REBUILDING THE PRIDE
Rebuilding the Pride, run by the South Rift Association of Landowners (SORALO), a Maasai landowner group, aims to increase lion and other carnivore numbers across the South Rift area of Kenya. The program focuses on reducing human-wildlife conflict, preventing range fragmentation and maintaining healthy prey numbers.
Rebuilding the Pride explores the basis of traditional practices among pastoralists that allow herders to coexist with wildlife and minimize conflict with predators. The lion serves as a signature species for conserving other large carnivores, including wild dogs, cheetah, leopards and striped and spotted hyenas. Rebuilding the Pride also refers to the pride communities themselves take in conserving wildlife!
The program’s approach to rebuilding large carnivore populations is to:
- Reverse land fragmentation in the South Rift, thereby winning space for both people and wildlife and connecting the Mara and Amboseli-Tsavo ecosystems.
- Restore the large carnivore prey base, thereby reducing human-lion conflict and increasing income from wildlife-based tourism.
- Maintain and restore the practices that underpin coexistence between predators and people.
Established in 2010, this project is already having significant successes!
- The lion population within the area has expanded from between 38-45 to 58-65 individuals and the prey base is continuing to increase.
- Since June 2012, five lions within the Shompole/Olikirimatian area have been fitted with GPS collars. The collars have allowed us to closely track the movements and population dynamics of different prides within the area.
- In 2013, the team developed a new lion identification (I.D) database allowing for photographic documentation and identification of individual lions based on whisker spots. Intensified monitoring in combination with the I.D database has given Rebuilding the Pride new insight into the lion population in the area.
- Rebuilding the Pride along with Lion Guardians has spearheaded the development of a Transborder Lion Initiative. Collectively this transborder area accounts for approximately 20% of the range of Kenya and Tanzania’s remaining lions.