Decision Maker Response

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s response

Dec 21, 2015 — In response to the dramatic decline of lion populations in the wild, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced it will list two lion subspecies under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Panthera leo leo, located in India and western and central Africa, will be listed as endangered, and Panthera leo melanochaita, located in eastern and southern Africa, will be listed as threatened. Concurrent with this listing rule, to protect lions and other foreign and domestic wildlife from criminal activity, Service Director Dan Ashe also issued a Director’s Order to strengthen enforcement of wildlife permitting requirements. The order, which aligns with President Obama’s National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking, will ensure that violators of wildlife laws are not subsequently granted permits for future wildlife-related activities, including the import of sport-hunted trophies.