Lion Guardians of Kenya wrote -
Living with Lions initiated the Lion Guardians project in 2006 in collaboration with the local communities of Mbirikani group ranch and the Maasailand Preservation Trust. The impetus to create this project was in response to the slaughtering of over 200 lions in the Amboseli-Tsavo ecosystem since 2001.
Retaliatory and traditional spearing by Maasai warriors (morans) is the greatest threat to the survival of lions in Kenyan Maasailand today. The Lion Guardians project attempts to reduce the pressure on lions by employing their former greatest enemy, the Maasai warrior, to conserve them rather than kill them.
Currently there are 29 Lion Guardians protecting 3,500km² of vital lion habitat and attenuating conflict between their communities’ livestock and predators. The Lion Guardians have proven to be a critical part of the solution to eliminating retaliatory lion killings and providing a platform for Maasai warriors to apply their traditional knowledge and bush skills to big cat conservation. Our success is evident in the data. In 2010 alone, Lion Guardians stopped 44 lion hunting parties by either dissuading angry warriors or by requesting further assistance from the local game scouts or the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). Since the start of the program, there have been over 58 lions killed in neighboring areas where there was no active Lion Guardian program, while only two lions were killed (for local political reasons) in Lion Guardian areas during the same period.
What do the Lion Guardians do?
1) Monitor the movements of lions and other carnivores.
2) Help their communities reduce conflict with carnivores by:
- informing livestock herders to avoid areas where carnivores are present
- improving livestock enclosures (bomas) to protect them at night
- helping herders find lost livestock left out in the bush
- educating communities about carnivore importance and conservation
- preventing further lion killing by deterring other warriors from carrying out lion hunts.
Read more about the Lion Guardians at http://www.lionguardians.org/.
Read our blog at http://lionguardians.wildlifedirect.org/
You can donate to the Lion Guardians through our partners Panthera. Panthera is a 501(c)(3) public charity so your donation will be tax deductible. 100% of all donation to the Lion Guardians made through Panthera will come directly to us.