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Pfeiffer professor recognized for research on declining lion population

Dr. Luke DollarDr. Luke Dollar, professor of biology at Pfeiffer, National Geographic Explorer, and grants program director for their Big Cats Initiative (causeanuproar.org), was recently recognized for publication of research that explores the declining lion population in Africa. Dr. Dollar, who is well known for his extensive research on the fosa in Madagascar, collaborated with over 50 coauthors and contributors for this project on lions and their habitats, including scientists from University of California, Davis, Duke University and Yale University.

According to the study, which was published this month in the journal Biodiversity and Conservation, approximately two-thirds of the lion population that once roamed Africa have disappeared over the last 50 years. Additionally, the study notes that human populations have converted approximately three-quarters of Africa's savannah habitat for other uses over the past century, which places their rate of loss at a level equal or higher than the continent's rainforests.

“This research, which is the most comprehensive assessment of lion numbers to date, is a major step in helping prioritize funding strategies for saving big cats. Of the estimated 32,000 to 35,000 lions, more than 5,000 of them are located in small, isolated populations, putting their survival in doubt. The research will help us better identify areas in which we can make a difference,” says Dollar.

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