Free Download WordPress Themes and plugins.
Lion Ambassadors
With approximately 500 lions concentrated in a relatively small area covering 2,572 Km² of protected lands, the Mara has a high human population and livestock densities residing in surrounding unprotected community lands. A central challenge in these unprotected areas is ensuring coexistence between lions and people while implementing impactful conservation strategies at a meaningful scale. To address these challenges, the Mara Predator Conservation Programme (MPCP) established a Lion Ambassadors Programme. Under the programme, ten ambassadors have been drawn from the communities and they work across the Mara in ten key zones. The ambassadors are a crucial link between MPCP and the communities residing in these areas. They ensure that any human-lion conflict and the resulting retaliatory killings and persecution of lions is halted and that the communities embrace coexistence with these apex predators.
Lion Ambassadors during their training

How do the Ambassadors work?

The lion ambassadors engage individual community members and households in discussions on lions, conflicts mitigation mechanisms and the need for coexistence. These discussions help create an environment for collaborative conservation for the benefit of all. During such discussions, the heads of households are encouraged to continue leasing lands to conservancies to ensure lion habitats are secured with benefits from conservancies expounded.

 

The lion ambassadors work closely with conservancy rangers  and the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to remove snares in the selected  zones  to reduce incidents of lions (and other wildlife) reported as caught in with snares.

The lion ambassadors have been trained on how to respond to conflict incidences and collect vital data relating to the conflicts. They are often among the first responders to conflict incidences and play a big role in dissuading communities against retaliating to livestock depredation by lions (and other predators).

Through regular communication between the lion ambassadors and the MPCP research team, updates on lion (both individuals and prides) locations are shared with communities in what is seen as early warning system to help communities know which areas to avoid during grazing and use of other natural resources. This reduces chances of meeting lions and will prevent livestock depredation, attacks on humans and any resultant retaliatory actions.

Lion Ambassadors' zones of operation