Living with lions
Living with Lions
SAVE Lions - Living with Lions
United for the protection of lions
Our project area (NG32/NG35) is located along the Okavango Delta in the northern part of Botswana. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to endangered species such as lions, cheetahs, wild dogs, black rhinos and elephants. At the same time, it is also home to rural communities that hardly benefit from this unique nature and therefore depend on livestock and vegetable farming for their livelihood. There are six communities in the project area where conflicts between people and lions occur regularly, as cattle and goats are easy prey for the free-roaming predators.
In this context, SAVE has started the lion conservation project SAVE Lions in cooperation with Pro Wildlife and together with the community of Quqao.
Together with the villagers, we analyse the conflict situation and develop effective solutions for herd protection, which at the same time means lion protection.
“Only by working with people in wildlife areas, providing educational opportunities and helping people to help themselves to create livelihoods beyond livestock, will we enable people and wildlife to live together peacefully in the long term.”
Daniela Freyer, Pro Wildlife
Lion conservation through development work
In order to achieve a peaceful coexistence of people and wildlife in the long term, we want to create alternative livelihood measures for the affected communities and teach them the value of an intact ecosystem. In doing so, SAVE follows the approach of environmental education, awareness raising, help for self-help and offers practical support on site.
The SAVE Lions project is developing a sustainable model for the six communities in the area in a pilot project with the Quqao village community: targeted environmental education enables awareness-raising from an early age and shows new ways of dealing with wildlife. At the same time, effective measures such as mobile and predator-proof fences are to be implemented to protect the herds and lions.
These fences should be sufficiently high and strong to prevent cattle from escaping or lions from jumping into them. In order to be able to provide help quickly in emergency situations, a temporary SAVE base has been set up in the village for the Lion Rangers, who support the farmers on-site and provide immediate help in case of emergency. Rangers advise the affected farmers and monitor the movement patterns of the predatory cats through tracking. In addition, alternative income opportunities are to be created, for example through tourism offers. After successful implementation, the concept is to be transferred to the other five communities in the project area in order to improve the protection of lions nationwide.
What we want to achieve with this project
Humans and Lions:
Living together in harmony
Education & Awareness Raising
Importance of lions for the ecosystem and the benefits of lion conservation for communities
- Cooperation started: In several workshops with the community, concrete conflict situations were analysed and approaches to solutions developed.
- Creation of new jobs: Community members from Quqao were won over for the lion conservation project, and the first lion rangers were hired.
- Immediate aid is in place: With the opening of a SAVE base (camp) in the village, farmers and villagers are immediately supported in case of conflicts with lions.
How your support helps us:
- Operating the SAVE base and paying lion rangers to minimise conflicts with lions.
- The construction of predator-proof enclosures (Kraals)
- Workshops for farmers to improve livestock management
- Training community members to become teachers and rangers
- Environmental education for young children and school classes