Human Wildlife Conflict and how some are saving wild lions in Africa
Many factors affect the existence of Lions throughout the world. Loss of habit, reduction in food, trophy hunting, retaliation killing over livestock, and climate change are a few examples. This has led to reduction in numbers, inbreeding and disease.
Although some protected areas exist, many ranchers are not supportive of conservation efforts since they feel lions pose a threat to human and livestock lives. As a result, lions numbers have dramatically decreased, especially in Africa to approximately 35,000 1 That is a decrease of almost 90%. 2
There is much debate on where to go from here in the lion conservation effort. Some researchers advocate protected areas, surrounded by chain link fences and patrols. Whereas other conservation experts feel this would damage the pride more by putting separations between habitats.
One way we can all help with lion conservation is through education; in conservation, habitat restoration and reduction of trophy hunting and retaliation killings. One such program is the Big Cat Initiative created by National Geographic .2 This program focuses on reducing lion snaring, providing medical treatment for those lions snared and anti-poaching patrols. 2
Another organization fighting to reduce the human wildlife conflict is “Walking For Lions” and its founder, Marnus Roodbol. This organization was started in 2012 to increase awareness of the decline of lions in Africa and find ways to stop it. One of the many projects WFL is working on is the boma construction to help ranchers protect their livestock so lions cannot threaten them and thereby reduce the chance of retaliation killings.
The time is now. We must act if we are going to save lions from extinction. Educate those around you about the dire need of protect for these big cats and donate to the many lion advocacy organizations, such as Walk For Lions, to help complete projects to benefit not only the lions but also the people living in these communities.
Sadly due to circumstances beyond his control Marnus had to withdraw for a season.