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Aging Lions

Washington, DC – Marking a breakthrough in lion conservation, scientists can now accurately age African lions with a significant degree of certainty. Researchers with the Zambia Lion Project recently released two scientific publications outlining an innovative method for estimating lion age within six months using teeth.
 
“Accurate age estimation of African lions is urgently needed to address conservation issues,” says Joseph Hosmer, President of SCI Foundation. “This ground-breaking research will improve the management of lions and promote sustainable hunting.” 
 
“While several monitoring programs consult tooth X-rays when estimating lion age, how those X-ray images correlate to actual age had not previously been quantified,” stated Dr. Paula A. White, Principal Investigator with the Zambia Lion Project.  In collaboration with Dr. Roberto Cameriere, inventor of the dental X-ray aging technique, this pioneering study is the first to apply quantified tooth measures to age African lions.  
 
This knowledge will assist national and international wildlife authorities in evaluating hunter compliance with regulatory measures involving age. “Hunting of African lions is important to the species’ conservation in many countries,” continued Dr. White, and “estimating lion age is essential to many aspects of management programs including harvest and problem animal control.”  
 
The project has already provided recommendations to Zambia’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) on the country’s newly established age-based lion hunting program. The ability to accurately age post mortem lions will facilitate best hunting practices across lion range in Africa.  
 
“SCI Foundation has been instrumental in supporting the Zambia Lion Project’s research. These two publications demonstrate the commitment of SCI Foundation to gathering scientific information that can be used to better wildlife management and promote sustainable utilization,” said Dr. White. 
 
“Directly applying science to sustainable use is fundamental to our mission,” said Hosmer. “Building on this research, we can learn what physical characteristics of a lion are the best indicators of age and improve our ability to visually age live lions in the field.”  
 
The scientific publications are available to the public in the journals PLOS One and Wildlife Biology.
 
For more information on SCI Foundation, go to our First For Wildlife blog, like us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram, or visit our website at www.safariclubfoundation.org.
 
Safari Club International Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that funds and directs worldwide programs dedicated to wildlife conservation and outdoor education. Any contribution may be tax deductible under Internal Revenue Code section 170(c) as a charitable contribution to the extent permitted by law. Tax deductible amount of gift is reduced by the “Fair market Value” of any goods, services, or advantages that a sponsor receives for the donation. EIN #86-0292099
About Steve Sheetz (969 Articles)
Steve is an avid outdoorsman who has been fortunate enough to publish two books on archery hunting. His first book, For the Love of the Hunt, was published in 2011. His second book, Wading Through the Darkness will be published in 2015. Steve sits on numerous Pro Staffs throughout the archery industry. For almost a decade Steve helped build Huntonly.com, but wanted the opportunity to build something bigger and better and launched Chasinwhitetails.com in December of 2014 as a way to share his love and passion for the outdoors. Today Chasin'Whitetails Media is growing. With the addition of the a radio show in 2014 and a The Heartbeat TV show in 2015, who knows what will come his way next. When it comes to understanding the movement and logic of the urban whitetail and waterfowl, he is more than just a PHD with a love of the outdoors. He is a self proclaimed expert who loves to engage and teach others about the sport he loves so very much. Spending over 125 days a year in the big city woods and urban waterways chasing all types of game.

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