Wilderness Kenya supports Mara Predator Conservation Programme – lion collaring

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Governors’ Camp Collection, a proud member of the Wilderness Family, demonstrated its dedication to lion conservation in the Masai Mara National Reserve by sponsoring the latest lion collaring initiative organised by the Mara Predator Conservation Programme (MPCP). This marks a notable shift in focus for Governors' impact programmes, placing a greater emphasis on real-time conservation efforts, in addition to community support, through education, health and nutrition initiatives. 


As part of its broader commitment to wildlife preservation, the MPCP focuses on safeguarding vulnerable predator populations, while raising awareness among local communities and stakeholders about the importance of conservation and environmental responsibility. Emphasising the crucial role of community involvement, the programme recognises that successful conservation efforts depend on the active engagement of communities in wildlife areas.



Research efforts concentrate on three key predator species: lions, cheetahs, and wild dogs. The Masai Mara, home to Kenya's closely monitored lion and cheetah populations, undergoes meticulous monitoring with robust and consistent density estimates. Utilising the lion collar data, the project extracts crucial insights into the spatial ecology of these species, tracking their movements across protected and unprotected land, and documenting potential conflicts with local communities.


"Lion collaring stands as a vital instrument for scientists, enabling the collection of crucial data on the spatial dynamics, activity patterns and threats faced by individual lions in their environment. The acquired insights play a pivotal role in crafting data-driven solutions, safeguarding both lion populations and the wellbeing of local communities. Our recent collaring initiative focused on Jua, a lioness from the Topi Pride in the Masai Mara. This decision, made in collaboration with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), was driven by the recognition of the pride's susceptibility to conflicts arising from herders illegally grazing cattle at night", noted Alisa Karstad, Governors’ Impact Manager.



While the primary objective of past collaring initiatives focused on studying male lion dispersal and pride female overlap with unprotected areas, recent losses underscored the need for immediate conservation action. The recent sponsorship covered the full cost of collaring Jua, enabling MPCP to monitor the pride's movements and respond promptly to conflict events.


Addressing concerns about the welfare of collared lions, MPCP ensures ethical practices. Collars, weighing only one kilogram, represent a negligible 1% of a lion's body weight, ensuring they don’t hinder lions’ ability to hunt or reproduce successfully and all immobilisations are performed by qualified veterinarians.


In addition to the collaring efforts, Wilderness and Governors’ commitment extends to supporting MPCP's Lion Ambassadors Programme, an initiative that appoints community members as ambassadors across key zones to bridge the gap between communities and MPCP. These ambassadors play a pivotal role in reducing human-lion conflict on the ground and fostering co-existence.


"Through initiatives such as the Lion Ambassadors Programme, we are dedicated to the three pillars of our impact strategy: Educate, Empower, and Protect. This impact work is a crucial part of our focus in the region, and I commend the dedicated efforts of everyone involved in these ongoing efforts", added Vincent Shacks, Wilderness Group Impact Manager.



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