This would be done using the scientifically-sound approach (SECR) that we had helped to develop in the Mara that was adopted as the standardised framework for the survey. In addition, only lions over the age of one year would be included since lions under one year of age usually suffer from high mortality and including them may be misleading.
At a national level, the outputs from this survey will be used to inform the updated national strategy for lions (due to be released in 2020). At local levels, the surveys will provide key insights into the status and distribution of lions and other large carnivores that will help to guide conservation interventions and plans. For example, our pilot survey in Lake Nakuru National Park (which was published in a scientific journal and can be found here ) highlighted important management implications and is already leading to changes. The true strength of robust monitoring comes over time and as local sites continue to monitor their lion populations using these methods, there will be tremendous insights to guide and evaluate conservation interventions.
The Technical Team
Patrick Omondi, PhD—Kenya Wildlife Service
Nic Elliot, PhD—WildCRU, University of Oxford, consultant (KWT)
Femke Broekhuis, PhD—Consultant (KWT)
Shadrack Ngene, PhD—Kenya Wildlife Service
Linus Kariuki, MSc—Kenya Wildlife Service
Bernard Kuloba, MSc—Kenya Wildlife Service
Monica Chege, MSc—Kenya Wildlife Service
Stephanie Dolrenry, PhD—Lion Guardians
Kasaine Sankan, BA—Field consultant (KWT)
Irene Amoke, PhD – KWT
Arjun Gopalaswamy, PhD—Wildlife Conservation Society, Global Programs
Technical team (Phase I surveys – Southern Kenya)
Yussuf Wato, PhD—WWF-Kenya
Jenny Cousins, PhD—WWF-UK
This is a collaborative venture between the Kenya Wildlife Service, the Kenya Wildlife Trust and local and international non-governmental organisations. This multi-stakeholder approach is designed to be both transparent and inclusive, making full use of the skills and knowledge of local stakeholders while being supported by national and international bodies. For each survey, we aimed to collaborate with the various local stakeholders in all aspects of the survey. By assisting in data collection and participating in analysis workshops our intention is that the national survey evolves into long-term monitoring within all important lion populations. Indeed, much of the fieldwork outlined in this report was carried out by local stakeholders with the support of the technical team. In many cases, local partners provided their staff and vehicles throughout the exercise – these contributions cannot be overstated.
This is a hugely ambitious project and we are grateful to numerous organisations for supporting this initiative and seeing the value of this work. We thank the ICEA Lion Insurance Group for providing the initial funding to carrying out the critical standardisation workshop and pilot survey of Lake Nakuru National Park. Funding for the sightings-based and interview-based surveys were provided by the Lion Recovery Fund, Liz Claiborne Art Ortenberg Foundation and the National Geographic Society. WWF-Kenya provided some of the survey equipment and provided funding for the sightings-based surveys that were conducted in Southern Kenya. Additional funds were generously provided by the African Wildlife Foundation at a crucial time in the Tsavo survey which enabled us to continue the work and helped to ensure its success. The capacity building and analytical workshops that were held in 2019 and 2020 were funded by the Liz Claiborne Art Ortenberg Foundation, the Siemiatkowski Foundation, the National Geographic Explorer Community Fund and the African Wildlife Foundation kindly provided logistical support including a venue and catering. Femke Broekhuis would like to thank the Remembering Wildlife initiative for funding some of the cheetah-related work of this survey and Arjun Gopalaswamy thanks WCS for the partial funding and logistical support provided to be involved in the survey.