White Lions and the Protection of K2C Biosphere

Article by Jason Turner, photos by Ziggi Hugo

Extract taken from Africa Conservation Telegraph: Newsletter of the Society for Conservation Biology


In light of the proposed down-listing of the conservation status of lions in South Africa by the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) from “Vulnerable” to “Least Concern” on the list of Threatened or Protected Species (TOPS), the Global White Lion Protection Trust (WLT) has asserted that the survival of lions in the Kruger to Canyons (K2C) Biosphere is likely to come under threat.

As the proposed policy stands for the management of lions in South Africa, the down-listing will increase the hunting of wild lion trophies and the demand for lion bones from eastern markets, also increasing poaching and illegal hunting, thereby threatening the future of wild lion populations in South Africa. In the K2C Biosphere, the white lion is the ideal capstone animal to prevent this serious threat.

Along with scientific research, a primary aim of the WLT is to harness the cultural importance of white lions to local indigenous communities, in order to help protect the K2C Biosphere and greater lion population in this region. This approach is based on the international precedent of the Kermode bear in Canada, whereby this rare white variant of the black bear has been declared as critically endangered due to its conservation and cultural value, such that the Kermode bear is a flagship animal for protecting a 4 million ha wilderness area. As with the Kermode bear, by protecting the white lions the entire lion population within the greater region would be protected.

Read the rest of the article here……… Klaserie-Chronicle_WLT_White-Lion-Article-2016.pdf