Skip to main content
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Threat analysis for more effective lion conservation

Bauer, Hans; Dickman, Amy; Chapron, Guillaume; Oriol-Cotterill, Alayne; Nicholson, Samantha; Sillero-Zubiri, Claudio; Hunter, Luke; Lindsey, Peter; Macdonald, David


We use comparable 2005 and 2018 population data to assess threats driving the decline of lion Panthera leo populations, and review information on threats structured by problem tree and root cause analysis. We define 11 threats and rank their severity and prevalence. Two threats emerged as affecting both the number of lion populations and numbers within them: livestock depredation leading to retaliatory killing of lions, and bushmeat poaching leading to prey depletion. Our data do not allow determination of whether any specific threat drives declines faster than others. Of 20 local extirpations, most were associated with armed conflicts as a driver of proximate threats. We discuss the prevalence and severity of proximate threats and their drivers, to identify priorities for more effective conservation of lions, other carnivores and their prey.


Africa; carnivore; conflict; lion; Panthera leo; problem tree; ranking; root cause

Published in

2022, volume: 56, number: 1, article number: PII S0030605320000253

Authors' information

Bauer, Hans
University of Oxford
Dickman, Amy
University of Oxford
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology
Oriol-Cotterill, Alayne
University of Oxford
Nicholson, Samantha
Endangered Wildlife Trust
Sillero-Zubiri, Claudio
University of Oxford
Hunter, Luke
Wildlife Conservation Society
Lindsey, Peter
University of Pretoria
Lindsey, Peter
Griffith University
Macdonald, David
University of Oxford

UKÄ Subject classification


Publication Identifiers


URI (permanent link to this page)