The following organizations and individuals are active in lion conservation, research or activities that benefit lions, and need your support to continue their work. We provide here a brief overview of their work, but encourage you to use the links provided to find out more, as well as details of how you can support them.
We encourage those working to save lions to contact us at email@example.com to register as a beneficiary.
World Lion Day is an independent campaign. Listing here of those who need your help does not imply co-operation or mutual support between listed members, except in their shared desire to ensure the future of lions.
Big Cats Initiative – National Geographic
Big cats are in trouble, from lions in Kenya to snow leopards in the Himalaya. The icons of the natural world – lions, tigers, cheetahs, leopards, jaguars and other top felines – are quickly disappearing, victims of habitat loss and degradation as well as conflicts with humans. The loss of these majestic predators could create a devastating impact on our ecosystem; losing them means not only loss of keystone species but destruction of the natural balance affecting entire environmental systems, including people.
To address this critical situation, the National Geographic Society launched the Big Cats Initiative (BCI) in 2009 with Explorers-in-Residence, filmmakers and conservationists Dereck and Beverly Joubert. BCI is a comprehensive program supporting on-the-ground conservation projects, education and a global public awareness campaign. To find out more and learn how to take action visit www.causeanuproar.org.
Panthera – Project Leonardo
Panthera has brought together the world’s leading wild cat experts to direct and implement effective conservation strategies for the world’s largest and most endangered cats: lions, cheetahs, leopards, tigers, jaguars and snow leopards. Their approach to wild cat conservation is rooted in science and based upon decades of first hand field experience. For African lions Panthera envisions populations recovering to more than 30,000 individuals across at least 20 key lion conservation landscapes. Panthera are leaders in range-wide program to protect critical habitats and core populations connected by genetic and biological corridors, mitigating the threats of habitat loss and conversion, human-lion conflict, bushmeat poaching and excessive trophy hunting. For more information and how to support Panthera visit www.panthera.org
Mara Naboisho Lion Project
Situated in the Mara Naboisho Conservancy of Kenya the MNLP are undertaking vital research upon the resident lion population in this joint conservancy. Kenya’s lions are dwindling by c. 100 animal every year due primarily to human-lion conflict. The Mara Naboisho is focused upon stakeholders and local communities working together to share benefits from nature based tourism which in turn contributes to wildlife conservation. Understanding and monitoring how these incentives are effecting the lion population is important for creating sound lion conservation management plans. For more information and how to support this program visit www.mnlp.org.
Lion Guardians is a unique approach that relies on and preserves the cultural traditions of pastoralist communities while at the same time actively engaging warriors in protecting lions rather than killing them. Lion Guardians monitor lion movements, warn pastoralists when lions are in the area, recover lost livestock, reinforce protective fencing and intervene to stop lion hunting parties, resulting in reduced livestock and losses and therefore the need to retaliate. More than 40 warriors are employed as Lion Guardians covering over 4,000 km² key wildlife habitat in Kenya’s Amboseli ecosystem as well as the Ruaha landscape of Tanzania. Lion killing in the Lion Guardians’ areas has been nearly eliminated and the Amboseli lion population is now growing, making this important ecosystem one of the few areas in Africa where lion numbers are on the rise. For more information and how to support this program visit: www.lionguardians.org
The Ruaha Carnivore Project, part of Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU), aims to help develop effective conservation strategies for large carnivores in Tanzania’s remote Ruaha landscape. The area supports around 10% of Africa’s lions making it an extremely important conservation area however the population has been understudied. The project is working to gather baseline data on population numbers and ecology whilst working alongside local communities to reduce human-carnivore conflict. For more information and how to support this program visit www.ruahacarnivoreproject.com & www.houstonzoo.org/lionssp/projects/ruaha-carnivore-project
African Parks is a non-profit organisation that takes total responsibility for the rehabilitation and long-term management of national parks in partnership with governments and local communities. Four of the seven managed parks across Africa have known resident lion populations; Garamba NP (DRC), Liuwa Plain NP (Zambia), Majete Wildlife Reserve (Malawi), and Zakouma NP (Chad). African Parks has implemented, supported and funded vital lion conservation management programs in these areas and their continuing work is ensuring the long time survival of these isolated populations. For more information and how to support this program visit www.african-parks.org
Following years of political turmoil, Uganda and its wildlife is beginning to recovery. The Uganda Conservation Foundation are working with the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) to help regenerate wildlife areas and conserve what remains after years of devastating poaching levels. UCF seeks to sensitise communities and demonstrate through practical projects how financial benefits can be gained from conservation. For more information and how to support this program visit: www.ugandacf.org
Namibia supports a unique population of desert-adapted lions that survive in the harsh Namib Desert. The “Desert” lion is a prominent feature in Namibia and is highly valued, both aesthetically and financially, by the growing tourism industry. The Desert Lion Conservation project was started in 1998 with the aim to collect sound ecological data, address human-lion conflicts, and to develop a conservation strategy. Applied research and sound scientific data on lion movements and dispersal, and the ecological mechanisms that regulate the population are fundamental to this process. For more information and how to support this program visit: www.desertlion.info and contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The African People & Wildlife Fund (APW) works in partnership with rural communities to conserve Tanzania’s most threatened African lion population. Via a holistic, stepwise model of community engagement, APW works to (1) prevent human-wildlife conflicts, (2) build community capacity to manage natural resources, (3) support active management by the community, and (4) foster local conservation incentives for ecological and/or financial benefit. Reflecting a philosophy of creating mutual benefit for people and wildlife, APW’s Northern Tanzania Big Cats Conservation Initiative covers approximately 30,000 km2 of key lion habitat and involves a population of approximately 400,000 Maasai people. Their headquarters – the Noloholo Environmental Center – was built on land donated by Maasai communities and serves as the first full-service rural environmental education center in northern Tanzania. APW’s Tanzanian staff lives amongst the communities that they work with, allowing them to develop deep, committed partnerships that ensure program success. For more information on how to support this program, visit www.afrpw.org
Etosha Carnivore Research Project
Each year an outbreak of anthrax in Namibia’s Etosha National Park provides the resident lion population, with a glut of carcasses to feed on. The long-term health effect of consuming diseased carcasses however is unknown. This study will relate the differences in anthrax outbreaks on the long-term population fitness of lions. The research will also provide greater accuracy to previous estimates of lion density and distribution in ENP, and determine the impacts of human-induced mortalities upon resident prides to identify the high-risk areas for human-wildlife conflict and help formulate mitigation strategies. For more information and how to support this program contact Nancy Barker, lead researcher at email@example.com
The Ewaso Lion Project are working to save Kenya’s lions and other carnivores. Their research and community work aims to better understand human wildlife conflict in the region and promote peaceful existence between local communities and surrounding wildlife. With Kenya’s lions estimated to be extinct within the next 2 decades it is imperative such conservation efforts are undertaken, supported and shared. For more information and how to support the program visit www.ewasolions.org
Projecto Leões da Gorongosa – Gorongosa Lion Project
The Gorongosa Lion Project is working to save and restore the Gorongosa National Park of Mozambique, fondly known as “Africa’s Eden”. This 4200 sq. km wilderness was once home to abundant wildlife populations but following the civil war of Mozambique Gorongosa was striped almost bare of its biological diversity. The park is estimated to have a lion population of 30-50 lions however knowledge upon this delicate population is lacking. The GLP began monitoring the lions in 2012 identifying and remedying existing threats to them and other carnivores in the Greater Gorongosa Ecosystem. For more information and how to support the program visit www.lions.gorongosa.org
Little is known in the outside world about the rare Asiatic lion; about is existence and the threats it faces. There are c. 400 lions remaining in the Gir Forest National Park of the Gujarat state in India. After decades of trophy hunting were finalled halted the population slowly began to recover however today they are at risk of drowning when falling into one of the c. 9,500 open pit wells in the area. To date the Lions of Gir Foundation have successfully barricaded 2000 wells but many more need attending to to prevent such a horrifying death for such rare animals. For more information and how to support the program visit www.lionsofgir.com
Situated in the Niassa National Reserve of Northern Mozambique, the Niassa Carnivore Project is working to save Mozambique lions and other large carnivores. Niassa Carnivore Project work closely alongside local communities understanding the difficulties they face living alongside apex predators. By focusing on and implementing practical, sustainable solutions based on sound research, environmental education and outreach work they are ensuring the predators of this wilderness are able to live peacefully alongside communities for years to come. For more information and how to support the program visit www.niassalion.org
Uganda Carnivore Program
The Uganda Carnivore Program is dedicated to the conservation of lions and other predators, their prey and natural habitats, and, in their vicinity, to livelihood development in rural villages for the benefit of both people and wildlife. This is accomplished through activities such as training, research and monitoring, human-wildlife conflict mitigation, public awareness and education outreach, and sustainable community based natural resources management. For more information and how to support the program visit www.uganda-carnivores.org
African Lion & Environmental Research Trust
ALERT is dedicated to the facilitation and promotion of sound conservation management plans for the African lion. By means of an holistic responsible development approach, and working with local communities, governments, NGOs, academics and business leaders, ALERT aims to realize the species’ potential to provide substantial social, cultural, ecological and economic benefits. For more information and how to support this program visit www.lionalert.org
LionAid is a charity with a difference. Based in the UK they are working to create much needed conservation awareness surrounding the lion. They are actively urging the UK government and EU to ban the importation of lion trophies in a bid to reduce lion trophy hunting in Africa. They have approached the IUCN imploring them to list those lion populations of west and central Africa as ‘regionally endangered’ and are also working to have the lion listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Species to bring about further recognition of the species and protection. For more information and how to support this program visit www.lionaid.org
Rebuilding the Pride aims to increase lion and other carnivore numbers across the South Rift, linking the Mara, Amboseli and Tsavo into a viable meta-population as a part of the South Rift Association of Land Owners program – SORALO. The project centers on reducing human-wildlife conflict, preventing range fragmentation and maintaining healthy prey numbers. The project explores the basis of traditional practices among pastoralists that allow herders to coexist with wildlife and minimize conflict with predators. For more information and how to support this program visit www.soralo.org/re-building-the-pride/
AfriCat was founded in 1991 on Okonjima Farm in Central Namibia whose mission was to contribute to the long term conservation of Namibia’s large carnivores. AfriCat North is ideally situated to play a vital role in supporting Environmental Education, Farmer-Predator Conflict Mitigation (Human-Wildlife Conflict Mitigation) and Research & Monitoring Programmes, in the Kunene Region of Namibia. Rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing hundreds of predators since 1993 from human wildlife conflicts incidents, Africat are working first hand to preserve and protect Namibia’s carnivore populations. For more information and how to support this program visit www.africat.org
Based within the Caprivi region of Namibia, the Caprivi Carnivore Project is using gathered field data to create suggested management strategies to resolve persistent human wildlife conflict issues in the area. Principle researcher, Lise Hanssen, is working closely with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, primarily focusing upon hyena population ecology, however her work and conservation efforts have major influence on the resident lion population and on other large carnivores in the region. For more information and how to support this program visit www.caprivicarnivores.org
Conservation Lower Zambezi
CLZ is dedicated to the conservation and sustainable use of wildlife and natural resources in and around the Lower Zambezi National Park and Game Management Areas of Zambia. CLZ works directly with the Zambian Wildlife Authority in preserving the LZNP park’s flora and fauna species and collaborates with local communities to reduce human-wildlife conflict in the region and improve livelihoods. For more information and how to support this program visit www.conservationlowerzambezi.org
Founded in 2012, Walking For Lions is a very small group of dedicated individuals working to spread the message of lion conservation by pushing their physical boundaries. Walking For Lions completed their first awareness building campaign earlier this year by walking a staggering 530km from Windhoek, Namibia, to Chanzi, Botswana. Since this fantastic display of dedication they have begun crucial census work, again on foot, to determine accurate lion population numbers in protected areas. This is a daunting tasking but a crucial one as there is still major information lacking on population numbers across the African continent. For more information and how to support the program visit www.walkingforlions.org
Founded in 1969, IFAW saves animals in crisis around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. IFAW is working with a coalition of animal welfare groups to ensure that the U.S. government lists the African lion as Endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. For more information and how to support this organisation visit www.ifaw.org
The Predator Conservation Trust supports conservation projects working mainly in Africa. The projects supported are working towards conserving carnivores and the habitats they live in. This is done by professionals collecting data on all species living in those habitats but also working with local people helping them live alongside carnivores. For more information and how to support this organisation visit www.predatorconservation.co.uk
Created by British expat Duncan Yearly, CCM is a small, in situ conservation program based in Malawi’s Kasungu National Park. The carnivore populations of Kasungu are on the decline and under serious threat from high levels of poaching and habitat loss. The lion population of Malawi has been estimated to be as low as 29 individuals with just 6 resident lions in Kasungu National Park itself. CCM are working to improve anti-poaching patrols, provide conservation education as a means of combating habitat encroachment and are undertaking vital research upon those fragile carnivore populations in Kasungu. For more information and how to support this program visit www.carnivoreconservationmalawi.org
Based in the Bumi Hills area of Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe the BHAPU are an outstanding small team of dedicated workers battling everyday to save their surrounding wildlife from the grips of poaching. They have rescued many animals from snares and provided food for those on the famous ‘Starvation Island’. A major component of their work is also improving environmental awareness within the local community and providing empowerment through community based development projects. For more information and how to support this program visit www.bumihillsapu.blogspot.com
The Zambezi River Valley is one of the few true wildernesses remaining in Southern Africa. Comprising of beautiful national parks, wildlife estates and World Heritage Sites in Zimbabwe this area is a wildlife haven. Working alongside the Zimbabwean National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, the Tashinga Initiative is working to protect the natural heritage of this area for generations to come. For more information and how to support this program visit www.thetashingainitiative.org
Due to political instability the once outstanding conservation record and pristine wildernesses of Zimbabwe have deteriorated. Poaching has become rife through commercial and subsistence poachers across the country. To combat this continuing loss of wildlife the Victoria Falls Anti Poaching Unit was founded in 1999 by professional guide and conservationist Charles Brightman. Working closely with the Zimbabwean National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority the unit patrols a 50km square area around the Victoria Falls with 18 full time scouts fighting poaching on the front line. For more information and how to support this program visit Animal Defenders Internationalwww.victoriafalls.net/let-us-help/anti-poaching.aspx
Founded in 1990, ADI campaigns across the globe on animal entertainment and are battling to save animals from lifetimes of cruelty and inhumane conditions. They have rescued thousands of animals worldwide and work to educate the public on animals and environmental issues. They recently finished filming the documentary film ‘Lion Ark’ following the undercover operations in Bolivia that saw 29 lions rescued from circuses alongside many other animals following a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses. For more information about ADI and Lion Ark the movie please visit here: www.ad-international.org & www.lionarkthemovie.com
Founded in 2002 the GWLT is working to save the indigenous white lions of the Timbavati region in South Africa. Considered as a sacred, mythological beast the white lion has major cultural significance. The GWLT are battling to preserve this cultural heritage and restore the natural occurrence of the white lion gene in the wild populations of the Timbavati. For more information and how to support this program visit www.whitelions.org