Archive for the Africa: Lions Category

Bringing Conservation Into Focus: The Last Lions

Posted in Africa: Lions, iLCP: Bringin Conservation Into Focus with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 1, 2011 by ilcpcommunications

In the new wildlife adventure, The Last Lions, filmmakers Dereck and Beverly Joubert follow the epic journey of a lioness named Ma di Tau (“Mother of Lions”) as she battles to protect her cubs against a daunting onslaught of enemies in order to ensure their survival.

The gripping real-life saga unfolds inside a stark reality: Lions are vanishing from the wild. In the last 50 years, lion populations have plummeted from 450,000 to as few as 20,000. The Jouberts weave their dramatic storytelling and breathtaking, up-close footage around a resonating question: Are Ma di Tau and her young to be among the last lions? Or will we as humans, having seen how tough, courageous and poignant their lives in the wild are, be moved to make a difference?

So, what will you do?

Here are three simple things you can do to help lions:

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Organization of The Day: WildlifeNOW

Posted in Africa: Elephants, Africa: Lions, Africa: Primates, Africa: Rhinos, Organization of The Day with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 22, 2010 by kendickjerkins


George Adamson was a legendary figure in the world of wildlife. He devoted his life to his many lions that he was able to reintroduce into the wild, becoming the infamous ‘lion man.’ In 1989, George Adamson’s life ended devastatingly, murdered by a group of Somali Bandits. Fortunately, his legacy lives on through Tony Fitzjohn, who spent nearly 18 years with Adamson learning all the tricks of the trade from building roads to organizing anti-poaching units. Together this dynamic duo created Kora National Park, encompassing 1200 square miles of land that lays adjacent to Tsavo National Park (Kenya’s largest National Park), creating a massive amount of landscape dedicated to protection and preservation.

These two extraordinary men also fought many battles against bandits and poachers, created airstrips, cut more than 300 miles of bush roads and reintroduced more than 30 lions and 10 leopards back into the wild. Today, Fitzjohn carries on the spirit of Adamson as his protégé. Recently, WildlifeNOW focuses its efforts on the highly endangered rhinos, African Wild Dogs, and elephants. Their accomplishments consist of establishing the first successful rhino sanctuary in Tanzania which is now a highly patrolled, 30 square mile sanctuary. Their veterinary program has made groundbreaking progress in the research of diseases, hoping to one day contribute to immunizations of the African Wild Dogs. After a devastating decrease in population of elephants, WildlifeNOW has around 1,000 elephants roaming the reserve in the wet season.

Additionally, for the past three decades WildlifeNOW has been successful in reintroducing zoo animals back into the wild. Tanzania, being one of the poorest countries, has hunted wildlife for the survival of themselves and their families. To help local communities WildlifeNOW has created an outreach program so that the surrounding villages benefit from the reserve. Their outreach program has provided medical assistance, funded the building of a secondary school, improved water supplies and much more. Their goal is not only to sustain wildlife, but to reverse the damage that has been done. Tony Fitzjohn has spent a lot of time traveling the world, educating the public on issues of wildlife preservation. However, he is now moving back to Kora, where he and Adamson started their magnificent journey, to bring the area back to life and re-introduce more lions into the wild.

To learn more, please visit their website

Organization of The Day: Ewaso Lions

Posted in Africa: Lions, Organization of The Day with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2010 by kendickjerkins

In the last 20 years alone, Africa’s lion population has plummeted by 30-50%. This reduction in the number of lions is mainly due to habitat loss and conflict with humans. The Ewaso Nyiro region of northern Kenya provides critical habitat for these big cats, but the lions there are also faced with the deadly battle of trying to co-exist with the area’s nomadic people. The rural herdsmen have grown to feel threatened by these predators, and in turn their animosity towards the lions has led to the fatal poisoning, shooting, and spearing of far too many of these animals.

In a brave effort to save the Ewaso lion population, a grassroots initiative known as Ewaso Lions was established in 2007 by Oxford PhD student and Kenyan local, Shivani Bhalla. By using science an education, Bhalla strives to lessen the locals’ fear of the lions and create a sense of value and admiration for these carnivores in order to secure their future. The research focuses on the demographics of the lion population, their habitat and prey (including the critically endangered Grevy zebra), and human interaction.

Ewaso Lions reaches out to local communities to raise awareness about ecological problems and solutions, offering strategies for reducing conflict with lions (particularly pertaining to the predation of livestock), and also uses visual educational materials to help redefine their relationship with lions in a positive light. Bhalla stakes the organization in conservation education, believing that changing the attitudes of local people regarding these felines will ultimately lead to the recovery of the entire African lion population.

To learn more, please visit their website

Organization of The Day: Lewa Conservancy

Posted in Africa: Elephants, Africa: Lions, Africa: Primates, Africa: Rhinos, Organization of The Day with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 16, 2010 by kendickjerkins


Lewa Wildlife Conservancy

During the 1970s population of black rhinos had dropped from 20,000 to fewer than 300, putting these animals in danger of becoming extinct. Since then, thanks to the Lewa Conservancy, over 40,000 acres has been dedicated to over 70 different animals. Since the 1970s Lewa has been able to double the population of rhinos! Lewa also lends a helping hand to the surrounding communities.

Their annual safaricom marathon has helped raise over 2,000,000, they have been able to build over 10 schools, establish forestry programs, support hospitals, provide free treatment to those injured by wildlife, as well as put projects in place such as tracker dog units to help the conservancy. They have even started a womens micro-credit program. The surrounding communities are impoverished and this program gives these women a chance to become more independent. They are given the chance to train and become entrepreneurs, hoping to reduce poverty and facilitate gender equity. Lewa’s efforts not only help out the animals in need, but the people as well.

To Learn More, please visit their site

Organization of The Day: The Mara Conservancy

Posted in Africa: Elephants, Africa: Lions, Africa: Primates, Africa: Rhinos, Organization of The Day with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 10, 2010 by kendickjerkins

Mara Conservancy

Management of the Mara Triangle was falling apart, until 2001, when Mara Conservancy stepped in and took control over the triangle. Their programs include anti-poaching and de-snaring patrols, as well as a mobile veterinary unit that is always on the move. These units help animals that have been snared by cutting wires and treating open wounds, giving the animals a chance to survive.

The help of the conservancy extends to surrounding communities creating a ripple effect that in turn helps protect wildlife. They have started a project that brings bio-gas to surrounding homes. Bio gas reduces smoke within homes, preventing women from having to search for wood. Because of this, the depletion of surrounding forests is reduced as well as human-wildlife conflict, an obstacle that faces many conservationists.

Additionally, they’ve brought toilets to 5 villages and plan to construct more. Female genital mutilation is a huge problem in surrounding communities and Mara has educated them in hopes to stop the mutilation. They’ve also reduced revenge killing of predators by giving livestock guardians and replacing the livestock when possible. With the reduction of revenge killing, better patrol of the area, veterinarians in place and their efforts in reaching out to the community Mara Conservancy has taken huge strides in the protection of wildlife.

To Learn More about the Conservancy & the Mara Triangle, click here.

Organization of The Day – Living With Lions

Posted in Africa: Lions, Organization of The Day with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 8, 2010 by kendickjerkins

Living With Lions

Until recently scientists believed there were 100-200,000 lions living in Africa, but a recent survey has found that the number has dropped dramatically to approximately 23,000, and most of these are living in protected National Parks. But outside these parks lions are being killed at an alarming rate, and unless urgent action is taken, they may be completely wiped out from these unprotected areas.

Living with Lions is a research and conservation group, whose projects work in unprotected areas of Kenya to save the remaining wild lions and other predators outside National Parks. The organization currently has 5 projects; Lion Guardians, Mara Predator Project, Laikipia Predator Project, Amboseli Predator Project and the Kilimanjaro Lion Conservation Project. The Lion Guardians were created in response to the slaughtering of over 200 lions in the Amboseli-Tsavo Ecosystem since 2001, the group monitors lions, educates communities and provides initiatives to prevent human – wildlife conflict. The Laikipia and Amboseli Predator projects study the lions to find out what makes them vulnerable to extinction in an unprotected area, and how practical measures can be developed to encourage coexistence between people, livestock and predators.

The Mara Predator Project (MPP) is monitoring the lions in this area, identifying key trends and shifts in population, and building an online database of individual lions so that effective conservation methods can be applied. Lastly The Kilimanjaro Lion Conservation Project (KLCP) was established in early 2004 to try to use some of the lessons learnt in Laikipia to halt the massacre of lions in an area of Maasailand between the Chyulu Hills, Tsavo and Amboseli National Parks in southern Kenya.

Living With Lions is lead by Dr. Lawrence G. Frank and his team of project biologists and coordinators. To learn more, click here.

Africa’s Lost Eden: A Rare Yet Hopeful Success Story

Posted in Africa: Elephants, Africa: Lions, Africa: Primates, Africa: Rhinos, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2010 by kendickjerkins

Mozambique was torn apart by civil war in 1977.  During that war, 1,000,000 people died as well as almost the entire zebra, buffalo, and hippo population due to cross-fire killing. About 95% of the large animal population was decimated in Gorongosa National Park in addition to the rampant poaching to fund the war effort.  This in turn drastically affected the overall ecology of the region as some of the major players were no longer there: vegetation grew, birds lost their nesting habitat, fires began much more common, etc.

The park was shut down and abandoned in 1983 as clashes between opposing forces waged on for another decade. However, a relocation program was implemented in which elephants, buffalo and hopefully soon, other animals will be reintroduced into the Gorongosa National Park.  A group of scientists are trying to save this park and the species that used to be there so that another chunk of their only remaining  territory is not lost. Led by the US based Carr foundation, in collaboration with the government of Mozambique, the foundation invested about $10 million into the parks restoration between 2004-2007. Due to the rapid success of the three year project the government of Mozambique and the Carr foundation agreed in 2008 to sign a 20-year agreement to restore and co-manage the park. Today thousands of visitors visit the park annually which is open from 6am – 6pm.

Lioness in Gorongosa National Park

Urema Lake in Gorongosa National Park

A hippo and wading birds back in Gorongosa National Park.

National Geographic Wild has aired a 1 hour special on Gorongosa National Park titled ‘Africa’s Lost Eden’

To read the full article click here

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