Lions are dying off rapidly across Africa. These cats once ranged across the continent and into Syria, Israel, Iraq, Pakistan, Iran, and even northwest India; 2,000 years ago more than a million lions roamed the Earth. Since the 1940s, when lions numbered an estimated 450,000, lion populations have blinked out across the continent. Now they may total as few as 20,000 animals. Scientists connect the drastic decreases in many cases to burgeoning human populations. The Big Cats Initiative aims to halt lion population declines by the year 2015 and to restore populations to sustainable levels. You can be part of this important work by donating to the Big Cats Initiative or by applying for a grant to help big cats.

Proposals Encouraged:

  • Innovative projects with quick results for saving lions
  • Anti-poaching programs
  • Projects that test new technology
  • Educational projects focused on community
  • Projects that establish economic incentives for local people to ensure long-term survival of lions

Learn more about how you can help.


Become a Grantee

Grant recipients are field-based conservationists, environmental educators, students, researchers, and advocates.

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Educate your students about the importance of big cats and conservation efforts to protect these large predators.


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Mimi Koumanelis
(202) 857-5814

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Nat Geo WILD presents a week dedicated to nature’s fiercest felines—big cats—creatures of magnificent strength, ferocity, and beauty that are rapidly facing extinction. With visually stunning and powerful stories from around the world, get closer than ever before to lions, tigers, cheetahs, panthers, and more as you share in their triumphs, defeats, and epic struggles to survive.

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