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. This was to go towards our conservation strategy focus area for young dispersing male lions and would go towards a GPS collar as part of our Future Kings Project. We were able to complete this donation with the financial help of our brilliant 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!
Laipangwa, the wearer of our first sponsored collar
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. Thank you to Roimen and Emmanuel for the brilliant pictures used on this and other pages.
In January 2021 we sent over our donation to sponsor the annual transmission fee to allow the Kope Lion team to receive the data. The donation of $428 (£329) will be repeated on a yearly basis for the lifespan of the collar. In January 2022 we repeated this donation with $365 to cover the transmission fees as well as a donation of £150 to sponsor the strengthening of a boma. Sadly in August 2022 we heard the news of Laipangwa's death, for more details please click on the link below. It is most likely that he was killed by other lions. Laipangwa left behind a legacy of a more tolerant community and offspring sired with the crater lionesses, opening a corridor unused for generations.
Lendepesi, the wearer of our second sponsored collar
In May 2022 we sent a donation of £2578 to cover the cost and first year transmission fees of a brand new collar! Following the death of Laipangwa, our sponsored collar was chosen to be that of recently collared Lendepesi. Lendepesi, a young cousin of Laipangwa was born into the Twin Hill Pride in Ndutu much more recently. He is a young male who has just started to leave his natal pride territory and is now exploring new areas with his brother. This nomadic period normally lasts a couple of years as they grow large enough to take over a territory for themselves with a pride of resident females to breed with, it is at this time that they are likely to come into conflict with larger males and potentially come into conflict with the community. This is exactly why these young males are prime collaring candidates. We look forward to hearing of updates on Lendepesi and his whereabouts and we will keep all of our supporters updated on his progress.
Lendepesi Update: While meeting the Kope Lion team at their base in February 2023 we were told that the collar worn by Lendepesi was not functioning properly. He had been spending a lot of time outside of the NCA in the southern portion of the Serengeti. Because of the collar problems the priority was to retrieve the collar from him the next time he was in the NCA and his collar showed his presence. Eventually on the 21st Feb the team were able to find Lendepesi and to press the automatic drop off button and to get the collar back for potential repair. Before the team were able to retrieve the collar, however as you can see in the photo to the right he didn't make it easy! The collar has still been useful for the team showing his dispersal route so far and we look forward to hearing more if the team see him again.
For more information please visit the Kope Lion website here. We are proud to support this organisation and in total we have now donated £5882.95 towards their lion conservation and monitoring efforts. We would like to thank Founder Ingela Jansson and Director of Strategy & Development Sally Capper for their wonderful communication over the last few years, giving us very regular updates on Laipangwa through maps and pictures taken by their team on the ground including Roimen and Emmanuel. We look forward to working with Kope Lion for many years into the future.