So what if lions disappear?
Lion populations have dropped 43 percent over 21 years, according to 2016 figures. They're now classified as vulnerable. Some 20,000 are left in the wild. The animals play an important role as apex predators and their disappearance is a loss to the grasslands and woodlands they roam. Lions help maintain a balance among other animals, particularly herbivores, such as wildebeest.