My endangered wildlife paintings are included in a special category to provide updated information about the protective support that is currently underway by major wildlife conservation partners.
The information below is from the official websites of WCN wildnet.org (Wildlife Conservation Network) and/or WildAid.org who are protecting endangered wildlife. (Please see Artist’s Disclaimer at bottom.)
PROTECTING AFRICAN LIONS
Kenya is home to less than 2000 lions. In Northern Kenya, outside protected areas, lions and people are learning to coexist. Ewaso Lions employs a team of over 40 local Kenyans to monitor all lion prides in their study area, which—together with Laikipia—is a key area for lions and represents the country’s third largest lion population. Ewaso Lionsworks with communities to ensure their lands serve as important habitat for big cats.
As nomadic pastoralists traverse the vast landscape of northern Kenya, they cross paths with carnivores, the biggest of which are lions. With less than 2,000 lions left in the whole of Kenya, the region serves as an important habitat for the big cats. The diverse tribes that traverse the wilds of northern Kenya are primarily pastoralists who raise sheep, goats, camels, and cows. These animals are the wealth of their land. Though cultural respect for wildlife abounded for generations, with the loss of traditions and an upsurge in development, now the human reaction to lions attacking livestock is to fight back. When lions kill and eat livestock, herders often retaliate with guns, spears or poison.
Confined to parks, the lion population dwindled and was on the brink of disappearing. Only 2,000 remain in Kenya. In 2007, only 11 were found in the protected areas of the Samburu-Isiolo ecosystem, with few, if any, outside parks. Now, Ewaso Lions is working with communities to reverse this trend, creating one of the few places in Africa where lions exist outside protected areas, allowing community lands to once again serve as an important habitat for big cats. Ewaso Lions’ programs engage local people in conservation, provide training, find creative solutions to human-wildlife conflict, and give back to the community.
With over 50 lions now roaming the area, many of whom have made permanent residence in community lands, it is clear that the key to saving lions in northern Kenya lies in involving local people in conservation.
Niassa National Reserve in Mozambique is one of the last great wild places on Earth. It is one of the important remaining strongholds for the African lion, with its dramatic landscapes and wildlife populations remaining largely untouched.
A growing human population of 60,000 in Niassa that needs food and income poses challenges to the reserve’s 800 lions. With few opportunities for education and employment, many families rely on the use of natural resources—particularly fish, skins, ivory, and bushmeat—to support their subsistence lifestyles. The greatest threat to lions in Niassa comes from snares that are set to capture bushmeat and a growing trade in lion skins, claws, and teeth.Niassa Lion Project (NLP), which combines scientific rigor with passion, empathy and sound management practices, is as much about people as it is about lions. The team aims to build a sustainable lion-friendly community by working closely with community members, government officials, reserve management team, and tourism operators. They consider everyone a participant in conservation.
Lion Recovery Fund (LRF) grants support the protection and recovery of lions Africa-wide by organizations in Botswana, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and Sierra Leone. These organizations work to resolve many challenges that impact the safety and restoration of lions across Africa, such as securing critical habitat for lions and building corridors for them to move safely between habitats, tackling snaring and poaching in protected parks and reserves, mitigating human-lion conflict by working with local communities, supporting African conservation leaders so they can take up leadership positions in the conservation space, and more.
Title: African Lion Cub – Born with Spots
Reference photo for this artwork is from pixabay.com.