SCI Foundation is dedicated to funding the research used to generate science-based conservation strategies worldwide. For decades, we have put boots on-the-ground in Africa, working with top biologists to understand the most pressing wildlife conservation issues. The science collected in the past decade through extensive research projects partnered with African government officials suggests that the African lion is NOT on the brink of extinction, and should not therefore be listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.
Our organization strives to be "First for Wildlife" and certainly first for lions. We have conducted multiple lion surveys across southern Africa and are funding two long term lion research projects. We hope to educate the public on this controversial matter and explain how an endangered species listing will do nothing but cause further harm to African wildlife and African communities.
The Endangered Species Act will not stop African lions from being hunted. It only ensures that less Americans will travel to do so, and in their absence, hunters from other countries will fill the void. This drop in American tourism will severely decrease revenue across multiple countries, increase unemployment numbers, and take funding away from anti-poaching efforts.
SCI Foundation is fighting to save lions. We can do this by depending on the science that is so often overshadowed by political and emotional agendas. We ask you to support us in our endeavor to save lions with science and join the fight for lions.
Fighting For Lions Update
Enhancement Findings - The previous Fighting for Lions Update provided a detailed explanation on how the United States listed the lion under the Endangered Species Act. The subspecies of lion found in Eastern and Southern Africa is now listed as threatened. Lion hunting will continue in these countries, though importation of a lion trophy into the United States will now require a threatened species import permit. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Division of Management Authority (FWS) will issue an import permit pending their finding that the take of any lion being imported enhances the survival of lions living in the wild.
If the Eastern and Southern African lion range states wish to maintain lion hunting revenues generated from U.S. citizens, they will need to maintain the ability to export hunted lion trophies to the United States. Consequently, they must provide the FWS with information that demonstrates how hunting is enhancing the species. Unfortunately, the FWS has not defined enhancement criteria, which means African governments are trying to meet an unknown expectation.
SCI Foundation is working with African governments. The United States provided information to each government regarding what information would be needed by the U.S. Management Authority to make a positive enhancement finding. The Fighting for Lions campaign will be used to help the range states provide this information to the United States. SCI Foundation is in consultations with various African governments to learn how we can assist.
The United States is requesting that African governments provide the following information regarding the hunting of lions:
Proof of biological sustainability
A clear demonstration of how hunting results in a net conservation benefit to the species
Documentation of the socio-economic and cultural benefits derived from hunting
An overview of the adaptive management programs already in place
Evidence of effective governance of a transparent and sustainable hunting program.
Wildlife authority agencies, in conjunction with professional hunting associations, are working to provide a clear link between the hunting of lions and the enhancement of the species. A renowned consultant with vast experience in the wildlife management and the economics of sustainable use has been retained to conduct this project, which should take approximately 2-3 months to complete. SCI Foundation has provided funding for this work. Upon completion, this information will be delivered to FWS and will be considered in their process of making an enhancement finding.
We will help as many governments that we can with the resources we have available.
In Major Setback for Anti-Hunting Efforts, FWS Rejects Attempts to Stop Lion Hunting
Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) rejected the claim that the African lion merited listing as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act. After a long and comprehensive review of the species status, which included information from the foremost lion researchers in the world, the FWS concluded that the African lion simply is not on the brink of extinction and did not merit listing as an endangered species.
The FWS concluded "[s]port-hunting was not found to be a threat to the species at this time." This conclusion is a blow to the anti-hunting rhetoric put forward by organizations such as the Humane Society of the United States and International Fund for Animal Welfare. The FWS's conclusion contradicts the assertions made by these anti-hunting organizations in the petition they filed with FWS to have the lion listed as endangered. The on the ground facts and the science simply did not support their position.
Throughout the years SCI Foundation has worked with top biologists, conservationists, and members of the African government to provide the best research for lion management, take a look at our efforts and learn more about the on-the-ground work being done to save the African lion.
Since 2000, the SCI Foundation has provided $60 million to promote science-based conservation through wildlife research, capacity building in governments, youth and teacher education, and humanitarian programs that show the importance of the hunting community in society around the world. Growth of SCI Foundation has continued to gain momentum through charitable donations from SCI members and direct grants from local chapters and the SCI organization. Throughout the world, SCI's approximately 190 chapters contribute time, talent, and financial support to local, national, and international projects.