roared and said, “Where is the rabbit?

The rabbit said, “I am here my Lord.”

“Go and help the fox with grazing the camel.”

The fox and the rabbit became good friends and trusted each other until one day the camel gave birth to a baby camel and the fox began to cheat the rabbit saying, “We are very hungry and it is long time since we ate a fresh meat, what do you think if we eat the baby camel”.  The rabbit said O.K. and the fox killed the baby and ate all the meat except one piece.

In the afternoon the lion came to them and said to the fox, “where is the new baby” and the fox said “I was grazing the camel and the rabbit was keeping watch over the baby, A hyena came and ate the baby”. The lion roared and roared until all the animals rushed to his cave. The lion said, “I am not trusting you anymore except the fox“.

The fox and the lion lived together until one day the fox tried to cheat the lion again. She said, “Oh dear lion, go and sleep. I am watching the camel.”  When the lion slept, the fox went to the hyenas and told them, “The lion is dead and the camel is yours now.”  The greedy hyenas ate the camel and when the lion realised the camel was eaten by hyenas, he decided to flee from the area and went to an area called Bahallo Galleen.

Governing Body

Somali Wildlife Department

Lions in the News




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