Panthera partners with the Kenyan-based Lion Guardians organization to carry out the Lion Guardians Program in Kenya's Maasailand.
The Lion Guardians Program grew out of Living with Lions’ research and conservation efforts in southern Kenya. Leela Hazzah conceived of the program, and with the Maasai community developed it into a uniquely effective force to address spearing and poisoning of lions by Maasai warriors. Stephanie Dolrenry subsequently trained the Guardians as skilled field biologists. The resulting tight knit team of warriors and scientists successfully monitors and protects the lions in over 1,500 square miles of African wilderness. Recognizing the potential of this program to save lions from extinction, Panthera has supported the Lion Guardians Program from its inception. Today, the Lion Guardians team and Panthera are collaborating to expand the successful Lion Guardian model to areas in Tanzania where lion populations are in decline due to conflict with local people.
The program involves training local Maasai warriors to respond to conflict situations; they then become the front line in reducing human-lion conflicts by informing herders of areas occupied by lions, helping farmers improve their cattle husbandry and track down lost livestock, and by discouraging other Maasai warriors from hunting lions in the future. In addition to employing local Maasai, this project provides these individuals with literacy schooling and technical training in conservation research methodologies.
Lion Guardians ©www.f-l-l.nl
Learn more about the Lion Guardians:
- Visit The Lion Guardians' website.
- Visit the Lion Guardians blog to see what they have been up to.
- Visit Flickr to see photos of Lion Guardians in the field.