Update: Research by Bauer and van der Merwe (2004) and Chardonnet (2002) reveal the number is likely closer to 30 000 or more (according to Conservation Force). Chardonnet estimates up to 14000 in Tanzania. Rolf Baldus and Craig Packer believe there may be more in that country alone. The other question is who made these historical population estimates? Obviously there were more lions a century or 50 years ago but if experts battle to conduct large scale lion counts today, how accurate were those conducted a half century ago? With a fractional off take of large males, even managed per sub population to ensure sound pride social structures, the sustainable removal of a few males per annum seems qute plausible.