Maasai Wilderness Conservation via Crowdrise
February 03, 2010
BENEFITING: Maasai Wilderness Conservation
But despite its status as the 'king of the jungle', this magnificent creature is under severe threat of extinction.
In 1997 the lion population in Africa was estimated to be about 100,000. Today, the lion population is estimated to be between 14,000-16,000, with half of that population living outside of formally protected areas.
"Simba" is Kiswahili for lion. MWCT's Simba Program works to recover and protect the populations of lions and other 'top predators' living within the Maasai-owned lands between the National Parks of the Amboseli-Tsavo ecosystem.
MWCT employs over 70 Gamescouts and lion monitors who work to monitor, study and protect lions and other wildlife. The Simba Project promotes herding and farming practices that reduce conflict between local people and wildlife, provides security against rampant poaching in the region, assists in data collection for study of the animals and their movements and promotes education about the connections between wildlife and sustainable benefits within the community.
MWCT also funds a program to compensate local herders for losses of livestock to predators. If the predators are not hunted economic losses are reimbursed through a sustainable model of conservation surcharges paid by all tourism visitors. MWCT uses no philanthropic donations to fund this compensation. Guests come to see the lions and pay a conservation fee and MWCT applies the fee to cover losses caused by the wildlife. We believe this is a pioneering model of sustainable compensation.
The good news: our program has resulted in a near total stop to illegal killing of protected predators within Kuku Group Ranch over the past three years. While dozens of lions have been killed in the surrounding ecosystem, our area of operation has seen a sharp increase in lion population.
Contributions to the Simba Project fund local Maasai game scouts to monitor and protect the wildlife and help us buy equipment such as radio tracking devices and GPS units.
A little goes a long way. Thank you!