Lion are one species that every tourist wants to see when they come to Africa. However many lion populations are declining due to changing habitats and increasing pressures from humans. The Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust in conjunction with the Oxford Wildlife Conservation Unit (WildCru) based in Hwange National Park, are collaborating on research of lions in North Western Zimbabwe and the surrounding trans-frontier international regions. This research has assisted Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority (ZPWMA) in making management decisions, and in the last five years this has already led to an increase in the lion population in Zambezi National park and the surrounding safari areas.

Lion populations are declining due to changing habitats and increasing pressures from humans.

Make a donation to help Lion Research.

Project Goal: Improve the long-term success of the lion population in North West Zimbabwe

Objectives:

  1. Determine lion population numbers
  2. Identify where lions move between different land use types (e.g. national park, forestry, communal lands, safari area, etc)
  3. Determine if they are using natural corridors to move across trans-frontier, international borders.

If lion populations are going to remain healthy, the best chance they have is for us to find ways to improve their habitat and to prevent their conflict with humans. This project addresses the mitigation of conflict in rural communities through the Human Wildlife Conflict: Predators Project.

Lion populations rebound very quickly with increased anti-poaching protection and a good prey base, and so this project also puts measures in place to assist with anti-poaching efforts to protect all wildlife.

For a lion population to be sustainable, it is crucial that lions are able to move freely and unobstructed through regional wild areas. Large Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCA’s) are one way of increasing the area in which regional populations of lion and other wildlife can survive. With the establishment of the Kavango Zambezi (KAZA) Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA) in 2003, wildlife that moves across international borders is closely monitored. In North West Zimbabwe, lions move between Zimbabwe and Botswana, and in some cases even Zambia. Identifying wildlife corridors within the TFCA is vital to ensure that those areas remain designated for wildlife. In order to protect these wonderful animals this project aims to find out where lions move within the KAZA TFCA and work with local and regional authorities to keep those areas protected, and connected.

We use satellite collars to track lion movements. If you would like to help us conserve the population of lion in NW Zimbabwe, you can do so by sponsoring a satellite tracking collar. Each lion collar can be used for 2 years and the movements of this animal will be closely monitored.  * One satellite collar costs ~$3500