3 August, 2017 – Visit by Prof. Craig Packer

Over the past week, Professor Craig Packer of the University of Minnesota Lion Center and Department in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, joined the research team. Professor Packer has worked for more than 45 years as a zoologist studying lions in Africa, first in Tanzania and most recently teaming with SAN Parks in South Africa. In the past twenty-plus years, one of Packer’s signature efforts has been addressing the challenges of human-lion conflict facing rural pastoralists. Because Kunene has a healthy, perhaps growing, free-roaming population of desert lions, human-lion conflict is a pressing issue in many conservancies. As noted by Dr. F. Stander of Desert Lion Conservation, human-lion conflict is the greatest threat to Kunene’s lion population. In meetings with local stakeholders, Packer reiterated that the challenges facing Kunene pastoralists are not dissimilar from challenges that have been productively addressed in other parts of rural sub-Saharan Africa. Already Prof. Packer has added great insight and we look forward to collaborating with him. The University of Minnesota Lion Center is a partner in this research.

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