Some species of lion have become endangered, and their populations are getting smaller. In this lesson, learn why lion numbers are decreasing, including the destruction of their habitats, loss of food sources, and lack of protection.

Endangered Lions

Lions have many nicknames, like ‘King of the Jungle’ and ‘Top of the Food Chain’, because they’re very powerful animals that can survive in different environments. Unfortunately, there are several different species, or types, of lions that are considered endangered. This means that the numbers of these lions are decreasing, and they could possibly become extinct, or no longer exist. There are several reasons why these lions are endangered. Let’s find out why their populations are getting smaller.

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Habitat Destruction

One of the main reasons why lions are disappearing is that their homes are being destroyed. Many endangered lions live in grassland and forest areas of Africa and India. As the human population increases, these lion habitats are destroyed in order to create more homes and buildings for people. Without an area to call home, endangered lions often die off.

Disappearing Prey

While a buffalo or zebra might not sound like a tasty snack for you, lions would think it delicious! They often hunt for prey, or animals they can kill for food, around their habitats. If human development is causing a decrease in the lion population, can you guess what’s also happening to their prey? Because there are fewer animals available, lions have to search harder for food to survive.

Hunting Dangers ; Diseases

Not only do lions have to search for new homes and prey, but they also have to avoid hunters as well. Some people hunt and kill lions as a sport or for recreation. Farmers might hunt lions because they pose a danger to their farm animals. Still other hunters try to kill lions for their fur.

What happens when you get sick? You go to the doctor and get some medicine. Unfortunately, lions living in the wild, rather than in zoos, can’t go to the doctor when they get sick. There are diseases that they can catch from other animals, and some of these diseases are deadly.

Saving the Lions

People called conservationists want to conserve, or save, the lion population. They work to create areas that are protected for lions, where they cannot be harmed by hunters and where human development is not allowed. While these protected areas are a step in the right direction to help endangered lions, sometimes the rules are not really enforced very well. More work needs to be done to make sure these jungle kings can be around for a long time.

Lesson Summary

Several different types of lions are in danger of becoming extinct for a variety of reasons. Many of the habitats where lions live are being destroyed due to increases in human population, and much of the prey that they depend on for food is disappearing. Sometimes lions are hunted or catch diseases, but people called conservationists want to help increase the lion population.