The Lion Guardians approach is rooted in science and we continue to use this foundation to develop innovative solutions to human-wildlife conflict issues within changing contexts. In order to keep abreast, with changing times, we have developed a comprehensive research agenda centered on 11 focal topics, each with specific questions to be answered in order to inform carnivore and community conservation at the broadest scale.
Science & Research
What are the most effective (low cost, less time investment) methods for monitoring lions and other carnivores on community lands?
What is the coexistence continuum? And how do we achieve coexistence at the appropriate level for people and carnivores and then maintain it?
Connectivity & Corridors of Tolerance
What impacts can conservation efforts on non-protected areas and development of broad-scale monitoring tools have on lion conservation?
Conflict Mitigation, Patterns of Depredation & Problem Animals
With a clear comprehension of the various aspects of conflict, can we more effectively mitigate and reduce lion depredations?
Wildlife Killing Motivations & Intentions
How are traditional values changing and are these changes having impact on wildlife conservation effectiveness?
Community Conservation Models
What are the components of community conservation programs? How do we reduce the risk of poor implementation of conservation models?
Societal components to conservation
What motivates local community members to engage in conservation?
Changing Culture & Attitudes
How do the shifts from traditional beliefs (e.g a move towards Christianity) effect people's attitudes and propensity to kill lions.
Lion Demography in Human Landscapes
Through a better understanding of problem lions as well as the adaptations of the species to conflict & humans, can we more effectively conserve them?
Can conservation and monitoring that combines conventional scientific methods with traditional knowledge (TK) be more effective? Explore the "added benefit" of TK to conservation.
Technology in Carnivore and Community Conservation
How to apply cutting edge technology carnivore conservation to make it more effective across border areas?
One of the greatest causes of depredation by lions and other carnivores is when cows, sheep, or goats are left out in the bush overnight; locally, this “lost livestock” accounts for more than 80% of lion attacks on livestock. Guardians regularly help locate lost cows, sheep, and goats in the bush and bring them home to proactively mitigate this conflict and reduce potential loss. Now, we are also exploring the underlying drivers of this issue through community surveys. We plan to use the data collected plus our knowledge of local ‘hotspots’ to design interventions and identify communities to test these ideas. If successful, these interventions could reduce both losses to the communities and retaliatory hunting of lions.See how we're putting these ideas to work