Introduction to the Collar A Lion Project
- The Collar A Lion project is an initiative aimed at conserving lions and promoting understanding of their importance in the ecosystem. The project has seen a positive start, with several sponsors already on board. These sponsors have played a significant role in propelling the project’s goals forward.
- Among the notable sponsors are Gavin Courtenay, CEO of African Risk Transfer, Simon Espley, CEO of Travel & Conservation Company Africa Geographic, and the Southern African Conservation Trust. Individual contributions also include personal sponsorships and donations, such as those from Kobie van der Westhuizen, Tertius Bosho˜, and David Rosen in memory of his late father, Leo Rosen.
Education and Awareness
- One of the key components of the Collar A Lion project is its focus on education and awareness. The project’s original educational lion comic, first distributed in 2012, is set to be updated and re-released.
- This comic plays a crucial role in spreading valuable information to rural schools located near protected areas. It educates families on the importance of coexisting with wild lions, thereby fostering understanding and reducing potential conflicts.
Science and Human-Lion Conflict
- A significant aspect of the Collar A Lion project is understanding and managing the human-lion conflict. By delving deep into the science of lion behaviour and movements, the project seeks to find solutions that can prevent confrontations and ensure the safety of both humans and lions.
- The majestic nature of the African lion and its role in the ecosystem is celebrated, but it’s equally important to address the challenges that arise from their interactions with local communities. Through a combination of passion for conservation and scientific research, the project aims to strike a balance between lion conservation and human safety.
Role of the Southern African Conservation Trust (SACT)
- The Southern African Conservation Trust (SACT) plays a pivotal role in the Collar A Lion project, especially in the use of technology for conservation efforts. A primary method employed is fitting satellite GPS collars on dispersing lions, particularly on males aged between 2 and 3 years.
- These collared lions provide invaluable data on their movements, especially when they travel long distances in search of new territories. Such information is crucial for understanding routes for corridors between protected areas and ensuring the genetic diversity of lion populations. The collars also help in monitoring lions that might cause conflicts with nearby communities.
- Collaboration with local communities is at the heart of the Collar A Lion project. The TKPP team and SACT have established a system wherein they closely monitor lion prides situated on park boundaries, which are often in proximity to human settlements.
- Thanks to the GPS satellite collars, the team can provide an early warning system to the communities, informing them about the whereabouts of lions. This not only allows locals to safeguard their livestock but also ensures that any potential threats from lions moving out of protected areas are swiftly addressed. In some cases, the team takes proactive measures to deter lions from community lands and guide them back into the protected areas.