The link between hunting and conservation can be difficult to explain, yet the survival of the African lion may lie in the hands of hunters, despite the efforts of animal rights groups who strive to eliminate hunting the iconic beasts. The New York Times covers this topic with input from United States and African sources:
ODD as it may sound, American trophy hunters play a critical role in protecting wildlife in Tanzania. The millions of dollars that hunters spend to go on safari here each year help finance the game reserves, wildlife management areas and conservation efforts in our rapidly growing country.
This is why we are alarmed that the United States Fish and Wildlife Service is considering listing the African lion as endangered. Doing so would make it illegal for American hunters to bring their trophies home. Those hunters constitute 60 percent of our trophy-hunting market, and losing them would be disastrous to our conservation efforts.