Sopa, Hujambo, Hello!


After many months of hot sun and baked earth, we are now beginning to enjoy the pitter-patter of raindrops and birdsong that are filling the air around the Lion Guardians Training Center. Despite the heat that generally renders one lackadaisical, much has been accomplished over the last six months. Most notably, the Ngorongoro Lion Guardians project is up and running and we now have ten Guardians monitoring close to 1000 sq. kms in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania.  We also bolstered our team in Amboseli by adding four new Guardians, who have been critical to keeping lions safe as conflicts in this area have been extremely high.


Having grown rapidly over the last couple of years, we are dedicating time to reflection in 2015, absorbing the lessons we have learned and evolving our model as the world around us continues to change.  In particular, we are evaluating and developing new strategies for conflict mitigation. There are also some big milestones we are looking forward to in the coming months, including the annual Lion Guardians Games, our first ever joint-partnered project site certification and the launch of Lion Identification Network of Collaborators (LINC).


Before the rest of 2015 unfolds, we invite you to read our 2014 Annual Report (if you haven't already).


As always, none of this would be possible without your support and commitment to the Lion Guardians program.


It takes a community to conserve lions and preserve cultures, we are grateful that you are a part of ours. 


Ashe Oleng, Asante, Thank You! 


 Dr. Leela Hazzah            Dr. Stephanie Dolrenry 


Oftentimes we find ourselves out in the dark, waiting to sight a lion we are tracking. Thanks to Larson Electronics, who donated four spotlights to us, our ability to work at night is much improved! 

Success beckons us back to the laboratory 
In Kenya, the growing density of lions in the areas where we operate has resulted in almost daily attacks on livestock. We have witnessed changing behavior patterns, where lions that never attacked livestock during the day are now doing so. As a result, the Guardians have been hard at work, stopping many difficult hunts within their zones.  The biologists and the rest of the core team have also been working diligently - the increase in lion populations means we now have to test and evolve new strategies. These are both exciting and trying times.


Rising tensions between the communities and the government in the broader Tarangire area led to the killing of seven lions on January 1st. This resulted in community leaders in Tarangire requesting us to stop operations in the zones near Tarangire National Park until they can find a peaceful way forward with the government.  Together with our partner, Dr. Bernard Kissui, we have decided to concentrate our efforts on working with the government and other local stakeholders to cultivate more sustainable systems toward coexistence. 


Celebrating mothers
As the parched earth has now turned into hues of greens under the watchful eye of the long rains, many in the animal kingdom are also welcoming newborns. Everywhere we turn, from the resident hares at the Lion Guardians Training Center, to the many herbivores surrounding us and the lions we protect, we see babies! The cub boom continues unabated in our areas of operation and we are pleased to report that on Mbirikani Group Ranch alone, we have at least eight new cubs who are lighting up their mother's lives. Happy Mother's Day!

Nemasi with her four young cubs in Mbirikani Group Ranch

A historic moment in lion conservation - community elders' fine young lion hunters

The tension was palpable in the air as the Ngorongoro Lion Guardians project team stepped out of their vehicle. They were there to attend a community meeting after a young lion injured in a fight with another lion had been killed by three warriors. The community was desperate to make amends but nervous that the rule of law would further alienate these warriors. However, the Ngorongoro Lion Guardians project team had a different purpose - they wanted to work with the community and understand why brave warriors would kill a lion, a lion that was already weak and dying? More so a lion protected by one of their own? 



Lekundu Partia

The first thing that you notice about Lekundu is his beautiful smile. A smile that belies an intensity and strong work ethic. Lekundu joined Lion Guardians in 2010 and has been a great asset to the team since. He is also known by his lion name, Siokino, which means "one who speared the lion first".  Lekundu's focus is within the Selenkay conservancy, where there is the ecosystem's highest densities of lions. He is kept busy tracking the many lions and preventing hunts.


Help us conserve lions and preserve cultures - sponsor a guardian today!

In This Issue
Support Us

Our U.S. fiscal sponsor is now officially called "Lion Guardians U.S.

  Did You Know?

Many believe that the majority of lions are chronic livestock raiders, (take livestock year-round and from bomas) but our research shows that this is not the case.


Instead, chronic livestock raiders actually make up less than 20% of the population we monitor and cause an estimated 90% of the depredations. This is why it is so important to know which individual lion is involved in a depredation as it helps with tailoring our mitigation strategies. It is this tailored response that we are testing and developing this year (see workplan).


  In The News
2015 Events Calendar
June: Annual Lion Guardians Games

July: Launch of LINC

October: U.S. Fundraising Tour
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A healthy ecosystem requires diversity, with each species playing a different but key role to ensure the sustainability of the ecosystem. A successful organization needs the same.  The impact of Lion Guardians is the result of many, and each role is critical to our success. 
It takes a community to conserve lions and preserve cultures 
we are grateful you are a part of ours.

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