Nairobi NP – On the morning of 5 februari 2018, a team of KWS (Francis Lesilau), Leo foundation (Hans de Iongh) en CML, Leiden University (Kevin Groen) have decollarred two lions
End 2017, Leo Foundation received the good news that the proceeds of the National Geographic Junior school diary brought in €6019,39. This money will be used to support our lion guards programme in Cameroon.
Beginning of December, Laura Bertola of the Leo Foundation, met up with Luke Hunter, President and Chief conservation officer of the NGO Panthera at their headquarters in New York. During the meeting, we discussed ways to collaborate in the field. For example, Panthera is starting with an ambitious project in Senegal, and the Leo Foundation has a PhD researcher on he ground in this region, Mr. Gueye Malle, who is financially supported by a grant from Panthera. Also in other countries, our activities can complement each other. Panthera will focus on law enforcement, while the Leo Foundation puts most efforts into ecological monitoring and outreach. Together, we hope to make great progress to ensure conservation of lions and other wildlife in Africa.
The results of the study implemented by staff of the Leo foundation and students of Leiden University in Bouba Ndjida NP, North Cameroon, have now been published in African Journal of Ecology. This study showed that lion and spotted hyena populations in Bouba Ndjida NP seem to have increased between 2005 and 2014. This result was base on a comparison between a calling station survey that Leo Foundation has performed in 2014 with the calling station survey performed by dr Hans Bauer of Wildcru, Oxford in 2005. This project has been sponsored by US Fish and Wildlife Service and Prins Bernhard Natuurfonds.
As was previously announced, the Leo Foundation received funding from the WWF to assess the situation in Waza National Park, Cameroon. This park is situated in the extreme North of Cameroon, a region that suffered greatly from the presence of Boko Haram in the past years. As the security situation is improving, it is time to thoroughly analyse the situation of Waza National Park in its current state.
The assessment was done in close collaboration with the Centre d’Étude de l’Environnement et du Développement (CEDC), in Cameroon. During the study, we performed a number of ‘calling stations’. This is a method to attract lion and other large carnivores, which enables us to make an estimate regarding their population size. The response from the lions was impressive, indicating that the population may be bigger than we previously assumed. The size of the population is now estimated to be around 23 individuals. In addition, there were sighting of other wildlife, including prey species for lions. This gives us hope for Waza National Park and the unique savannah system that it is protecting.
To keep the momentum going for the West and Central Africa Species Action Plan (WCASAP), which was launched during the IUCN World Conservation Congress in September 2016, we are trying to team up with a number of large NGOs, all member of IUCN.
The Leo Foundation has sponsored a visit of Gueye Mallé from Senegal to the University of Antwerp in Belgium in May 2017.
Last month, chair Hans the Iongh of Leo Foundation visited the Nairobi Lion Project in Kenya, a project that is coordinated by PhD student Francis Lesilau. A very successful visit with many aspects and activities.
Leo Foundation has been accepted as a member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN NL). This brings the total of Dutch member organisation to 36. Leo Foundation aims to protect large carnivores such as lions, leopards, hyena’s, tigers and African wild dogs.
We can greatly benefit from the knowledge of the IUCN-network, says Leo-chairman Hans de Iongh; members of the Leo Foundation are already actively involved in the activities of the Species Survival Committee, Cat and Canid Specialist Group, Conservation Genetics Specialist Group, and the African Lion Working Group.
IUCN NL offers a platform for Dutch IUCN-member organisations that range from nature and environmental organisations and scientific institutions to the Dutch government. Coenraad Krijger, director of IUCN NL: “Thanks to their field projects in several African countries, Leo Foundation brings in practical experience. But at the same time, because of their affiliation with research group of Leiden University, they also have important scientific knowledge to share. I look forward to many interesting exchanges within our member base.”
The National Geographic Junior school diary 2017/2018 is out. It gives attention to our activities and 10 percent of the proceeds go to our foundation. Naturally, we are very grateful for this! We will use this money to buy new camera traps for our lion guards in Cameroon. The school diary is available at National Geographic, HEMA and Bruna.