An article to which three of our board members contributed, has been published in the Spring Edition of Cat News. It discusses the deteriorating conditions lions in Waza National Park, Cameroon, are currently facing and recommends a strategy for restoration.
A survey conducted in 2021 revealed that intrusions by fishermen and cattle herds has become more frequent and persistent. The increased levels of poaching and habitat destruction have caused the resident antelope population to decline. Combined with the elevated risk of conflicts between people and lions, this now threatens the survival of Waza NP’s resident lion population.
Based on the survey findings and lessons learnt from the Waza Logone Project, urgent recommendations have been formulated for the park’s management. By strengthening the park’s management capacity, while involving local communities and enhancing the carrying capacity of the surrounding floodplain, the lion population and the park’s biodiversity in general, are expected to recover. The recommendations ultimately aim at achieving a well-managed national park with thriving biodiversity in sustainable co-existence with local communities that would profit from improved floodplain ecology and security.
The findings highlight the importance of Leo Foundation’s continued support to lion monitoring activities in the park through the Lion Guards Program. Meanwhile, we are working closely with partners in the region to get the recommended action plan for the park off the ground.