Human populations keep growing. Wild places keep shrinking. This creates human wildlife conflict. Especially conflict between the big cats and farmers. Big cats like lions, leopard and cheetah are being killed.
For three years Marnus Roodbol (Walking for Lions) successfully saved lions in Botswana. He studied and worked with farmers to understand their struggle of losing cows to lions. He studied lion behavior and wild prey populations to understand why and when lions attack cattle posts. He found a near perfect solution.
With something as simple as lights lions stay away from cattle enclosures (kraals or bomas.) He is not the first to do this, however his combining motion activated lights and sirens proved doubly effective.
Now Marnus is about to expand his work to save more lions and expand to protecting all predators. We are super excited to continue supporting Marnus with your help.
You can help Marnus and Walking For Lions:
- Protect wild lions now
- Study and understand lion and human behavior
- Determine long term predator conflict solutions.
Why this is super important now
We found this majestic lion sitting high up on a rocky hill in the Serengeti. He looked so proud. So free. So regal as he surveyed the Savannah. I felt both privileged… and terribly sad. You see…
430,000 lions have been lost in my life time!
430,000 lions like this one are no more! What a huge loss. What’s happening?
The lion population across Africa decreased from 450,000 to a mere 20,000 in just 50 years. That’s not all, their numbers continue to plummet in most areas. Many conservationists and biologists now believe that lions may be extinct as early as the year 2020. What a scary thought! No wild lions!
Fortunately there are people taking action. However, they need our help.
The major threat
Habitat loss is one of the leading causes of lion deaths – as much as 80% of their original stomping grounds has been taken over for human settlements. This has also led to a reduction in their prey and has brought them into much greater proximity with people.
The protected land left is small and very fragmented and the lions often leave the boundaries of their territory, either in search of another habitat area or to hunt for food. In doing so, they stray into villages or cattle posts where humans and livestock live.
When livestock are killed villagers retaliate by trapping, shooting or poisoning the lions to prevent future attacks.
This human-predator conflict is a huge problem!
Our friend Marnus Roodbol and his team at the nonprofit Walking For Lions are doing amazing work to create global awareness of the threats facing Lions in Africa. They are also among a few organizations that are seeking new and different ways to prevent the human-lion conflicts that lead to these retaliatory killings.
Because we at Nikela believed so strongly in Marnus and his work, we ran a matching challenge and doubled your gift. (The matching goal was reached back in 2015. However, Nikela continues to support Marnus and your donation is most welcome and needed.)
Watch: A Day with the Man Who Saves Lions
How Lights are a Simple Solution
Lions are wary of people and tend to avoid direct confrontation. They appear to associate lights moving around in the dark with humans walking round with a torch and usually steer clear.
Attaching lights to the perimeter of a Kraal (Boma) creates the impression that humans are patrolling the perimeter. Lions are deterred by the possibility of conflict and do not approach the compound or attack the livestock.
They are in turn safe as there is no cause for retribution from the local community.
Looking Long Term
Lions are no dummies. Although lights are a viable deterrent now will they be so long term? Marnus is about long term solutions. Sure, it is critical to act now and implement what works. However, it is crucial to monitor, document and study lion (and human) behaviors. Crucial to look holistically at what is sustainable over time.
(This holistic approach also includes the movements and behaviors of other predators at risk. Namely cheetah, leopard and hyenas. More on this later as we receive updated information.)
Why we support Marnus and Walking For Lions…
- To protect wild lions today.
- To study and understand lion and human behavior.
- To determine long term predator conflict solutions.
All this to safeguard the future of this iconic animal, for all of us and for subsequent generations. By studying and supporting the remaining lion population in Africa, Walking For Lions hopes to ensure their survival.
How You Can Help
Join us in our ongoing support of Marnus and his work to save wild lions. 100% of your gift goes to Marnus and the team at Walking For Lions.
Your contribution to this campaign can help reduce a major threat to the survival of the lion, ensuring that our children and grandchildren will have a chance to know and appreciate these beautiful and unique creatures.
Please also spread the word among your family, friends, and local community to make an even bigger impact in protecting these majestic animals.