A recent decision to expand Nairobi National Park in Kenya is a good example of how GPS mapping of lions can positively influence policy decisions.
Leo board members Barbara Croes and Hans de Iongh traveled to Kenya in February 2022 to visit ongoing projects supported by the Leo foundation in Nakuru NP and Soysambu Conservancy and in Meru NP.
Two male lions were collared in Nakuru NP with AWT satellite collars and an attempt was made to collar a lion in Soysambu Conservancy. There are currently three collars providing data in Nakuru NP and in Soysambu Conservancy, adding to the data on lion movements and conflicts in and around Nakuru for Monica Chege’s PhD research. The intention is to map human-lion conflicts around Nakuru NP of lions that have escaped under the fences of the park.
The mission also visited Meru NP, where a collaboration with Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and Born Free Foundation has been established to support the PhD research by Luka Narisha. Two AWT satellite collars were given to park staff for the collaring of two translocated problem lions in Meru NP. There are already data available on previously translocated problem lions and these data indicate that most problem lions leave the park and again get into conflict with livestock owners outside the park. The intention is to increase the sample size of collared problem lions to draw more firm conclusions which may be used to inform KWS policy.
Researcher Rama Mishra Lamichane of the Terai Fishing Cat Project, Nepal, received some disturbing news. A fishing cat got stuck in a fish trap in a hume pipe. It turned out to be one of the research animals with a satellite collar. Thanks to the satellite signal the project team was quickly on site and the animal was rescued quickly and could be released without further injury. The satellite collar is mainly used to map conflict between fishing cats and the local population, but also in this emergency situation the satellite signal proved to be very helpful.
After revealing the precarious state of Waza National Park, Leo Foundation and partner organizations have taken further steps to safeguard this important biodiversity hotspot for future generations.
In a letter initiated by Leo Foundation and its partners in Cameroon and signed by the Director General of IUCN International , IUCN urges the Cameroonian Minister of Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF) to seek new partnerships in order to step up current management efforts and rescue Waza National Park. The good news is that we have received a positive response that the Cameroonian government will support the proposed initiative to restore Waza NP.
We are thankful to our partners in Cameroon, IUCN, Lion Recovery Fund, GlobeGuards and (international) l NGOs for endorsing and supporting our action to save Waza National Park and help the current threatened lion population to recover.
Until recently, lions could occurred throughout Africa, including on the savannah areas of West and Central Africa. Nowadays, no more than 2000 lions remain in this vast area. And while North Africa still harbored lions well into the last century, this iconic cat species has vanished from this part of the continent. A similar scenario may occur in West and Central Africa.
GlobeGuards member Leo Foundation is committed to protecting the endangered lions of Central Africa, specifically the population in Waza National Park (Cameroon). The lion population has been decreasing for years. A few years ago, a survey estimated the population to consist of around 30 adult lions, but the latest census showed that a population of only a maximum of 15 lions is left. Besides that, also the prey species they depend upon are declining.
Between 1988 and 2003 Waza National Park received more than 12 million euros in support of wildlife conservation and community development. Chairman of Leo Foundation, Professor Hans de Iongh, will explain the current situation in Waza National Park today at 14:45 during a press conference in Burgers’ Zoo, organized by Globe Guards. The Dutch involvement in Waza National Park and the position of the local communities inhabiting the area will be discussed.
A football club that goes by the name of Hyenas FC? Perhaps it’s an unusual choice of a name, but it actually makes a lot of sense! In fact, the intelligent and organized system used by spotted hyenas during a hunt, compares extremely well to the tactics a football team uses when hunting for a goal. All the more reason to help the spotted hyena lose its negative stigma.
To this end, Hyenas FC has launched a sponsorship campaign to help improve the protection of hyenas in Africa. During their matches, large banners will be placed around the field and there will be a collection box. The revenues of this action will go entirely to the hyena projects of Leo Foundation. We are very grateful for the support Hyenas FC is giving us, and are looking forward to a fruitful collaboration. On behalf of the ‘real hyenas’: Thank you!
Read more about our hyena projects HERE!
Good news! Our colleague Rama Mishra Lamichane and her team recently collared a fishing cat in Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve in Nepal with a satellite collar. The aim of the collaring is to better understand the behavior of this elusive and endangered cat species, and to monitor conflicts with local fishpond owners. Eventually the team hopes to establish appropriate protection measures that would allow for a coexistence between fishing cats and local farmers. This study is supported by Leo Foundation.
Leo Foundation was asked to contribute to an article in National Geographic Magazine, discussing the impact of lion translocations in Africa.
In some areas, lions and other large carnivores are considered problem animals when they have attacked or killed livestock. In such cases, livestock owners often try to kill the problem animal to prevent further losses. As a non-lethal alternative, local conservation organizations are transferring such animals to more remote areas, where they are less likely to cause problems.
The article concludes however that these translocated animals often have high mortality, highlighting the importance of other solutions that could resolve ongoing human-lion conflict cases. To this end, Leo Foundation supports projects in Kenia that investigate the effectiveness of locally implemented measures, for instance by building lion-proof enclosures to protect livestock or by looking into compensation schemes for impacted livestock owners.
You can find the full article HERE
Lion distribution ranges shrunk drastically over the last decades. Also, human conflicts became more and more apparent in Africa. But how do those two processes affect each other?
Leo Foundation has generated a few maps in which we overlay both lion distribution with different types of conflicts. We hope that this information will help in identifying focus areas for lion assessment and lion conservation.
All maps can be found on THIS specific page for this project! Take a look quickly!
Leo Foundation is happy to announce that the results of our large carnivore studies in North Cameroon had finally been published! In this study we show the long term trends of large carnivore populations in space and time. This new baseline is essential for determining conservation efforts in the area in the future. We thanks our lion guards for their tremendous effort in gathering all the data in the field, all authors and co-authors in compiling all data into this important article. Last, this research has only been possible with the financial help of US Fish andWildlife Service, World Wildlife Fund and Prins Bernhard Natuur Fonds!
Curious about the article? You can read it HERE