During the most recent edition of our Desert Wildlife of Namibia Safari (click here for the Trip Report) we were treated to some very special sightings of the desert adapted lions that call Namibia's Hoanib River Valley home.
The Namib is the only place on Earth where a small population of desert-adapted lions occurs. Remarkably, these unique lions have survived along the Namib’s Skeleton Coast for decades, but until twenty years ago they were merely phantoms – elusive and seldom seen – and even believed to have gone extinct.
Today there are around 100 desert-adapted lions, and this small population has adapted to its hostile environment in the most remarkable ways.
But there is continuous pressure on the Desert lions. By far the largest threat to their survival is human-lion conflict. On the edges of the desert rural communities farm with livestock, and when lions prey on them, the rural farmers retaliate by shooting or poisoning the big cats in an effort to protect their livelihood. Along with regular trophy hunting, this has led to a drastic decline of adult male lions in particular, leaving the already small population under threat.
I caught up with Félix Vallat, Project Co-ordinator for the Desert Lion Trust and looked to share a bit more about not only the lions of the region but also the work being done by the Desert Lion Trust. If you enjoyed this podcast and want to get involved then scroll down to see how you can help.
Contribute Towards A Collar
As Félix mentioned in our chat, the Desert Lion Trust will be conducting a census and will be looking to collar a number of currently un-monitored prides and individuals. Remember that these collars serve a dual purpose of remote monitoring whilst playing a vital roll in the early warning system (geo-fencing) used by communities to help prevent hum-wildlife conflict.
Contribute To The Trust
Conservation of these desert adapted lions requires funding for a variety of projects and initiatives. If you'd like to contribute to the good work being done by the Desert Lion Trust then please consider following the link below and making a donation. Whether we are protecting Desert lions or helping the people living with the Lions, your donation makes it all possible!