1. In the last 50 years the number of lions in the wild has dropped from about 450 000 to approximately 23 000, with an estimated 43% of existing populations in decline.
2. There are today about 26 000 rhinos on the African continent and their tenuous state has attracted huge international concern, especially after the recent surge in rhino poaching. In contrast, the dire state of Africa’s lions is hardly known.
4. The lion situation in South Africa is to some extent different from the rest of Africa. Aside from the country's two large parks, the Kruger National Park and the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, there are approximately 45 small fenced reserves, which have around 700 lions. These populations are becoming increasingly isolated, which threatens their genetic diversity and long-term survival.
‘As a result of our research and in a desire to raise public awareness of lion conservation issues in South Africa, in October 2010 we started a journey to highlight their plight. Little did we know that their story would be so complicated!
‘In the course of our travels we came across many amazing people doing essential work to try and find solutions to the issues surrounding lions and their survival. We spoke to scientists, ecologists, game rangers, trackers, hunters and those involved in animal rights groups and were struck by everybody’s commitment to lions in various different ways.
‘After 18 months of photographing and writing, our book In Search of the African Lion is now available.’
Published by Sunbird Publishers, it will be available in Exclusive Books, CNA and other major book stores for R320. You can also get a personalised, signed copy posted directly to you at the same price. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to buy a signed copy.
For more information about Roger and Pat de la Harpe’s projects see their website, Africa Imagery. http://www.africaimagery.com/