BANGKOK (October 18, 2004) – In a victory for the hunting community and the main lion-hunting countries of Africa, CITES has rejected a proposal by Kenya that the African lion be moved from Appendix II to Appendix I, which would have imposed strict quotas on hunting.

The 13th meeting of the participants in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species here rejected the proposal by Kenya, which was backed by many international anti-hunting organizations, on the grounds that while lion numbers may be decreasing, they are not endangered and a move to Appendix I would do nothing to reverse their decline.

This is not the end of the lion story, however. At its meeting in Johannesburg early this year, the CITES Animal Committee voted to include the African lion in its Review of Significant Trade. Kenya and other lion “range states” have agreed to provide trade data to the committee.

The Kenya proposal was opposed by every country where lions are hunted, as well as some (such as Switzerland) which have only a distant interest. In its submission to the CITES Secretariat opposing the proposed move, the Swiss pointed out that trophy hunting and international trade are no threat to the species. Threats that do exist – reduced prey numbers, disease, and diminished habitat – cannot be prevented by an Appendix I listing.