target: International Union for Conservation of Nature
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"Tell the International Union for Conservation of Nature that vulnerable species shouldn't be allowed in game hunts.
Many people mistakenly and understandably think that lions are considered an endangered species. Lions have become extinct in 26 countries. Only seven countries – Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe – are believed to contain more than 1,000 lions each. Despite this fact, they are still only classified as a "vulnerable species" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the governing body that determines such categorizations, and by extension, whether certain protections are put in place for a species.
Between 1999 and 2008, 64% of the 5,663 lions that were killed in the African wild for sport ended up as trophies back in the United States. While arguments that the hefty fees associated with the permits to hunt these magnificent creatures can offset the costs of conservation efforts, the risk of this leading to eventual extinction is a real threat. Because prime male lions are often the most coveted trophies, the process places entire prides at risk by disrupting the species complex social structure. Prime male lions are the primary protectors of females and cubs, and a decrease in their population places the rest of the family in a truly vulnerable position. Killing the strongest and most fit lions also removes the best genes from the pool, weakening the species as a whole.
It's time to ensure that animals classified as "vulnerable" are truly protected. Tell the IUCN that trophy hunters should not be allowed to target vulnerable species."
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