Grant Announcement: Namibia Desert Lion Conservation Project
Empowers Africa is thrilled to announce its continued support of the Wilderness Wildlife Trust with a grant for the Namibia Desert Lion Conservation Project. This grant was made possible by guests of Wilderness Safaris who recently had the chance to encounter this desert-adapted lion while on safari at Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp in Namibia. These generous individuals were profoundly impacted by the fate of these rare lions, the most threatened and endangered of the large carnivorous species in Namibia. We are extremely grateful for their donation and support of this conservation effort.
Namibia is home to a very rare and unique population of “desert” lions, which have adapted to the harsh conditions of the Namib Desert. The protection of these incredible and resilient lions is crucial, as part of the desert ecosystem, as well as being highly valued by the tourism industry, particularly in the Kunene region. Historically, Namibia has been renowned for its exceptional conservation efforts that have allowed such wildlife populations to rebound, particularly in dry regions. Unfortunately, this population growth has exacerbated the potential for human-wildlife conflict between the lions and local livestock owners. Some farmers have been desperate enough to resort to trapping, poisoning and shooting lions in order to keep their livestock safe and to ensure their livelihood.
To effectively protect these desert lions, action must be taken to monitor their population ecology and to mediate human-wildlife conflict. Desert Lion is addressing this head-on by researching desert lion behavior and working with local communities to resolve conflicts as they occur – with the ultimate aim of preventing them altogether. The project monitors many of the desert-adapted lions via satellite collars to obtain valuable information about their movements and ideally avert livestock losses. The Project also works to ensure that local communities experience the benefits of lion conservation to provide an incentive for keeping them alive. With Wilderness’ ethos of community empowerment and conservation, we have no doubt this project will be a great success.
Photo Credit: Shirley Sanderson
To learn more about the Namibia Desert Lion Conservation Project, click here.