Lion Conservation Fund: Projects
Project Simba is a community conservation education program that provides experiential, hands-on activities and training to local communities and develops positive connections between scientists and the people living near wildlife. The best potential ambassadors for the wildlife and habitats of Kenya are the people who live with them. Project Simba works to develop a conservation ethic by building on local knowledge of wildlife, including traditional beliefs and practices, with sound scientific and conservation principles to help reduce conflict between people and wildlife and to establish wildlife and habitat protection corridors.
Center for Lion Conservation and Research
The Center for Lion Conservation and Research in Kenya, located in the Samburu District in northern Kenya, practices holistic conservation, recognizing that the health of wildlife, livestock, humans, and the environment in which they exist are inextricably linked. By bringing governments, scientists and local communities together, working in collaboration at all levels; long-term environmental sustainability is more likely to occur. The Center works to establish policies and programs that integrate the welfare of all species and their shared habitats through strong alliances and collaborations with local conservancies, communities, government agencies, and other conservation projects. This approach promotes healthy, biodiverse ecosystems which support conservation of at-risk species such as lions. LCF supports these projects, including Project Simba, the Samburu Lion Project, the Tsavo Lion Project, and the Rift Valley Lion Project.
Samburu Lion Project
The mission of the Samburu Lion Project is to conserve the seriously threatened African lion (Panthera leo) and other indigenous wildlife of the Samburu District, Kenya using an integrated program of research, public awareness, education, local capacity building, ecological restoration, habitat management and restoration. This project works closely with local communities to alleviate wildlife-conflict issues and develop conservation education programs. The Center for Lion Conservation and Research is located in the Northern Frontier District of Samburu. This project also serves as a comparative study for mane variation and variation in social biology with vegetative cover with the Tsavo Lion Project.
Tsavo Lion Project
The Tsavo Lion Project is surveying lions in Tsavo East and West National Parks and the Tsavo eco-region. This census is urgently needed to develop long-range conservation plans for lions. the project works to (1) develop a longitudinal picture of pride size, composition, and pride tenures in and around the Tsavo eco-region; (2) study variation in social biology with vegetative cover over a wide range of habitat types, climates, and elevations; and (3) collect biopsy samples for DNA, histological and hormonal assays. We are also looking at ecological and physiological factors affecting mane variation in lions, in collaboration with an Earthwatch Project headed by Bruce Patterson, Roland Kays, Samuel Kasiki, and Alex Gombe that has been established on an important wildlife corridor bordering the park system.
Rift Valley Lion Project
The Rift Valley Lion Project is examining abundance and ecology of lions in the Rift Valley to determine population size and age-sex composition of lions. to investigate the demographics, spatial ecology (distribution, home range, movements, habitat usage) and behavioral ecology of lions in different habitats. We are working to assess temporal and spatial availability of the prey base for lions, their prey consumption and predator-prey ratios in different land-use areas. This project also serves as a comparative study for mane variation with the Tsavo Lion Project.