World Lion Day is a moment for reflecting on lion conservation, which can be sobering. This most iconic species is undergoing decline at an alarming rate. Between 1993 and 2014, monitored lion populations dropped by over 40% with the main threats being habitat loss, prey loss and conflict with local people. Lions have disappeared from over 90% of the areas they used to occur in. Most remaining lion populations are small and isolated, with only six having more than 1000 lions.
These challenges should not be underestimated: conserving wide-ranging, dangerous animals is extremely complicated. But there is also much reason for hope. Over this past year, the Ruaha Carnivore Project and Lion Landscapes decided to formally join forces and achieve more successful conservation through collaboration. We are now working together under a new Lion Landscapes organisation that benefits from the collective knowledge and experience of all our teams.
Today we unveil our new, blended logo, which reflects the fact that both lions and people, walking together in shared landscapes, are at the heart of everything we do. But our organisation is about far more than just lions, or carnivores – it is about big, amazing, wonderful landscapes which sustain immense biodiversity as well as supporting people.
Working across some of the most important remaining lion populations, our Lion Landscapes teams in Tanzania, Kenya and Zambia have developed effective, locally-informed approaches to help tackle major threats to wildlife. ‘Lion Carbon’, which we co-developed with BioCarbon Partners, helps incentivise habitat and wildlife conservation while tackling climate change. Our ‘community camera-trapping’ provides meaningful benefits to communities as a direct result of tolerating wildlife. Our ‘Coexistence Co-op’, which we run with The Peregrine Fund, empower communities to better live alongside dangerous wildlife. Local warriors, employed as Lion Defenders, safeguard people and livestock and deter illegal lion hunts. Meanwhile, on the Kenyan conservancies we partner with, Lion Rangers play a vital role in tackling conflict and poaching.
Where do we work? Map displaying our locations.
Those are just some elements of our collective work, which is showcased in this flyer. We have three 3 core pillars: stopping the loss of wildlife, reducing its local costs, and unlocking the value of conservation. Those pillars are on a foundation of local engagement and strong science, so we can make the best and most appropriate choices.
We have seen real success: our work has reduced wildlife killings, helped local people and improved coexistence. And while it takes a large team on the ground, it would be impossible without the support of so many dedicated supporters around the world. So today we want to celebrate working together, thank you all for everything you have helped us achieve and look forward with positivity. Through passion, dedication, collaboration and partnership, we can and will build a better future for lions and for people. Please do take this moment to learn more about what we do, and to support it if you can. Thank you all very much!