July 31, 2021
Lions have disappeared from over 90% of their historic range. It is estimated that there are only around 20,000 wild lions left in Africa, nearly 50% fewer than 20 years ago and 90% fewer than a century ago. Of those 20,000, almost half live in non-protected rangelands shared with humans. Lions can survive outside fenced areas within pastoral regions if communities gain benefits from wildlife. If we don’t help protect the landscapes where lions live, it won’t be long before they become extinct in nature.
Lion and other large carnivores share the same key threats, including:
• Habitat destruction and fragmentation
• Loss of wild prey
• Persecution in retaliation for killing livestock
• Illegal hunting and poachingLion Landscapes works with local communities and conservation partners in Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia to ensure that ecosystems support people, lions, and their prey for future generations. Their vision is a world where people and viable lion populations can coexist and thrive.
A lion landscape is a landscape that encompasses viable populations of large carnivores, tolerant people and livestock, abundant wild prey and a healthy habitat. Lion Landscapes’ conservation and research efforts focus on how local communities, their livestock and lions can co-exist. This organization does this in 3 main ways:
• Building Partnerships – using available resources for conservation and collaborating between key stakeholders to more efficiently achieve shared conservation goals.
• Science and Data – providing science based support to large carnivore conservation and allocating resources based on data.
• Innovation – creating innovative solutions with financial and ecological sustainability in mind.Lion Rangers is a key component of Lion Landscapes activities in Africa. The Rangers are composed of local people who understand the communities and the culture. They monitor lion populations, provide advice on protecting livestock from carnivores, and mitigate human-lion conflicts through this monitoring and mentoring.
Seneca Park Zoo chooses to support the conservation efforts of Lion Landscapes as part of the African Lion SAFE Program. The money raised during Lion Weekend will be donated to Lion Landscapes to promote human-wildlife coexistence and support real-life conservation efforts. If you choose to make a donation you will be directly helping to save vulnerable African lions while protecting community livelihoods in Africa.
– Zoologist Sue Rea
* Banner photo by Kenneth Tryon