Fulfilling our aims and objectives to support lion conservation we were delighted to donate towards a third conservation partner in December 2019 and we sent off a donation of £2587.83 ($3278) to aid lion conservation efforts. We were able to complete this donation with the financial help of our zoo partners and our supporters. Please click here for their website.
Who are Kope Lion?
Kope Lion (Korongoro People’s Lion Initiative) works to foster human-lion coexistence in Ngorongoro Conservation Area. In this area in particular human-wildlife conflict has been tough on lions and in the last decades they have begun to disappear from their former ranges. This in turn has dramatically cut off the lions of the Ngorongoro Crater to those in the main Serengeti reserve. This can have catastrophic consequences for the genetic health of the Ngorongoro lions. Kope Lion was founded by Ingela Jansson in 2011 and aims to work directly with the local people and encourage sustainable human-lion coexistence for the benefit of both people and lions. Kope Lion works to employ both local experts while working with international scientists.
What do they do and where?
Kope Lion is based in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, it was gazetted in 1959 as a multi-use landscape, where traditional pastoralist peoples share the land with the abundant wildlife. This area was one of the first multi use landscapes in the world which makes it possible for people to live within a protected environment. The area size is approximately 3,200 square miles. The rapid population growth in the area over recent years has lead to a decline in the areas wildlife and in particular it’s lion population.
The following information has been taken directly from the Kope Lion website which can be found at the bottom of this page as it is the best way to explain what they do.
Protect lions: Our on-the-ground team prevents and stops lion killings.
Increase lion tolerance: We reduce conflicts by finding and retrieving lost livestock, help reinforce bomas, warn herders of lions’ presence, and offer wound treatment on injured livestock.
Study lions: We find lions and record observations for the long-term demography study. We recognize each lion and follow them throughout their lives. We study how they adapt to living among people, tracking their movements and activity, using GPS collars.
Engage with the communities: Our team are mainly locals. We provide employment, embracing traditional practices, working directly with the communities.
Study human-predator interactions: We survey where, when and why attacks on livestock happen and by what predator. Knowing livestock vulnerability to attack helps us design better mitigation strategies.
Combine and build skills: We maximise our impact and understanding of this human-lion interaction by combining modern techniques, science, and traditional ecological knowledge.
Share our knowledge: We compile, analyse and share our expanding knowledge in reports to authorities, peer reviewed publications, and public presentations.
Kope Lion Vision & Mission
Vision: Successful and locally driven human-lion coexistence in Ngorongoro.
Mission: Inspire and enable local action, using science and traditional knowledge, for managing and monitoring sustainable human-lion coexistence in a multi-use landscape.
How do we help them?
We have been in discussions with Ingela Jansson, the founder and director of Kope Lion since Autumn 2018 about how we could support the project. As we were currently discussing our planned focus of sub adult male lion collaring with the Mara Predator Conservation Programme we were keen to see if this would be something that Kope Lion would be interested in too. Ingela took the time to explain that in their study area they have young and mature males that are nomadic and wander into the community areas, to her it was the nomadic nature not just the age that gave way to potential conflict. We were therefore happy to extend our focus to slightly older males who were displaying similar nomadic behaviour.
Our donation of £2587.83 ($3278) was made in December 2019 and will cover the purchase of a brand new collar for the Kope Lion team to use. We are also covering the cost of the transmission fees to allow the team to gather the data from the collar, this will be a yearly donation of around £350 for up to the maximum four year lifespan of the collar. The team have also identified a male lion with whom they would like to place the collar onto and we will continue to update all of you with further news as we get it. In March we got the news that our collar had reached the team and is pictured above!
In June 2020 we were delighted to hear from Ingela that the Kope Lion team had finally fitted the collar! The pictures above show them fitting the collar onto a five year old male named Laipangwa. He was born in the Twin Hill pride in the Ndutu region and since 2018 has been spending more time in the multi use area of the Norongoro Conservation Area, north west of the main crater. The area he spends most of his time with is also home to a lot of the local people which is why his collar is so important. Although he and his companions mostly predate on the native wildlife they have been know to occasionally prey on livestock. Because of this and the opportunities presented by having lots of cattle in the area his collar is vital to tracking his whereabouts and warning the local herders. We look forward to hearing of Laipangwa's developments and we are incredibly pleased to have been able to be a part of the work of Kope Lion.
We are delighted to be sent this picture in August from Kope Lion taken by Roimen of Laipangwa with his collar nicely on view!