1th of Januari 2019, Shekhar Kolipaka will follow up Marjolein Schoe as the secretary of Leo Foundation. We are very happy that Shekhar has joined us, and we are looking forward to this new ideas and input. Marjolein has been in the board of Leo Foundation since 2008, and will start focusing more on activites ourside the foundation. She will stay interested in our work and will keep up to date of all developments coming.
Every year, globeguards organises an action of all her members. Last year, All for Nature travel has sponsored our lion project in Nairobi NP. As a return, they could have a view behind the scenes at the lions, and cheetahs of Burgers Zoo with 10 of their clients. Hans de IOngh gave a presentation about our lion work and also demostrated how calling stations for lions work and showed the satellite collars that we use for follow lions in the field. Also a short viseo was showed from a lion collaring in Kenya. After, it was time to take a look at the lions and cheetahs under guidance of two of the caretakers. It has been a very successful day. Much thanks to Burgers Zoo and All for Nature Travel!
At the beginning of June, a Children’s Bushcamp has been held in W National Parc in North Benin. Eventually 140 children got education about animals, plants and ecosystems and had a sleep over in park during the camp. After a theoretical class, there was time for practicals (drawing, acting and puzzles), and in the evening, a specacular nature documentary was shown. The children have learned a lot and we have had a lot of positive reactions on the program.
The camp has been organised by a local team of Wildcru in cooperation with CENAGREF with the financial support of National Geographic – Wild Cats Initiative. Leo foundation has been responsible for the development of the educational lessons and content for this Children’s Bushcamp.
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.