Distribution & Status

Photo: Marcus Westberg

Lions once roamed from Europe to the southern tip of Africa, and from West Africa east to India. Today, that distribution has been dramatically restricted to pockets of sub-Saharan Africa (and a relict small population in northern India).

They have vanished from 80-90% of their historical range, and are now gone from between 26-33 countries that they formerly inhabited.

Data Sources: IUCN RedList, Panthera, Natural Earth

Historic Range

Current Range

Within Africa, the species has suffered a steep decline in both range and numbers. One century ago there were 200,000 lions, today there are likely just over 20,000. In the last quarter century, lion numbers have declined by half. 

Southern and East African lions are listed as being Vulnerable according to the IUCN Red List, though the West African sub-species is considered to be Critically Endangered.

  • Road to Recovery

    We aspire to double the number of lions.

  • Threats to Lions

    A range of other threats affect lions and their prey in some places

  • Biology & Behavior

    Lions are Africa’s largest carnivore, and are social mammals of the family Felidae.