World Lion Day 2020 is on 10 August 2020!
100 years ago, 200,000 lions lived across the African continent.
Today, we are in the sorry position where less than 20,000 remain. They have been extirpated form 26 countries, owing to habitat loss, conflict with people and poaching.
Conservation organisation African Parks rehabiliates and manages 18 national parks and protected areas in 11 countries, covering an enormous 14.1 million hectares, in partnership with governments and local communities.
African Parks is creating safe havens for lions, increasing their range and bringing them back to places where they haven't existed for decades. They have been undertaking monitoring and research and mitigating human-lion conflict. For lions are found in 8 of the parks they manage.
Creating Safe Havens to Stop Lion Poaching. Protecting wildlife from poaching and other illegal activities is vital in the parks the organisation manages. It fenced Liwonde National Park, hired and trained a bigger and better equipped ranger unit and used technoloy to monitor wildlife and defeat poaching. It works to remove snares, and prevent wildlife-human conflict.
Investing in Education and Local Communities - African Parks employs locals and invests in education, and it attracts tourists. It knows that creating a relationship between people and lions is really important.
Reintroducing Lions to Historic Habitats - They were reintroduced to Akagera, Majete, and Liwonde after poachers had eliminated them from these areas. The park is assessed first to see how viable it is to bring key species back.
But the coronavirus is having a huge and devastating impact on conservation efforts across Africa, as tourism has collapsed and philanthropic giving has dropped.
A group of over 60 acclaimed wildlife photographers from around the world have got together to create a fundraising campaign to help protect critical ecosystems and local communities. It's called Prints for Wildlife. There are some simply incredible pictures there - do take a look and spread the word. So far, $300,000 have been raised. Prints for Wildlife runs from 26 July to 26 August 2020. All the funds collected via the print sale go directly to conservation non-profit African Parks.
Buying a print would be a great way to help wildlife, including lions!