The Lion, Panthera leo, is listed as Vulnerable on The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. This iconic big cat species formerly ranged throughout Eurasia and Africa, but today is only found in sub-Saharan Africa, although a small population of the Asiatic Lion subspecies occurs in the Gir Forest in western India.
Historically the Lion has been killed for sport and is considered by many locals to be a problem animal whose existence is in conflict with human settlement and cattle farming. The increasing spread of farmlands has reduced the Lion’s habitat and wild prey base, resulting in increased stock-raiding behaviour, increasing conflict with humans.
The Lion is listed under Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), meaning that international trade in this species should be carefully monitored and controlled, and in most countries the hunting of Lions is either prohibited or regulated. The Asiatic Lion subspecies is fully protected under Indian law, and is listed under Appendix I of CITES, meaning that international trade in this species is strictly prohibited without a permit.