Limiting Human-Lion Conflict

Male desert-adapted lion near Huab.

The alarm came early in the morning of 20 February. The ‘Group of Four’ subadult lions – one male and three females – had moved within 400 meters of the village of De Riet.

Torra Lion Ranger Erik Gewers (see training update), spearheaded the conflict prevention, which included the IRDNC Rapid Response teams and Lion Ranger research team. Research, Rapid Response, and conservancy vehicles were all deployed to the De Riet area. By 8am the group had moved downriver to a small sandy hill – still close to De Riet but not an immediate conflict threat. Throughout the day and next night they were monitored by researchers, Lion Rangers, Rapid Response teams, and conservancy staff to ensure the group moved away from the village. Monitoring and conflict prevention were greatly facilitated by satellite collar locations available from the Desert Lion Conservation team throughout the night, and the use of geofencing facilitated the quicker communication across the rugged landscape. Within a couple of days there Group of Four had vacated the area and no conflict was reported. So often it is the negative stories which circulate, uncounted and untold numbers of small victories are critical to community-centered lion conservation like that practiced by the Lion Ranger program and its numerous partners. Hats off to Torra Conservancy for their role in this work!

Collared lioness near Huab.

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