Kenya’s Lion Populations Face Collapse

An article on the website of New Scientist today highlights the plight faced by Kenya’s lion populations as drought, over-grazing by domestic livestock and human population growth bring rural people and lion prides into increasing conflict. The article explores the reasons for the decline, which include a lack of effective law enforcement against those found to have speared, poisoned or otherwise killed a lion, and suggests how the decline can be tackled. One suggestion is that prohibiting sport hunting in Kenya has removed the possibility for local people to profit from the wildlife around them. Reversing this ban and giving local people an economic stake in preserving wildlife, may help to secure the future of lion populations.

The article includes an interview with Nicholas Oguge of the Earthwatch Institute in Kenya. Dr Oguge is the President and a founding member of the Ecological Society of Eastern Africa. The ESEA was founded in 2007 with the help of the British Ecological Society, which provided funds under the (now closed) ‘Building Capacity for Ecology‘ scheme. Dr Oguge is a member of the International Scientific Committee helping the BES to plan the next INTECOL congress, to take place in London in 2013.