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.
We are very happy that Gueye Mallé has published a brand new article about his research on conflicts between large carnivores and pastoralists in and around Niokolo Koba National Park in Senegal. This research was supported by Leo Foundation and is part of the PhD study Gueye is currently undertaking.
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.
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
Waza National Parc, located in the Extreme North of Cameroon, is unique in many aspects. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the parc offers a great biodiversity value and it is the only protected nature reserve in this Sahel region. According to the latest population survey of 2019 , the parc still holds some 20 individuals of the endangered northern subspecies of lion.
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
In 2019, a team from Leo Foundation did organise the periodical meeting of the African Lion Working Group (ALWG). The ALWG is the platform for scientists, conservationists and other people who are involved in lion conservation, and is linked to the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature). The group has over 120 members, of which 64 were present during the meeting. Regular meetings are thé opportunity where members can share experience and knowledge with each other. As a result, lion conservation and research can be improved.
At the start of November, 64 lion protectors from 4 continents met each other at the Mpala research center in Kenya. Leo Foundation has receives additional funding from the Lion Recovery Fund and Houston Zoo (USA). This supported the participation of lion conservationists from West/Central Africa and India to the meeting. This is very important because this region represents the northern subspecies of the lion, and many populations in this region are on the brink of extinction. Unfortunately, local researchers in these regions often have few resources to attend international meetings. We are therefore grateful that with this support 7 leading lion conservationists from Senegal, Benin, Cameroon, Niger, Sudan and India were able to participate in this important meeting.
It was a successfull meeting, held on a beautiful location. The first two days, a wide selection of presentations were given. Presented topics were; the current status of the lion per region, challenges in lion conservation, the role of genetic research, coexistence with local communities, and the trade in lion bones and body parts. After each session, presented topics were discussed and interesting point of view were raised. The last two days, we visited various projects in the Laikipia area. In these excursions it became clear how in a commercial way of cattle herding and a thriving population of large carnivores can go hand in hand. We have visited different types of bombs, learned about the use of GPS collars with lions. Lastly, we were introduced to the Lion Rangers Program that runs in the area.