Conservation Feature: Ewaso Lions

By Bushtracks
September 14, 2022

Ewaso Lions is a non-profit conservation organization dedicated to ensuring the coexistence of humans and wildlife, specifically lions and other wildlife. A completely African wildlife conservation organization, Ewaso Lions calls Samburu, Isiolo and Nairobi home. They have the imperative goal of engaging key demographic groups,  including elders, warriors, women, and children, in order to reduce the conflict between human-wildlife.

Their research includes monitoring the lion population, assessing suitable habitat for the lions, lion dispersal, attitudes towards wildlife, understanding human-carnivore conflict, and monitoring wildlife. With this applied research they work with communities to address any areas of conflict. The aim is to reinforce traditional beliefs and continue to educate on wildlife conservation as it evolves.

To aid the reinforcement of traditional beliefs, the Warrior Watch was created as a way to engage Samburu Warriors, a group traditionally left out of the conservation conversation. Warrior Watch designates the Samburu Warriors as ambassadors for lions within their communities, promoting a peaceful coexistence with lions and wildlife. Reviving the warriors’ traditional protection role, the program increases their ability to mitigate human-carnivore conflict. The warriors work across many communities, enabling Ewaso to keep tabs on lions and notate conflict incidents between humans and wildlife.

The sister program to Warrior Watch is Mama Simba. Requested by Samburu women living in Sasaab village, who wanted to be involved in conservation of lions in Samburu, the program empowers women to speak up for lions. Additionally, the program provides them with the tools to reduce their environmental impact, improve livelihoods, and help conserve and coexist with wildlife.

It’s incredible how few people know that Africa’s lions are disappearing – only around 20,000 remain. We hear a lot about the threats facing elephants and rhinos, but lions are quietly slipping away. Lions have declined by 90% in just the last 75 years. One of the main drivers is conflict with people, primarily over livestock depredation. Ewaso is the shield for lions and is exemplary in their conservation organization.

Ewaso is supported by the Wildlife Conservation Network. Together they continue to make a difference in lion and wildlife conservation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUCbYeo2WM4

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