Okavango Delta Lion Project
Total donations: $9,566 | Partnership: 1999-2000
Lions, Africa’s fierce predators, play a significant role in the delicate ecosystem of the Okavango Delta. A World Heritage Site, Botswana’s lush Okavango Delta sprawls across more than 5,000 inland miles, making it one of the world’s largest wetland eco-systems.
Although lions may serve as an African icon, experts list them as an endangered species. Extinct in 26 countries, lion populations of more than 1,000 now survive in only 7 countries, where they face such challenges as river evaporation, over hunting, a decline in natural prey, and increased agricultural development.
In order to estimate the number of lions in the Delta, their prides, and their seasonal movements, the Strategic Monitoring of Lions in the Okavango Delta project used state of the art equipment such as radio collars.
Radio tracking is used to regularly locate collared lions of different prides in order to collect data on pride dynamics and movement, and to provide direct observations of lion behavior. The survival of the Okavango Delta as one of the world’s most unique ecosystems depends first and foremost on sound management based on scientific data.
We support research in the Okavango, monitoring lion movements and demonstrating that lions usually prey on wild antelope and not livestock. Gathering data on local wetlands, river basins, and watersheds, will help in the planning of sustainable environmental management policies and protect the lion population.
Grand Circle Foundation supported this program because only through long-term monitoring can the necessary data be available for environmental resource management decisions for this magical place.