Lions have been in trouble for several years now, but it was not until the recent death of Cecil that brought the plight of the lions to mainstream media. Conservationist have been trying to get the African lion listed as endangered and protected under the Endangered Species Act for a long time. As of January 2016 lions have protection, but this is mainly to protect against trophy hunting and illegal kills or wildlife trafficking. This is wonderful news for the lions, but how does it protect them from habitat loss and human-predator conflict?
Part of our work as conservationists is researching and staying informed about the work being done in the wild. When we read statistics like this, “The African lion population has declined by 90% in the last 75 years and lions have disappeared from approximately 80% of their historical range. Kenya’s lion population is now less than 2,000 individuals.” on the Ewaso Lions website, we know that we must do something to help the African lions. Ewaso Lions works with the local people to educate them about the wildlife and how they can coexist with these natural predators. Through programs like Warrior Watch and Lion Watch, they are able to collect data and learn more about where the lions are traveling, communicate this information to villagers so they can protect their livestock, and ultimately build a strong sense of respect for the wildlife in Kenya.
We believe that this is one of the best ways to save species from extinction. Aside from the poachers, human conflict is responsible for many animals deaths. Involving the local people is key to saving the lions because they will become the future conservationists, tour guides, and wildlife rangers. Saving species is a domino effect … it only takes one person to get a movement started.
Creations 4 Wildlife is happy to announce that we will be making a bracelet to benefit lion conservation and donate the proceeds to Ewaso Lions through the Wildlife Conservation Network. We hope to release the new bracelet in June 2016. Stay tuned for more details!
Photo: Michelle Fryer