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Category archives for Lions

Christmas Cubs for a Happy New Year

News from the Field from Pride in Our Prides Lion Program in Botswana by Florian J Weise – Pride in Our Prides, CLAWS Conservancy It is still dark as our vehicle rattles down the dirt track.  Dust everywhere.  The smell of camphor and wild sage surrounds us.  We are on our way into the Okavango…

Keeping peace with predators can cut livestock deaths

When predator animals like tigers, lions, bears and wolves attack livestock animals like goats, cows and horses, you need to kill off the predators to reduce livestock deaths, right? Wrong.

African Lions on the Brink: A Conversation with Lion Expert Craig Packer

With roars that rend the African night, lions have captured our imaginations since the dawn of humankind. “Lions have long been celebrated in art and literature throughout the world,” says ecologist Craig Packer, National Geographic Explorer and Expeditions Council grantee, and director of the University of Minnesota Lion Center. In the face of habitat loss and…

Dung Beetles: how tough are these savanna insects?

    “Why? What if….? How does this happen?” I asked a simple question in June 2014, when I stepped out of our lime-green LandCruiser (lovingly named “Kermit”) and into the Kenyan savanna. For the last decade, biologists and ranchers and natural historians have noticed the creeping invasion by the big-headed ant (Pheidole megacephala), but…

Q&A: Extreme Drought in South Africa’s Kruger National Park: How is Wildlife Faring?

Bone-dry winds are blowing across South Africa’s Kruger National Park (KNP), uprooting savanna grasses and whirling them like tumbleweeds across a sere landscape. How is the park’s world-renowned wildlife faring in an extreme drought? To find out, I talked with Izak Smit, Science Manager for Systems Ecology at South African National Parks (SANParks), which oversees KNP.…

How Fighting the Bushmeat Trade Protects Lions

Sometimes, when traveling through Maasai Mara, visitors may see elephants with half of their trunk missing. The poor creatures must kneel to pluck grasses, and they are unable to reach leaves from the canopies of trees at all. It is no mystery what maims these elephants. Over smoky fires, well hidden from passersby on the…

No Silver Bullet Will Save the African Lion #worldlionday

On this World Lion Day, it is time for us to raise the flag for all of the threats facing lions today. By doing so, we can take the next essential steps toward saving this vital species—without which the wilds of Africa will be forever altered.

World Lion Day: What Would You Do to Protect Lions?

After cordially being invited to “pen a post” for National Geographic’s Cat Watch in honor of World Lion Day #worldlionday, I was elated; not only because I was asked, but, and in spite of this being quite the cliché, I absolutely, unequivocally love lions! Given the number of conservation issues surrounding the animal kingdom’s noblest of big cats, the…

Pride in Our Prides – Saving Lions with Livestock Kraals

Post submitted by Florian J Weise Lions and people live a tenuous coexistence. Where their activities overlap problems are inevitable. The consequence often is fatal; sometimes for the people involved, more frequently so for the lions. In retaliation of attacks on humans or livestock, people resort to drastic measures including poisoning. Along the northern edge…

Cecil the Lion one Year on: An Interview with Cecil’s Researcher

A year ago, a male lion called Cecil was killed in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, by an American trophy hunter. Cecil’s death caused uproar around the world and shone a much-needed light on the decline and vulnerability of the African lion population; today, there may be no more than 20,000 remaining in the wild. To…

Best Job Ever: Lion First Responder Team

Paola Bouley is on call as a first responder for lions in Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique. She is a National Geographic Big Cats Initiative grantee and the director and co-founder of Projecto Leões da Gorongosa. It’s the first ever lion research project in the history of the park. Bouley and her team work to…

Poachers Aren’t All Evil: An Unconventional Conservation Film

Not all poachers are evil, nor are they as indifferent toward the environment as many activists make them out to be. That statement might elicit some negative reactions from many an online conservation dilettante. But similar to the way certain folks—including one rather objectionable presidential candidate—living in fear of terrorism will stereotype Muslims, so too can those…

Into the Lions Den: Diffusing a Lion Hunting Party

Post submitted by Eric LeFlore and Andrew Stein.  It’s 6am on a Friday morning and the kettle has just boiled for morning tea when the phone rings. After some pleasant introductions in Setswana, the main reason for the call comes up. The conversation is quick but the angst is apparent. I hear from the other…

What does the Endangered Species Listing Mean for Lions?

In late December last year, the African lion received a special gift from the U.S. government. Over the past few years, non-profit groups, the national and international public, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service itself, have been rallying the government to protect lions under the Endangered Species Act. And just in time for Christmas…

150,000 trees planted to protect lions

By Jeremy Swanson On this World Wildlife Day, we reflect on the past, look at the present, and talk about our dreams for the future, of lions and their roars in Tanzania and East Africa.     In protecting lions and supporting communities through Living Walls, the African People & Wildlife Fund (APW) can now…