Trophy hunting whether or not cause the loss of lions in Africa
To save the lions, we should not obsess about trophy hunting, but tackle much more serious problems - like snaring and habitat fragmentation.
The halving of Africa's lion population over 20 years is not the result of trophy hunting. African lions have declined through the classic drivers of extinction, namely habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict and disease.
Trophy hunting, or the selective removal of animals from a population based on a desirable trait, is a deeply polarising issue. Ethical standpoints against the deliberate killing of animals for sport are what drive the public response that we now see.
Biologists have concerns about undesirable evolutionary outcomes that may arise from the killing of 'prime' individual animals. These animals are typically males that exhibit a desirable trait, like a large mane.
Conservationists have concerns that hunting may cause inbreeding, or drive rare species' populations in isolated protected areas to the brink of extinction.