Panthera Senegal was established in early 2020 to protect the iconic wildlife of this country including lions and leopards.
Senegal’s Niokolo-Koba National Park is of outstanding regional and global importance for the conservation of a whole suite of highly threatened iconic wildlife species in West Africa including lions, African dogs, Western giant eland and chimpanzees. However, high-levels of poaching over the past 30 years, illegal gold mining and premature drying up of water pans due to climate change and invasion by exotic plants have taken a dramatic toll on the park. Fighting back the situation and recognizing that more effective protection of Niokolo Koba would benefit lions and other threatened species, Panthera is fostering a solid working relationship with the government of Senegal through an MOU with the park´s management authority the Direction des Parcs Nationaux (DPN) to strengthen its conservation management and security.
Over the period 2017-2020, our support model has rooted in existing structures of the DPN and proved to be successful in establishing basic processes, capacity, logistics, and infrastructure enabling better protection of the area. We are aware that the front towards fully recovered wildlife populations in Niokolo Koba is long and so our conservation activities are truly a work in progress. However, with all of these efforts and with the help of an increasing network of supporters, Panthera hopes to do its part to create a better future for wildlife and people alike in Senegal.
Niokolo-Koba harbors the last known lion population in the far western part of West Africa where the species is represented by a Critically Endangered, distinct genetic clade within the northern lion subspecies (P. l. leo). To actively secure this irreplaceable populations of lions, Panthera is introducing site security and research tools and techniques tailored to this specific population and assessing and constantly improving the effectiveness of conservation actions by using SMART and PoacherCams technology.
Niokolo Koba is also home to what is likely the largest remaining population of leopards (Panthera pardus) in West Africa. Together with the lion, the leopard is the barometer of conservation performance at our program in Niokolo Koba and all our site works are ultimately oriented to protect these big cats from the ongoing threats of Illegal killing- both incidental and targeted.
We are grateful for the extensive support from BIOPAMA and the Segre Foundation.
Intensive Biomonitoring in NKNP
Panthera works with The Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management (BIOPAMA) program in Niokolo Koba National Park. The goal of our project is to strengthen on-site capacity of our local partner the Direction of National Parks to conduct wildlife surveys in a scientifically sound manner and to establish an ecological monitoring system for better management of Niokolo Koba´s key wildlife and habitats. We’re working together to enhance the management and governance of Niokolo Koba National Park by addressing existing limitations by:
strengthening on-site infrastructure/equipment/capacity of staff for monitoring and addressing priority needs
gathering and analyzing information from surveys (baseline/monitoring) of a minimum number of key elements before any management decision on key species and habitats
minimizing threats to the park including poaching, nomadic grazing, invasive species, etc.
About BIOPAMA The Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management (BIOPAMA) programme aims to improve the long term conservation and sustainable use of natural resources in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, in protected areas and surrounding communities It is an initiative of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States financed by the European Union’s 11th European Development Fund (EDF) jointly implemented by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (JRC). Building on the first five years of activities financed by the 10th EDF (2012-2017), BIOPAMA’s second phase provides tools for data and information management, services for improving the knowledge and capacity for protected area planning and decision making, and funding opportunities for specific site-based actions.
Additional thanks to the following:
Panthera Senegal In The News
Sénégal : le retour des éléphants
Source: France TV Info
Un éléphant observé en liberté au Sénégal pour la première fois depuis des années
Source: Le Monde
In Forlorn Park, Lion Cubs Play in Traffic and Elephant Dung Is Met With Delight
Source: The New York Times
Cartography Lecturer Working to Prevent Poaching in Senegal Among Those Cut
Source: Montana Kaimin
Radio: Panthera's Dr. Henschel on Lions in Senegal