The Barbary lion story of decline and survival in remote micro populations rarely encountered by humans is relevant to the current demise of lions in West Africa. Lions have been reduced to perhaps just 250 individuals across the entire region. Just 10 years ago estimates for the population in this region ranged from between 850 and 1163 lions, suggesting something like a 75% decline over the decade since.
The BBC produced a nice article on this topic with a range of information
It is likely that radical approaches will be required to sustain lion populations in future. For example the establishment of fenced reserves is currently being seen as one part of the solution.
Brian Clark Howard has summarised the situation well in National Geographic Daily News – click on their map link below.
Bauer, H. & Nowell, K. (2004) Endangered Classification for West African lions. Cat News, 41, 35-36. http://www.catsg.org/catsgportal/red-list/03_cats-and-red-list/classification-of-west-african-lions.pdf